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A tale of two VGC Luxes

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Old 07-20-11, 07:28 PM
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jonwvara 
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A tale of two VGC Luxes

Here are two VGC-Luxe rear derailleurs, one of which is the older non-captive bolt style (the nice clean one) and the other of which is the newer captive bolt style (the filthy one that has been plundered for spare parts). Interestingly, the date code on the older is UD, while the newer is UF. If I'm interpreting that correctly, one was made in April of 1978, and the other in June of 1978. That would seem to pretty well nail down when Suntour switched over from one style to the other (assuming they made the switch all at once, rather than phasing it in somehow.)

Here's what BF member headset had to say in response to an earlier post of mine asking if the captive-style bolts could be removed:

"I believe 'captive' simply means the bolt is held on the derailleur with a special recessed nut. The 'nut' looks like a thick washer with two recesses in it and to get it off you need a two-pronged recessed nut tool. I made a tool from a short section of pipe that fit the diameter of the nut and ground the end down to create two pins that engaged the recesses. Holding the nut in place you use an allen key from the other side to loosen it.
Suntour did an amazing job with this actually, once you remove the hanger bolt there are very thin shims behind it to fine tune the play in derailler's swing."

Okay, I still haven't had one apart--haven't made the necessary tool--but if I understand that right, the washer with the recesses that holds the bolt captive is cranked presumably down tight against an internal (to the derailleur body) shoulder on the bolt, and a series of thin shims under the bolt head cause the bolt to fit snugly but not tightly in the derailleur body, allowing it to pivot when bolted tight to the dropout hanger so you can remove the wheel. This is the only type of Suntour derailleur I have ever used, though I've used a great many of them.

On the older style, I would have thought that the bolt just extends through the derailleur body and the whole assembly gets rigidly bolted to the hanger. That means you have to loosen the bolt to pivot the derailleur enough to remove the wheel, but that's manageable enough.

What has me confused here is that the non-captive bolt pictured here--which is 11 mm in diameter in the unthreaded portion--has a very short 10 mm shoulder just above the threaded portion. The washer in the photo fits snugly over the shoulder, which extends just beyond the body of the derailleur when the bolt is in place. When the whole thing is screwed tightly into the dropout, the bolt shoulder presses against the washer, which presses against the derailleur hanger, but because the washer is a little thinner than the bolt shoulder, there's a little gap--it may show in one of the photos--between the washer in the derailleur body. That allows the derailleur to pivot, but very sloppily--there's maybe 1/8-1/4" of play at the end of the derailleur cage.

What am I not understanding? Are there supposed to be some shims between the bolt head and the derailleur body to effectively shorten the shoulder? That would effectively shorten the mounting bolt enough to have the shoulder not be in the way anymore, but in that case why does the bolt even HAVE a shoulder? I suppose it could be the wrong bolt, but the head fits the recess in the derailleur perfectly, so I'm guessing that it's the right one.


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Old 07-21-11, 03:27 PM
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Bump.
Is this question:
a) too poorly phrased to understand
b) too stupid to bother answering
c) too difficult to answer, or
d) on too obscure a topic to interest anyone?
Could really be some combination of those, I guess. But I still wonder about it.
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Old 07-21-11, 03:40 PM
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If i understand the question, it has the shoulder so that the derailleur body can pivot on the mounting bolt. But when they put them on claws, they were typically hard mounted (w/washer or bolt without shoulder) to the claws and the claw itself can swivel on its mount during wheel removal.

I don't have any definitive reference for this, just a pattern I've observed on some bikes.
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Old 07-21-11, 04:44 PM
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Jon,

Here's a pic of another one I have showing that washer mounted between the RD and the claw:



I'm going to take this apart as well and see what else might be in there. Although I take great care when I disassemble them there's a chance I could have missed a shim or thin washer somewhere.

Back in 5...
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Old 07-21-11, 04:49 PM
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Yeap...I may be your culprit here Jon.

