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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It is raining so I brought my bike indoors to play with. I noticed that the arm on my XT Shadow Plus read derailleur felt very tight and sticky when I moved it by hand. I wonder if this is why so many of them are breaking?

I popped off the cover, and there was still the little glob of white grease between the two tabs on the clutch band. However, when I removed the band from the drum, I found the drum was totally dry. Note that there are grooves in the drum, apparently to hold grease.

I thoroughly lubed the drum with white lithium grease from the auto parts place (this is a good grease for this application -- white lithium grease is very stable, sticks to where you put it, and doesn't get all over the place. I assume that is what they use at the factory).

I put it back together, and after a cycling the arm a few times to distribute the grease around, it is as smooth as silk -- it feels like new.
 

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I'm building an SLX/XT 10spd grouppo. I've been reading about the clutch issue for several weeks now. I've had the RD-M786+ sitting around for a while, never installed. Took the clutch case off and inspected the clutch barrel and found it dry. Added white Lithium to all dynamic areas of the clutch and reassembled. Thanks to this post, I just prolonged the life of this RD...

Thanks for bring this up OP!
 

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Magically Delicious
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It’s most unfortunate that we have to carefully scrutinize our components from the moment of installation to ensure proper lubrication from the factory. It’s also unfortunate that I have found several (not all) Shimano components improperly lubricated right from the box. While I have not had problems with Shimano hubs, I have several inadequate lubrication issues with new Shimano Bottom Brackets.

I have just installed a new Shimano Shadow and didn’t think to check the clutch, but thanks to this forum post, I will. I sort of have an idea what to expect. Thanks for the post and the raising of awareness to this particular lube issue!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the link Cleared2Land. It won't let me give you more rep, but I tried :) I haven't actually had to adjust mine yet, so that will be useful.

BTW, my XT adjustment nut takes a 5.5mm ignition wrench. I got a "midget Craftsman wrench set" off ebay for about $12 delivered. A 7/32" is pretty close.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
As I recall, I just set the "switch" to the OFF position. That removed all tension and the thing just slipped off. I know I didn't turn the adjusting screw. It will be obvious what to do when you get in there.
 

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Only the XTR version has that as far as I can tell
Even the newest XTR versions (direct mount) have done away with the mini spanner, as apparently people were forgetting to replace them and they are a essential part of the derailleur. Leave it off and it wont work. Now they all get adjusted with needle nose pliers.
 

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An update:At 1200 miles, 600 miles after I lubed my RD< it is still as smooth as ever. Therefore it was not lubed properly at the factory.


Thanks for the update Dennis! I now have 1000 miles since install and 722 miles since last disassembly and lube on the Shadow +. Perhaps time to pull it down for a quick lookie-see and a quick lube. I will likely lower the clutch torque a little and maybe mic the bracket thickness to compare to the new ones. I seriously doubt Shimano has made any thickness changes.
 

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I am having the same issues with my XT Shadow. I have been riding less than a year and it started sticking out of the blue all the sudden on one of my last rides. I have to keep it "off" in order to shift properly and be able to ride the bike now. I have taken the thing apart and re lubed the ring. There was some corrosion and rust inside like a few others have mentioned in this and other threads on this topic. I cleaned it all up, Lubed it up good, and replaced it with absolutely Zero improvements. I even loosened the tension screw until the arm actually moved back into place. It still has more tension on the chain in the off position. I really don't want to have to fully remove it and send it in to Shimano to fix or replace it. I don't want to be without this bike! Any input here??
 

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In my old Giant Trance which I had some ride after many months, I noticed this loud "click" that cause all the frame to vibrate. After some rides, I really started to search for the origin. Finally found the problem is the above mentioned dried clutch on the XTR derailleur. I was thinking to share my experience when I found this thread and noticed that this seems to be a common problem after some time in the clutch. Mine derailleur was bought on January 2012, so I'm sure it was well greased from the factory.
 

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this "situation" has been going on for way too long...are we just throwing a bunch of lube at the clutch hoping for an undocumented fix? Shimano's service info is very specific as to where the grease goes, and to use their Internal Hub Grease Y04120800. Unless something has changed very recently, the inside surface of the drum/band and the clutch body do not get lube. Common sense would tell us, if this area gets greased up, it may slow down the frequency of failures, but would it not make the clutch less efficient?

I have a bit over 600 miles on my XT, and to-date all is good...with the clutch switched off, it is very evident that the the chain can bounce around bunches more, so I will assume it is accomplishing what it was designed to do.

I would have thought Shimano would have addressed this long ago...maybe they have and are just keeping it a secret...my bike is a November 2013 build.
 

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Magically Delicious
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I have been using Morningstar's Freehub lube with good results, but I don't think it's available anymore. It's thinner than the Shimano lube though. I now have 1,840 miles on this clutch since the last clutch lube (Jan 2014) and it's working flawlessly. 2,110 miles total miles since new on this RD+. I didn't think it had been that long...I guess it's time to do some servicing on this.
 
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