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  1. #1
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    Clutch Broken on XT Shadow Plus

    First off let me state I LOVE MY SHADOW plus!
    It is awesome, it combined with my chain guide removes all chain slap. Not a single noise escapes the combo.

    But, yesterday while riding I noticed some chain noise from the rear and stopped to make sure the clutch was engaged. It was so I figured I was just riding extra badazz that day (ya right).

    Today I was checking over the bike making sure everything is tip-top for a trip to Santos tomorrow. I checked the tension on the der and found that engaged or disengaged the tension was the same. So I figured I should adjust the clutch in the der and which should stop the chain noise.

    I opened up the der to find that the tension adjusting clamp for the clutch band broke on the backside at the bend and wasn't providing any tension on the clutch band. I can only assume this will be warrantied and if it isn't then I can only assume this little part is really cheap.

    I also apparently have the new version that does not have the adjusting wrench included inside of the casing. You are supposed to use needle nose pliers to adjust the tension nut.

    The der works perfect other than the clutch doesn't work at all so I'm going to use it tomorrow and have it warrantied on Monday. I just wanted to give everyone a heads up and show the pics.

    Clutch Broken on XT Shadow Plus-image-9.jpg
    How it appeared when I opened it up

    Clutch Broken on XT Shadow Plus-image-10.jpg
    The broken piece

    Clutch Broken on XT Shadow Plus-image-11.jpg
    It is really broken, that is the clutch cam it surrounds on the left and on the right is the tension adjusting nut

    Clutch Broken on XT Shadow Plus-image-12.jpg
    How it is supposed to look on the clutch cam

  2. #2
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    Time to call Shimano. They will take care of you, they have good customer care, just explain to them the situation and they will probably just send you out a new one.

    Seems like a few of these have been breaking lately in the same spot. Also appears to be with the XT versions. I purchased an XTR version when the clutch mechanism was first released by Shimano back in 2011, and so far mine has not given me any issues.

  3. #3
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    Good if its a known issue they will fix it fast then!

  4. #4
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    I just got the same unit -- thanks for the heads-up!

    I also apparently have the new version that does not have the adjusting wrench included inside of the casing. You are supposed to use needle nose pliers to adjust the tension nut.
    My high-school auto teacher would be having a hissy-fit about now

    A 5.5mm ignition wrench fits perfectly. I got a "midget Craftsman wrench set" off ebay for about $12 delivered -- the other wrenches in the kit could be useful for other small work.

    A 7/32" wrench is pretty close.

  5. #5
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    I was going to use a 7/32 wrench I hate pliers as well!

  6. #6
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    Same thing happened on my SLX, they warrantied in less than a week.

    Now I've got an even weireder issue where it feels like the clutch is notchy, and engaged even when I set it to "off."

    It's awesome how you can deal with them directly and their warranty is awesome, but I think there is still some engineering to be done with the Shadow+. I'll just keep sending em back, as a new derailleur every ~3 months is not a bad deal.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by half_man_half_scab View Post
    Now I've got an even weirder issue where it feels like the clutch is notchy, and engaged even when I set it to "off."
    I would check for dirt inside of the roller clutch which is the saw blade shaped part that the tension band surrounds.

  8. #8
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    I cleaned it with a q-tip, but was afraid to hit it with isopropyl for fear of messing it up. Shimano said clearly in their service instructions that you are not supposed to lubricate it either.

  9. #9
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    thats sucks, but shimano will def take care of you fast. bummer that its was broke for your ride. if you know a welder he could through a couple tacks on that in 5 seconds. you'll probably get a whole new RD, my dust cover fell off my zee shifter and i inquired about buying a new one and 2 days later i had a new shifter in the mailbox. CS is awesome.

  10. #10
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    Clutch Broken on XT Shadow Plus

    Just had my second XT Shadow+ break yesterday. My LBS and Shimano took care of the last one quickly and I expect no different when I take this one in.

