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Old 12-31-2015, 04:31 PM   #1
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Best Lube for Shift and Throttle Cables

With the cold weather setting in, I'm finding my shift and throttle cables a bit stiff. I need to lube them and am looking for advice on products and tried and true methods. I've never lubed cables before.

I own cans of Kano Aero Kroil and Sili Kroil that appear well suited for the job.

Any suggestions from those who have done this before? Got any recommended methods to direct the fluid into the cable sleeves?

BTW, I have a FB and lower helm and plan to lube both sets.

Here's a bad shot of my lower helm shifters taken during my wheel wrap project. They are connected to mechanical cables.

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Old 12-31-2015, 04:42 PM   #2
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A lube might remediate the cables for a while but they are made with nylon liners that are self-lubricating. I believe if your cables are getting stiff they need replacing. Unless, of course, the levers themselves are dry and need lubing and its not the cables? You won't likely be able to tell unless you disconnect the cables...

On my Grand Banks, the resistance in the cabling turned out to be the connecting cables from the flying bridge to the WH which were too convoluted by the over-stuffed wire chase that went to the bridge. That took some sorting.

Having said all that, there are devices for pressure lubricating motorcycle cables that you could probably find at a Harley dealership or online. You want the lube to do the entire cable.
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Old 12-31-2015, 05:34 PM   #3
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My old Harley's cables respond well to the old Ziploc bag with synthetic oil trick... disconnect cable at highest point, poke end through bottom corner of bag, tape bag to cable tightly with electrical tape, put about a half cup of oil in bag, zip bag closed, tape bag to something to keep it elevated overnight. Oil will migrate to the lowest end.

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Old 01-01-2016, 07:45 AM   #4
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Your local motorcycle dealer has lubricant and fittings so it can lubricate most any sized cable.

If you purchase new cables , again copy what bikers do, leave the old perhaps stiff but functioning in place.

It might be welcome some O' Dark 30.
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Old 01-01-2016, 09:05 AM   #5
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This is what I did


Throttle/shift cable lubricating - easy way
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Old 01-01-2016, 09:08 AM   #6
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"A lube might remediate the cables for a while but they are made with nylon liners that are self-lubricating. I believe if your cables are getting stiff they need replacing. Unless, of course, the levers themselves are dry and need lubing and its not the cables? You won't likely be able to tell unless you disconnect the cables..."


This is it ...but if you must lube what you have please do not use a petroleum based lubricant as it will soften and swell the existing liners which will cause the cables to become even more stiff over a few more months. Replacement is the best approach but a decent synthetic grease will buy you some time - I have used "superlube" with good results but there are others equally as suitable.
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Old 01-01-2016, 09:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meridian View Post

That's a great idea Terry! And the cable manufacturers are in biz to sell cables- so having you repair yours is not in their best interest!!


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Old 01-01-2016, 10:12 AM   #8
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Dri-Slide, molybdinum disulfide in a fast evaporating penetrant, verry slippery. i also use it on dirt bikes and firearms, it won't grab dust. an 'empty' can still has much MoS2 in it that can be reclaimed by prying the cap off and adding more lube. i don't know of a fast evaporating penetrent to use and often use 50/50 kroil ATF mix and apply where an oil film is allowable - i use a fresh can where 100% dry film is needed. any tribologists out there know of a evaporating penetrant? i don't know how this stuff effects modern nylon lined cable outers, but i have observed no ill effects
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Old 01-01-2016, 05:17 PM   #9
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Great info, guys! Meridian, now I remember that post...great idea. I already have all the parts needed for that solution, so I'll give it a try.

Mich Mike, thanks for the dri-slide recommendation. I found CRC Dry Moly is a molybdinum disulfide available on Amazon for under $10. A can is on its way to me as I type.

CRC Dry Moly

Mucho gracious, fellas!
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