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Newbie trying to take apart Dia-Compe brake levers..

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Newbie trying to take apart Dia-Compe brake levers..

Old 07-21-11, 02:16 PM
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Bklyn Bike
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Newbie trying to take apart Dia-Compe brake levers..

Hi All, I'm new to the forum and have a question about my vintage brake levers. They're from my 1972 Royce Union that I've started to restore, and incidentally can't stop going in to every bike store I pass and reading everything I can find online about old bikes, but that's another thread.. Anyway, the bike hasn't been ridden in quite a few years and was extremely rusty and gunked up, so I've been dismantling in piece by piece to clean it etc.

I was able to get the rear brakes off with no problem. There were dried leaves inside that made it hard to access the screw, and it turned out to be a dead moth, but it finally came apart and it's clean and back on the bike. The front brake though, seems to be stuck. I was able to loosen the inner screw enough to get it off the handlebars, but am not able to fully unscrew it, as it just keeps turning without coming out. The large slotted screw on the side will not budge at all, it just turns around and I can see the red post turning at the same time. I sprayed it liberally with WD-40 but still no luck. Am I missing something in how to loosen it? I would leave it on, but it's actually frozen into a position that's too loose, so the safety lever jiggles and doesn't sit snugly.

Any advice is appreciated!
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Old 07-21-11, 03:50 PM
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The clamp screw goes through the red part, so if you tighten that down hard it should keep everything from moving around - You should see it if you look through the handle behind the front lever. The screw holds the return spring for the levers, so it will feel weird unscrewing it because the spring ends will be bumping around on the stop.
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Old 07-21-11, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by sillygolem View Post
The clamp screw goes through the red part, so if you tighten that down hard it should keep everything from moving around - You should see it if you look through the handle behind the front lever. The screw holds the return spring for the levers, so it will feel weird unscrewing it because the spring ends will be bumping around on the stop.
Thanks for the reponse. One would think that would be the case, but the levers were loose before I removed them from the handlebars, before even beginning to loosen the clamp screw. It seems like the red part and the outer large screw are stuck in position and need to be tightened, but I can neither tighten it nor loosen it, that's the main problem. And now that it's off the bike, there's nothing to grab onto when I try turning the large screw, the whole red piece just spins. I guess I can let it sit in WD-40 for a while longer and hope for the best, but it doesn't seem like it's going anywhere..
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Old 07-21-11, 06:01 PM
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Don't expend a lot of effort trying to refurbish messed up Dia Compe levers. Any bike shop that handles vintage bikes, any bike co-op, and most of us C&Vers have drawers full of decent to pristine ones. You just have to ask.
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Old 07-22-11, 08:36 AM
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Never thought of that! I'll have to ask around, thanks.
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