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Adjusting old mystery derailleur

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Adjusting old mystery derailleur

Old 05-26-14, 01:43 PM
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errantlinguist
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Adjusting old mystery derailleur

Hello bicycle comrades,

I've got an old Motobecane 10-speed with a replacement derailleur of unknown make/year. I had taken off the back wheel, put it back on, and now the derailleur is all messed up. Worst of all, I'd accidentally adjusted the wrong screw first (I'd played with the "L" adjuster, thinking it was the "H" one), so I'm not sure if either the "L" or the "H" screw is in the correct position: Originally, it would jump from the highest (smallest) gear into oblivion. Now, I tightened the "H" screw (all the way even-- I had to, which is already somewhat suspicious), but no matter how much I loosen the "L" screw, it never reaches the lowest (biggest) gear. Moreover the pulley wheels of the derailleur seem awfully close to the biggest gear on the vertical axis: Before, there was only a few millimetres of space between the gear and the pulley, and now it looks like they would even grind against each other if I managed to get it into the lowest gear (see photos).



I assume, then, that I somehow have to adjust the springs of the derailleur-- but how do I do that?-- where are the adjustments, even?

Thanks for the help.
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Old 05-26-14, 02:05 PM
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That's kind of a sharp angle for the cable coming out of the stop and going to the fixing screw. I wonder if it's supposed to route or fasten differently.
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Old 05-26-14, 02:40 PM
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Looks like a Shimano.
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Old 05-26-14, 02:50 PM
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First thing I see is that the cage inner plate is upside down, allowing the top (which should be the bottom) to touch the cogs. This could be the grinding you speak of. If you remove the cable and move the der by your hand only while looking at the limit screw ends you'll see the tabs the screws woud contact to limit the der's movement range. IIRC the upper screw does the low (that's the big cog) limit and the other the high (the smallest cog) limit. But it's easy to see the tabs and screw ends and how they relate to each other. This grade of der doesn't have any spring tension adjustability. So chain length will be the method to set upper pulley/large cog contact. Andy.
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Old 05-26-14, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
First thing I see is that the cage inner plate is upside down, allowing the top (which should be the bottom) to touch the cogs. .
Take a fresh look. The cage is right side up. The pulley nearer the cage pivot is on top and the far one below, which is correct. However, the inner cage plate may be upside down, but it looks right in one photo (could be camera angle).

To the OP, the inner cage plate should mount so the side that wraps around the pulley is on the bottom. In correct use, the pulleys have outer guide rails on 3 sides, both on the bottom, and outer only on top, with the inside upper pulley exposed for shift clearance.

I see other issues, like maybe the upper bolt not being correct in the hanger (camera angle?) Upper stop tab mispositioned?

Without having it in my hands it's hard to know what other issues there may be, if any.
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Old 05-26-14, 05:44 PM
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I just did take a second (actually maybe the fourth) look and still see the cage plate nearest the spokes as being upside down. For the less experienced out there- This is not always bad (although wrong). Sometimes the extra cage wrap around (that Francis does describe well) won't contact a cog and all will shift and sound good. I have seen many club mates bikes so reassembled. But sometimes the extra wrap around the upper pulley WILL contact the next larger cog. Then grinding and rough running results.

One thing i try to do (but don't always manage to accomplish) when assessing problems is to see if there's more then one issue at hand. The Op mentions grinding as a concern. I see a possible grinding condition. So beside the OP's not understanding the proper use of the range limit screws I believe there's a second issue. Both are not hard to get a handle on and correct.

Francis does point out that the upper mounting bolt not being correct for the hanger. But it seems to me that the hanger is the one that is riveted onto the upper pivot "bolt". What I do see is the upper spring not being in line with this pivot "bolt" Not uncommon for these low cost ders. It does look to me that the der is fairly well aligned WRT the cogs/cage. It is hard to tell for sure though. The axle slot/bracket bolt looks to be an Allen headed one. Not stock but as long as it holds the der bracket in the dropout slot securely no big deal. Andy.
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Old 05-26-14, 05:56 PM
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It is a Shimano Eagle II derailleur... a rock crusher (if there ever was one) but one that shifts rather well.


Shimano Bicycle System Components (1982) page 106

Sometimes it is better to start from zero...

Set the H/L screws so they are flush and disconnect the cable.

Without the cable attached manually shift the derailleur to the biggest cog paying attention to the position of the stop and adjust until it shifts cleanly into the large low cog.

Re-attach the cable and check the tension so that the derailleur responds when the shifter is engaged with no slack... older shifters like this sometimes like a little overshift at the high end to account for variable chain deflection between the front chainrings.

Also check the shifter to make sure it is tensioned and providing resistance to a derailleur that has a very strong return spring or it will auto shift.

Barring that, replace it with a lighter action derailleur and use the Eagle II to crush annoying rocks, door to door missionaries, and bill collectors.
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Old 05-26-14, 06:03 PM
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Your derailleur is messed up... look at where it mounts to the hangar and the exposed spring.

Looks like the stop ring that holds it in place is missing and that if you give it some time it will just come off... this is also pushing the derailleur outboard of the hangar and because of this it can't reach the low cog.
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Old 05-26-14, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
Your derailleur is messed up... look at where it mounts to the hangar and the exposed spring.

Looks like the stop ring that holds it in place is missing and that if you give it some time it will just come off... this is also pushing the derailleur outboard of the hangar and because of this it can't reach the low cog.
+1, I missed this. Although the E clip might be found in a used ders box at your LBS. Andy.
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Old 05-26-14, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
Your derailleur is messed up... look at where it mounts to the hangar and the exposed spring.

Looks like the stop ring that holds it in place is missing and that if you give it some time it will just come off... this is also pushing the derailleur outboard of the hangar and because of this it can't reach the low cog.
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Old 05-26-14, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
Your derailleur is messed up... look at where it mounts to the hangar and the exposed spring.

Looks like the stop ring that holds it in place is missing and that if you give it some time it will just come off... this is also pushing the derailleur outboard of the hangar and because of this it can't reach the low cog.
Ditto. The E-clip needs to be in place to hold the works together.

IMO: it's probably easier to replace the entire derailleur and start adjusting it from the beginning. Claw-mount rear derailleurs are cheap:
Derailleur Shimano Rd-Ty18 Tourney Gs 6-Speed, W/Bracket
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Old 06-02-14, 11:27 AM
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Yes, I ended up taking it to a bike shop and they told me that the derailleur was shot. Luckily the bike also came with the "original" derailleur (not sure if it is actually original, but it certainly looks even older). I was too fed up and lazy to do it myself, so I asked them to put the "new old" derailleur on... and correct me if I'm wrong, but it looks like they put the cage plate on upside down?... If so, does any professional bike mechanic know how to work on bikes this age!?

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Old 06-02-14, 12:33 PM
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Is your chain too short ? You are on the middle cog, and practically no chain slack left for shifting to the bigger cogs.

At first glance, the derailleur itself looks ok (I'm no expert). I think that's a Huret Alvit, so look up pictures online to compare ?
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Old 06-02-14, 01:04 PM
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basic RD adjustments are setting the stroke limit screws so they stop over the 1st and last cog .
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Old 06-02-14, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
Is your chain too short ? You are on the middle cog, and practically no chain slack left for shifting to the bigger cogs.
There's just enough slack to get to 4th on the back with the big chainring on front or to 5th with the small one. At this point I just want the damn thing to ride, which is difficult enough without having to find parts for something 40+ years old...
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