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Servicing Shimano ST-6500

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Servicing Shimano ST-6500

Old 12-23-18, 09:38 PM
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206Moser
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Servicing Shimano ST-6500

I bought a Litespeed Tuscany a while back that had an 8sp Ultegra group, which I removed. It turned out to be a 6500 group.

Problems with the ST-6500 STI shifters were:
-large pull paddle becoming blocked
-slow return of small (pawl release) paddle

The ST-6500 is not like RSX or 105 STI levers. With the latter, Iím used to removing the face plate with a hex key, removing the mech and attacking the pawls and springs directly.

6500 has a name plate on top of the face plate, the name plate (says Ultegra Flight Deck) is not designed to be removed, as far as I could tell, unless you are ready to replace it. It looks like the plate on the 6510 is held on by a screw.

There is also a wiring harness that runs between the mech and the lever body, which can be separated from the lever body if you have a smal set of screw drivers.

To service the levers, I held off on trying to pry the name plate away from the face plate. I eventually found the Shimano exploded view (EV) of the ST-6500 shifting and braking systems, and service guide.

The guide does not recommend removing the name plate, pulling the face plate and servicing the shifter mech. It warns against disassembly. The furthest Shimano recommends you go is using a special socket to remove the nut holding the shifter mech to the paddles.

Thereís a screw visible on the inside of the paddles near the mech that would normally release the mech from the lever bracket. With the 6500, removing this screw does not get around the problem of the name plate blocking access to the anchor bolt.

Has anyone used the special socket to remove the anchor nut? Does that allow you to service the mech?

To fix the problem of the large paddles getting hung up, I had to lubricate as best I could the return mech for the small paddle. Thereís a lock-out feature in the shifter mech where if the small paddle is engaged, the large paddle is blocked from actuating the mech.

So if you canít even toggle your Shimano STI paddles and ďdry runĒ the shifter, check to make sure the small paddle is returning to its non-shifting position, aka, away from the frame.

Unfortunately the pawls on the ST-6500 for the RD are really cruddy. I canít get more than two shifts out of it. I was able to send some lubricant towards the pawls and springs through cutouts in the shifter mech. The whole setup is designed to keep out the type of thing Iím trying to get in. A full bath would probably be the next step...which may also damage the face plate.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf
EV-ST-6500-1703A.pdf (109.5 KB, 8 views)
File Type: pdf
EV-ST-6510-1950A.pdf (523.3 KB, 6 views)

Last edited by 206Moser; 12-23-18 at 09:44 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 12-23-18, 10:04 PM
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Andrew R Stewart 
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The best way to free up the workings of these older STI units is to soak, flush out the dried up factory lube then relube with thin then thicker stuff. "hosing out" or dunking the whole lever/pod portion is quite easy to do. It sounds like you have the flight deck version, the ribbon of wire between the pod and the inside of the lever body. If you don't ever plan to use a Shimano Flight Deck computer then just cut the ribbon, pull out as much as you can and tuck away the rest. We don't bother trying to pull off name plates. But we do remove the lever/pod assembly from the body, if the tiny pivot set screw will loosen. Using a sharp/not worn or ball ended hex wrench helps here. We have never seen a face plate be damaged with the industrial solvent tank soaking we use. Or with Clean Streak, WD40 and Thrust. Andy
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Old 12-24-18, 11:56 AM
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I was always able to get them working with WD-40 and shifting up and down until everything loosened up. I am an old ludlite and use down tube shifters.
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Old 12-25-18, 06:49 AM
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6500 wiring harness

Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
The best way to free up the workings of these older STI units is to soak, flush out the dried up factory lube then relube with thin then thicker stuff. "hosing out" or dunking the whole lever/pod portion is quite easy to do. It sounds like you have the flight deck version, the ribbon of wire between the pod and the inside of the lever body. If you don't ever plan to use a Shimano Flight Deck computer then just cut the ribbon, pull out as much as you can and tuck away the rest. We don't bother trying to pull off name plates. But we do remove the lever/pod assembly from the body, if the tiny pivot set screw will loosen. Using a sharp/not worn or ball ended hex wrench helps here. We have never seen a face plate be damaged with the industrial solvent tank soaking we use. Or with Clean Streak, WD40 and Thrust. Andy
Thanks, this sounds pretty straight forward. Iím going to see if Simple Green wonít get the job done flush-wise.

I wanted that wire harness out! Although once I realized that the lever bodies would feel strange without a cover for the electronic bits, mounted under the hoods, I figured I would just leave the wire.
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Old 12-25-18, 08:16 AM
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Cut off the ribbon from the contacts cover and replace the cover. Done this many times.

The only issue I have with Simple Green is that it's water based. So rust is one concern, it's really hard to insure that all the nooks and crannies in a index pod are completely dry. Water and lube don't like to mix too well too. The second but less mentioned aspect of a water based solvent is what you do with it after it's been contaminated by whatever you're cleaning out. I hope this means that it doesn't get washed down the drain... Andy
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Old 12-25-18, 08:39 AM
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Agree on something other than Simple Green. WD-40 should work. Or soak in mineral spirits. Honestly, I'm typically game to tackle most any repair project but I don't have any interest in taking apart an old STI lever. Shift quality has improved leaps and bounds since 6500 so there is that too...
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Old 12-25-18, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
The best way to free up the workings of these older STI units is to soak, flush out the dried up factory lube then relube with thin then thicker stuff. "hosing out" or dunking the whole lever/pod portion is quite easy to do. It sounds like you have the flight deck version, the ribbon of wire between the pod and the inside of the lever body. If you don't ever plan to use a Shimano Flight Deck computer then just cut the ribbon, pull out as much as you can and tuck away the rest. We don't bother trying to pull off name plates. But we do remove the lever/pod assembly from the body, if the tiny pivot set screw will loosen. Using a sharp/not worn or ball ended hex wrench helps here. We have never seen a face plate be damaged with the industrial solvent tank soaking we use. Or with Clean Streak, WD40 and Thrust. Andy

When I have cleaned my Dura Ace 7800 Flight Deck levers with Wd-40 the operation of the shifters improved but my Flight Deck is acting all strange. It auto-toggles between different menus. MY LBS mechanic told me that with use, the electrical contacts will clean themselves and proper operation of the Flight Deck sensors will be restored. This didnít happen. So next time iím @ Wal-Mart I plan to pick up some contact cleaner.
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Old 12-27-18, 01:09 AM
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Simple green

those are good points about the simple green. Iíve liked it around the shop for cleaning frames, whatís picked up stays on the rags. I donít feel great putting the rags in the trash, Iím going to pass on dumping the stuff into the pipes and go with the wd -40
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