  11. #11
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    Fishwrinkle-- I am a fairly decent welder but the metal is so thin it would have to be such low heat that the weld wouldn't be much better than chewing gum
    And the weld would add a lot bulk that there isn't room for

    The lbs already 2 dayed the der it should be back by Saturday or Monday

  12. #12
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    yeah i was thinking of an in a pinch solution. i fab with sheet metal all day, that looks like about 16ga, thats on the thick end of what i work with. 17.6V 190 ipm would get you nice flat tacks. i knew you'd have a new RD quickly.

  13. #13
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    Ha okay I use a big blue 700 the thinnest stuff I'll weld is 1/8th inch. Im pretty sure my welder isn't capable of turning down that low.

  14. #14
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    Just noticed my XT Shadow Plus clutch is not working....Only had it for a couple of months.

  15. #15
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    The clutch plate is what, a 3 cent part? Shimano should just call it a wear item, and stock shops with them until they can figure out a more robust design. It'd be a sh1tload cheaper than sending everybody new derailleurs every time.

  16. #16
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    ^^^ yep it would be and unless your shop is a "shimano authorized dealer" they can't just call them up and say " hey this is broken I need a new one" they have to return the part to shimano and let them decide.

  17. #17
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    Took it apart and sure enough it's that piece with the adjuster on it.

    So they won't send me a new piece? It's really easy to replace.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by half_man_half_scab View Post
    Shimano said clearly in their service instructions that you are not supposed to lubricate it either.
    That's weird, they show a tube of grease with a part # in the exploded view.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by canuck_tacoma View Post
    Took it apart and sure enough it's that piece with the adjuster on it.

    So they won't send me a new piece? It's really easy to replace.
    Call them and try
    It didn't help me my lbs had to send it off

  20. #20
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    thats weird, the xt's are having most of the problems b/c i've been running a zee for several months w/ no probs. i would assume that it is the same part from the trickle down, no?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishwrinkle View Post
    thats weird, the xt's are having most of the problems b/c i've been running a zee for several months w/ no probs. i would assume that it is the same part from the trickle down, no?
    Could be the abuse it's taking? I have a feeling that piece is a "break away part" made to fail before major damage occurs on terrain that exceeds its ability.

    I bet those of us who break them will keep breaking them.

  22. #22
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    oh i see, it could be

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by canuck_tacoma View Post
    I bet those of us who break them will keep breaking them.
    I would think this is right and I'm fine with it as long as Shimano let's me buy them a dozen at a time to replace them

  24. #24
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    Clutch Broken on XT Shadow Plus

    Mine is broken again. Third one.

    Shimano should just sell that little bracket that keeps breaking. I'd keep a couple on hand. Then I wouldn't have take off my derailleur. Take it to the LBS. Wait for Shimano to warranty it. Repeat.

  25. #25
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    Or just engineer it so it doesn't break -- better metal or a little more of it. It isn't a wear item, and should last as long as the rest of the derailleur. This is a design flaw.

  26. #26
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    Been having a similar problem with my XT. Noticed some chain noise. When shifting down into smaller cogs, enough movement to slack the chain as if it's "OFF". Shift back up to a larger cog and it's rock solid. Had the cover off to inspect and adjust tension and noticed the part mentioned in above posts looks slightly deformed.

    Got a race this weekend, so I'll be heading to the LBS for them to contact Shimano.

    Has anyone had this problem with the XTR or SLX? Maybe I'll upgrade to XTR.
    '16 Cannondale Scalpel Carbon 2
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  27. #27
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    Clutch Broken on XT Shadow Plus

    Quote Originally Posted by jdinsj View Post
    Has anyone had this problem with the XTR or SLX? Maybe I'll upgrade to XTR.
    Two of my hardest riding friends have over a year on their XTR ones with no problems. I'm going to get an XTR one this weekend and keep the XT as my backup.

  28. #28
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    I wonder what's breaking them, downshifts with it on just feel wrong and chain growth on some bikes must give them hell.

  29. #29
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    I wonder if the guys breaking them are running full-suspension? It continues to run flawlessly on my hardtail after 400 mi.

