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  1. #1
    ****** QuangVuong's Avatar
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    GUIDE: Repairing Shimano RSX (A410) STI Levers

    Another guide, now for the RSX STIs. These were in lovely cosmetic condition, and its obvious they did not get damaged over the years. However, the left hand shifter did not click at all. Right hand was very very stiff when clicking. Obvious signs of the gummed up grease.

    RSX levers are not symmetrical. The right side lever is different to the left side lever. So I will be going through both left and right sides in this guide.


    Well, first things first. Remove the hoods to clean up te lever body and hoods. However it is not neccessary.

    Right Side
    Use a 2mm allen key to remove this grub screw. THeres a little threadlock so it may be tight.


    Get some sort of tool(4mm key in this case) to push out the pivot.


    Now you can remove the lever from the body. Use a 5mm allen key to unscrew the nameplate screw. Make sure youre holding onto both the name plate and the lever when unscrewing, otherise there is a possibility that the name plate will go flying off as its connected to a loaded spring.


    Carefully lift whilst twisting the name plate off. You will be greeted with this spring. This is different to the assembly of the new Sora(3300) and 105(5500) levers, but exactly the same as the RX100. Id say its much more easy to dismantle and rebuild because the spring is here.


    Flip to the backside of the lever, and push over the smaller lever to reveal a Phillips screw. Unscrew this, and be careful of a small screw washer behind.


    Now the large lever can be pulled off to reveal the innards. I believe this would be the levers that are the cleanest out of mine, but also the one which has dried up the most.




    Proceed with cleaning up the old grease using whatever means you like(I like to use petrol). The dried up grease was some serious stuff. Though a quick soak would allow me to brush if off, but that was not the case. I had to soak it for a couple minutes together with a lot of brushing before it started to slowly clean up. Once cleaned up, apply grease to the pawls.


    80's Bundy - 87 Kestrel 4000 - 88 Giant Cadex 980c - 89 Centurion Carbon - 89 Peugeot Carbon Pro - 99 Kestel 200 EMS

  2. #2
    ****** QuangVuong's Avatar
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    Left Side
    It is not entirely the same as the right lever, but its still close enough to the right side to dismantle.
    2mm allen key


    Then use some sort of tool to push out the pivot.


    Unscrew the nameplate screw with a 5mm allen key. Make sure youre holding onto both the name plate and the lever when unscrewing, otherise there is a possibility that the name plate will go flying off as its connected to a loaded spring.


    Name plate can be lifted and turned slightly to remove


    Flip to the other side of the lever, and push over the small lever to reveal a phillips screw


    Lever comes right off to reveal the innards. Now this side was dirty as! Sand and dirt managed to get inside, and may possibly be the issue.


    Proceed with cleaning up the old grease using whatever means you like(I like to use petrol). The dried up grease was some serious stuff. Though a quick soak would allow me to brush if off, but that was not the case. I had to soak it for a couple minutes together with a lot of brushing before it started to slowly clean up. Once cleaned up, apply grease to the pawls.

    The plastic cover on mine broke off, which allowed me to clean up a little easier, but I had to glue it back on. Its only there to keep dirt and other stuff out of the lever.




    Both levers can go back together in the opposite way they came apart, so back trace, and you shouldnt have a problem.

    Finished Product! I chose to polish the exposed body, like on the RX100, and the name plate. I did lose the RSX logo, but in return I got a mirror finish. This time round I chose to not sand off the silver paint and polish, as it was in quite good condition, and wouldve been a hassle for me anyway.




    Interesting notes:
    - This uses the same hoods as the RX100, which is also shared with the 105 SC levers(ST-1055). I dare say, the 600 and maybe even the DA(6400) levers also shared this hood.
    - Back then, Im quite sure these levers were 90% the same. RSX is 7 speed, one less than the others. The RX100, would be the sxact same as the 105. Im not sure on the 600 or DA levers, as I havent serviced them yet. Have a look at the pics from this shifter and compare it with the RX100, and you can see that they are pretty much the same. I would have a hard time seeing the difference, unless I counted the extra tooth for the extra gear.


