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Old 02-27-2018, 11:11 AM   #1
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Running New Radar Wire??

I am replacing the old radar on my 1990 Grand Banks 32 and trying to figure out how to run the new wire without having to remove the headliner in the main cabin. The existing fat radar cable runs down the inside of the mast, into the main cabin under the mast, than, apparently between the cabin roof and the fabric headliner to the forward end of the cabin to be connected to the display.

How have other people fished a new radar cable? Can I just pull the new thinner cable through using the old cable? Sure would be nice if it's that easy...

I am asking this same question on the Grand Banks Owners Forum but, frankly, many more people follow this forum than that one.

Thanks for your advice and help.
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Old 02-27-2018, 11:43 AM   #2
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Much of my job before I retired involved pulling wires and cables. This experience has helped when working on my boat.

Of course you can pull a new cable by attaching it to the old cable. This only works if the old cable was not fastened down or bundled with other cables though.

If the cable runs between the cabin roof and the headliner, I would suspect it's fastened to the underside of the roof in one or more places, otherwise it would hang down and could be seen and felt in the headliner.
You can tell by tugging on one end of the cable and seeing if the other end moves. If it does, you should be able to pull the new cable with the old. If not, you can't unless you find where it's fastened and unfasten it.

You're better off with two people, one to pull and the other to "feed" the cable and be sure it doesn't get caught on something.

Make sure that when you join the cables together that you don't make a "lump" that will catch on something. Smooth and taper both ends so if it gets hung up you can pull it back and try again. You don't want it stuck somewhere with no way to get it out.
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Old 02-27-2018, 11:52 AM   #3
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You can also lubricate the cable with some cable pulling lube. It may help the cable slide through easier.
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Old 02-27-2018, 11:59 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Comodave View Post
You can also lubricate the cable with some cable pulling lube. It may help the cable slide through easier.
+1

In my limited experience as a "helper" pulling wires for an electrician, I was amazed at how much easier the wire grease made the work go.
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Old 02-27-2018, 12:11 PM   #5
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+1

In my limited experience as a "helper" pulling wires for an electrician, I was amazed at how much easier the wire grease made the work go.
But I wouldn't do it through the ceiling where the goo could end up on the head liner.

What's holding the head liners in place? Our Grand Banks was a later model, but the headliner panels all came down and were held in place by plastic snaps.

I have to keep learning this lesson over and over again, but it's almost always easier in the long run to get everything opened up and accessible, do the wiring, then button back up again. It will have been a poor radar installation if the cables are NOT secured in place, so chances are you will struggle for a bunch of time trying to pull wires through, then open it all up in the end anyway. Plus once you pull the new cables they should be secured. So just open it all up.
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Old 02-27-2018, 12:32 PM   #6
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I have to keep learning this lesson over and over again, but it's almost always easier in the long run to get everything opened up and accessible, do the wiring, then button back up again. ....[snip].... So just open it all up.


I tell myself this after EVERY project. Never seem to learn.
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Old 02-27-2018, 12:43 PM   #7
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The real question though is, would the new radar work with the existing wire?

If it would, that would save a lot of work.
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Old 02-27-2018, 01:48 PM   #8
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The pulling lube I use doesn’t leave a residue. It just makes the cable slippery.
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Old 02-27-2018, 04:12 PM   #9
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If you end up having to drop the headliner, I dont think it's as big a deal as it looks. In my case I only dropped the starboard edge of the fabric. The removal of the wooden valance is straight-forward (if yours is like mine). Behind the valance, there are wooden blocks with with exposed screws. Removal of those screws detaches the valance. The headliner is held with staples. I used stainless staples for reassembly.

I also hoped that I could just pull the cables, but as mentioned above, the radar cable on mine was fastened in some points.
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Old 02-27-2018, 04:59 PM   #10
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I just did this job in my boat.

I followed the old cable out with the new, removing the old cable in sections and using a electrician's fish tape to pull through the new. I found it much easier to manage the runs in sections, removing panels and cable management looms as I went.

Mine took some serious twists to get from the mast to the helm: down the mast, below the bench seat, into the house, under the watch berth, down behind the galley, across the lower galley to the owners cabin, along the cabin port ceiling then finally up into the Pilothouse electrical panel. My radar came with a 75' cable and used all of it to go what was about 12' point to point.

Took about two hours and three Advil.
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Old 02-27-2018, 07:08 PM   #11
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Whoever installed the original radar pulled the headliner down at least partially unless there is a built in wireway. Can you feel the cable through the headliner?
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Old 02-27-2018, 07:52 PM   #12
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Man, good advice above. I just completed an 8 cable pull through two separate 1.25” PVC conduits put through my roof when I reskinned it several years ago. I can’t over-emphasize the importance of using a lubrication and having someone push while you pull the other end at the same time. Also, it may not hurt to pull another strand through at the same time just in case you need to pull something more later. If you use the old cable for the “puller”, lube what you can and pull it back and forth through the area as much as you can before attaching the new cable.
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Old 02-27-2018, 07:57 PM   #13
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mine is run under the flybridge overhang until under the flybridge fairing then up into the fairing and down into the instrument area at the front of the saloon.
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