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STI shifter overhaul

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STI shifter overhaul

Old 01-07-15, 11:31 AM
  #1  
drbenjamin
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STI shifter overhaul

All
Hopped on the bike this AM and could not get the front shifter to work, either up or down. It's a ST-6603, Ultegra triple shifter. It has worked fine for 3 yrs, I commute on the bike in Seattle so it's get pretty wet and likely dirty. Was working perfectly 3 wks ago right before the holidays. I monkeyed around for 20 min trying to get it to work, no dice. Took it off the bike and of course now it seems to be shifting OK. My guess is that there is dirt or hardened grease in there. So my question is, is a cleaning/lube something that I could tackle, my LBS (which opens in 2 hrs) might tackle, or are these units basically disposable? I couldn't find any diagrams or instructions in a brief search, but if anyone has some useful documentation I would be grateful.

TIA
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Old 01-07-15, 11:40 AM
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Assume the symptoms are not those of cable issues, instead the dogs are not engaging or disengaging? If that is the case, flushing with a light lube while working the shifter should do the trick. Was there a drastic difference outside where your bike was not shifting and inside after you removed the shifter, indicating sluggish and dry grease?
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Old 01-07-15, 11:44 AM
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Some had luck saturating them with WD40. I have a Ultegra triple shifter that I can sell. I would have to get off of my friend, he didnt use it.
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Old 01-07-15, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by RoadTire View Post
Assume the symptoms are not those of cable issues, instead the dogs are not engaging or disengaging? If that is the case, flushing with a light lube while working the shifter should do the trick. Was there a drastic difference outside where your bike was not shifting and inside after you removed the shifter, indicating sluggish and dry grease?
Pretty sure it wasnt a cable issue, I disconnected the cable at the derailleur and tried to tug on it while shifting. All this happened in my garage at ~50 degrees. I managed to get 1 downshift by reefing the lever backward while rotating it, then I could remove the shifter and brake cables. After doing that and sliding it off the bars it started shifting, which led me to guess it was some debris stuck inside.

I've found a few articles suggesting what you say, soak the shifter in a degreaser then put on some light lube. I thin kill give that a shot assuming I can remove all the plastic/rubber pieces.

Thanks!

Last edited by drbenjamin; 01-07-15 at 11:52 AM. Reason: fixed
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Old 01-07-15, 11:50 AM
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Thanks for that wv, I may take you up on it. I'll take a shot at cleaning and relubing and if it doesn't work I'll PM you.
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Old 01-07-15, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by drbenjamin View Post
I've found a few articles suggesting what you say, soak the shifter in a degreaser then put on some light lube. I thin kill give that a shot assuming I can remove all the plastic/rubber pieces.Thanks!
I wouldn't use a degreaser or anything that can damage plastic or nylon parts - just a simple thin or spray lube and some time messing with it will work. The grease in the little shaft the dogs are on seem to be the most troublesome.
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Old 01-07-15, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by wvridgerider View Post
... I would have to get off of my friend, ...



Sorry, just couldn't let that one pass.
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Old 01-07-15, 02:20 PM
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I just did a front DA shifter flush and lube at work on Monday. I removed the lever/pod assembly. Placed it in a tub of parts cleaner solvent. Blew it out and cycled through the shifter range a few times then repeated a few times. Sprayed triflow, cycled through the range and blew it out and repeated a few times. Dripped Phil oil into it and cycled/blew a few times. Now it moves real nice with the clicks consistent and sounding new like.

But this didn't fix the real problem of not releasing to allow a full shift off the large ring. When the lever/pod is in one's hand and you work the release lever it's easier if you also counter the release lever's movement by holding the primary (the brake lever blade, the longer one) lever too. In this situation all works well. But when reinstalled to the body (on the handle bars) and only working the release lever the primary lever move inward with the release lever a touch and this blocks out the internals from releasing the spool and achieving a complete down shift.

I have seen this a number of times before and on shifters that were relatively young (therefore not having dried/sticky lube). Shimano's claim is that there has been an internal failure (of a tiny spring I believe) and replacement is the only solution.

If the rider is able/willing to hold the primary lever while also working the release lever then they can have a fully functional shift. I offered this "option" to the customer including it on the work order. I also included an estimate for the equivalent and current replacement (Sora, as it's a 9speed system). I haven't yet talked directly with the customer so don't yet know his choice. Will he be happy with the $25 servicing and modify his shifting technique or go for the $150+ replacements. Andy.
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Old 01-07-15, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by drbenjamin View Post
Thanks for that wv, I may take you up on it. I'll take a shot at cleaning and relubing and if it doesn't work I'll PM you.
Send me a PM if you want that shifter. I will get it back off of my buddy.
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Old 01-17-15, 07:08 AM
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This sounds like the exact same problem I am having.

I have only had a road bike for a week now, and in that week I've put 96 miles on the bike (this is the total of my road biking experience and 84 of it came yesterday). Also, I have no idea exactly what bike I have, as it was given to me by my brother. I do know that it is Aegis, and that it has Shimano 600 components that I am ready to upgrade. However, being a newbie I don't know what will fit my frame, and being enlisted military I can't afford anything above Ultegra and won't settle for anything less than 105 (provided the frame can upgrade to a new wheelset with a ten speed cassette). Help please!

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Old 01-17-15, 11:17 AM
  #11  
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If you use WD40, don't leave it in there because it is a solvent and can damage plastic parts. It works well to break down old gummed up lube, but it should be rinsed. This procedure was relayed to me from a mechanic at a LBS:

Blast with WD40
Work through gears
Repeat as needed
Blow with compressed air
Flush with water
Blow with compressed air
Lightly lube with PG2000

This has worked well for me.
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Old 01-17-15, 01:57 PM
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PG2000 - I looked this up and apparently very popular with the woodworking crowd where sawdust and oil gum up everything. Cheap too - a 16 oz spray bottle can be had for $14 at woodworking stores. Spray cans available also.
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Old 01-17-15, 11:50 PM
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Shoot it full of AD40. There is nothing in there that can be harmed with AD40. I've done this many times over the last 15 years. You do not even need to remove the shifters. Shoot it in until it runs out in a stream, then turn the bike upside down and do it again.
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