Sun, 29 Nov 2009

Shifter woes part #2 // at 13:00

Continued from part #1.

After a little searching online I decided to have another look at the internals of my rear shifter — albeit a 1996 Shimano XT unit, so I've had a decent thirteen year's use out of it! Undid the three chassis screws, disconnected it from the cable, and brought it inside where I can safely drop tiny pieces on the kitchen table and not lose them in the shed or the garden.

First major annoyance, the tiny little phillips head dust-cover screw that yesterday I removed then replaced, neither time with any problems, has mysteriously jammed and is almost stripped. Needed to be almost butchered out since the cross-slot has nearly gone.

Surprisingly clean considering the thirteen years of use so far — a wipe with a clean cloth and a toothpick to remove some of the dirt, then the discovery that the main ratchet is broken. I doubt if these are sold as servicable parts by Shimano, and if they are, how many other small parts are worn out or nearly so? Cleaned up and regreased lightly it all seemed to be miraculously operational again — I doubt it'll last another thirteen years, but I may get a few more out of it!

Second, or third, major annoyance came during the reassembly — the 7mm nut that holds the thumb levers on managed to twist around inside my socket-spanner and refuse to go on the bolt, jamming up so badly that I couldn't extract it without hooking a piece of wire into it. Then I found that it had stripped the thread of the bolt, so both the bolt and the nut seem unusable, a new nut may exist somewhere in my toolboxes, but a special custom-made Shimano bolt — no way. Looks as though new shifters are on the shopping list.

1996 Shimano Deore XT shifter - no user-serviceable parts inside

Nine-speed Shimano Deore XT brake/shifter levers seem to be $299 a pair — now can I use the nine-speed levers with the eight-speed cassette? Some people seem to say yes, some to say no...

Either way, a working repair seems better left to my LBS — providing I can find an LBS I'm happy with. I bit the bullet and rode up to Carnegie and dropped it off at Fitzroy Cycles, apparently the nine-speed shifters cannot be used with the eight-speed cassette so they'll have to order in an eight-speed shifter, but it should all be fixed and running and frighteningly clean and adjusted by Thursday.

... part #3.

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