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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > stiff shifter cable
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Thread: stiff shifter cable Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
07-13-2008 06:55 AM
Gary1 Wes,

I'm not trying to rip the thread off, but yes, WD-40 makes good starter fluid for a diesel. Much safer than real starter fluid, which is ether, and will destroy a diesel's rod bearings in about two or three good squirts. Much too explosive for a high compression engine.
07-12-2008 04:31 PM
Rockter Oh dear, oil before WD40?
WD40 forbids the water to re-wet the surfaces.
Oil and grease do not fight that effect so well.
Keep renewing the WD40 every now and again.
07-12-2008 03:10 PM
Gramp34 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
07-12-2008 02:55 PM
wescarroll 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
07-12-2008 01:22 PM
Gary1 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.)
07-12-2008 11:46 AM
djodenda Now you have to decide.... djodenda or Rockter.....

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

Best wishes.

David

07-12-2008 11:42 AM
Rockter 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.
07-12-2008 11:27 AM
djodenda 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
07-12-2008 06:02 AM
Rockter 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.
07-12-2008 12:27 AM
Pamlicotraveler 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.
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