Campag brake release pin jammed

GatleyJim

Über Member
Hi, I have a really annoying problem with a Ribble bike that I bought on Ebay. All was going well until I got a puncture and needed to change the tyre. It has got campag components on it and the pins that you are supposed to switch to release the brakes are both jammed up. I can't move them so the only way to release the brakes is to release the tension in the cable at the calipers. This is obviously not convenient, especially when having to deal with a puncture by the side of the road.

I have sprayed about two cans worth of WD40 into them and still they won't budge. I also took them to two bike shops - Halfords had no idea whatsoever and the LBS advised me to try the WD40.

I am running out of ideas with this one.

Can anybody help me out here?

Thanks,

Jim.
 

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Globalti

Legendary Member
The pin looks to be alloy and a little oxidised. Have you tried tapping it with a light hammer?
 
If you are going to use a light hammer to tap the pins across (which you can do) just be careful to support the other side of the lever when you do so. too much force applied to the shell of the lever where the brake lever pivot itself paases through can result in failure.

Avoid using materials like WD40 around these levers - it is mineral oil based and as such it can attach the plastics used in some of the internal shift parts - you may not have sprayed it directly onto those parts but it can still find it's way in there and long term is the leading cause of failure in these units.
 
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GatleyJim

Über Member
Yes thanks, I tried it but no joy.

Not sure whether to go for brute force or if there is a trick I am missing.
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
A well-supported piece tapped sharply with a small hammer will often break chemical bonds.

Alterntively try pressing the button with some Molegrips or a G clamp?
 
If tapping with a light hammer with the lever in situ and the bike upright wont do it, there are alternatives.

Probably least hassle is to lay the bike on it's side with the pin that you want to move on the side on the floor. Put a block of wood under the lever body (so that it is supported) and use a flat-ended punch and light hammer on the uppermost side - the QRs go from "inside" to "outside" so that ought to move it.

If it's really stubborn, wash the area of the lever off thoroughly with soap and water (to remove the WD residue, as it'll get in the way, otherwise) and keep dripping a mix of detergent and Coke or better diet Coke (or even detergent & citric de-scaler) onto the pin for a day or so, then try again - the citric acid in the coke (or the de-scaler) will attack the oxidisation and the soap will lower the surface tension so the coke will find it's way "into" the corrosion more easily. This is a variation on one technique often used to help shift seized seatposts, which get corroded in for the same reason (galvanic corrosion).

The ultimate solution is to drop the levers off the bike and send them to us at the Service Centre - we'll remove the levers from the bodies and press the QRs out and fit new, un-corroded ones for you, or clean / polish your existing ones up on the lathe and re-clear coat them before re-fitting. At the same time, if required we can make sure all the WD40 is washed out of your lever and re-lube it as it was when it left the factory, so preserving it's service life.
 

Sillyoldman

Über Member
Did you try just pulling the brake lever on just a fraction and push the pin through then. I have to do that with mine.
 
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GatleyJim

Über Member
Thanks for all the responses on this.

I decided I had exhausted all my options of hammer size/tapping strength and dropped the levers. Tried soaking them in baths of various liquids for a few nights and still no joy. In the end, I opted to by some replacement Xenon 9 speed shifters.

If anybody can do with the ones I can't mend, drop me a message and I will happily post them out to you.

Cheers.
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
....keep dripping a mix of detergent and Coke or better diet Coke (or even detergent & citric de-scaler) onto the pin for a day or so, then try again - the citric acid in the coke (or the de-scaler) will attack the oxidisation and the soap will lower the surface tension so the coke will find it's way "into" the corrosion more easily.
For the record there's no citric acid in cola, it's phosphoric acid. Citric occurs naturally in fruit juice.
 
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