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I have some old dia-compe center pull brakes.

Inside the lever is the little roller pin with a slot in it for the cable and the small hole on the bottom and the larger hole on the top that the nut on the end of the cable sits in. These have suicide levers and a red metal pin sticking out of the inside of the brake handle.

My question is: how do I thread the cable so that the nut is in the big (proper hole) and doesn't fall out when I put tension on it to hook it on to the caliper cable?

The cable is curved it has taken a set from being on there so long. I think it's too simple and I've been looking at it too long.

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    Welcome to Bicycles @Steven. I've taken an axe to your post to try to focus it on the essence of your question. If you think I've cut out anything essential feel free to add it back. My feeling was that few people would read to the end of the novel :-) Kind regards – andy256 Sep 2 '15 at 3:20
  • @Steven, any chance of adding a photo? I think what you're asking is about how you get the 'slug' on the end of the brake cable to stay seated in the socket in the lever while you work on the other end to hook up the straddle wire. Is that right? – dlu Sep 2 '15 at 3:32
  • dlu. exactly. thanks for the terminology reminders. it seems like the socket is upside down. the slug is stepped down from about a 1/4" to an 1/8" so it has to go in that hole which is shaped to accept it and the cable comes out the opposite side of the socket through the smaller hole. what am i missing? – Steven Sep 2 '15 at 21:03
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dlu. exactly. thanks for the terminology reminders. it seems like the socket is upside down. the slug is stepped down from about a 1/4" to an 1/8" so it has to go in that hole which is shaped to accept it and the cable comes out the opposite side of the socket through the smaller hole. what am i missing?

I think the only thing that you're missing is the knowledge that the part that anchors the cable (with the hole) is free to rotate. One way to get it to go back is to take the end of the brake cable and catch the edge of the socket or slot and then drag the cable out again. Usually this will get the "socket part" to spin back around the way it should be facing and you can drop the cable in for real.

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  1. It is hard to spell this out but you basically hold the outer cable in your hand and with your thumb and forefinger to keep tension on the inner cable. If the outer cable (or cables, depending on the routing) is flush up against all stops the inner cable will stay tight in the lever by pulling it tight out of the other end of the outer cable.

  2. By "hook it onto the caliper cable" I am assuming you mean the straddle cable. Try this - the straddle cable has a "nut" (as you call it) attached to one end which quickly attaches/detaches from the brake arm. Detach the straddle cable. With the straddle cable detached from one brake arm, hook the straddle cable through the yoke and hold it there. Now you can make sure the other end of the cable is seating correctly in the lever. If it is still seated hook the loose end of the straddle cable to the brake arm. You might need one hand to squeeze the brakes shut while you do this.

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