Broken Clutch Cable????

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by oldsub, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. oldsub

    oldsub New Member

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    Much to my surprise, riding my bike with a very new 66/80 Skyhawk mounted and running. Pulling on the clutch, the cable broke. Would say, about a 3 inch or 4 inch piece still hooked to the clutch lever.
    Now I always, frowned every time I looked at this clutch arrangement. Wow, the most ugliest piece of engineering one could ever see. From the handle to the engine, no problems, but around the engine to the clutch lever, where the most pull on the cable exsist, it has to make very sharp turns. Oh well thats Chinese engineering for you.

    Reason for this thread, other than letting off steam. Did anyone else have the same problem, re "broken clutch cable?" Is this a common problem, if so I guess I better re-design it, should not be that hard. Don't want to buy a new cable, if this happens every month. Waiting to hear any possible solutions.

    Thanks
     
  2. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

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  3. oldsub

    oldsub New Member

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    Thanks for your recommendation, its wonderful and simple. One of the problem with my setup is the bare cable leaves the large bolt arrangement at quite an angle to hook up to the clutch lever. In fact this causes some of the drag on the clutch operation. Plus its travel quite a turn to reach the large bolt. Using this and increasing the height of the large bolt (note I don't know what to call this guide other than large bolt). Plus lining it up better with the clutch lever, I think I will solve the problem.

    I'm a completely new one to this engine driven bikes. First one and I am 73 years old. Boy what a sport for old seniors, it a real thrill. The wife and I love it. Thanks again.
     
  4. gonefishing0227

    gonefishing0227 New Member

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    did you lube the cable befor you put it on. i had the same problem on my first cable. if you take cable out of black plastic covering run a light coat of greese and then put back together you will get allot longer time on the cable
     
  5. give me vtec

    give me vtec New Member

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    you can also buy a Teflon coated cable from sick bikes. I used one of those and a clutch cable pulley on my latest build.... super smooth
     
  6. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

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    with my brake noodle mod, it gets rid of the extra metal from the old adjuster that the cable drags on, so that'll help some.

    another thing i've been doing is bending the clutch actuator arm (the one on the engine) in towards the cable stop (the big bolt.) just a mild bend, so the cable's not pinched at a harsh angle.

    my newest bike, i rigged up a spherical bearing at the end of the arm so it pivots when it's pulled. i don't have any pics, though. sorry.
     
  7. oldsub

    oldsub New Member

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    I certainly appreciate all the tips and information that the audiences has supplied. Yes, it makes the repair job much more interesting. I have on this bike, removed the clutch lever from the shaft and moved it in, towards the large bolt or adjuster. The reason for this, when using installed factory setting, the end of the cable always caught your pants etc, while pedalling the bike.

    Because my wife suffers badly from arthritis, which really makes it hard for her to pull the clutch with her hand. Was considering to maybe lenghting the clutch lever a slight bit, as to offer more leverage to the shaft. At the same time, maybe curving the extension a bit, to bring it inline with the adjuster more.

    Because the break is very short, I think I will beable to take some of the lack out of the cable, and cut the outer piece to exposing the bare cable again. This will save me buying a cable setup. It seen I read someplace how to replace the furler (I think that what the metal piece on the black outer cable is called???). This would be nice if I could do this. It would be like shorting a complete cable piece.

    Once again, I thank all again for your input, and please keep them coming. Nothing like gathering up all ideas and improvement to do a repair job.
     
  8. sputterputtBAM

    sputterputtBAM New Member

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    Mine broke in about an hhour of on/off test runs, severe angle for sure. But a friend and I slapped it together only wanting to ride it, not fine tuning any sharp edges and such. I had several hours use since after smoothing out end of cable housing and aduster on eng. I used a "dremmel" with a needle like rasp end. then a little grease. It seems like a cable and cable lock is a good thing to have in the tool kit though. Small insurance. Peace
     
  9. oldsub

    oldsub New Member

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    Evening all;
    Today I repaired the broken clutch cable. I shortened the exterior of the cable, which is made up of a woven single tin type metal, covered with a plastic rubber type of material. The construction of the other shell was quite interesting, and gave me quite a clue about why this cable broke. This engine has been only installed for a short time. In fact, it has not even used up its first gallon of gas. Here is what I discovered.

    First this is my opinion, and if any one wants to point out any mistake I have made, please go a head. My theory is, "You learn from your mistakes, other peoples mistake and other peoples winning experiment." Hence this thread. Anyway here what I found, I had removed the broken steel wire from the other shell, and then soldered about 1 inch from the break, making sure the solder went all ways around, covering the strand completely. By do this, will stop the steel strands from springs apart or messing up after cutting it. Now using a good cutting tool, cut the wire on the solder, file the end down gently. Tried first to insert the wire into the outer cover, from the end which is hooked to the clutch handle on the handle bars. Would not go, and it did not take much to see why, the end was completely fouled up. So I used the other end, which had been hooked to the adjustment bolt and cut 1 foot off the other end. Got rid of the fouled up end. Greased the wire, and it went right to the end without a problem. And completed the job by raising the adjustment bolt, plus lined it up with the clutch lever. Seem to work Ok, with less pull etc..

    This cable system appears to do the job, but once again its sure poor engineering. The brake system uses the same but there is a big different in the application.The brake handle on the handle bars, moves the brake pads to the rim, without using very little energy. Once the pads are on the rim, it takes very little movement of the handle to apply a great amount of pressure to the pads.

    While the clutch system, moves the clutch lever from point A to point B. It takes a bit of energy, just to get the clutch lever to move and a greater amount as it approaches point B. While all the time compressing the clutch spring. The inside steel wire, feels the increase in energy and will start to rub and dig into the inter woven tin metal, sawing away at it each time the clutch is used. After making it out of shape, causing more drag until some where the wire breaks.

    I blame the factory who has made the cables too long, I feel I'm much better off now, since the break, because I have shorten up all turns of the cable. Specially the section from the handle to bike frame, this now is 1 foot shorter. Going to be quite interesting to see if this solves the problem or stalls the problem. Take care all.
     
  10. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

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    sounds like you did a pretty thorough job of trying to eliminate all the problems.

    one thing to consider, is the cable itself is a piece of junk.

    for a few bucks more, you can buy a high quality brake cable and housing from a bike shop or online and cut it to fit.

    i use Jagwire Ripcord cables on my bikes. if you buy online, especially ebay BE CAREFUL of who you're getting it from. i bought some from taiwan that were 10 bucks with shipping, and they were just lousy cables with "jagwire" printed on them. i later found there's like 10 different overseas manufacturers all claiming to have them. make sure you get it in the yellow and black Jagwire blister packaging if you go that route.

    also, you can buy a standard brake cable and housing from a real bike shop (NOT walmart) for a coupla bucks, and it's still better than the stock ones. you can see the difference in thickness.
     
  11. oldsub

    oldsub New Member

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    Hey, thanks bairdco, that sounds like some more solid information. As an amateur at this exciting new sport for me, I can not sit in the house if I see the sun shining. Get on the bike and go for coffee at Starbuck or Tim Horton. Certainly a old man's toy these bikes are. With all the help, I'm certain I will overcome this problem, in fact using this web site I think any problem can be overcomed. If I have problems such as an another broken cable. I know I will beable to patch it up.

    Best to all of you's
     
  12. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

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    just about every problem you could encounter has already happened to someone here already, and the solutions keep getting better and better as this "hobby" progresses.

    enjoy it, that's what it's all about.:)
     

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