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cb400 05-05-20 03:44 PM

Oversized early MTB brake cable solution
I just wanted to share a solution I found (on an old google group by someone called Steve Sr.) for Deore DX SLR or similar brake levers requiring a now obsolete style of brake cable end. The universal ones do not fit as shown below. Lots of slack and they are able to flop around in there due to not being wide enough.
The solution is to use a bronze bushing from the hardware store (1/4" ID x 5/16 OD)
Cut a slit down the middle with a dremel/hacksaw etc. then cut in half (one bushing is good for 2 of these) and you get something like below. Fiddle with it until it both fits onto the universal MTB cable end and into the brake lever. I ground the slit wider a little at a time until it worked.
Now a universal cable fits into the old school lever. Ideally one would drill a hole into the bronze and slide the cable through so that they can't move independently.

dsbrantjr 05-05-20 05:38 PM

Originally Posted by cb400 (Post 21457551)
Ideally one would drill a hole into the bronze and slide the cable through so that they can't move independently.

If you cut the slot only part way and insert it with the open end of the slot out, then insert the cable end you should accomplish the same thing

cb400 05-06-20 11:02 AM

That would be an ideal solution if the bushing inner diameter matched the universal cable end perfectly. It might still work if the unslotted part is very tiny but I suspect it would not allow the bushing to bend in the required way.

wesmamyke 05-06-20 03:17 PM

Shimano levers actually came with a brass bushing exactly for this purpose. My XT 4 finger levers have them, very easily lost though.

dabac 05-06-20 03:19 PM

BITD I bought parts specifically for that purpose from a motorcycle shop.
might still be available.

cb400 05-06-20 04:43 PM

These DX ones came with a plastic bushing that fit over the weird motorcycle cable style cable but it didn't fit with the universal one. Maybe these bushings can be used to replace lost XT bushings as well.

I actually have a motorcycle throttle cable that would have worked but didn't want to cut it because they're expensive compared to 4$ (Canadian) + a universal brake cable for a permanent solution. I also know that in my area there aren't many old school motorcycle shops, so I would have had to call about 10 places, get transferred at least once each time to get to the parts department, explain myself each time and probably get hung up on a couple of them after being told no we don't have those.

One problem I've now discovered is that the batch of brake cable matters, I tried to do the rear with a different batch of brake cable that was slightly bigger and it wasn't fitting. It wouldn't be a big deal with the right dremel accessories but a bit more complicated than originally thought.

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