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HELP Shimano brifter barrel adjuster stuck...I think

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HELP Shimano brifter barrel adjuster stuck...I think

Old 12-01-23, 02:39 PM
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HELP Shimano brifter barrel adjuster stuck..

I tried to make adjustments somewhat following the park tool video.
I got a little over zealous with the barrel adjuster.
Now it's sticking out( see pic) and cannot get back "seated".
I am new to this, and usually let my friend, who is a bike mechanic do this type of service.
I tried....but failed...ugh
How can I get the barrel adjuster that's in the brifter back "seated" to original position?

I turned the adjuster on the downtube so much that it came right out.
I did screw it back in.

Would really appreciate any and all help....please




Last edited by bikemike73; 12-01-23 at 03:08 PM. Reason: Correcting
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Old 12-01-23, 05:41 PM
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I was just thinking...the cable is not attached.

Would I just attach and then twist the barrel adjuster???

That should "pull ot back in place" at the brifter

I'm all mixed up
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Old 12-01-23, 07:26 PM
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First your lever has no barrel adjuster. It does look to have a cable spool/drum that could be "frozen" in place. The spool is the part that the cable is threaded through and seats the cable end. As the levers are operated this spool rotates one way (up shift) or the other way (down shift).

A common age issue is that Shimano used a grease to lube the moving parts in the levers. Grease is oil and a "soap" mix and over time the oils have dried out leaving gummy stuff behind. There are many interweb vids showing people using various solvents/thin spray lubes to loosen up the old gummy stuff and restore the lever's action. The usual symptom is the release lever (the smaller one behind the brake lever) will just travel through it's full range but not do anything to the ratchets or spool.

There are a couple other possibilities of issues but levers of this age really need servicing anyway, so do the cleaning and lubing first. Andy
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Old 12-01-23, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart
First your lever has no barrel adjuster. It does look to have a cable spool/drum that could be "frozen" in place. The spool is the part that the cable is threaded through and seats the cable end. As the levers are operated this spool rotates one way (up shift) or the other way (down shift).

A common age issue is that Shimano used a grease to lube the moving parts in the levers. Grease is oil and a "soap" mix and over time the oils have dried out leaving gummy stuff behind. There are many interweb vids showing people using various solvents/thin spray lubes to loosen up the old gummy stuff and restore the lever's action. The usual symptom is the release lever (the smaller one behind the brake lever) will just travel through it's full range but not do anything to the ratchets or spool.

There are a couple other possibilities of issues but levers of this age really need servicing anyway, so do the cleaning and lubing first. Andy
The " spool" was seated. I could move the cable in and out no problem.
Would I just spray around the spool ( wd 40)?
How do I get the spool back into where it should be?
And how would I do so?
Would I just pull it into place?
Would I attach the cable to the FD and turn the barrel adjuster to get "seated" (back into position)?
really appreciate the help.
As you can see.....I need some much needed guidance
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Old 12-01-23, 08:03 PM
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Just spray the whole inside with wd40, every nook, cranny, or crevice. Make sure the derailleur is hooked up and just keep trying to shift it while reapplying some spray every so often. If you don't keep a light tension on the cable it can slip out of its seat and jam when things start moving.
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Old 12-01-23, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Russ Roth
Just spray the whole inside with wd40, every nook, cranny, or crevice. Make sure the derailleur is hooked up and just keep trying to shift it while reapplying some spray every so often. If you don't keep a light tension on the cable it can slip out of its seat and jam when things start moving.
Will do
It was working good before i started to adjust it.
chain was rubbing in gears 8 and 9.
Thought it would be an easy fix
While trying to adjust the shifting would not work.
must have had the spool all the way out as pictured.
After spraying..should i "force" the shifting lever ?
Or just pull on the cable with a pair of pliers?
I don't care about the cable. I can install a new one
Thank you
Really appreciate the help

Last edited by bikemike73; 12-01-23 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 12-01-23, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemike73
Will do
It was working good before i started to adjust it.
chain was rubbing in gears 8 and 9.
Thought it would be an easy fix
While trying to adjust the shifting would not work.
must have had the spool all the way out as pictured.
After spraying..should i "force" the shifting lever ?
Or just pull on the cable with a pair of pliers?
I don't care about the cable. I can install a new one
Thank you
Really appreciate the help
If it was shifting OK before you tried adjusting it, the issue may not be mainly from old hardened grease.