    If that bracket is flexing slightly and getting weakened as a result, it will happen a lot sooner on a FS, but eventually will break in any case.
    Two of my hardest riding friends have over a year on their XTR ones with no problems. I'm going to get an XTR one this weekend and keep the XT as my backup.
    The XTR doesn't even seem to have the part that is breaking.

    XT, part#8
    http://techdocs.shimano.com/media/te...9830801190.pdf

    XTR
    http://techdocs.shimano.com/media/te...9830801193.pdf
    From this diagram I can't figure out how the XTR works.

    Anyway, hopefully mine will last a while. I have an XTR FD, but don't want to spend the $$$ for an XTR RD being how exposed RDs are. I have broken one already -- fortunately just the SLX that came on my bike.

  30. #30
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    I probably won't bother with mine...pretty sure it will just break again.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisF View Post
    I wonder if the guys breaking them are running full-suspension? It continues to run flawlessly on my hardtail after 400 mi.

    If that bracket is flexing slightly and getting weakened as a result, it will happen a lot sooner on a FS, but eventually will break in any case.

    The XTR doesn't even seem to have the part that is breaking.

    XT, part#8
    http://techdocs.shimano.com/media/te...9830801190.pdf

    XTR
    http://techdocs.shimano.com/media/te...9830801193.pdf
    From this diagram I can't figure out how the XTR works.

    Anyway, hopefully mine will last a while. I have an XTR FD, but don't want to spend the $$$ for an XTR RD being how exposed RDs are. I have broken one already -- fortunately just the SLX that came on my bike.
    So, part #8 is the piece that is breaking? From the description, I was thinking part #7.

    Going to keep an eye on my XT plus derailleurs. Added a touch more tension to one of 'em -- might go back and dial that off.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncfisherman View Post
    So, part #8 is the piece that is breaking? From the description, I was thinking part #7.

    Going to keep an eye on my XT plus derailleurs. Added a touch more tension to one of 'em -- might go back and dial that off.
    On the XT its part #8 that is breaking #7 is the clutch band

  33. #33
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    The xtr diagram is the old version. That version is the one that includes the tool to adjust the clutch and the tool is part of the assembly

  34. #34
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    dang it. mine stopped working and I was just looking into how to adjust it. I'm opening it up this evening, and really hope that this piece isn't broken, but my guess is it will be. sheee-it.
    ​mountain biking is fun.

  35. #35
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    The cam unit (#8) in my XT RD also broke at the bend. I got poor service at my LBS. Any hope Shimano will just sell the cam unit so users can replace them? Seems like this is going to be an ongoing issue.

  36. #36
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    Clutch Broken on XT Shadow Plus

    I got my new XTR the other day. Opened the clutch cover just to see if it was the same as the XT. It is definitely different, but I didn't get too deep to see if it had the same bracket. It didn't seem like it.

    I hope I have better luck with the XTR. Considering how much I spent on the damn thing, it better not break too.

  37. #37
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    The XTR model doesn't use a metal clip to support the actuator (the piece that presses against the friction band when you set the lever to 'on'). It sort of looks like it in some pictures but I think that's just the wrench for adjusting tension. From the pictures I've seen of the internals, it looks like it might be part of the housing or something. It looks a lot stronger, whatever it is.

    So yeah, mine broke today after just over 400 miles, and yes I'm on full suspension.

  38. #38
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    My clutch broke on my XT Shadow Plus after about 8 months of light riding. I dropped it by the bike shop yesterday. We'll see if Shimano warranties the part. I ride a hard tail.

  39. #39
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    +1 more for the broken clutch, about 3 months. I may have been running my chain a little tight. Shimano replaced it no problem. I replaced my chin and ran 2 extra links it seems to be running fine now.

  40. #40
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    I can't remember were I read it, but the XT+ on a FS bike needs 5 extra links for chain growth and to keep the FS chain stretching from stressing the RD. Which makes no sense? There is video of the clutch system on an FS bike that has the 5 extra links and the Plus system can barely tension the chain, as it was designed to do, when in front middle ring and the suspension is in its resting position.

