Maintenance camp crucible.

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As I work along, surrounded by noise, I am in a world of difficulty and challenge and I am too close to a busy road for all to see.  I don’t understand how so many people use this road
but it’s full of cars and trucks all day long.  In Mt. Vernon, everyone drives, every day.

A guy washing the street - all day.Also I’m downwind of a place that burns dead people.  I sometimes just have to get on the bike and leave.

I had left Seattle’s quiet apartment after only two months of living there.  I’d love to go back – to the city, not the apartment.  Today and a week from today I’m in a maintenance camp; hellish at times, and I’m persevering.  I had bought a 1972 bread truck from the guy I used to live with and this is something I should have done a few months ago.

I’m painfully slow at rebuilding this engine.  It is so much harder than building bicycles.  Somehow scraping old gaskets off of so many parts with 2 year old gasoline as the ambient smell isn’t as joyous as cleaning cogs.

Noise all day.  Trucks sitting and running, or coming and going.  It is madness, all day, and I have ear plugs in.

At the college and there’s a little engine running somewhere that you can’t hear amid the noise of construction, trucks, death metal, Mexican music blasting from cars zooming by.  Late at night, like now, it is a constant rattle.

Chorus EffedIt both greets and mocks me in the relative quiet of night.  Lance and I walk in the cool air, and I refect on the status of things.

My road bike was knocked out of commission during an attempted shift cable change.  A stuck cable end, with no way to remove it.

This is the most challenging bike repair item I’ve had in a long, long time.  This is a job for an EDM, which I sure don’t have in the box.

So, I’m thinking about just putting the Shimano back on ‘er for a few months, and put the Campy in box, and sell the mismatched wheels.

Or, I’ll get ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOP *and* R done, then S will be to slay this problem with some special tool I have yet to make/buy/use.

OsphoI have to share this amazing product with you – OSPHO is a substance that literally eats rust.  When you need to paint something steel, this is the stuff you need.  I cannot beleive I just found out about this.  Amazing, kickass stuff.  +It contains phosphoric acid.  You get it at the hardware store.

Maintenance camp awaits tomorrow, again – there is no day off for me. There is no done. Painfully sore, I face these tasks alone.

It does not matter to me how long it takes.  My life is difficult.

It just is that way.


I knew what I was getting into when I started.

How am I putting my miles in, you ask?  Buying all my gaskets one at a time, and pulling shit like this:

Intake mainfold on trailer

I could have driven.  I have that option.  This was a choice – but…

who is in charge here?

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About littlejar

5 - Learned to ride in paved alley behind liquor store in Lowell. 16 - Road bike riding alone while peers do soccer practice. 18 - First new road bike bought with winnings from Project Graduation. 20 - Burlington VT. Nuff said. 22 - Joined the Air Force. 23 - Joined team Fair Wheel in Tucson - rode the Shootout. 24 - Rode El Tour in under five. 26 - Toured to Quebec City 28 - Toured Oklahoma to Vermont 30 - Found my dream bike - a 1989 58cm LaBan (#22) 32 - Experienced Minneapolis and saw BIKE CULTURE. 34 - Building my first bicycle frame, with a self made jig. USA

13 Replies to “Maintenance camp crucible.”

  1. That cable looks like a tough prob.  I’d try to force it out by putting some vice grips on the cable and tapping it back through w/ a hammer first.  (tying the shifter body to to something solid like a bench vise or clamp thoroughly padded to avoid damage.)  If that didn’t do much I’d again clamp the body down, prick punch, center punch, and drill the cable end in order to try and get something tapped into the cable end.  You could then apply some torque that might free the cable end up so it would come right out.  Good luck,

  2. Tried that, tried that, tried that.  It’s stuck frozen in and cable steel is harder than high speed steel.

  3. There is a difference between Shimano and Campy cables, and this is why it is important to avoid using Shimano cables in a Campy shifter.  Shimano cable ends are just slightly larger, and if there is any corrosion or extra lead on the end, they won’t come out.  That sucks.  Luckily, campy shifters are rebuildable, and you should be able to get just the plate that the cable rides in (although I’d probably replace the d-springs if they haven’t been replaced recently).  Good luck.