    Oh, and I will offer a service to rebuild STI levers. So far I have done the Sora(3300), 105(5500), RX100, and the RSX as above, but I am sure that I can get around to doing the others without too many problems. I will also gladly take in any broken shifters, or ones that do not work anymore. Please PM me if youre interested!
    Last edited by QuangVuong; 04-25-13 at 05:04 AM.
    80's Bundy - 87 Kestrel 4000 - 88 Giant Cadex 980c - 89 Centurion Carbon - 89 Peugeot Carbon Pro - 99 Kestel 200 EMS

  3. #3
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Hey, why did you bother to remove the hoods for the overhaul? Did you manage to find replacements for these?!

    Quote Originally Posted by QuangVuong View Post
    I did lose the RSX logo, but in return I got a mirror finish.
    LOL, what a shame... that's a no-brainer! 'RSX' is low-rent and mirror-finish bling ain't

    Interesting notes:
    - This uses the same hoods as the RX100, which is also shared with the 105 SC levers(ST-1055). I dare say, the 600 and maybe even the DA(6400) levers also shared this hood.
    - Back then, Im quite sure these levers were 90% the same. RSX is 7 speed, one less than the others. The RX100, would be the sxact same as the 105. Im not sure on the 600 or DA levers, as I havent serviced them yet. Have a look at the pics from this shifter and compare it with the RX100, and you can see that they are pretty much the same. I would have a hard time seeing the difference, unless I counted the extra tooth for the extra gear.
    I think you're on the money there; probably the biggest difference between RSX and 600 is the chrome and hidden faceplate bolt on 600, along with perhaps a lighter casting for the lever and maybe some nicer materials here and there. DA might be entirely different, I suspect. Haven't had a play with any 7400s.

  4. #4
    ****** QuangVuong's Avatar
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    I totally forgot to bid on a pair of 7400s that was on eBay only a few weeks ago. $20 only!

    May possibly be getting a 600 to have a play with, to see how simlar it is.
    80's Bundy - 87 Kestrel 4000 - 88 Giant Cadex 980c - 89 Centurion Carbon - 89 Peugeot Carbon Pro - 99 Kestel 200 EMS

  5. #5
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Bummer.

    Also, I loathe Dora the Explorer.

  6. #6
    ****** QuangVuong's Avatar
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    Lol, Id better clean up that table now. Theres all grease and crap on it. Not mine, its for the kids.
    80's Bundy - 87 Kestrel 4000 - 88 Giant Cadex 980c - 89 Centurion Carbon - 89 Peugeot Carbon Pro - 99 Kestel 200 EMS

  7. #7
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Paint it.

  8. #8
    Bike Recycler werwer2012's Avatar
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    "QuangVuong"
    I'm just starting out repairing bikes and that guide was excellent information for me. If you come across any more guides like that would you mind passing then onto me.

    Thanks...

  9. #9
    ****** QuangVuong's Avatar
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    This is my guide man! Id only make a guide for stuff that dont have guides, or requests.
    80's Bundy - 87 Kestrel 4000 - 88 Giant Cadex 980c - 89 Centurion Carbon - 89 Peugeot Carbon Pro - 99 Kestel 200 EMS

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    Bike Recycler werwer2012's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuangVuong View Post
    This is my guide man! Id only make a guide for stuff that dont have guides, or requests.
    WELL EXCUSE ME !!!... Sorry to bother you..

  11. #11
    Member suncake's Avatar
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    First of all, thanks for taking the time to put together such a helpful guide. I've finished disassembly, cleaning (using a sonicator), and re-greasing yet I'm stuck trying to put the pivot bolt back. It's the opposite of this step shown below.
    Quote Originally Posted by QuangVuong View Post
    Get some sort of tool(4mm key in this case) to push out the pivot.
    I don't see how this can be done with one person---it takes all my effort pressing from multiple directions to get the holes to line up. I'm missing a third hand to force the pivot bolt back in. Do you have any tips/tricks for this step? Thanks!

  12. #12
    ****** QuangVuong's Avatar
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    How hard was it to remove? I've had issues with one shifter in particular(prob one that's been crashed), and I reckon the pivot was bent. It was hard to remove, and even worse to put back in.

