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Cables nipples DIY

davidjoyner

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
I bought some new throttle and choke cables. Cut them to length and soldered the nipples with ordinary cored electronic solder. On the way back from Battlesbridge stopped to empty that quick pint in the bushes and on my return, started the bike, went on to 1 cylinder! found that the nipple on the front carb choke cable had come off. Probably bad soldering but could it be solder too soft and that the rest are going to fail one by one? :confused:
 

Comet Rider

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Control cables

Hi Dave,
There is no inherent problem in using standard tin/lead solder. You need to make sure that both parts are clean from oils/grease then use a good flux to ensure a good joint (I use a plumbers flux for copper pipes).

If the cable is used in a heavy application (Clutch, valve lifter, brakes, etc) then I would splay the ends, or even try to bell them back over on themselves, as this helps to prevent the cable pulling through.

Modern lead free solder is not as good, as the higher melting temp, along with its adeshion qualities leave something to be desired.

Best of luck
Neil
 

mercurycrest

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I've found that the easiest way to solder cables up is to use a solder pot. No messing around with an iron or a torch. Simply flare out the cable strands to fit the end of your choice, make sure everything is nice and clean, slop lots of rosin flux on it, check for final positioning and dip it in the lead. No runs, no drips, no errors! Works a treat and much easier than using an iron or torch! :D
Cheers, John
 

bmetcalf

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Doug Wood has suggested using a 1/2" steel pipe cap. Nice small size and a heavy wire handle could be twisted up for it.

I've found that the easiest way to solder cables up is to use a solder pot. No messing around with an iron or a torch. Simply flare out the cable strands to fit the end of your choice, make sure everything is nice and clean, slop lots of rosin flux on it, check for final positioning and dip it in the lead. No runs, no drips, no errors! Works a treat and much easier than using an iron or torch! :D
Cheers, John
 

John Cone

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
The best stuff to ensure everything is clean is Bakers Soldering fluid, i'm now on my last tin and hope I can get fresh stock. it's what the radiator repair poeple use.
 

Piston Pete

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Just a thought ...as a good number of our bikes are standard ,or close to it , i.e. std amal throttle ,std amal carb etc ,would it not be possible for the spares co to offer a pre soldered cable ,with ,say an adjuster hidden mid way to offer a greater range ?

I did a diy soldering job on a throttle cable for my humble comet ,but was unhappy with it -Leo O Reilly motorcycles in Dublin City Centre did a proper job for me -a world of difference ,and a lot more reassuring.:)
 

Tnecniv Edipar

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
Solder does not take to steel as readily as it does to copper , brass etc. So the cleaning process for the cable needs to be thorough especially so on used cable. That Bakers fluid or similar applied to the cable is a good idea and 'tin' the cable with solder before soldering to the nipple. This is done by slipping the nipple over the cable first , then slightly splay the cable strands , tin with solder , wipe of the excess with a damp rag , then pull the nipple back up , splay the cable end , then solder to the nipple.
 

clevtrev

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Bakers fluid is NOT a good idea, being an acid flux, which is wicked up past the area you want to work in, will cause corrosion, even if well washed with water after using. As I said before the solder is merely to prevent the splayed cable from diminishing in size, to be able to be pulled through the nipple.
 

vince998

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Bakers fluid is NOT a good idea, being an acid flux, which is wicked up past the area you want to work in, will cause corrosion, even if well washed with water after using. As I said before the solder is merely to prevent the splayed cable from diminishing in size, to be able to be pulled through the nipple.

