I need a diagram on how to reassemble a Shimano Alivio Shifter. I just can't seem to get it right. I even disassembled the other shifter to see how it all fits together and now I can't get it assembled again either! A diagram or instruction manual will help!

  • 2
    You might want to take a look at the Shimano Tech Docs
    – Kibbee
    Jan 16, 2014 at 18:47
  • Alivio shifters aren't exactly designed to be taken apart, but Shimano Tech Docs are pretty much all you've got. If you still can't get it together, you can try asking your LBS if they can, but you may just end up buying a new shifter.
    – Batman
    Jan 16, 2014 at 18:49
  • If it ain't broke don't fix it! Jan 16, 2014 at 20:58
  • How exactly are they not working? Are you trying to put it together with cable still in? Shimano gears are all relatively the same. You can open them up to service and clear a cable jam but that's about it. The cable can be removed and threaded back in once it's back together. If you pull the workings out you may struggle to get the indexing right again.
    – DWGKNZ
    Jan 17, 2014 at 13:07
  • @MarkW meant more along the lines of they were going back together, ie together but not working or cover not going on or cable spool lying on the workbench. I'm not sure Shimano has a detailed tech doc for the workings it's really a need to work it out situation. But I do know it's easier with the cable out!
    – DWGKNZ
    Jan 17, 2014 at 23:33

3 Answers 3


It just so happens I had one of these land in my garage for a fixup today. So I've taken some photos of how it went.

tl;dr Answer Root cause lubrication. The pawl for up-shifting wasn't engaging the teeth.

This is for a Right hand shifter, for the REAR mech. I assume a Left shifter for the FRONT mech is similar inside, with fewer teeth.

  1. Remove the inner wire - it gets in the way during disassembly. If its at all rusty or hard to pull through, then dispose and fit a fresh one. They're cheap. Leave all the outer housings in place unless they need replacing too.
  2. Remove brake/shifter from handlebars - this probably means removing the grip and anything else in the way.
  3. Clear your workspace - don't want to loose any parts.
  4. Remove FOUR screws - two screws from underneath, one shouldered screw from on-top by the brake adjuster, and the brake reach screw. Also remove the inner cable adjuster by unthreadding it, but don't lose the loose spring. Put aside. Underside, own work Topside, own work
  5. Using a spudger or a flat screwdriver, separate the top cover near the brake wire adjuster. It should rotate up around the 7 segment gear display and look like this one apart. Own work Note this shows an inner wire in place - I've used a short piece as a demonstrator. The clear plastic 7 slot display is on the main body in this photo. It should slide out easily, and fit it to the cover instead.
  6. Next lift off the small white nylon lever from the center of the main shaft. Put aside. Own work
  7. Remove the last philips screw underneath. Put aside.
  8. With a suitable sized spanner, remove the big black hex bolt underneath. You'll need to keep your finger on the other end of the main shaft, because the nut will rise out of its recess and simply spin. Then remove bolt and nut, put aside. You can take off the bottom cover too. Bottom of main guts, own work
  9. The brake lever and other bits of plastic should just come off now. Put them all aside. We want the main guts of the shifter, which look like this: Top of guts, own work Bottom of guts, own work
  10. Now you have to find out why its not working. For me, I could shift to a higher gear, but not to a lower gear. The cause was this pawl around the back, that was not dropping down into the teeth and pushing. Faulty pawl, own work
  11. So I fixed mine by washing with a small paintbrush and turpentine, allowing it to dry, and then wiped in a small amount of Lithium Grease using a finger. I could have sprayed it but then these photos wouldn't work too well. Fixed shifter showing pawl engaging teeth.  Own work
  12. Reassemble is the reverse process. Start by refitting the thin plastic ring, and then work down towards the bottom. Insert main bolt.
  13. Then flip the whole thing, and refit the bottom cover then the brake lever. Make sure to get them lined up like this and that there are two holes the inner cable will pass through to get out - they have to line up. Also, in other angles the upshift/finger lever will obstruct the brake or the bars. enter image description here
  14. Tighten up the main bolt (not too tight!)
  15. Refit the white plastic pointer thingy. This is best done in 7th gear like this: Own work
  16. With the display window fitted to the top cover, slide the display window into the bottom cover. Once its home, you should be able to click down the rear of the top cover.
  17. Reinstall 4 screws and the cable adjuster. Fit an inner cable and test. Note if you don't have an inner cable, testing might get it stuck!
  18. Refit to bike, recable, and all the usual things.

By Murphy's Law I had to do the left hand shifter too the next day. Process was identical but mirrored left for right. There are only three positions on the left shifter, so far fewer teeth on the internal cogs.

No pics of the left shifter because someone else had used adhesive glues to stick several broken pieces back together.

The underlying problem was identical - a pawl was stuck in a position where it could not contact a tooth. Turps and lube was the fix.

One thing that messes me up is trying to count the effective positions, in that you don't count Clicks or Presses of lever. Instead, the first position is #1 and one click takes you to position 2 etc. So a three position left shifter has TWO clicks. I spent an embarassingly long time trying to find the third click.

  • Also, once you've refitted the inner wire and its on the bike, put a bit of tape over the hole where the replacement wire goes in. This keeps spiders and dirt out. Spider egg sacks are great at jamming up the works.
    – Criggie
    Jun 4, 2017 at 21:00
  • 1
    We need to have some sort of central document which references stuff like this. Jun 5, 2017 at 12:02

Something like this?: Shimano Alivio Shifters

Taken from here.

  • And then you open up the main body, and there are some plastic gears and pivot axles and other black magic...
    – Vorac
    Feb 24, 2014 at 11:34
  • Could you post a close-up couple pictures of the problem you are having?
    – yivi
    Feb 24, 2014 at 15:10
  • I reassembled a couple Acera shifters yesterday. They are probably not exactly the same, but likely to be similar. Can't guide you from memory though... :P
    – yivi
    Feb 24, 2014 at 15:11
  • This is pretty much the cosmetic parts of the shifter and are easy to put back together. When you actually take apart the shift mechanism on the other hand... well, its probably not going back together the way it was originally.
    – Batman
    Feb 24, 2014 at 16:26
  • Usually you are able to put it back together, with some patience. But looking at the actual parts would help.
    – yivi
    Feb 24, 2014 at 20:05

Late answer, but I opened a Shimano IGH shifter to change the inner cable.

So I had to use a piece of sewing cotton looped through some part of the indicator gauge so that it would mesh correctly while I lowered the top housing on the base.

The details escape me now, but the gears and levers inside the unit were all super lightweight plastic , and using the cotton as a lanyard let me position a pin exactly in the receiver, then drop one end of the cotton and pull it out the other side.

Aside - you change the inner cable by unscrewing a large plastic grub screw on the side opposite where the cable enters the shifter. Marked as #3 in Yivi's excellent diagram.

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