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Old 12-18-2012, 07:59 PM   #1
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Renewing engine control cables

I recently renewed my throttle cables. I have the rather tall Teleflex/Morse NB levers and couldn't find much information on how to go about it. Now that the job is done, I have sketched out the basics in case other forum members may find it useful.

The throttle levers at both upper and lower helms had become uncomfortably heavy. On my boat the upper helm moves the lower and the lower controls the engines. The lower cables are attached to small bell-cranks on the engines and, once the cables were disconnected, the bell-cranks were fairly easy to move with firm finger pressure. This suggested to me that the cables themselves were the culprits and I decide to replace all four. I have tried lubricating "heavy" Morse cables in the past and found it produced no improvement in weight or smoothness.

The newer Teleflex MT-2 controls have a nice shiny cover which, once removed, leaves the mechanism and cables exposed for surgery. NB controls (mine) are buried in the mounting surface and have to be removed and then split in half to detach the old cables and instal the new ones. The casing is held together by two machine screws at the top and two at the bottom. It is essential to label where each cable goes before removing it.

I suspect most of our boats have a pipe/conduit carrying all services from upper helm to lower. Most are probably fairly full, so threading a new cable can be fraught with perils. IMHO, the best approach is to join the old and new cables together and use one to pull the other. I made a little threaded ferrule to join the cables, wrapped the joint in masking tape and lubricated with silicone grease - worked like a charm. It's worth removing the rubber gaiters and lock nuts first.

My approach to connecting the cables was to start at the engine end, ensure the throttle crank was in the idle position and attach the lower end of the cable. Without moving the cable, set the lower helm lever in the idle positon and attach the other end of the cable. Repeat for the upper cable, start engine and check for correct operation and idle.

Oh, and the end result? Well worth the effort, throttles as smooth and light as I had hoped.
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:38 PM   #2
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Greetings,
Thanks Mr. Mike. Nice explanation.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:53 PM   #3
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Very timely!! My bridge gearshift side is heavy as you describe. This post will be bookmarked for Spring. Thanks

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Old 12-18-2012, 11:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoalwaters View Post
I recently renewed my throttle cables. I have the rather tall Teleflex/Morse NB levers and couldn't find much information on how to go about it. Now that the job is done, I have sketched out the basics in case other forum members may find it useful.

The throttle levers at both upper and lower helms had become uncomfortably heavy. On my boat the upper helm moves the lower and the lower controls the engines. The lower cables are attached to small bell-cranks on the engines and, once the cables were disconnected, the bell-cranks were fairly easy to move with firm finger pressure. This suggested to me that the cables themselves were the culprits and I decide to replace all four. I have tried lubricating "heavy" Morse cables in the past and found it produced no improvement in weight or smoothness.

The newer Teleflex MT-2 controls have a nice shiny cover which, once removed, leaves the mechanism and cables exposed for surgery. NB controls (mine) are buried in the mounting surface and have to be removed and then split in half to detach the old cables and instal the new ones. The casing is held together by two machine screws at the top and two at the bottom. It is essential to label where each cable goes before removing it.

I suspect most of our boats have a pipe/conduit carrying all services from upper helm to lower. Most are probably fairly full, so threading a new cable can be fraught with perils. IMHO, the best approach is to join the old and new cables together and use one to pull the other. I made a little threaded ferrule to join the cables, wrapped the joint in masking tape and lubricated with silicone grease - worked like a charm. It's worth removing the rubber gaiters and lock nuts first.

My approach to connecting the cables was to start at the engine end, ensure the throttle crank was in the idle position and attach the lower end of the cable. Without moving the cable, set the lower helm lever in the idle positon and attach the other end of the cable. Repeat for the upper cable, start engine and check for correct operation and idle.

Oh, and the end result? Well worth the effort, throttles as smooth and light as I had hoped.
What did the project cost?
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Old 12-19-2012, 03:11 PM   #5
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Except for my time, the only cost involved was the cables themselves. I replaced a total of six, varying in length from 6 to 28 feet. That's the four I mentioned, a synchronizer cable and one gear cable that had been kinked some time in its history. On an internet search, BoatersLand had the best prices and West Marine offered to match them plus they were offering free shipping at that time. Prices in early August were as follows:
6ft. $26.00
16ft. $34.00
20ft. $37.00
24ft. $40.00
28ft. $49.00
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Old 12-19-2012, 03:52 PM   #6
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Do those controls have a break on them?

I mean can you turn the red knob to tighten them to prevent throttle creep?

I have a set for a single that operate that way I was going to install it but couldn't find the connections to attach the cable to. Out of production.

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Old 12-19-2012, 04:24 PM   #7
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Outboard cables , series 33 work , but the series 43 fit and are far more robust.
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Old 12-19-2012, 05:17 PM   #8
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SD: Yes the throttle levers can be tightened to prevent throttle creep.

The connectors (blue arrow) are cast Monel or other stuff used for making Tonka toys. A Google search for Teleflex 317413 seems to turn up some current vendors. If not available, they would be fairly easy to make from a piece of aluminium drilled to take the pin and tapped #10 x 32 to take the cable.

FF: I stand by my choice of CC3300 Midrange cables which have a heavy jacket and Lubri-core wire. The cables on a trawler spend their lives in a clean dry environment with little or no flexing. Cables on outboards are regularly doused with sea-water and constantly flexed back and forth as the motors turn. I would have thought that application called for the higher spec more expensive cables.
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Old 12-19-2012, 05:33 PM   #9
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So all that is needed to connect the cable is that little piece by the blue arrow?
This could be cool. would you know if the little clamps at the bottom are readily available? As I currently just have the old morse control. A little pitted and beat up. Not stainless chrome covered brass.

How do you like the way it works?

SD
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Old 12-19-2012, 05:59 PM   #10
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SD: Yup, that's all it takes. The cable clamps that hold the sleeve in place seem to be available too - Downwind Marine and several others. Try Google with the Teleflex part numbers 32010 for the clamp, and 035777 for the shims underneath. Don't forget the machine screws that hold 'em on.

The levers feel fine, the anti-creep feature works as it should, and there is a spring detent on the gear levers that clicks when you reach neutral. They look somewhat dated and were made for engines that required extra leverage to move the throttle or gear. My boat has been re-engined with Yanmars that need very little force to do this. I am trying to talk myself into a set of the more modern MT-2 controls, but the cost of four of these units is somewhat sobering.
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