Shortening the throttle cable

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Here are some posts on how to shorten your clutch & throttle cable:

Iv'e been looking for shorter cable sets to put on a CX500 80 custom with lower shorter bars. Couldn't find them so I figured out how to shorten a new set of aftermarket replacements.

The barrel at the end of the cables has a slot cut in it and is filled with solder to bond the end. I melted it out with a small torch set at low heat, and used an air hose to blow out the solder. After measuring the exact length I wanted to shorten it, I pulled off the threaded end, pulled out the cable part way, and cut the housing and the cable the SAME length, adding 1/8 inch for the cable end so it could be frayed over inside the barrel end slot before soldering it back together. The key point next was to try to find the right flux to clean the cable and barrel with so the solder would flow and bond. After several different types that didn't flow, I remembered that muratic acid is what is used to solder galvanized metal flashing for roof jacks, rain gutters, etc.., so I tried it, SURE ENOUGH, it worked. I pressed the threaded end back on the housing, threaded the cable end thru the hole in the barrel end and let it soak in the muratic acid till the bubbling stops. It will clean between each cable strand without heating it up like you need to do with paste flux. Brush it off with a fine wire brush to clean off the residue and put the end back in the vice, Fray the very tip of the cable out about a 1/16 of an inch to the left and right, so it lays to each side of the slot in the barrel. Putting the end in the vice acts as a heat sink so the heat dissipate and does not melt the cable or the barrel fitting. Make sure the cable is straight before soldering. You don't need to use much heat, but make sure you heat the barrel from the side and don't heat the cable directly. It wouldn't take much heat to break down the strength of the cable or melt it. The solder will flow very well into the slot binding the cable together with the barrel. I had to file it smooth a little to get rid of the excess solder so the barrel fitting turned smooth in the carb end after installed. I did a couple practice runs with the leftover cut off end of the cable to make sure of the flow and bondability of the process. I would suggest you do the same before the final fit of the cables you're intending to resize. It works great and I don't have excess cable hanging out any more. This works on the clutch cable as well. Just make sure you know the length you need and go for it. Muratic acid is cheap. You can get it at any pool supply shop or hardware store for a few bucks. Just make sure you clean up any spills and get the rags out of your garage and into the trash after you do the job. The fumes and evaporating spills will rust any metals in the area if you leave it sit without cleaning it up. I hope this helps someone that's tired of excess floppy cables.

Re: Shortening the cables
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spacer.gif I make/repair/modify my own cables,too.

I learned from a cable maker who made me a cable for my very first bike i owned after i broke the clutch cable about 10 minutes after buying it!!!

As you say,the key is to `flare` the end of the inner wire so that it fits into the countersunk nipple and use flux to get good adhesion/flow of the solder.

Its tricky to get it to stick to old,oily or oxidated inner wire,though. Might look out for some of that acid.

I`ve used it on clutch cables and no,the nipple will not pull out. I had one clutch cable that lasted about 10 years! I generally make my own nipples from the unthreaded shank of brass wood screws.


By Larry (LRCXed) and Eurovee

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