    It's my understanding that the clutch system is not to reliable for FS bikes. In the long run it's cheaper to get a non-Plus RD and get some type of chain tensioner, whether it be an ISGC mount or a C.Guide.

    My XC bike will have a clutch when I get the rest of the grouppo; my AMTB will have a simple, inexpensive, 9spd-10spd RD with some type of chain tensioner. The Shred I'm getting will not come with an ISGC mount, So I'm going to have one fitted and welded to the BB shell.
    I drive more when the streets need repairs! -'95 ZJ

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdxmark View Post

    It's my understanding that the clutch system is not to reliable for FS bikes. In the long run it's cheaper to get a non-Plus RD and get some type of chain tensioner, whether it be an ISGC mount or a C.Guide.
    Really?! Than why does Shimano offer Saint and Zee components with a clutch? Also, the trail version of XTR is the on that has a clutch.
    Formerly known as iceaxe

  42. #42
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    Broke my XTR m985 recently while doing some maintenance & I'm lazy to send it back.
    This is my quick fix using steel wire, hope it holds.
    In the mean time still waiting for my new frame replacement.
    Will test it and see how long it will last with my own quick fix.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaxe View Post
    Really?! Than why does Shimano offer Saint and Zee components with a clutch?
    Because they have the tooling capability to make them, and people will buy them.

    I'm not saying that Clutch technology does not work on FS bikes, I'm just sharing an observation that clutch technology does not seem to work as well on a bunch of FS bikes compared to HT bikes. It also has to do with the rear end of a FS and how much chain stretch the rear triangle causes. The longer the arc on the upstroke, the longer the chain is stretched. There are FS frames out there with a longer arc in the rear travel and if your clutch and chain is not dialed properly for the stretching you will cause damage to your clutch mech.

    I know three people that have broke one or more clutch mechs this last season(in different ways) on their FS bikes. All of them have decided to use an ISGC mount with a chain tensioner to alleviate the cost of buying another clutch mech. I think they were smart in doing so, knowing that smaller parts break before beefier, thicker, stronger made parts break.
    I drive more when the streets need repairs! -'95 ZJ

  44. #44
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    Shimano did me right and I now have a new XT Shadow Plus rear derailleur. I sure hope the clutch lasts longer than 9 months this time.

  45. #45
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    My SLX+ clutch broke after 6 months moderate use on hardtail. Just about to send back for warranty, but meanwhile decided to pay up for XTR as don't see an SLX or XT replacement lasting any longer.
    The XTR M986 has a very solid looking machined stainless steel part in place of the pressed clip on the lesser mechs (it still has the little spanner, but I think the first XTR+ relied on the base casting to hold the nut in place).
    I would have gone for Zee having realised the SLX cage is longer than necc for 1x10, so have fitted saint cage plates to get a short cage XTR safer from sticks and stones - hoping it will last for ever like this, given the price!

  46. #46
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    Been running on an XT-786 Shadow+RD... It's been an excellent RD. Noticed a week or so ago that I was getting some chain slap. Didn't pay much notice, until I read this thread... Went and pulled the clutch cover and out fell the little metal / plastic band... Called Shimano the following day. Said the quickest way to get a replacement RD was to go through a local BS. Which is what I did. Asked the Shimano rep. if the issue was corrected in the new derailleurs. Said they were aware of the problem and yes, the problem was dealt with. New one is one it's way. Shimano is an excellent company to deal with !!!!

  47. #47
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    I bought one of these last month. I hope it is the updated one!
    However it has not broken yet, and l have been out on the bike dozens of times with it fitted.

    I did take the cover off today to have a look, and all seemed fine, but there was no visible grease on the clutch, like tgere is in the picture above.

    Should l grease the internal parts?

  48. #48
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    Anybody know the answer to this?

  49. #49
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    see techdoc: http://techdocs.shimano.com/media/te...9830789046.pdf
    a little grease may be needed under the friction spring, but not inside the clutch mechanism

  50. #50
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    Thanks for the info, that picture above shows the whole mechanism covered in grease!

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