Fixing brake and clutch levers
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Thread: Fixing brake and clutch levers

  1. #1
    Senior Member elime's Avatar
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    Fixing brake and clutch levers

    I posted this once before eons ago on the old forum. I had broken one of my levers, bought a new one, then decided to see if I could fix it, which I did. I still have the new lever on the shelf -- bought in 2008 or 2009. So the fixed lever lasted 5 or 6 years until last Tuesday at Hollister.

    Pictures are self explanatory. Black stuff is Marine Tex but there are a lot of things you could use. The casing is .30-'06.

    Comp1.jpg

    I often wondered how strong the fix was. To my pleasant surprise the broken lever is a new break. The patch held.

    Broken lever.jpg

    I think the key to the strength is to make sure the area between the aluminum and the brass is solidly filled with the Marine Tex or whatever one uses.

    End view.jpg

    My Norcal riding buddies have all seen this. Some might even have pictures! Tony
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    Long live the internal combustion engine!

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    Senior Member Dryden-Tdub's Avatar
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    How long does it take for the Marine-Tex to cure/set? May be a great item to keep in the bag.

    Tom
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  3. #3
    Senior Member elime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dryden-Tdub View Post
    How long does it take for the Marine-Tex to cure/set? May be a great item to keep in the bag.

    Tom
    To long for trail side repairs. There is that stuff that comes in a stick, I forget the name, that I thinks sets up much quicker. Good for patching a rock hole in the crankcase.
    Long live the internal combustion engine!

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    Senior Member Dryden-Tdub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elime View Post
    To long for trail side repairs. There is that stuff that comes in a stick, I forget the name, that I thinks sets up much quicker. Good for patching a rock hole in the crankcase.
    That would be any number of recipes. Pick your poison. Magic Metal, JB Weld etc etc. My job occasionally requires that I drill open high security safes. Once they are open I have a very rapid setting compound for patching the holes. It is very strong but there can be NO moisture in or very near the repair area.

    Tom
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  6. #5
    Senior Member Roninboise's Avatar
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    The first time I road a dirt bike was in 1959; kind of old huh? When dirt bikes started coming out with front disc brakes I found that a full hand full of front brake lever was often the cause for some back country crashes. In one of those crashes I broke off a portion of the brake lever. There was enough left to get a good two finger grip on it. Before I got around to replacing it I began to notice that with just two fingers of brake grip I still was able to control braking and it just about eliminated skidding the front tire and doing headers.

    Since then, I have deliberately cut my front brake lever off to two fingers room. I even traded a perfectly good lever to a friend for his crash caused shorter one. It works for me.

    Happy Trails All

    Ron in Boise
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    Senior Member old white truck's Avatar
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    Dang it elime. Where were you 1000 years ago when I was a teenager and we were always breaking levers on our dirt bikes?

    We didn't have the $$$ for new levers and tried everything we could think of for repair - nothing worked. (By the time you got enough wraps of duct tape to come close to holding things together the wrap was so thick u couldn't fit your fingers between the lever and the bar. And the new "Super Glue" really wasn't. Don't ask me how I know.)

    If only we would have known about your idea.

  8. #7
    Senior Member gregor's Avatar
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    This is a great fix, I'm thinking a piece of copper pipe might work for the "splint" also albeit not as cool as a shell casting. 5 minute epoxy used with a bit of tape to hold the epoxy in while it drys.

    i would like to add my own trick though. Many times the lever does not break but bends, only to break when you try to bend it back.
    Next time try this:
    Remove the bent lever and heat to about 800* Fahrenheit then quench in water, do this twice. Then bend the lever back
    easily without breaking! A propane torch is hot enough to do the job, actually it can heat the lever to the point of melting well before you know it with little or no warning. The thing is to get it hot enough but not so hot that it melts. Most folks don't think they have a thermometer the goes hot enough handy....but they do. As you are heating the lever with your torch rub the lever with any piece of wood ( hammer handle, popcycle stick whatever) at the point where the wood leaves a black mark on the aluminum is just under 800*, perfect ! Now quickly cool the aluminum lever in water. Immerse in the water and swish it around . You can now bend the annealed aluminum lever cold without cracking or breaking. Of course this will not work on a lever that is already cracked in the first place.
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    Greg

  9. #8
    Senior Member TW-Brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elime View Post

    I often wondered how strong the fix was. To my pleasant surprise the broken lever is a new break. The patch held.

    Broken lever.jpg

    I think the key to the strength is to make sure the area between the aluminum and the brass is solidly filled with the Marine Tex or whatever one uses.

    End view.jpg

    My Norcal riding buddies have all seen this. Some might even have pictures! Tony
    Tony,

    I, for one, was sorry to hear that you had broken one of your superbly repaired levers. Now we will only be able to tease you half as much!

    I can't believe that you have given up on being able to repair that broken lever! I am willing to bet a beer that you have not thrown out the broken pieces and that you have already considered a variety of ways to either repair it again or you are saving the pieces to allow you to repair a lever that you will undoubtedly break sometime in the future. Am I right or wrong ?

    Looking forward to our next ride together,

    Brian
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  10. #9
    Senior Member elime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TW-Brian View Post
    ................. you have not thrown out the broken pieces and that you have already considered a variety of ways to either repair it again......................
    Looking forward to our next ride together,
    Brian,

    You got that right! I think I will cut off the brass, remove the little broken piece that is in there now, and reattach the end with the main body. It will be a little shorter but functional -- if all goes well.

    Next ride coming up soon -- San Luis Obispo!!!

    Tony
    Long live the internal combustion engine!

  11. #10
    Senior Member joeband's Avatar
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    typically, brian beat me to a post and again typically, he was much more eloquent and succinct.
    ride on tony!
    1994 TW226- 6spd. 10w-40 synthetic, XTHidden Content , XT225 stainless header, +2" Joemama swingarm, lizrd cooler, +20% fork springs, +25% rear spring, 2001 speedo w/ trip odo, pro taper atv bars, bark busters, shinko 241 front tire, front fender w/ mr bracket bracket, Hidden Content , o-ring chain, ricochet skid plate, Hidden Content , XT225 rear brake cam lever, folding-tip shifter, cycle rack, kolpin 1.5 aux tank & 1450 pelican case. Hidden Content or Hidden Content

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