FD 3304 replacement

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grognut
Posts: 238
Joined: 18 May 2009, 12:05pm

FD 3304 replacement

Postby grognut » 20 Oct 2018, 5:11pm

Hi,
My Sora Front mech (FD3304) broke (spring retainer broke) and I'm looking for a replacement.

I've a triple 7-speed set up and the band size is 28.6mm

I can find 9 speed equivalents and I can find the Tourney FD-A073 which is a 7speed triple but I'd prefer a silver one and the Tourney only seems to be in black.

Having look over the 'net for the last few days there are options.
1) get a 9-speed mech. I find that this "May be OK" and you may have to fit a 9-speed chain.
As I understand 6-7-8 speed all use the same chain width and so the cage size is the same but the 9-speed is narrower.
So what is the compatibility between the 9 speed front mech and a 7-speed system, am I going to run into rubbing issues if I keep the chain? Are there any issues fitting a 9-speed chain to a 7-speed set up?

2) get a 31.8mm band on and use a shim.

3) get a second hand mech. These don't seem very common at the moment.

So I'm between 1) and 2). I have heard that the spring lug breaking is a common fault so maybe 2) is going to cause issues again.

So 1) would be the best given that I would be buying an newer product but is compatibility going to be and issue?

Sorry lots of questions but you guys and gals usually have had some experience of replacing old parts.

Any help will be useful
Many many thanks in advance.

Andy

Brucey
Posts: 31102
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: FD 3304 replacement

Postby Brucey » 20 Oct 2018, 7:35pm

a 9s mech will work but there will usually be slightly reduced clearance (not always, but usually) so you might get more rubbing than you would prefer. This may bother you depending on how strong you are and how true your chainrings run.

Lots of people buy FDs that don't fit their bikes and these can be had for pennies on e-bay eg

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Shimano-Sora-Front-Derailleur-NEW-Never-Used/263989958261?hash=item3d77071675

and there are NOS 31.8mm mechs like this one too

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SHIMANO-SORA-FD-3304-FRONT-DERAILLEUR-ROAD-BIKE-GEAR-MECH-DOWN-PULL-31-8mm-NEW/392108851782

It isn't difficult to obtain/make a shim to convert to 31.8mm.

One way of looking at it is that if you can get something that work (even imperfectly) for a few quid that will tide you by until you get the exact right mech, that is good enough and will allow you to ride whilst coming up with a better plan for the long term.

Your choices are likely to be limited by what shifters you are using. Also the chainring sizes/interval you have. A Claris triple mech might work; this is 8s and comes with band adaptors for several different tube sizes or in braze-on format (which you can use with a cheap band adaptor).

Finally if the 'pip' that restrains one end of the return spring has broken off, it is usually possible to repair the mech. Just drill an angled 2mm dia hole and fit (using epoxy resin or Loctite) a short length of 14g spoke in the hole. Then hook the spring behind that. I have repaired several similar mechs in this way.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

NetworkMan
Posts: 485
Joined: 25 Aug 2014, 11:13am
Location: South Devon

Re: FD 3304 replacement

Postby NetworkMan » 20 Oct 2018, 8:01pm

A Claris 8 speed one might well do.
https://www.tweekscycles.com/uk/shimano ... le-546363/
I have one on my 8 speed tourer. It comes with shims to suit 31.8 and 28.6 mm.
7 and 8 speed chain is the same width (or as near as make no difference).
This is intended for 50/39/30. Do you have STI? If so what rings is your FD intended for?
If not STI then things are easier. I have 48/38/28 on the tourer using bar-end shifting.

grognut
Posts: 238
Joined: 18 May 2009, 12:05pm

Re: FD 3304 replacement

Postby grognut » 20 Oct 2018, 10:51pm

Hi,

NetworkMan: Didn't see this one. Looks promising. I have Sora STi but I need to check the rings.

Brucey: So using a 9 speed is not ideal given the others that are available.
Didn't see the first ebay item, would need to ask if it's band on, but the second was the one I mentioned regarding shimming.
Repairing also looks promising. It is the pip that's broken off. What angle would it have been. Where it's broken off it's left a 45deg flat. Is this the sort of angle?

Many thanks.

Andy

Brucey
Posts: 31102
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: FD 3304 replacement

Postby Brucey » 20 Oct 2018, 11:25pm

the pip needs to be set at a slightly acute angle so that the spring doesn't want to pop off.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

grognut
Posts: 238
Joined: 18 May 2009, 12:05pm

Re: FD 3304 replacement

Postby grognut » 21 Oct 2018, 6:49am

Thanks, looks like job for later this morning.

Andy

grognut
Posts: 238
Joined: 18 May 2009, 12:05pm

Re: FD 3304 replacement

Postby grognut » 22 Oct 2018, 12:30pm

HI,
So I went into the garage, drilled a 2mm hole and epoxied in a bit of a nail (about 1.8mm dia) as a spring stop.
Now works like a good'n. Tad difficult getting the spring back over the stop, hurts the fingers if it slips off the pliers.

FYI. The chain set is a Campag record( bought cheap in sale £84) 53/42/30 10 speed. Top rings a bit big but I needed (getting old) a triple and it seems a good bargain, the changing was good.

Cheers

Andy

Brucey
Posts: 31102
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: FD 3304 replacement

Postby Brucey » 22 Oct 2018, 3:07pm

good work fella!

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

nigelnightmare
Posts: 396
Joined: 19 Sep 2016, 10:33pm

Re: FD 3304 replacement

Postby nigelnightmare » 22 Oct 2018, 6:29pm

Nicely done. :D