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2002 Shimano 105 shifter fix suggestions

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2002 Shimano 105 shifter fix suggestions

Old 10-17-20, 08:19 AM
  #1  
preventec47
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2002 Shimano 105 shifter fix suggestions

I stored a nice bike in the basement for 18 years and now the left front 3 speed shifter will not click to advance or reverse the front derailleur. I can grab the bare wire running along the frame and move the derailleur so I know that is free and not seized. I have sprayed WD 40 into the shifter several times but still no function. I am attaching a photo of exactly what my shifter looks like and there is one hex head screw that is prominent. I guess I dont have anything to lose but I wanted to know if folks here agree that I should remove that hex screw and disassemble whatever the screw is holding. I was hoping that maybe without pulling parts out I could spray a solvent like brake cleaner into the mechanism and free up whatever is not moving or working etc. I know the shifter worked fine 17 years ago. My fear is that if I take the screw out parts will explode in a way I will never be able to reassemble and risk having to buy a whole new shifter. In fact I would like to know if it would be cheaper for me to pay a bike shop to try to fix the problem or just order a new shifter and install and be on my way. One slight problem with that is I dont think I can find the same model that matches my other side 8 speed shifter and I hate to pay for TWO new shifters and have to install them. I dont even know if you can purchase new 8 speed shifters for 2002 cassettes anyway. Anyway this was a phenominal climbing tandem bike with a front 28 and rear 34 ring gear and I would love to get it running again. If fact I was riding it yesterday but I could not shift the front sprockets.
I tried to submit pics but am not allowed until ten total posts. Sorry.

Last edited by preventec47; 11-01-20 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 10-17-20, 08:32 AM
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I used shifters from here when one of my 105's quit working in a way similar to yours. Not sure if they have one to match what you need.

https://www.microshift.com/en/

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Old 10-17-20, 09:01 AM
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Do NOT take it apart. Shimano shifters are NOT user serviceable. Keep spraying and exercising the shifter. It should eventually start working again.
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Old 10-18-20, 12:06 PM
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The malfunctioning shifter is a three speed and currently is locked into the big ring of front sprockets. What will not click is the release paddle
that lets the deraileur back down to the middle then the small ring gear. I will keep spraying and wiggleing.....and cross my fingers.
I will try to take a photo to show the only screw accessable to me. The question I have since you say it is not user serviceable, is whether
I can just take the screw out without taking it apart. The reason is to gain access to another spray point. WD40 is as good as anything
or should I use a brake solvent to try to loosed solidified grease if that is the problem.
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Old 10-18-20, 01:14 PM
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Here is a picture of the exact model of Shimano 105 shifter that I have. The pic shows the hex head screw in the middle of the lever.

I would like to know if I can take that screw out but not remove or disassemble anything . I am just hoping to gain access to another way
to spray brake cleaner into the mechanism. I dont think it could be broken.... only stuck. So can I remove the screw, spray the inside,
re install the screw and then work the mechanism hoping to break it free.....

Really what are my other options ? This 3 speed shifter is very likely 20 years old. I know at least 17 for sure.


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Old 10-18-20, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by preventec47 View Post
The malfunctioning shifter is a three speed and currently is locked into the big ring of front sprockets. What will not click is the release paddle
that lets the deraileur back down to the middle then the small ring gear. I will keep spraying and wiggleing.....and cross my fingers.
I will try to take a photo to show the only screw accessable to me. The question I have since you say it is not user serviceable, is whether
I can just take the screw out without taking it apart. The reason is to gain access to another spray point. WD40 is as good as anything
or should I use a brake solvent to try to loosed solidified grease if that is the problem.
Is the cable TIGHT? If so, you may have to back off the H screw on the FDER to give the shifter a tiny bit of slack to move off the detent.
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Old 10-18-20, 02:15 PM
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Yes the cable is very tight. OK sounds like a plan ! Where is the H screw and what is FDER ---- Ok I am slow but it came to me.
FRONT DERAIULER I will look for a screw adjustment on it somewhere..... THANKS I might be able to loosen it enough to allow
shift to middle ring where it would be a very rideable bike around town. Being in the smallest 28 ring or largest 54 ring makes for some extreme riding.
I have seen now that with expensive 12 speed cassettes that there is no more need for front sprocket shifting..........

BTW the derailer is a Shimano Ultegra from about 2001 - 2002 That is when I acquired the parts for build.

