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Old 06-19-09, 08:28 PM   #1
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Clearing fine white sand from brifters

Early this year, I stumbled upon a $420CDN 64cm 2008 Fuji Touring - it had obviously been quite used in its single year of life, but apart from the brifters that were contaminated by fine sand, it was very nice so I bought it. My first upgrade was to purchase a pair of 9-speed Dura-Ace bar-end shifters for $55 at PBK - I certainly could not trust the left brifter, that was highly contaminated and quite noisy, but still worked. As for the right brifter, I used it for a time and had no issues with it before I connected my second bar-end shifter.

Two weeks ago, I was given a nice older Columbus-framed racing bike that has already been respaced to 130mm and had a 2x9 Shimano drivetrain with friction-mode downtube shifters. I replaced the cassette with a 9-speed HG50, the chain with a HG53 and the RD with a Sora 3400SS. I installed the right brifter and a 105 aero brake lever and kept using the left downtube shifter for the FD. Works great!

But I still had that left brifter, so I decided to make good use of it. It's a Tiagra ST-4500, listed as a double/triple shifter - it's gonna actuate an old 600 FD-6400 that works great in all gears without needing trim - not even in the fsmforsaken big-big and small-small combinations.

So here is the question

My brifter was contaminated with some fine white sand so I removed the hood and proceeded to clean it best I could. I flushed it with a quarter of a can of WD-40 followed by a heavy rinse in running water, a good shaking off, another quarter of a can of WD-40 and finally an ounce of Triflow.

There's still some sand in there and while the brifter now operates a lot more smoothly, it still makes a gritty sound.

Should I go at it again, flush it with more and more WD-40, running water and then Triflow - or do you have anything better to suggest?

Hey, I could fill a container with mineral spirits (White Spirit) and agitate and operate the brifter submersed for a few minutes - then finish with Triflow, of course.

So, any ideas as to how to best get rid of that small, white sand?
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Old 06-19-09, 09:14 PM   #2
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I would do the mineral spirits to disolve any leftover grease that might be holding the sand onto the components then use compressed air to drive the leftover bits of sand out of the assembly. Repeat until the grittiness is gone.
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