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Old May 4th, 2016, 08:41 AM   #1
MyTriggaz
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DIY- easy $1.40 clutch cable fix / repair

So my clutch cable snapped on me as I was pulling out of the driveway yesterday. Snapped clean off at the nub in the handle bar. Here is how I fixed it for $1.40 and about 20 mins of time, including hardware store trip down the road...

*disclaimer - all tools and equipment were on hand, if you do not own the tools needed, your cost may go up slightly. I only had to buy the first two items at the hardware store.

Tools/equipment needed....

1/4 x 20 T-Nut, minimum 3/4 long
2x 1/4x20 set screws, 3/16" long, or shortest length possible, the is a little room for error here.
Drill and drill bit just slightly larger than the thickness of the clutch cable, and another drill bit slightly larger than the first
Small diameter pipe cutting tool, I do not recommend any other tool for the task in which this will be used.
Grinder or Dremel tool with a cut off wheel.
New razor blade recommended, a good sharp used one is OK.
Choice of cable lube. I used a wet/dry chain lube.
Grease
Appropriate tools to tighten the set screws

*pictures of some of the items attached for clarification for those that don't know what I'm referring to above.


Steps....

If the cable is frayed and uneven, grind/cut the wires so the are the same length, remove as little material as possible/needed.

Tighten your cable adjustment screws all the way down, then back out 1.5 turns and check the length of exposed cable to determine approx length needed. The end of the cable needs to be at least in the middle of where the nub originally set in the lever. I would recommend that the tip of the cable be longer than that, any slack will be taken up with the adjustment screws, and you will have extra material later on if you need to do the repair again in a pinch. Mine was just over 1/4" that was needed to get the tip in the correct spot. I decided I wanted 1/2" so I had some adjustability later on. Your measurement may not be the same.

After determining how much more cable you need, use the pipe cutting tool to cut off that amount from the metal tube that inserts into the adjustment screws. Go slow, do not cut to deep or you run the risk of cutting the cable. Once it's cut through, slide and remove the little piece that is now loose.

Using the razor blade, going around the cable, gently cut the plastic tube that was previously inside the metal tube you just slid off. Use a gentle pressing motion rather than a slicing or cutting motion. You don't want to nick or mark up the cable. Slide off plastic tube.

Lube the cable with your choice of lube, doing this now allows time for the lube to run down the cable length.

Insert T-Nut into lever where the cables nub is supposed to be. Mark the T-Nut to cut it flush with the lever. Grind or cut the T-Nut at the mark, cut it as flush as you possibly can. All you should be left with is a threaded tube that fits perfectly in your clutch lever.

Drill the T-Nut tube in the middle with a drill bit slightly larger than your cable diameter. Go slow, drilling on a curved surface can be tricky. Once you have that hole, get another drill bit slightly larger than the one you just used. In the hole you just made, barely drill into that hole so you chamfer the hole slightly so the cable is less likely to get cut.

File or use sand paper as needed to clean up your tube.

Insert set screws on each end of the tube and do a test run and make sure you can thread them in and screw them down to cover the hole.


If everything works as intended, loosen the set screws, put a drop of red loctite on each screw and start to thread them into the tube. Insert cable into hole all the way, and position it in a North/South orientation and gently snug down the set screws against the cable. Once they both are against the cable, AT THE SAME TIME, tighten the set screws TIGHTLY while ensuring that the cable does not come out of the hole. Yes, this means you need two of the Allen wrenches or star bits to do this. I used and Allen and star bit at the same time.

Once it's tight, line up the slits in the adjustment screws on the lever, put grease in the slot on the lever where the nub goes, and put some on the nub itself, and insert nub into the lever and adjustment screws and then adjust the slack to give a few mm of play.

Test functionality. If all goes while, go for a ride, come home, drink a beer, and have sexy-time with your partner.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 00n2203-dsp.jpg (19.6 KB, 80 views)
File Type: jpg Hexagon-socket-set-screw-knurled-with-cup-point.jpg (20.5 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg economy-mini-copper-tubing-cutter-872613.jpg (22.2 KB, 2 views)
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Old May 4th, 2016, 08:47 AM   #2
verboten1
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That's a fine temporary fix, if you have to get moving again. the problem is if it broke, it's going to break again, very soon. its a way to rig it in a way i have never seen before, very nice!


it's $12 to get a new one, and an additional $12 to have a spare.

http://www.oemcycle.com/Item/product/900017630


mine broke on my 2500 mile trip last year, I knew it was going and I carried a spare, I always carry a spare clutch cable on long trips, I was up and moving again in 20 minutes with a new cable installed.
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Old May 4th, 2016, 09:10 AM   #3
MyTriggaz
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Sorry if it came off as a permanent solution, yes, it's a temporary fix until a new one comes in. Locally, I couldn't get one in under 2 days for less than 60. The ninja is needed since the cage is a Chrysler and a POS.

With that being said, I could see this being a long term temp fix if you know what I mean.

The reason why it broke in the first place is that the previous owner hasn't maintained that nub with grease and it got caught on an edge and snapped. Me being a new owner had it on the list to do this week, it decided otherwise. I actually have the cable in my eBay cart ready to buy, I just didn't pull the trigger yet.
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Old May 4th, 2016, 09:36 AM   #4
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that is a good solution if a barrel clamp can't be found that works:
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Old May 4th, 2016, 09:47 AM   #5
MyTriggaz
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The hardware store has something similar to those, but none fit into the lever without a lot more work than what I did. They also didn't clamp the cable on both sides and is more prone to cutting the cables wires more easily since they "pinch" the wire. Plus, they were $6 and subpar, compared to $1.40 and IMO more superior.
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Old May 4th, 2016, 02:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyTriggaz View Post
........ Here is how I fixed it for $1.40 and about 20 mins of time, including hardware store trip down the road...
Very good solution to carry in long trips when a second cable is not available or practical to carry.



How tight the 1/4 x 20 T-Nut fits into the lever?
It should rotate freely once lubricated, but not too loose.
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Old May 4th, 2016, 02:27 PM   #7
MyTriggaz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motofool View Post
Very good solution to carry in long trips when a second cable is not available or practical to carry.



How tight the 1/4 x 20 T-Nut fits into the lever?
It should rotate freely once lubricated, but not too loose.

It actually is a perfect fit, large enough to not have to shim it, and small enough to allow movent and grease in the space.
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Old May 4th, 2016, 10:26 PM   #8
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Just for funsies, see how long it lasts and keep another cable handy haha.
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Old May 5th, 2016, 04:30 AM   #9
MyTriggaz
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I am actually doing just that MrAtom. I will keep you updated for sure.

I rode about 150 miles with it like that already, in city traffic with lots of lights, stopping, and plenty of shifting.
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Old May 5th, 2016, 10:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Just for funsies, see how long it lasts and keep another cable handy haha.
It's just me I'm sure, but I can't imagine I'd be having fun if my clutch cable broke while underway in traffic, especially if I'm commuting to work or some such.
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