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Need help with vintage Shimano 3 speed shifter.

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Need help with vintage Shimano 3 speed shifter.

Old 06-11-19, 08:57 AM
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riverdrifter
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Need help with vintage Shimano 3 speed shifter.




I'm not sure if this shifter is missing a part, or has a piece broken off. The cable keeps popping out, it stays connected, but the barrel end slips out. I've searched and can't find one like this. I figured it would be a pretty common item. Could someone link me to a suitable replacement? Thanks!
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Old 06-11-19, 09:43 AM
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It appears that part of the plastic housing has broken off. A coop or ebay may your best chance to find one. I think that is the "333" model.
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Old 06-11-19, 12:30 PM
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Is it a friction shifter? If so, is that plate with the numbers and “3 speed” a separate part? Maybe you could swap out that plate with a Sunrace thumb shifter, like the one linked below and have a new shifter with the old look. I have no idea if the dimensions are same, but for $7, it may be worth a shot. At worst, you have a new Sunrace shifter that works.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Sunrace...-/362631435140
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Old 06-11-19, 12:47 PM
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IGH shifters are index. I would be tempted to just try to epoxy a cable ferrule in the right spot and build it up with epoxy.
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Old 06-11-19, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by noobinsf View Post
Is it a friction shifter? If so, is that plate with the numbers and “3 speed” a separate part? Maybe you could swap out that plate with a Sunrace thumb shifter, like the one linked below and have a new shifter with the old look. I have no idea if the dimensions are same, but for $7, it may be worth a shot. At worst, you have a new Sunrace shifter that works.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Sunrace...-/362631435140
The OP's shifter is indexed, each click moves the cable a certain distance. While a friction shifter will work in theory, it will be damned hard to locate the "sweet spot" for the gear change.
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Old 06-11-19, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by dweenk View Post
The OP's shifter is indexed, each click moves the cable a certain distance. While a friction shifter will work in theory, it will be damned hard to locate the "sweet spot" for the gear change.
Whoops, got it - I’ve never used one of these. Yes, that complicates things.
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Old 06-11-19, 02:33 PM
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You can fix this temporarily by zip tying the cable to the handlebars.

I'm surprisingly not seeing much on ebay for replacements- I have a lot of 3 speed parts, I will check my parts bins when I get home and see if I have an extra one I could sell.
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Old 06-11-19, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by PatTheSlat View Post
You can fix this temporarily by zip tying the cable to the handlebars.

I'm surprisingly not seeing much on ebay for replacements- I have a lot of 3 speed parts, I will check my parts bins when I get home and see if I have an extra one I could sell.
Thank you! I've been searching ebay and other online sites for 2 days and haven't come up with much.
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Old 06-11-19, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Kuromori View Post
IGH shifters are index. I would be tempted to just try to epoxy a cable ferrule in the right spot and build it up with epoxy.
Those shifters are cheap and available from coops and recyclers. I wouldn't bother.
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Old 06-11-19, 04:42 PM
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Aren't these compatible with Sturmey Archer 3-speed shifters?
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Old 06-11-19, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by riverdrifter View Post
Thank you! I've been searching ebay and other online sites for 2 days and haven't come up with much.
The good news: I have four of these shifters. The bad news: Every one of them is broken in the same way as yours.

After scouring ebay, I can find ONE listing for under $50, and it's the older style that uses a thread-in ferrule on the end of the cable: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Shi...UAAOSwWEhc4Idv

I had absolutely no idea these had become this scarce, and I'm surprised no one is doing 3d-printed replacements. Your best bet might be to go with a zip-tie for now, and hit up some co-ops or older bike shops to see what they have laying around. I believe these twist style shifters will also work on the style hub you have: https://www.ebay.com/itm/shimano-sty...0AAOSwwZtc~buh

EDIT: Regarding the above, Sturmey Archer hubs used different cables and I believe a different amount of cable pull.
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Old 06-11-19, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by PatTheSlat View Post

I had absolutely no idea these had become this scarce, and I'm surprised no one is doing 3d-printed replacements.

EDIT: Regarding the above, Sturmey Archer hubs used different cables and I believe a different amount of cable pull.
Wow, me either. I probably have one in the garage; I'll go look. I suppose I could drop by the recycler, too.

Yes, Sturmey-Archer shifters and and hubs had different cables and different amounts of pull.

EDIT: I found this in the garage:


It seems to work, though it is very stiff. OP, send me a PM.

Last edited by gna; 06-11-19 at 06:16 PM. Reason: Pictures of Parts
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Old 06-11-19, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by gna View Post
Wow, me either. I probably have one in the garage; I'll go look. I suppose I could drop by the recycler, too.

Yes, Sturmey-Archer shifters and and hubs had different cables and different amounts of pull.

EDIT: I found this in the garage:


It seems to work, though it is very stiff. OP, send me a PM.
PM sent, thanks!
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Old 06-12-19, 07:16 AM
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While the plastic housing is broken, tension in the cable should keep the housing barrel seated against the internal metal bracket and allow it to function. If the barrel is "popping out", this suggests to me that there is an additional issue, likely with resistance between the cable and housing. As noted, they are indexed, with the indexing function provded by a ball bearing that nestles into one of three holes in the mounting bracket. The lever itself is very simple to overhaul (see attached). Replacement cables are getting hard to obtain but I've improvised by using a standard cable and crimping a derailleur cable cap securely onto the free end.
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Old 06-12-19, 07:26 AM
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It still shifts okay, and the cable doesn't come completely dis-engaged. What happens though, is the cable sleeve slips down and out and that creates less resistance for the cable. Then it becomes impossible to access all 3 gears, you can only get to 2 of them, then you realize the cable slipped down again and you have to pull it back in place. I figure that will probably lead to a broken cable eventually.
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