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Old 04-25-2010
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Procuring a new transmission cable?

Hey Everyone,

So after a few weeks for being hauled out (getting a new prop and a new bottom job) we tried bringing home our B343 from West Palm to Fort Lauderdale. It was rough outside, so we decided to take the ICW and have a cocktail cruise on the way down.

Little did I know that my shifting from forward, neutral, and reverse would be nearly impossible this time around!

Let me clarify. We pull out of the marina and come upon the Fuller Memorial bridge heading southbound. I come to my normal holding pattern and try to engage reverse. The shifting lever just wont give. I practically have to STAND on the lever to get reverse to engage, and by that time, I'm dangerously close to the bridge and other obstructions.

By the time I had the prop walk under control, the bridge had opened and here I am reversing away....the damn shifter wont disengage reverse now and I'm going further and further from the bridge!

In any case, we decided no more reverse on the cruise down. We were able to make it on forward and neutral alone...and even those shifts were awful.

When we got home, we started diagnosing things. Shifting at the transmission itself was easy enough. We unlinked the cable and finger pressure was enough to take the shifter through all gearing.

We then went back to the helm and unhooked the linkage there and tested the helm shifter assembly. Smooth as butter.

So then we hooked up the transmission cable back to the helm shifter (not to the transmission down below) and tried shifting....and there was the problem. Its hard as hell to shift.

So I think I have a bad transmission shifting cable.

Does anyone have any feedback on our diagnosis and what else can be done? Where can one find a shifting cable for a Yanmar 3YM30 that fits to a Gioiot helm for Beneteau? They're closed today so I cant call myself.

Any online sources for this kind of cable?
S/V Jendai
Beneteau 343
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Old 04-25-2010
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Most marine stores (both West and Hamilton do) carry cables made by Teleflex Morse. If you look on the old cable, it should say exactly what it is. You will need to pull it out in order to get the length right anyways. Kobelt makes a slightly better cable and it is up to you as to whether it is worth paying more for a better cable.

As a temporary fix, sometimes the ends of the cable simply get bent or crimped and it is possible to fix there with a little care and a few convincer tools. For the ends, there is a metal rod that travels in a sleeve and if either one is bent, it won't work well. Once you get the old cable out, it is a lot easier to diagnose since you can look at both ends and see what moves and what doesn't (there naturally is a bit of play).

Just don't forget to pull through some form of a snake when you remove the old cable if the routing is at all difficult.
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