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  1. #1
    Member pgerhardt's Avatar
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    Front Brifter not shifting on new (old) install

    One of my friends offered me a set of parts to upgrade my old road bike. The Shimano 600 STI 8 speed with cranks brakes chain new cables are all installed.

    The Front Brifter is not shifting. It tightens the cable and the but it does not stay in place. Maybe I am doing something wrong? If I hold the cable in my hand it does not stay pulled in when I release the lever. There is no clicking or ratcheting going on. I have sprayed the heck out of with WD-40, pulled the cable all the way out and rethreaded the cable. I think it is not working but previous owner said it was working when removed. It is very clean but has been stored for years. Does the cable go straight through and out the side? I tried to read the directions making sure it is 'released' before putting cable in.

    Got the Spinergy wheels on and took it for a nice ride today on the small chainring. The rear 8 speed shifts perfect.

    Any other ideas?

    pix of the old Roberts Criterium with it's 1981 set up on my blog.
    Paul on the Eastern Shore of Maryland
    http://pgerhardt.blogspot.com
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  2. #2
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Remove the lever assembly and submerge the bugger in kero or something for a good long while. If you can, vibrate it - preferably ultrasound, but a washing machine could help.

    If that doesn't do it, got skills?

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Hopefully there is nothing actually wrong... older brifters seem to be notorious for symptoms like you describe. The culprit is usually that the original grease from Shimano has hardened and stopped-up the mechanism. Some quick Googling will illustrate this.

    Take the brifter off the handlebar, remove the hood and spray the heck out of the innards of the shifter with WD40, PB Blaster, or any other penetrating/"cleaning" type of spray. Use a lot... like half a can or more might be necessary. Work the lever/shift mechanism back-and-forth a lot of times during and after spraying it with the WD40. After you have (hopefully) freed-up the mechanism, then spray a ton of your favorite lubricant in there.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Member pgerhardt's Avatar
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    Thanks
    Now working!!!
    I went down the my 'bike shop' in the coal bin and removed the hinge pin so the lever would come loose and I was loose and spayed it with WD40. Putting a screwdriver shaft in the hinge holes I worked the lever back and forth and spayed some more. Did the back and forth maybe a hundred times still nothing. Went to bed. Next day I took a jar down to soak it but I tried it again and now it was clicking and working!!

    My set of parts was off a bike with a braze on for the front derailleur but my old frame did not have one. I was able to set up the Suntour so it works fine with the lever but I may look for an adapter or a clamp on Shimano to make it match.

    Thanks for the tips. BTW I was ready to rip into so the link would be useful for the next step if someone finds it necessary.
    Paul on the Eastern Shore of Maryland
    http://pgerhardt.blogspot.com
    BikeE
    BikeE2
    Trek 920
    KHS Tandemania
    Roberts Road Bike
    Couple for the wife and kids

  5. #5
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgerhardt View Post
    Next day I took a jar down to soak it but I tried it again and now it was clicking and working!!
    Not surprised at all; the agricultural mechanism of the original 8spd levers is durable, even though it's prone to this failure. You have a little pawl for each direction, and these sit on little pivots with wimpy little hairsprings, which stop actuating the pawls properly or at all when there's any friction in the pivot.

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