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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of the bikes in our family has a 9-speed XT drivetrain that's been flawless for over 15 years. However, recently the rear shifter is starting to "miss" on some up-shifts. When this happens, it feels like an internal ratchet isn't catching. You have to down-shift or wiggle the shifter a bit to get the ratchet to catch again on up-shifts.

This bike is still used by my family to casually tool around the neighborhood bike paths, so I'd like to fix it. Unfortunately, 9-speed shifters have been discontinued and are impossible to find (even used ones).

Any ideas on how I might clean the shifter to see if that helps? Would a squirt of WD-40 help or hurt? Cleaning solvent? I've done a lot of work on my bikes but I've never fiddled with shifter internals before.

If the shifter can't be fixed, would it be possible to upgrade the cassette, shifters, and chain to a 10-speed SLX drivetrain? I know the HG freehub can handle a 10-speed cassette. Would the old XT M771 9-speed derailleur still work with a 10-speed cassette? I believe the 9- and 10-speeds cassettes are the same width so I assume the old derailleur would still work
 

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A common problem and an easy fix. Wd-40 will work ok, remove the plastic cover screw that you remove to replace the cable and insert the little hose there and flush the holy crap out of it. Keep cycling the lever back and forth until all the shifts are crisp. It may take awhile so be patient.

In a severe case you might have to remove the cover and move the pawls manually until they free up but that's pretty unusual.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
A common problem and an easy fix. Wd-40 will work ok, remove the plastic cover screw that you remove to replace the cable and insert the little hose there and flush the holy crap out of it. Keep cycling the lever back and forth until all the shifts are crisp. It may take awhile so be patient.
This worked great. Thanks for the tip!

My chain needed a deep cleaning anyway, so I took it off before I started. This made it easier to shift through the range of gears. I used two generous blasts of WD-40 into the cable insert port, with a bunch of shifting after each blast to work everything loose. It's like a brand new shifter now, with really crisp up and down shifts.
 
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