stiff shifter cable - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-11-2008 Thread Starter
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stiff shifter cable

The morse cable used to control the shifter on my new yanmar is very stiff. I feel as though i have to push the shifter/throttle to the point of breaking to get it to go in gear. This problem didn't exist on my original engine. I disconnected the gear box and tested the shifter. It shifted very easily. I also tried manually manipulating the lever on the gear box. It does seem a little stiff, but not too bad.

Anyone ever had a problem like this?
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-11-2008
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Shifting cable

I had a similar problem, until cable connector broke while out on a sail. Nothing like pulling into your slip without reverse!

The push/pull pin had corroded and froze, so that it was bending the cable as I'd shift. After a while it weakened and broke. Look at the pin / connector to make sure it's smooth.
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post #3 of 12 Old 07-11-2008
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Yes, check it out before you have a problem. Mine failed while pulling into the slip - thought it was in reverse but it had broken in forward....it will fail at the worst possible time.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things y%^&*.....oh never mind. 90% of the people on sailing forums already use that as their signature! I'm not a conformist.
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-12-2008
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Sounds like the cable is corroded up. See if you can get some WD40 in there. It is a superb cable lube. Often the cable ends are sealed on a boat, so you may have to cut the seal off to get the lube in there.
If the WD40 idea works, you must lube regularly if you have cut the seal off.
Better that than junking the cable.
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-12-2008
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I think you have done a good job diagnosing the problem so far, and that your shifter cable is bad.

I recommend that you change both the shifter and throttle cables at the same time as it's not much more work to do them both at the same time.

They should cost you about $40 a piece, and are readily available (When I did this on my boat, Fisheries Supply in Seattle had them in stock)

I don't think that lubing the cable is the answer. I wasted a lot of time with that, and it didn't help. The person behind the counter at Fisheries explained to me that the cables were probably abraded and that moisture had gotten inside and corroded it.

Count the number of turns on the nuts on each end before you remove them for easy readjustment of the new ones.

Make sure that the new cables don't abrade again.

I was able to do this job in a couple of hours.

Don't risk losing control over your boat for this.

Get 'er done! and good luck!

David

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"They drove a dump truck full of money up to my house. I'm not made of stone!" -Krusty the Clown

Last edited by djodenda; 07-12-2008 at 01:02 PM. Reason: On reflection, I didn't care much for the tone of my original post
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-12-2008
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Well, you might try the lubrication. If it frees up, it will save $80. Woth a try, I would have thought. At least keep the old ones. In years, i have had one cable fail that was lubed with WD40, and that was an old Russky bike speedo cable.
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post #7 of 12 Old 07-12-2008
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Now you have to decide.... djodenda or Rockter.....

Go to the light... Go to the light.....

Best wishes.

David


David

1987 CS 36 Merlin "Kyrie"

"They drove a dump truck full of money up to my house. I'm not made of stone!" -Krusty the Clown
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post #8 of 12 Old 07-12-2008
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I'd go with David. Sick cables don't heal with WD-40. (Personally, I use WD as a starter fluid. If I want a thing lubricant I use T-9 Boshield. WD likes water too much.)

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post #9 of 12 Old 07-12-2008
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WD40 would work just fine temporarily, but I would want new cables on my boat. I would save the old ones as a backup though, that would allow you to immerse them in a pan of light oil which would easily lube the entire length, imho. I never thought you could use wd40 for starter fluid, interesting, may try it some time. wes carroll
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post #10 of 12 Old 07-12-2008
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In addition to checking the clevis pin is free, I'll suggest checking the cable isn't getting kinked somewhere when it's being operated, and that the transmission end of the cable is aligned to the shift lever. It sounds like something is binding when the cable was attached to the transmission.

Although its unlikely the cable is the problem here, I'll also go with the advice to replace a corroded cable. WD-40 is fine for helping unstick things, but it completely evaporates in no time. If water was getting into a cable to make it corrode in the first place, it will keep getting in and that cable is going to seize again before long. You're still going to replace the cable, it's just a question of how many times it will fail on you before you do.

Good luck,

Tim
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