    If it came out relatively smoothly, then its not too bad to put back in. I usually go from the side opposite to the spring. You should be able to align the first hole and then shove the pivot in. Push it in hard enough and it should align itself. If not, then get a small hammer and tap the pivot in. And make sure you've got the pivot in the right way. There's a section that will align with the grub screw.
    80's Bundy - 87 Kestrel 4000 - 88 Giant Cadex 980c - 89 Centurion Carbon - 89 Peugeot Carbon Pro - 99 Kestel 200 EMS

  13. #13
    Member suncake's Avatar
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    OK, I finally got it. This shifter is in pretty good shape, and didn't cause me any issues disassembling it. What worked for me was, using the orientation of the above picture, to align the holes vertically, and move the lever directly downward only. I was previously trying to simultaneously move the lever down and right. Doing it repeatedly wrong had the effect of scraping up the two black washers, making it significantly harder after each failed attempt. I had to use a ball peen hammer to get the pin through, but I doubt I would have if done correctly the first time.

    OK--I'm almost home. What is best strategy for replacing the name plate (while simultaneously retensioning the spring 90 degrees clockwise)? I'm assuming you'd want to partially tighten the bolt, then loop dental floss around the spring head to pull into place. But if there's an easier way, I'd love to know.

    Thanks again--this is an amazing resource and proves STI's aren't as disposable as most people make them out to be. Here's pic of the mech post-cleaning.

  14. #14
    ****** QuangVuong's Avatar
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    Place the spring like this


    Pretty much at 12 oclock in this pic, theres a small cutout. Align that with the spring, and twist 90 deg to normal.Try to keep the twisting centred, otherwise the spring will not fall into the ring of the name plate(so should look like below pic as well). After youve done all that, then you can put the screw on. Theres no need to partially insert the screw(prob makes it harder), and dont use dental floss as itll prob snap trying to overcome the spring tension.

    This pic is for the RX100 shifter, but its the same sort. Now dont be confused why the spring is in the name palte and not on the lever as I directed above. Its just a visual aid.


    I guess those who make STIs sound like they are fragile dont know what they are going on about. But its a good thing if you need a set of STIs for cheap!

    Oh, I guess I should do a video on rebuilding these, as itll make it easier for everyone. Now, if I manage to get my hands on 6400 ones, then Ill do it.
    80's Bundy - 87 Kestrel 4000 - 88 Giant Cadex 980c - 89 Centurion Carbon - 89 Peugeot Carbon Pro - 99 Kestel 200 EMS

  15. #15
    Member suncake's Avatar
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    Awesome, got both of them on--one placing the spring on the body first (as suggested), the other by placing the spring in the nameplate first. Took quite a few tries, but my problem was pressing the nameplate and body too hard together while twisting (because I was afraid the spring wouldn't catch). Both times I got it right, it took very little torque. The square hole of the nameplate will hold everything in place once you get it, so there's no need to frantically tighten the bolt while holding everything other tension (as I mistakenly thought).

    The front shifter feels totally revived, but the rear is difficult to downshift (large lever), often going multiple clicks in a single push. I suspect the pawls might just be worn out, but that's pure speculation. In any case, this guide made everything relatively straightforward, and seems like the logical middle-ground between full disassembly and just spraying WD40 everywhere. Plus, I can now add (partially) disassembling STI's to my hypothetical bike hobbyist resume.

  16. #16
    ****** QuangVuong's Avatar
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    Nice! And shifting a few clicks is normal with the large lever. You can shift 2-3 clicks at a time.

    Spraying WD40 everywhere is messy, and wont stop the fact that theres still dried up grease everywhere. How'd the ultrasonic cleaning go? Dont have one myself, but sounds like itll save some effort.
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  17. #17
    Member suncake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuangVuong View Post
    Nice! And shifting a few clicks is normal with the large lever. You can shift 2-3 clicks at a time.

    Spraying WD40 everywhere is messy, and wont stop the fact that theres still dried up grease everywhere. How'd the ultrasonic cleaning go? Dont have one myself, but sounds like itll save some effort.
    I suppose I'll just have to put the rear on a bike and test it out. I've never used these shifters before, but it's noticeably harder to shift the right than the left and is very inconsistent (sometimes it'll move easily, other times it'll get stuck). I don't have enough experience with these to know if that's a symptom of improper cleaning, lubrication, or a mechanical failure requiring replacement of parts.

