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TR
11-03-2009, 07:12 PM
Motorcycle cables fitting the ends ?

I need to make some custom motorcycle cables to fit a different carburettor to my motorbike. I have the cable, but need to make some ends or nipples as they are also called. I can make the ends from steel, aluminium, brass or whatever is best. What is the best way to fit the ends to the cable? Should I use epoxy, solder, weld or some glue ?

Would someone be so kind and share his techniques?

x39
11-03-2009, 07:14 PM
I haven't done one in a long time, but I used to solder the ends on. Be sure to thoroughly degrease the cable first.

Oldbrock
11-03-2009, 07:17 PM
Make the ends out of brass and soft solder them on. That's the way I always do it. For brake cables you should use silver solder but watch the heat, gently does it or you will fry the cable. Peter

gnm109
11-03-2009, 07:23 PM
I've done many cables on British bikes. I had ready-made brass ends but you could also make your own to fit the holes in the levers if you don't have them. I would always counter-sink the holes a bit with a drill and, once the proper length was established, I would open the strands of the cable up with a center punch to keep the cable from pulling out. Once they are soldered that way, they will stay put.

As mentioned above, you could use a silver solder on a brake cable to hold better although I never did that. You do need to avoid too much heat.

aboard_epsilon
11-03-2009, 07:44 PM
you can cut the plastic from around an electrical connection block ..inside you find a ready made nipple perfect for the job .

all the best.markj

Michael Moore
11-03-2009, 07:44 PM
http://www.eurospares.com/graphics/cable8.jpg

You can make a solder pot out of a 1" length of 1" OD steel tubing. Weld a bottom on it and a piece of random tubing/rod on the side for a handle and then cut up some solder and melt it up. As in the above recommendations from Flanders dip the assembled cable end in some liquid flux and then into the molten solder.

One filling of solder will last you for dozens of cables.

Waaaay easier than soldering guns/irons.

Flanders has kits of cable ends and fittings and will also sell packs of replacements fittings if you use just a few all the time.

cheers,
Michael

quadrod
11-03-2009, 07:56 PM
I never had any luck with soft solder, i always silver soldered them.

Doozer
11-03-2009, 09:54 PM
If your cable is stainless steel as opposed to galvanized, you need a different solder or it won't stick. I found this out once.

--Doozer

TR
11-03-2009, 10:00 PM
If your cable is stainless steel as opposed to galvanized, you need a different solder or it won't stick.
--Doozer

Interesting. It might be stainless steel.

dp
11-03-2009, 11:04 PM
On the brake cable (that's the one that saves your life on a daily basis) I think I'd try to find a way to splay the wires of the cable after it passes through the retainer. On my old Bultaco I was sufficiently concerned that I used a reamer to taper the hole, passed the cable through, pushed a nipped off nail back the other way, then soldered it. No way was that going to pull through, and it didn't.

Hah - just read an earlier post suggesting the same thing.

Rich Carlstedt
11-03-2009, 11:44 PM
For soft solder on stainless steel, you need " Johnson's Flux"


You could Silver Solder , but I suggest using Oxy-Acetylene as it will get you
up to temp real fast , before the heat drains off to the cable. (1140 Deg F)

You could also consider "Stay Brite" a lower temperature silver bearing solder ( Not a Silver Solder , but a lead solder with silver !) (400 deg F)
Stay brite is a great solder. Welding suppliers have it in small quanities with about two ounces of liquid flux that works on SS.
Costs about 10 bucks.
My destruction test for one project showed it to be stronger than 60/40 lead based solder.

Rich

gnm109
11-04-2009, 03:07 AM
On the brake cable (that's the one that saves your life on a daily basis) I think I'd try to find a way to splay the wires of the cable after it passes through the retainer. On my old Bultaco I was sufficiently concerned that I used a reamer to taper the hole, passed the cable through, pushed a nipped off nail back the other way, then soldered it. No way was that going to pull through, and it didn't.

Hah - just read an earlier post suggesting the same thing.


............................:)

John Stevenson
11-04-2009, 04:19 AM
I've done many cables on British bikes. I had ready-made brass ends but you could also make your own to fit the holes in the levers if you don't have them. I would always counter-sink the holes a bit with a drill and, once the proper length was established, I would open the strands of the cable up with a center punch to keep the cable from pulling out. Once they are soldered that way, they will stay put.

As mentioned above, you could use a silver solder on a brake cable to hold better although I never did that. You do need to avoid too much heat.

