Got a vintage Simplex shift lever that has the cable broken off or stuck in the lever? Here is an easy way got get the stubborn cable easily removed from the lever.(Slide 1,2,3) For this job you will need a small pan., dish soap, vise grips, small screwdriver and a set of small needle nose pliers.(slide 4, 4B).
Start by boiling some water in a small pan...very hot..be careful. Put some dish washing liquid on both ends of the cable. Remove water from stove and drop soaped lever into the water and let stand for about 5 minutes. Heat causes plastic to expand...which loosens the cable in lever. After that, remove lever from water with needle nose pliers and place in vise grips to hold lever(slide 5).
Take small screwdriver and push cable end into lever opening..you can also use the small needle nose pliers (Slide 6, 6B)....after that, pushing on cable should free up the stuck end and give you enough cable head that you can grab it with needle nose pliers(Slide 7) , then pull cable the rest of the way out(Slide 8)... cable removed from lever (Slide 9).
When replacing cable...put a small about of white lithium grease on end of cable that slides into the lever....may keep it from getting stuck the next time....Hope this works for you....I have used this process many times to save a good Simplex lever....Lovecitycycles.