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Old 8spd STI shifters not working

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Old 8spd STI shifters not working

Old 12-23-11, 12:46 PM
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Old 8spd STI shifters not working

Took out an old road bike that hasn't been used in a couple years, and now is not shifting. The brifter part that pulls the cable moves the derailleur slightly, but not enough, and the little shifter that lets the cable out doesn't work at all. The mechanic at my LBS said he could probably fix the shifter by soaking it in a compound, but couldn't do it today and after that they are closed until after New Years. The mechanic at my other LBS said there was no overhaul procedure for these shifters.

Any ideas? Downtube shifters are NOT an option!!
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Old 12-23-11, 01:03 PM
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The compound is spray oil. If the grease is gunked up, it will prevent shifting, so a shifter flush is needed, not an overhaul. Get a can of spray oil and start spraying it into the shifter. Work the shifters a bit, spray some more. Keep doing this until it works. Sometimes it only takes a couple of minutes, other times it will take hours.

If it is taking a long time, I generally will put the bike in an unused stand, soak the shifter then walk away. About once an hour, I will then flush it again. Keep doing this until it shifts perfectly. I generally will let it stand another hour and flush some more.

You are removing the grease, so it will wear faster, it is a good idea to oil it often after a flush. Some people say to use WD-40 or some oil solvent, I don't recommend that. You can't be sure all of it is gone and it will thin the little lubricant you have in the shifters. And some solvents will destroy the plastic parts of the shifter. Spray oil will work, it just takes some time.

This usually works, but if your shifter is worn, then a flush won't work and it is kaput. But it is worth a try, at the shop, we usually get about 75 to 85 percent working again.
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Old 12-23-11, 05:32 PM
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If your shifters are toast consider 8-speed bar-end shifters. Otherwise I think you can still find 8-speed Sora (?) units floating around, although I haven't actually looked.
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Old 12-23-11, 08:26 PM
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WD40, lots of it. Shoot it directly into both shifters. Also clean and lube the derailleur pivot points. You may also need new cables and housings, but start with the WD40.
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Old 12-24-11, 10:12 AM
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Agree. Hose those suckers out with WD40...very liberally and lots of it. Allow it some time to soak in and loosen up thickened and dirty grease and lube that's in there.
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Old 12-24-11, 10:29 AM
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Yep, no need to wait for the LBS' availability. Soak 'em yourself. I suggest removing the rubber hood first, then the shifter mechanism part in a pool of WD-40, work the shifters, and repeat.

I did this not too long ago with some 8-speed 105s (ST-1055) and they work well now.
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