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Old 06-28-2014, 06:20 PM   #1
Shoalwaters's Avatar
City: Rodney Bay Lagoon
Country: St. Lucia, West Indies
Vessel Name: "Dragon Lady"
Vessel Model: DeFever 41
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 681
Lubricating synchronizer cables

I have a Glendinning mechanical engine synchronizer. It measures the speed of each engine via fat "speedometer" cables attached to the tachometer drives and adjusts the speed of the slave engine to that of the lead engine via a conventional Morse push/pull cable. My cables are 10ft long and looking a bit past their prime. However, at a replacement cost of $140 + s/h each, I decided to lubricate them and see how long they last.

The inner core is removable from the synchronizer end; they comes out easier if you lay them out flat and straight on the ground. Both cores were coated with dry black grease residue, but an overnight soak in thinners cleaned them up. Lubricating the core and getting it back into its sleeve is another matter entirely. Trying to do this on the ground is a frustrating and dirty business - got more grease on me and the dogs than on the cables! This was my solution:

1. Hang the sleeve vertically from a little plywood bracket (pic).
2. Make sure the synchronizer end of the cable is looking up.
3. Use disposable gloves.
4. Put a big glob of grease in the palm of one hand.
5. Feed the core through the grease and into the sleeve.
6. Rotate the core gently with a low-speed drill to distribute the grease.

Check the synchronizer for grease. Mine only required redistributing it over the gears and worm shafts with a small brush. Pump a little grease into the zerc fittings on the angle drives.

When putting the cables back on the engines, keep the bend-radius as large as possible. The big nuts that hold the cables at each end should be slightly more than finger tight. Check that the throttle levers move freely and are at the idle position before starting engines.

Rick Panish at Glendinning has been very helpful and patient whenever I have contacted him for advice. He recommends Castrol Molub-Alloy 777-1-ES (base is molybdenum disulfide), MolyLube or try Googling “moly grease” to lubricate the synchronizer itself, the cables and the angle drives.

Hope this helps.
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