shifting cable repair
I have a 1974 Newport 30 II, with and atomic 4. The shifting cable has sheared at the threads just before/after a clevis pin connector. Any ideas on how this can be repaired? Where to go to get a replacement cable? How difficult will it be to replace? Can an engine ignorant woman with common sense replace this? Thanks for any help.
As you haven't had any replies yet, I'll try to give you a few things to think about until others with more knowledge give you better information. You might also want to post your question on the Newport website, as boat-specific information may also be very helpful.
My understanding is that these cables can break because they are routed too tightly around curves on the sheaves, which stresses the wires. So I would suggest taking a careful look at the entire steering/shifter set up to see if the way the wires are routed looks good. Also, check for any looseness, misalignment, worn parts, rough edges, etc.
On my friend's Catalina 30, it required a special order to get the right wire, so I don't think you can just go to your nearest chandlery and get the required parts, unless you are pretty handy and can also improvise a bit.
As I understand it, the installation itself is not overly complicated, unless you need to make changes in the current routing of the wires (see above). There should be enough tension to ensure the wire doesn't slip off the sheaves, but not so tight as too put major stress on it either. It needs to be lubricated with a good engine oil or grease to ensure smooth operation.
If no other advice is forthcoming, you might want to check some of the reference books, like Nigel Calder's Mechanical and Elecrical Manual, which has diagrams of various systems and advice on how they should work.
Pam, a shift cable (sometimes called "Morse" cable after one company that makes them) is really just a heavier version of a bicycle brake cable. There's a proper name for these but I have no memory of it.
If the inner cable failed...in theory yes it can be replaced or spliced or just moved down if there's enough slack to pull down from the other end. In practice, if it is old enough to fail it is quicker and simpler to replace the whole thing, and if you have a throttle cable of the same vintage, replace them both while you are there.
If the cable is intact but the outer jacket sheared, that can literally be epoxied back in place, the outer jacket just serves as a guide to constrain the inner cable. But again, I'd say time to replace it, not mess around.
Common sense and simple hand tools are all you need. The length does not have to be exactly the same, just close enough so you don't have extra cable slopping all over. The hard part of usually finding cables with the exact same end fittings, if you can take digital pictures and measure to compare them and make sure they are right. Or, close enough to work.
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