Valid point from trev,
Any flux used has to be removed after soldering (sometimes impossible depending on type of cable used/degree of capillary effect atained)
I´ve used Venhill cables on numerous rebuilds. They offer a good range of pre stretched maintenance free (when used with there teflon liners) cables that are not pre greased/oiled!! this is the main problem for the DIY cable maker.
All of their cables are delivered flame/plasma cut which allows (with a suitable home made jig) a sort of bird cage to be formed at the end of the cable which is ultimately filled with solder.
I´ve found that merely splaying the wires does not always do the job, and still allows the cable to be pulled through the nipple when the solder gets to its "plastic" stage (through heat build up, usually the cause of a pulled of throttle cable nipple after a short stop).
Try heating the cable before dipping in the solder pot.
If the cable is clean i.e not pre oiled, you don´t usually need a flux.
By the way, i have no personal interest in venhill, they just give the a personal service that makes our type of hobby fun. If you experience a problem, just call and they solve it (or help you to solve it) without a quibble. Makes learning fun :)
 

davidjoyner

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
Ha! just what I didn't want to hear. The nipple on the choke cable came off after a p.. stop. Logic would dictate that the rest will follow suite. Can you buy 4 new inner cables and nipples to do the job again do you know? I'm off to Spain with 7 modern bikes and I can't allow these merciless b....tds as simple a failure as that! I bought the cables from the VOC.
Regards Dave
 

Marcus Bowden

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Marcus Bowden banana-man

A few MPH's ago

For the benefit of all members as there has been quite a lot about making cables on the forum of late and the differing qualities of solders / fluxes. This is a method I have used and does not even
require solder !!! Solder-less is usually a longer nipple/trunion and threaded along the axes for a clamping screw
& often found on French bikes, Herve' 002 frequently used it until he was enlightened in the late eighties.
The method I use I first found on the front brake cable of my "B" rap whilst salvaging parts (was it original works?) in the mid sixties (apprenticeship years, not much cash) so I made a punch and experimented. I've made a few gigs & cables since.
Equipment:- thick aluminium vice jaws, clamp in vice and drill vertical holes through the mating faces slightly smaller than the cable, then drill a hole the recess size of the nipple
Turn down piece of silver steel into a hollow punch form (1% carbon which is easy
to harden) with a hole drilled to a depth & diameter of diameter of the cable, radius the end inside & out so not
to cut the cable, heat to a cherry red and quench in water. Different size for each size of cable.
Place the cable between the jaws leaving about 3 to 4 diameters above the jaws, using the punch to retain all the ends together deftly hammer the cable into the nipple sized hole.
This will never pull out as it is self cleeting. Solder to finish as it holds it together & austhetics
Bowden is the cable also my name but no connection!
PS When doing the last nipple ensure all the various outer's & adjusters are in correct position, we've
all done it wrong once or may be twice!
The reply to thread does not want to take the picture of the punch, vice jaws & samples of cables but if you have MPH's you will find it.
Small cables of throttle & choke I use silver solder with the very fine flexible cable & hard solder a long blob before cutting it in the centre then with file or grinder shape it into nipple for the carb end then throttle end where it is just soft soldered,cut , into nipple and use a hollow punch again and one can still create an inverted mushroom of smaller size.



JAWS WITH DIFFERENT CABLE SIZES TEST PIECES & PUNCH
 

The VOC Spares Company Limited

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Cables

Just a thought ...as a good number of our bikes are standard ,or close to it , i.e. std amal throttle ,std amal carb etc ,would it not be possible for the spares co to offer a pre soldered cable ,with ,say an adjuster hidden mid way to offer a greater range ?

Cables (throttle and choke) lengths differ for 1 1/16" and 1 1/8" Amals as well as Monos, Mk1, Mk2 and all the other makes fitted over the years. Include then the single and twin pull twist grips of various makes add further variations. The resulting range of cables would be vast.
We are though in an age of increasing ownership by people who are not mechanically minded with not even basic workshop facilities so skills like soldering many of us take for granted are diminishing we may need to think about ways to get round such issues.
Ian S
 

vapide

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
One can neutralize any acid flux residue after soldering by soaking the cable end in a warm solution of baking soda and water.

Valid point from trev,
Any flux used has to be removed after soldering (sometimes impossible depending on type of cable used/degree of capillary effect atained)
 

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