Last edited by preventec47; 10-18-20 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 10-18-20, 03:13 PM
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These old 8s STIs are very durable, but they have tiny pawls inside which pivot on little pins about 1.5mm thick, and are actuated by hair springs. The grease gums up over time and seizes these little pivots, hence the WD40 fix.

I wouldn't advise undoing that allen head bolt on the front; there's a spring and a very slim plastic dust shield inside that can be quite frustrating to get back in place, particularly if you're not very experienced with fiddly mechanisms.

The best bet is to detach the cable at the derailer, and keep trying to actuate the shifter - you need to try to start moving the little pawls so the WD40 can do its job on the grease in the tiny pivots, but unfortunately it's a bit of a bootstrapping process - it sort of needs to work before it can work.

Sometimes you can't kickstart this process, so the next best thing is to destroy the plastic cover that's exposed when you pull the brake lever (disconnect both cables for this, and swing the brake lever over to go past the bar). Then you'll be able to see the uppermost pawl (and maybe the lower one too, it's been a while), and that upper one is the one that needs to engage for the downshift flipper to actuate. Use a tiny screwdriver or something to get that little pawl moving, and as you do, you'll feel the pivot free up more and more as the WD40 gets a chance to dissolve the sticky goo. Then you should be okay.

If you want to know how hard it is to fully overhaul these puppies, there's a link in my tag.
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Old 10-18-20, 04:06 PM
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Good info, thx
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Old 10-18-20, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
These old 8s STIs are very durable, but they have tiny pawls inside which pivot on little pins about 1.5mm thick, and are actuated by hair springs. The grease gums up over time and seizes these little pivots.
In case it might matter at all the faulty shifter is a Shimano 105 3 speed from about 2002 and not an STI model. I have been using WD40 for a few days.... ( I am riding the bike
but I just cant get the front ring gears to change) I think I will switch over to Brake Cleaner which will act more of a solvent than WD40 which I think is more of a lubricant.

Id say for what these shifters cost, they could use a more long lasting synthetic grease that doesnt get thick and hard with time... or maybe some other formulation. There are many kinds of grease.
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Old 10-18-20, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by preventec47 View Post
I think I will switch over to Brake Cleaner which will act more of a solvent than WD40 which I think is more of a lubricant.
I would stay away from any brake cleaners as some of them are pretty strong and may damage plastic parts and rubber hoods. WD-40 can also damage rubber hoods if left on them for more than a few hours. Not noticeable right away but the rubber can tend to soften and break down over time.
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Old 10-18-20, 09:15 PM
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Those shifters pictured are 3x8, and I'm pretty sure they're older than 2002; Shimano went 9s in the 90s I think. STI means Shimano brifter. It's STI.

The teardown guide in my tag applies to these.
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Old 10-25-20, 08:41 PM
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preventec47
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
Those shifters pictured are 3x8, and I'm pretty sure they're older than 2002; Shimano went 9s in the 90s I think. STI means Shimano brifter. It's STI.

The teardown guide in my tag applies to these.
My mistake, I just now learned what STI meant. I thought Sexually Transmitted Infection :-) or some other brand-mfgr etc. Now that I learned STI means "Shimano
Technology Integration" IS THAT RIGHT ? So yea, mine IS STI. I do love using the STI's but I really miss my suicide brake handles from my 70's 12 speed
drop bar road bike. You could ride wtth hands on top of bar and still modulate the brake handle. Maybe that can be a future upgrade for them when old becomes new
again..

Last edited by preventec47; 11-01-20 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 10-26-20, 10:03 AM
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Would it be a good or bad idea to try using a commercial grade ultrasonic cleaner with heated water?
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Old 11-04-20, 02:05 PM
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preventec47
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
Those shifters pictured are 3x8, and I'm pretty sure they're older than 2002; Shimano went 9s in the 90s I think.
The teardown guide in my tag applies to these.
Now that I think about it, I think when I acquired a bunch of components to build my tandem in around 2001 and 2002, I seem to recall that some of them
were used. I met a guy who was upgrading his bicycle to newer stuff and I think I got his old stuff that seemed brand new to me.
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Old 11-04-20, 08:45 PM
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You can open it up and clean it with WD40 and a toothbrush. Follow the guide here:
GUIDE: Repairing Shimano 600 (6400) STI Levers
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