In a frenzied ebay moment I bought myself a pair of NOS Dura-ace 9spd STI levers. First hiccup was trying to explain to the Mrs just why I needed them (they'll go forever, and the old 105s are a bit "tired").
So I fit them on the bike, and the bastard left hand (front) lever is twisting on the pivot on the up shift. A "controlled strip" (exploding springs and swearing) revealed the trouble - the impossible to reach nut with the specialtoolrequired drive flats was loose.
OK, time to "develop" a tool - lots of grinding of 90deg circlip pliers to create a Frankentool pin spanner, and the nut's off.
With everything checked and four more pin flats cut into the nut its time to reassemble with that old repair standby Loctite 648, and sure enough after a suitable cure time the spindle was fixed happily on the lever pivot.
Of course before reassembly I checked threads etc, and found the lever retaining screw to be tight in the thread (I had held the spindle in the vice and had probably nipped it a little). OK, fine, run a tap (M4) through to clean it up and we're away. Wrong. The tap broke, sorry, I broke the tap.
Dead flush. In the hole. Now I have to tell the Mrs that my fancy new levers are so much junk.
After a night's sleep I realised I had one more chance, the magic of Spark Erosion. A few calls put me on to some old Chinese toolmaker, who very kindly used his spark eroder to remove offending tap. He then went to chase the thread and promptly broke HIS tap in the hole. I had to laugh (mostly because I felt like less of a ****). He was a good old boy though, and set the thing up in his mill, took the tap out with a carbide cutter, resized the hole, rethreaded, job done. Charged me £10.
My turn now, so home to reassemble the STI, make a 9 mm cone spanner to adjust the bearings, relube, refit, cable it. (That reads like it was easy!).
And yes it all works, just like a bought one. And the Mrs is happy.
I wonder though, what sort of feedback should I leave?