    The sonicator worked great--I didn't touch it with a brush, I just ran it with a solvent twice and once with water. I used a combination of tri-flow to get in the cracks, followed by grease to hopefully keep the lube in and water out. I've been using the sonicator at my workplace, but it's become so invaluable I plan on getting my own.
    Last edited by suncake; 05-19-13 at 12:49 AM.

  18. #18
    ****** QuangVuong's Avatar
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    Sounds like the insides will also get a good clean.

    The shifters feel hard as if youre holding it with your hand and shifting with the other. Once its on a bar, you wont feel much resistance. But the RSX does feel noticably harder to shift than my RX100. And its no wear as soft feeling as the Sora or 105(5500) levers.
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  19. #19
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    Thanks for the guide. I wish that I could say that it helped me but the used RSX STI shifters that I got are still jammed.

    When I opened one of these up I found that the internals had already been cleaned of the old grease that may have been there. I suspect that a previous owner unsuccessfully tried to fix these shifters and made a mistake in reassembling these.

    I was successfully able to disassemble and reassemble the shifters to and from the point that you've described coming to here but there's something else wrong here.

    I had your photos on my iPad while working on these but I never took a closer look on the screen while working within the daylight in my yard.

    Now that I've had practice disassembling and reassembling these, I'll try again to see how different the disassembled parts compare to those in your photos.

  20. #20
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Very nice work!

    I got a mid-90's Bianchi Volpe a couple of years ago, and the shifters had the full range of motion but wouldn't click. Weeks of oil soaking brought them back to life. I recently replaced the cables, and now the shifting works great. But I know I got lucky. One day, I'll need to use your guide.

    werwer2012, I don't think Quang was saying it's his guide so stay away. I think he was saying he wrote it and didn't take it from anyone else.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

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  21. #21
    Senior Member Oldpeddaller's Avatar
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    Quang Vuong - THANKS FOR YOUR INFORMATIVE POST! :-)

    I've been given two beautiful pairs of brifters - RSX and RX100 - that just didn't work. Managed to get all but the right RX100 to work by squirting automotive brake cleaner into every orifice and following up with TF2 Teflon spray. Now I'll follow your guide and lube them properly! The right RSX has a cable nipple with a few mm of frayed wire jammed inside - won't pull out of the cable hole. Now I can take the big lever off the front and get to it. You are a real star!
    Oldpeddaller - The older I get, the better I used to be !!!" ***** If at first you don't succeed - hit it with a hammer.

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  22. #22
    ****** QuangVuong's Avatar
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    Yep, frayed cable thats been cut, is almost impossible to remove with everything still together. Good luck on that shifter.

    If you wanna do the RX100 levers, then check out my guide for that as well.
    80's Bundy - 87 Kestrel 4000 - 88 Giant Cadex 980c - 89 Centurion Carbon - 89 Peugeot Carbon Pro - 99 Kestel 200 EMS

  23. #23
    Senior Member Oldpeddaller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuangVuong View Post
    Yep, frayed cable thats been cut, is almost impossible to remove with everything still together. Good luck on that shifter.

    If you wanna do the RX100 levers, then check out my guide for that as well.
    Thanks again - I used both of your guides with excellent results! The spiky cable end simply fell out when I removed the front lever, no problem. I cleaned off the old grease inside all of the brifters - dried-up clinging light tan coloured clumps that were stubborn to shift, then used some special lithium graphite *** grease I had left over from another hobby to lube the ratchets, pivots and pins. Now all four click smoothly through all of the gear positions, at least in the hand. Hopefully they will do the same when I put them on bikes.
    Oldpeddaller - The older I get, the better I used to be !!!" ***** If at first you don't succeed - hit it with a hammer.

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  24. #24
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldpeddaller View Post
    Hopefully they will do the same when I put them on bikes.
    IME you can reliably assess these off the bike - if they work, they work. I don't think the cable pull is affected by wear.

  25. #25
    Member suncake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
    IME you can reliably assess these off the bike - if they work, they work. I don't think the cable pull is affected by wear.
    I've now cleaned two sets of RSX shifters using this guide, but I've yet to install either. The left feels fine on both, but for the right, one has a tendency to accidentally click multiple times in a single movement, usually as a result of it getting slightly "stuck". I'm trying to figure out if this shifter will be a problem before taking the time to install it...

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