  4. You can pull that shifter assembly apart with two five mill Allen wrenches, one at either end, it just unscrews apart in your hands.  The only trick, and I hesitate to call it much of a trick, it to get the little “paper clip” springs seated correctly during re-installation.  Just take a look at how they are situated as it comes apart – and before any parts spill out on to your workbench.

    That particular piece, I’ve no idea what it’s called, is just what El Jefe says, a bit tight for Shimamo (or heavy on the lead) shifter cables.  You can always run the cheaper cables, just rub that blubous end between your fingers with something gritty, sandpaper or emery cloth, prior to installation.  The difference is quite small.

    Anyway, take that bad boy apart so you can work with the little bastard.  A sharpened spoke (or whatever you have in the tool box of the “sticky-pokey” variety of implements) will do the job.  You need something narrow enough to fit though the hole drilled for the cable, to push the lead end back out from whence it came.

    I’ve done this one before, back when I worked at a shop that sold a lot of Campy to guys on a cheap(er) derailleur cable budget.  (Full disclosure – I fit that description)

  5. @LJ – what speed are those Ergos?  I have a pair of 8s gathering dust I would be happy to send you.

  6. Cue: Ween’s “My Own Bare Hands”.  One of Deaner’s best songs…
    lj, please elaborate.  What is maintenance camp exactly?
    Best of luck with the repairs…please update…lots of great knowledge being shared.

  7. On the cable stuck in the Campy shifter, I’ve had to get one unstuck once, and it involved a drill, and an easy-out.  The part the cable is stuck in is called an index gear.  Also, FYI Jagwire makes Campy compatible shift cables, and they work fine in Shimano and SRAM shifters.  You don’t have to spend the outrageous prices for Campy cables.  QBP’s part # for the Jagwire cables is CA 4417 for anyone out there still working in a shop.

  8. Holy Hey Suess Christ…and my wife says Im negative and un happy. Im fucking pollyanna!!

  9. This, I hope, is the last thing I learn about Campagnolo incompatibility.  You gotta run campy EVERYTHING, even the shift cables.  (or ream out the hole a few thousandths).
    The shifter is Chorus 8 speed ergo.  My ‘fast mover’ is laid up until I can get up the gumption to fix it.  I’m certainly not bicycle poor, though – I still have my Landshark to ride, and that bicycle is my main runner, the one I ride with boots, usually.  Any need to get a hold of me, send to bigjonny and he will forward this information to me.  Yes, I’m interested,  Saupak – the 8 is rebuild-able but campy doesn’t have 8 speed indexers anymore.  The myth of forever re-buildability is busted.

  10. I can’t speak for the 11sp stuff, but the internals for 8-10sp were mostly compatible.  The d-springs were identical (and by far the most common thing to break inside those shifters).  It’s probably more than you want to do, but you could change stuff out to 9sp, without having to get new shifters.  Depending on which version of the 8sp you have, the hubs might be compatible with 9sp cassettes.  The rear der. should work fine with 9sp.  You might need to get a front, depending on how finiky you are with your shifting.  If you’ve got the 0.1 mm spacers under your little ring just remove them, or you might get a 9sp little ring.
    I’ve been in the same boat a few times, and have been able to drill out the lead end of the cable.  It’s a pain, but doable.  Like BJ said, take some emery cloth to the new cable head, or get campy compatible. (campy, jagwire, and nokon make them, probably a few others. Like Jack said, jagwire is probably your best bet as far as cost goes.)  The same is true with the brake cables, but the consequences are a little less frustrating…

  11. The ones I have are Record Carbon BB 8 spd.  Drop me a line at saupak at gmail dot com with a physical address and they’re yours.