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Old 10-02-2017, 09:11 AM   #1
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Should I Replace or Lube Throttle/Shift Cables?

I know there has been back and forth on this, but I'd appreciate current thinking. Stella had been unused for two years while we did a refit on the hard and, running her last month, the control cables on both Lehmans are fairly stiff at both helms.

Should I expect them to to loosen up with use or is it time to consider lubing or (God forbid) replacing them? I know that Morse/Teleflex recommends against lubing, but they also sell cables . There are some handy devices out there for lubing cables, but I guess I'd have to see if mine are sealed or not.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-02-2017, 09:40 AM   #2
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I would lube with a very light weight synthetic. You can always replace them later if you're not happy. Stiff cables add unnecessary risk in tight quarters like docking.

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Old 10-02-2017, 09:43 AM   #3
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Greetings,
Mr. 99. Well, you've really got nothing to lose by attempting to lube the cables. I have seen several methods of doing so and I suspect if you do a you-tube search you'll find an equal number.

Just one "device" I found after a very quick search...
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Old 10-02-2017, 09:56 AM   #4
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Take the high end off , make a little funnel around the cable end tape up with electrical tape , fill with Singer sewing machine oil (or any 3 in one type very light weight oil), come back the next day and your cables are well lubed !

Never had an issue with this only success

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Old 10-02-2017, 11:26 AM   #5
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Take a look at the cable runs with the idea you are going to replace them. Having 2 helms, I bet you try to lube them and live with the stiffness. Iíve though about replacing ours on Hobo, forget it! I canít get to the cable runs. Trying to figure out the lengths and where I would run them would be a major if not impossible job. The best solution I came up with, if we were to replace them, was going with electronic controls. Good luck.
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Old 10-02-2017, 12:10 PM   #6
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On the Trojan owners forum there are several posts about lubing cables. They took a schrader valve and put it on a hose filled with oil and connected it to the steering cable then pumped air in through the schreder valve to force the oil down through the cable. They had a spec as to how much oil per foot of cable. It was reported to work well.
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Old 10-02-2017, 01:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RT Firefly View Post
Greetings,
Mr. 99. Well, you've really got nothing to lose by attempting to lube the cables. I have seen several methods of doing so and I suspect if you do a you-tube search you'll find an equal number.

Just one "device" I found after a very quick search...
RT,
I started using those on motorcycles over 30 years ago.
Excellent if they fit your cable. Perhaps they adapt to a wider range of cables that in the past. Work great .. just push the button and hold it down until the lube comes out the other end. I think I used graphite lube.
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Old 10-02-2017, 01:26 PM   #8
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Greetings,
Mr. C. Something similar to this I expect...



I'm not sure if I'd run to 50lbs pressure though...
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Old 10-02-2017, 01:41 PM   #9
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That is it.
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Old 10-02-2017, 01:56 PM   #10
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A trick ....if the run is all downhill.

Stick the cable end in a small zip lock bag corner, tape it tight, put oil in bag and let hang overnight.
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Old 10-02-2017, 02:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Greetings,
Mr. C. Something similar to this I expect...



I'm not sure if I'd run to 50lbs pressure though...
You might want to wrap the other end of the casing with a rag to catch any oil that makes it through, to simplify the cleanup process.
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Old 10-02-2017, 04:47 PM   #12
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Thanks, all.

Mr. RT, I've seen those cable lube tools on YouTube. If one fits my cables, that's what I'll try. Like Ted says, what's to lose?

Larry, I looked the cables over last time I was on the boat and you're right -- they are bundled with wires and make some hellish turns . . . a nightmare to replace, do-able but not something I will consider further unless there's a significant risk of failure. Other Defever 44 owners have given me the length of the cables I'd need (two 19' and two 21').

I'll do a little more research on graphite vs light oil.
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Old 10-02-2017, 05:03 PM   #13
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My cables are marked with the length where they terminate at controls. I used 2' of clear hose clamped to cable after removing dust boot, then needed 15psi to force lube through. Gravity did not work. Night and day difference. I did notice after a year later and sitting for a few months during Hurricane season, it was a little stiff again. I would prefer to replace cables, bit will need to wait until home again.

I used corrosionX for my lube. Its been 2 years and 1000hrs, and are still OK. I think if I did more docking etc. vs. long passages, they may be a bit better from usage.
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Old 10-02-2017, 05:24 PM   #14
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I was going to go through the lube path until I traced the cables out. Both cable jackets from the FB were failing at the sharp u-turn under the lower helm. Replaced both. If you can get the cable to move at all, duct tape the new to the old, soap them up and pull them through. Just make sure someone did not ty-wrap or tape wires to the cable jackets!!!
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Old 10-02-2017, 08:45 PM   #15
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I let my cables go too long because I dreaded the task of replacement. Then the shift cable broke at a very inconvenient time and I regretted not changing it out sooner. Word to the wise?
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Old 10-03-2017, 05:08 AM   #16
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IF you are going to go to the hassle of replacing the cables , you might consider pulling a spare in at the same time.

Often done on motor cycles to save what might be a long walk,

and could make cable failure on a cruise a quick fix.

If the bends are modest using heavier 43 cables usually has a far longer life than the OB cables most builders chose.
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Old 10-03-2017, 07:03 AM   #17
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IF you are going to go to the hassle of replacing the cables , you might consider pulling a spare in at the same time.

Often done on motor cycles to save what might be a long walk,

and could make cable failure on a cruise a quick fix.

If the bends are modest using heavier 43 cables usually has a far longer life than the OB cables most builders chose.
Good ideas, Fred. If it comes to replacing them I'll see if extras will fit. I don't want to do that job more than once. Hoping the right lube will solve the problem.
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Old 10-03-2017, 08:01 PM   #18
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I've tried the "spare cable" thing on motorcycles, but if one gets damaged, the other is usually exposed to the same detrimental forces and damaged too.
A spare cable would get no exercise, and thus be more likely to yield to corrosion/dirt seizure than the in-use cable.
In answer to the OP'S question, I would replace them, loss of control could lead to catastrophic damages.
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Old 10-03-2017, 08:54 PM   #19
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We looked at replacing cables during my refit a few years ago when I repowered with electronic engines. But the cables would not budge and were inaccessible. The yard did some lubing, and the pilothouse cables are reasonable. The flybridge cables are functional, but do not move as freely. Both sets are better now than they were at time of lubing because I use the boat regularly. Using the cable is good for them! The only issue I have is setting exact rpm, and I have to 'bump' them a bit to get the engines to sync rpm

I regret not going to electronic controls, particularly when I see the throttle cable terminate at a little box in the ER that sends electronic signals to the engine anyway! Easy engine sync and a wireless remote control unit would be big plusses.
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:15 PM   #20
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I may be missrembering, but I believe the original Morse cable lube was glycol, not petroleum based.
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