Making new cable ends

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by timboellner, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. timboellner

    timboellner Member

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    Most of us have seen Norm's great method of making your own new cable ends, but I just ran across this one. It looks easy enough and works great. I've tried both ways and like this one best. I hope it's something you haven't tried yet.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-gY27LTU2c
     
  2. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    Thanks, Tim.
    But I'm not sure I agree with his methods. The wood saps and oils could contaminate the metals and seem to be detrimental to a good solder attachment. As you, in your trade know, a clean surface is essential to a good solder joint. Also if the cable happens to be made of stainless steel the solder won't stick. It might appear to be but a good pull would break it loose.

    I've made cable ends, both soldered and crimped and I've had very good luck with the heat available from an electric soldering gun. The excess heat from a torch could, if you're not careful, overheat the cable and make it brittle in the heat effected area.

    Just my thoughts. You and others might disagree. I'm interested in your reply.

    Tom
     
  3. timboellner

    timboellner Member

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    Tom.....I can't argue with that logic..

    I have tried all kinds of stuff too.
    Solder, silver solder, bronze rod (too hot) crimped on ends.etc etc.
    I do like using 3/8 brass rod..cut into short pieces. Drill a tiny hole through it.
    Push the cable through, splay the ends and solder. A file will shape it up nicely. Some cables have been easier than others.

    It's also not good to let the solder wick into the cable past the new end. It makes the cable stiff and pretty brittle.
    TiM
     
  4. Desert Rat

    Desert Rat New Member

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    I wrap the end in telephone wire copper about 5 twists tightly then melt
    about 6 or 9 fishing weights and dip, The original was lead why not the
    replacement?
    easiest method yet! only done it twice but it's still holding strong!
     
  5. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    Both of you have good ideas. The brass tubing method sounds good as well as wrapping with 22 ga wire.

    For our throttle cables I use 3/32" brass tubing, 50/50 solder, NoCorode past flux and a Weller soldering gun. The brass tubing works well as the cable end that lifts the throttle slide in the NT/NT Speed and RT carbs.

    For the handlebar lever end I've used Desert Rat's idea using fishing weight leads.
    I never use stainless steel cables if I think I might have to solder them. I also had a bike brake cable that was spiral wound around a teflon coating. It wouldn't take solder either.

    A clean surface is critical. I like Brake-Clean as a solvent to remove any oil or grease from the cable before soldering. Soak for a few seconds, agitating then blow dry with compressed air or let it air dry.

    As far as 'enough heat'; if the solder melts and flows into the cable strands, it's hot enough. I don't agree with using a torch, MAP or propane to solder a cable. Too much heat in my opinion. And Tim is correct about the solder 'wicking' too far into the cable. Too much and it will loose the flexibility near the end where it might be needed. The engine end of a clutch cable being the exception. I try to keep at least an inch of the cable soldered to prevent unraveling of the strands at the clutch actuator arm on a 2 stroke where the cable stop is located.

    Tom
     
  6. Kioshk

    Kioshk Active Member

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    I just give my cables extra length wrap the ends into themselves in loops. We beat on our cables extra hard with our babies; I know I can go through about 3 sets a year. The method I use stops the cable from fraying, and permits easy replacement without having to cut the old cable-ends.
     
  7. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    I leave a good bit of extra cable and where I want the end to be I use an awl and make a "hole" in the cable so that I can fit some copper wire through (From an extension cord stripped and separated into strands)... then I close the hole and wrap the cable a few times with the few strands of copper wire. Dab on a bit of flux and then add a bit of solder with a soldering iron... letting it make a "blob". Now I cut off the end at the soldered point (dremel tool cutoff wheel) and if need be shape the blob to size with the dremel and grinding bit or sanding drum. Takes longer to explain than to do it. The solder bonds nicely with the copper wire and makes for a solid end.
    SB
     

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