You can try doing the flush/lube but this may not be the problem. If you do attempt a flush, be sure to protect your hood from the solvent. Removing from the handlebar and pulling off the hood is best.

Try gently pushing on the large lever and check if the cable end holder moves. Let us know if it moves.

Gently try the small lever and see if it has any resistance.

Not sure if these have 'jamming' issue. Some Shimano brifters can jam if it is attempted to shift 'against' a too tight shift cable, (what would happen if the front derailleur hit the high limit and the cable is stretched too tight while the large lever is forced).

Last edited by KCT1986; 12-01-23 at 09:47 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 12-01-23, 10:31 PM
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Try shifting in the other direction until you can see the cable on the other side from the cable head. Are there any broken wires?

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Old 12-02-23, 06:05 AM
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I would (after checking for fraying at the bend as Kontact suggested) unclamp the cable from the mech, pull the cable stop fully out and try to re-seat it by pulling it through again. Itís probably just got a bit twisted and isnít sitting right.

You mentioned a barrel adjuster but showed a photo of the ferrule at the frame mount. Edit: ah I looked again without Zwift sweat in my eyes. I see it has one on there in-line. Iíd be tempted to lose that and just use the one on the mech.

Last edited by choddo; 12-02-23 at 06:43 AM.
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Old 12-02-23, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by choddo
Iíd be tempted to lose that and just use the one on the mech.

ON the downtube allows you to adjust in motion on the fly. No stop try , stop try
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Old 12-02-23, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by dedhed
ON the downtube allows you to adjust in motion on the fly. No stop try , stop try
True but once itís set right using a stand (the only way Iíve found to do it and stay sane) how often does it need tweaking?
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Old 12-02-23, 09:38 AM
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Thank you ALL

I sprayed wd 40....then I pulled the cable....then shifted to the small chain ring

ALL GOOD

I will be patient and wait for my friend to adjust



SEE PIC
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Old 12-02-23, 10:19 AM
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While the gumminess took years to set in, after the factory assembly, using a light oil won't last anywhere near as long. So, this relubing should be an annual thing. BTW I'll drip a medium thick lube (Phil oil) into the shifter guts (that is the technical term) after flushing with a thin spray lube. Pack a paper towel about the shifter pod (the real term) to absorb any initial bleed out. Andy
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Old 12-02-23, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart
While the gumminess took years to set in, after the factory assembly, using a light oil won't last anywhere near as long. So, this relubing should be an annual thing. BTW I'll drip a medium thick lube (Phil oil) into the shifter guts (that is the technical term) after flushing with a thin spray lube. Pack a paper towel about the shifter pod (the real term) to absorb any initial bleed out. Andy
Great advice
Thank you
MUCH appreciated!!!!
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Old 12-02-23, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemike73
Thank you ALL

I sprayed wd 40....then I pulled the cable....then shifted to the small chain ring

ALL GOOD

I will be patient and wait for my friend to adjust



SEE PIC
Glad to hear that you were able to get it freed up. The ratchet/pawl can get stuck sometimes, especially if cable tension is too high and the derailleur get 'maxed' out against the limit adjuster. The shift mechanism needs to be able to rotate a little in the opposite direction initially, to allow the pawl to disengage from the ratchet. Usually, a little movement of the main lever before using the small lever will free it up if it 'jams'. When adjusting the H limit on the FD, it should have a little 'room' to move beyond where the H click is on the shifter.

Another thing to check is that the 'ribbon cable' for the Flightdeck connection is not interfering with the cable end holder. It runs inside the plastic housing, (right above the cable holder, stuck to the 'ceiling' of the plastic piece where you could see the cable end). Peer inside the rectangular hole to check if it has come loose, (not too uncommon due the age of the adhesive).
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