There's a thin shim washer that goes on the bolt before being put in the RD housing that my caliper says is 0.44mm. If I reassemble without it it has just the teeny amount of play as you describe. It's possible it wasn't here when I got the RD, hard to tell. I'll be able to get another on or may have one in some of the RDs I get for parts.

Regardless I'll get this shim out to you in tomorrow's mail.

Sorry dude!
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Old 07-21-11, 04:53 PM
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Correction, that's actually two very thin shims that TOTAL 0.44mm now that I clean them off to put in an envelope!!!

Out in the mail in 'da morning.
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Old 07-21-11, 05:38 PM
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Jon, just dropped them in the mail on the way to getting my daughter from work. Hopefully they'll get there in short order. Cheers dude!!
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Old 07-21-11, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by robatsu View Post
If i understand the question, it has the shoulder so that the derailleur body can pivot on the mounting bolt. But when they put them on claws, they were typically hard mounted (w/washer or bolt without shoulder) to the claws and the claw itself can swivel on its mount during wheel removal.

I don't have any definitive reference for this, just a pattern I've observed on some bikes.
One of the things I enjoy about this forum is that in asking one question you may get an answer to another that you didn't even know enough to ask. This is kind of an "aha" moment: I'd always tightened mounting claws as tight to the dropout as I could, so they'd essential behave like integral hangers. Robatsu's approach makes more sense when you're using a "hard-mounted" (thanks for that term) RD--just leave it a little loose so the claw pivots when you remove the wheel, not the RD itself. Obvious, maybe, but I never thought of it.
If in fact Suntour was switching from hard-mounting to RDs with captive pivoting bolts in mid-1978, as these two derailleurs suggest, they had the timing about right--that's just about when frame manufacturers started moving away from claws and toward integral hangers in a lot of mass-market bikes, it seems to me.
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Old 07-21-11, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by khatfull View Post
Jon, just dropped them in the mail on the way to getting my daughter from work. Hopefully they'll get there in short order. Cheers dude!!
Hey, thanks, Keith! Let me know if you come up a couple of shim washers short for your own use (though you seem to have access to bins of stuff that we in the Vermont woods can only dream of). I can probably get a couple out of the trashed VGT I have here with the captive bolt--I bet they're the same size. At some point I'm going to have to grind some tubing into a two-pronged "captive Suntour derailleur mounting bolt washer removal tool" and see if I can get it to work (Thanks for that bit of info, headset.) I always figured the damn things had to come out of there somehow.
JV
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Old 07-21-11, 10:11 PM
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You're welcome sir! I honestly can't remember if this is one that had a hangar or not. Regardless, you have the shims on the way. If by chance to do recover a couple of the same thing excess to your needs sure, send them on. At one co-op there's a bin of "derailleur parts" where I find all kinds of little RD bits I end up needed, I can probably find some there too.
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Old 07-22-11, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by khatfull View Post
At one co-op there's a bin of "derailleur parts" where I find all kinds of little RD bits I end up needed, I can probably find some there too.
Go ahead Keith, rub it in. You have MORE than one co-op near you? I'm awash in envy.
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Old 07-22-11, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
Go ahead Keith, rub it in. You have MORE than one co-op near you? I'm awash in envy.
Places (that I know of) I can get used parts at:

Sibley Bike Depot (great for small parts, I can get brake springs, shifter washers, all kinds of stuff)
The Hub Bike Co-op (good for whole parts, inventory comes and goes, sometimes GREAT deals...sometimes overpriced0
One-on-One Bike Studio (the Dungeon...those who have been there know what I mean)
Sunrise Cyclery (a GREAT shop and LBS, good folk, good selection)
Express Bike Shop (my favs, they treat me real nice, reasonable prices, good selection)
MMRB (Mr. Michael Recycles Bicycles (not-for-profit, gives bikes away, has a surplus of parts)
Hiawataha Cyclery (not a lot, few used parts but a very C&V freindly shop. They stock Newbaums!)
Re-Cycle Uptown (some people love Re-Cycle, some don't...they don't bother me and I have nice bike chats with the owner)

And there are probably more I've not yet found or explored.

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