I'll go with the first paragraph. After looking after various racing bikes over many years this was my time honoured way.
Because in many cases even if you can get the cables you are dealing with set lengths and adjusters where they decide, not you it's hard to get a neat job as regards layout so I used to make all the cables even if we could buy them.

I even used to recable other riders bikes for the same reason. We even used to carry the various rolls of cable in the van to race meetings.

Never silver soldered any and I'd be wary because proper bowden cable is heat treated and raising the temp enough to melt silver solder 'may' affect the temper. All factory cables I have seen are all soft soldered.

.

chief
11-04-2009, 04:20 AM
Motorcycle cable making supplies.

http://www.flandersco.com/AdditionalProductSectIndex.html

speedy
11-04-2009, 05:12 AM
Ditto the soft solder, splayed cable and copper head solder iron. Also tinned the cable back some and drilled and tapped the brake /clutch nipple (at the lever end) to accept a small grub screw with the end ground flat. Solder the lot up. Carried spare grub screws and the Allen key to suit for those rare times that you needed a roadside repair and the cigarette lighter just wouldn't do the job correctly which was most times. Paring back the outer and feeding in the inner then torque up the grubscrew did the trick and lasted some time.

EVguru
11-04-2009, 05:51 AM
I started making my own cables after having too many problems with bought ones.

The bought ones tend to be too long. They're made that way becuase the'll still fit, whilst a too short one won't.

They also don't have good control of the inner cable length. I presume they measure carefully, but they don't seem to use a go/no go gauge to check the finished cable. The problem is of course made worse by parts variations, there are at least three different inner lengths required for variations of the Tomaselli twinpull twistgrip.

Worst of all, I've had a cast on nipple pull straight off. Fortunately it was only the clutch, but I no longer trust Venhill cables.

If I can't easily recover the old nipples (which is most of the time), I make new ones from Brass. After cutting the cable I carefully grind the end square before clamping the cable in soft jaws in the vice and dropping the nipple on top. I then adjust the cable flush with the top of the nipple and use a blunt centre punch to spread the end a little. I then set projection to approx 1/16" use a hammer to fully splay the end. I usually then use a pin punch to seat the splayed end in the nipple recess.

I use a SCOPE soldering iron
http://www.wiltronics.com.au/catalogue/images/catalogue/large/sspsu.jpg
which heats to soldering temperature in about 5 seconds by pushing the black ring. It's my weapon of choice for auto-electrical work where soldering is required and also does just fine on cables with plumber's solder.

I mainly use my older version all in black Bakellite, but have one of the orange ones as backup. Irons and parts only seem to be available direct from Australia these days.

redhunter350
11-04-2009, 12:19 PM
GNM109 is 100% correct, I've done lots of cables and no problem--when soldering remeber "cleandliness is next to Godliness" -- make sure both the nipple and the cable are degreased.

Would strongly recomend you avoid silver solder--the temprature to melt this is high and will almost certainly soften and weaken the cable.
As a matter of interest I have used Tin to solder drills into extentions and drilled deeeep holes with no problem--its stronger than you might think.

lane
11-04-2009, 03:43 PM
Brass are steel ends and Silver solder to cable . Soft solder will pull off in time. Made many of motorcycle cables over the years.

boslab
11-04-2009, 06:04 PM
when i'm lazy brass bullet crimps work well on my baby harley [its a suzy but i can dream, an it hurts the same when i hit the road!]
mark

psomero
11-04-2009, 06:23 PM
i've made tons of bicycle brake cables using ends that had set screws to clamp on the cable. a 10-32 or 8-32 grub screw is all you need and it doesn't hurt to use a little loctite.


bike brake cables see much larger tensile forces than a throttle cable.


i've also had luck TIGing stainless ends to regular aircraft cable. i used a butane or mapp torch to cook all of the junk off the end of the cable prior to welding. i stuck a little bit of cable out the far side of the end, then stomped on the pedal and burned it flush without using any filler rod. i still prefer using a grub screw, though...

Tobias-B
11-12-2009, 01:54 AM
Huh. Silver 'braze' will work for that, but yes, you have to manage both
heat and how the braze flows- if it gets too far up the cable, it creates a
fatigue point where the braze stops, and the cable will fail prematurely.

The trick to heat management is to use a small tip and only heat the end.
Once that flows, it'll transfer heat to the cable, which will then flow.
It takes very little time indeed, and you do have to be cautious.
The few I've done on high- tension applications (not bikes, but the same
level of 'oh s#it' if it fails) I've done a few test fittings and then tested them
to failure. Inevitably, the failure has been in the tip, not the braze or cable.

fwiw.

t