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Is this old MTB shifter fixable?

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Is this old MTB shifter fixable?

Old 06-04-22, 07:47 AM
  #1  
SDHawk
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Is this old MTB shifter fixable?

I've got an old STI left side shifter that won't "click" so it's stays on the lowest gear up front. I've tried WD-40 and poking around but haven't been able to get even a one-time click. The cable moves fine and the FD shifts into the middle ring, but the shifter doesn't click so it doesn't stay there and drops back into the small ring. This is a model where the cover is more or less one piece so I can't open it up.... at least I don't think so.

I've been using the opening circled below to poke around, and it seems like it's the spot where the pivoting spring-loaded thing would be, but I can't say for sure. Any ideas, tips or tricks? BTW, most of the pictures are with the shifter flipped around to the top side of the bars. Also notice it's a combo shifter/brake lever deal.

This is on a 1991 Haro Impulse comp that is all original, with this being the only problem. So I'd really love to keep this shifter if possible.





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Old 06-04-22, 09:23 AM
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t2p
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continue to spray WD40 (and/or lubricant like Tri-Flow or Lubri-Tech)

good chance action will return

some will also place the bike / shifter in direct sunlight to assist the process

good luck !
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Old 06-04-22, 11:01 AM
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TiHabanero
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I use a mix of mineral spirits and ATF. 80/20 mineral spirits to ATF. Works well and provides a very light lubrication. I flood the interior and work the levers until they work free. Sometimes the shifter cover must come off so that you can manipulate the ratchet with a small screw driver as it can get completely stuck in Shimano goop that has completely solidified.
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Old 06-04-22, 02:47 PM
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Yes, sometimes the spring-loaded pawl freezes badly onto its shaft, and you need to get a tool on it. A dental pick works great. The only way to get the cover off is to remove the cable and the barrel adjuster. You may need to have a new cable on hand if the old one is kinked or frayed at the derailleur, and at that point you may want to replace housings too. I do one of these every week at the non-profit shop I volunteer at. With free labor and the difficulty in receiving parts these days, it's worth it for us.

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Old 06-04-22, 03:10 PM
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I just went through that and I sprayed the heck out of it with brake cleaner followed by wd40 and just when I was going to give up it started working and has worked like new since. I turned the bike upside down and put a towel on the floor where the bike was sitting and every couple of hours I would flip it right side up and move the lever back and forth and a probably four or five days later it started working.
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Old 06-04-22, 03:47 PM
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Thanks a lot for the tips and encouragement, folks. I'll keep at it and will hope for the best. The pawl is not frozen, I see it move when I poke around in there. I need to find a better pick.
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Old 06-04-22, 06:19 PM
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If all that doesn't free things up and restore the click it may be that the pawl is not a ball or pin but a little spring with a rounded hump bent into it. Had one like that which broke on me so I lost the click and also the position holding. I was able to cut and bend a new one out of the blue spring from an old broken tape measure using the bigger piece that was still inside as a pattern.... I never throw out spring steel of any sort. It's just way too handy for times like that.

But of course to check what the issue is you still need to be able to open it up and look inside..... The cover with the screw comes off and what do you see under that cover? Anything from the back side inside the hole for the bars?
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Old 06-07-22, 01:10 PM
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Update: WD-40, Tri-flow, heat, and patience paid off. I could feel it trying to engage after 2 treatments but it didn't click-in all the way. Then after a 3rd Tri-flow plus blowing a hairdryer on it.... bam!

Thanks to everyone for the advice, it gave me the inspiration to keep trying.
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