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Old 06-02-2016, 10:35 AM   #1
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Morse Tranny Shift Cable

Hi folks,

I was crawling around my engine room looking for a water leak (another story) and I spotted a fractured shift cable housing on my port-side tranny, which is a twin disc. The cable runs to my lower helm. Is there somewhere that this cable might have a part number on it? Everything currently works and I installed a splint over the fracture using hose and zip ties for now. Obviously, I want to replace the cable, but don't know the length. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Also, the lower helm and upper helm are tied together with shift cables. Can I just replace the one that is damaged, or is there more to this?

This is on a 1979 Californian 42LRC with twin Cat 3208s.

Thanks and cheers, Bill
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Old 06-02-2016, 11:03 AM   #2
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The just about "universal" control cable is a 33c or 3300 series cable. The length should be heat stamped into the jacket near both or one end at the end of the part number, often in inches.

"the lower helm and upper helm are tied together with shift cables."

Not sure what this means, dual station boats are either Parallel (all cables go to engine) or series (cables go from station to station to engine)

In either case you should only have to replace the bad cable.

Whatever brand, Morse, Teleflex (same company), U Flex, etc there are high performance options like the Teleflex extreme, which is a direct replacement smoother operating cable.


In the pictures the last digits are 204, that's inched or 17ft.



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Originally Posted by Montenido View Post
Hi folks,

I was crawling around my engine room looking for a water leak (another story) and I spotted a fractured shift cable housing on my port-side tranny, which is a twin disc. The cable runs to my lower helm. Is there somewhere that this cable might have a part number on it? Everything currently works and I installed a splint over the fracture using hose and zip ties for now. Obviously, I want to replace the cable, but don't know the length. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Also, the lower helm and upper helm are tied together with shift cables. Can I just replace the one that is damaged, or is there more to this?

This is on a 1979 Californian 42LRC with twin Cat 3208s.

Thanks and cheers, Bill
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Old 06-02-2016, 04:38 PM   #3
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If it's still the factory Morse controls on a 79' Californian 42LRC then the cables are installed in series from Flybridge to Saloon to engine and tranny.

Good info on the codes, thx.
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Old 06-03-2016, 07:38 AM   #4
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IF the bends are not too tight use the 43 series cable , many times stronger than the outboads series cable, and not much more expensive.

To measure the existing cable a leader line is tied on and the cable is pulled out.

The leader line is used to install the new cable.

Offshore belt and suspenders types may chose to install a pair of cables if there is room in the chase. #2 is spare.

Motorcycle shops have pumps that will fill a cable with grease , even if its 35 ft long.
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Old 06-03-2016, 09:42 AM   #5
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With all due respect, I do not necessarily agree with the 43c recommendation. Yes, 43c cables are stronger, they are also considerably larger (1/4-28 threads) and have larger threaded ends than 33 series cables (10-32 threads) which means new and larger cable end hardware and perhaps fit issues. Also because the core is larger and has more contact with the conduit it rides in there will be more friction and stiffer operation.

I don't believe stronger is necessarily better for this application. The cables are not breaking, the jacket is compromised and the steel conduit the ss core travels in is rusting and expanding making the jacket even worse. This expansion may also be happening inside "squeezing" the cable making it stiffer as the rusting conduit expands both in and out.

I believe the better upgrade recommendation is to use the upgrade cable like the Teleflex extreme. It will operate more smoothly than the standard cable, especially on longer runs and is the same size as the standard cable.

The 43c is typically reserved for mechanical gears where additional force is needed to shift. Almost all modern gears are hydraulic and do not require the same force.




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IF the bends are not too tight use the 43 series cable , many times stronger than the outboads series cable, and not much more expensive.
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Old 06-05-2016, 12:00 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info folks. It appears that this might be an original cable from 1979. The marks that I found are: Morse33c 24ft. I have ordered one with the same part #. I kind of measured the run and 24' looks about right. The flybridge and helm are in series, with the flybridge cabled to the main helm, and only one shift cable to the transmission.

Thanks again.

Bill
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Old 06-05-2016, 12:14 PM   #7
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I just went through this on both cables last month. Do yourself a favor and purchase 10/32 threaded rod joiners - we got ours from WW Grainger and they're inexpensive. Thread the trailing end of one joiner to the leading edge of the new one and pull them through. There was a little bit of a tight squeeze on the lower helm so I dribbled a little bit of blue Dawn detergent on the cable as a lubricant. Worked like a dream. The threaded rod joiner was a game changer for getting this done.

My cables had failed on the lower helm while I was docking and caused a mishap with a piling. Transmission had worked just fine all day - a little tight - but working, and the cable failed just when I needed it not to fail. Always happens like that. Got my advice here on TF from Shoalwaters (Mike), and it worked without a problem.

Hope it is a smooth change out for you.
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Old 06-05-2016, 06:57 PM   #8
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The part number will be near one end of the cable. If it is a Morse cable and my memory is correct, the last digits in the part number is the length of the cable in inches. In the photo that Keysdisease posted, the cable length is 204 inches or 17 feet.

Teleflex bought Morse, Seastar bought the Marine division of Teleflex.
The last two digits in the Seastar part number are the length in feet.

33c and 3300 cables have number 10-32 threads. 43C or 4300 have 1/4" -28 threads.

Islandeamer great idea!
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