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Old 10-14-2014, 11:23 PM   #1
Blakduk OP
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Ol' clutch cables, what do you oil them with?

Got a heavy old clutch cable on the 08 XT660R. It's a big tractor engine I know, and needs a man sized clutch, and isn't that good at shifting without the clutch in a lot of circumstances.

Maybe I'm soft because of the new hydro ones on modern bikes.......

Anyway I have ordered one of those little cable oilers for $10, wondering which lube you use CRC, Lanolin, thick Lanolin, WD-40, Chain Oil?

Any tips to ease the way?

Picccy:
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Old 10-14-2014, 11:28 PM   #2
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Old 10-15-2014, 12:20 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blakduk View Post
Got a heavy old clutch cable on the 08 XT660R. It's a big tractor engine I know, and needs a man sized clutch, and isn't that good at shifting without the clutch in a lot of circumstances.

Maybe I'm soft because of the new hydro ones on modern bikes.......

Anyway I have ordered one of those little cable oilers for $10, wondering which lube you use CRC, Lanolin, thick Lanolin, WD-40, Chain Oil?

Any tips to ease the way?

Picccy:
Mate I bought one of those in 1975 from Barry Tapsall Yamaha at Moorooka to oil my clutch and brake cables on my Yamaha TY250. Worked well and still had it until about a month ago.

The rubber perished eventually so I binned it.

They work well in my experience.
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Old 10-15-2014, 12:37 AM   #4
Uncle Crumpet
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Smegma, same as your chain!
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Old 10-15-2014, 01:24 AM   #5
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Silicon spray. Not as readily available as the previously mentioned product but works well.
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Old 10-15-2014, 01:50 AM   #6
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If it's rusted, use crc / wd 40 then hang it vertically for a few days, wander back and give it another spray, repeat as many times as it takes to blow out all the rusty dirt. Wiggle the cable a few times to help. Then buy a new cable....

If it's a new cable, use silicon or ptfe so you don't attract dirt.

If it's an aftermarket cable with internal silicon sheathe, don't wreck it by adding anything. My cable building guy has moved onto other things
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Old 10-15-2014, 01:52 AM   #7
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Haven't lubed a clutch or throttle cable for about 30 years, ever since lubing fecked the new clutch cable on the ol' Trumpy.

If it has some sort of liner, I don't think you should use a petroleum based lube, but more something like silicon spray, graphite or Lanox imo as the petroleum based ones can make the lining swell.
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Old 10-15-2014, 01:54 AM   #8
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Ya beat me to it DR
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Old 10-15-2014, 02:26 AM   #9
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Nooo not smegma

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smegma

And in my experience never use chain lube. Makes the cable reeeeallllly sticky and ssssslllloooooowwww.

+1 for silicone. Makes lots of things really slippery. Much better than KY

http://www.bunnings.com.au/silicone-300g-spray_p1210569
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Smegma, same as your chain!
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Old 10-15-2014, 02:30 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Rider 101 View Post

+1 for silicone. Makes lots of things really slippery. Much better than KY
Now that worries me
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Old 10-15-2014, 02:50 AM   #11
troy safari carpente
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Here's a blast from the past clutch cable oilers!


As a lad, I grew up sitting in the workshop often of a friday night with dad, my uncle, and various mates of theirs; what owned mythical beasts like Suzuki TM 400's, Yamie DT1's, various 'Zuki TS 185's and in particular one rather intimidating Bultaco Frontera 370...


This was the 70's... the bronze age of dirt bikes ; where apprentice apocatharies and their alchemist lords spoke of the dark arts of dirt biking... medievel practices like; checking spark plug gaps, advanced ignition timing* , grooving/cleaning drum brake shoes using a hacksaw blade and wire brush and the evil mysteries of the Del' Orto carburretor float level and needle position...


(*for the longest time, as a kid I thought that retarded timing was opening the throttle on an RH 370 at the wrong instant )


During this dark aged apprenticeship of endentured labour, the young carpente was indoctrinated in certain dirt biking folklore rituals; amongst them the bathing of drive chains in duckhams lard... the cleaning of airfilters using petrol and then 20W40 motor oil... and the waterproofing of the airbox housing using multipurpose grease. (okay... so i still do that one ).


One such ritual was the lubrication of clutch, throttle and front brake cables, using my uncles age old tradition of a "fingertip" of grease applied to the cable inner, after having "cleaned" the housing using some WD40/CRC or similar and a good dose of the airgun down the guts.

This uncle was the same what did seek to tame the evil 370 Bultaco on trail and track of the central New South Welsh countryside, and as a lad of only 10 or so winters, who had to use BOTH hands just to pull in the clutch lever on the behemoth, I understood the vital nature of the cable doctrine.


Roll the sands of time forward... to the 80's... "the industrial revolution" of the dirt bikes evolution... an epoch ruled by large 2 stroke aircooled mythological beasts like the RM400, the YZ 465 and the monstrous Maico 490...


It was here that I first became familiar with the cable oiler - similart to that which the OP BlakDuck posted about here. This was the age of cable operated clutches and aftermarket accessories like the EZY quick adjuster, dog leg magura-copy (plastic) levers and various incarnations of lengthened billet alloy anodized clutch actuator arms... all designed to make clutch usage simpler for those mortals not endowed with a left hand of hulk-like proportions.


I recall at the time, that one enterprising purveyor of lubricants and fluid's actually came out with something called "cable lube" but the more discerning noses amongst those easily coersed by the american magazines advertising ploy to put PJ1 on the wall street exchange, soon worked out that any "light machine oil" spray type can did the job just as well.

Fast forward your VHS machine past the 90's, back up your floppy discs prir to Y2k, and insert a compact disc into your home entertainment center and we find ourselve's amidst the mid 00's...


It was somewhere in these enlightened times, whilst in the workshop of an MTB shop (you know... those pre-industrial revolution types that have not as yet adopted the internal combustion engine as a viable power source ) where the jedi master of all things Shimano was trying to instill in me a basic grasp of the 27 speed XTR shifter system.


When I asked him the question "what should I grease/lube my cables with", he looked at me* as though I had just crawled up out of the primordeal slime and had one eye in the center of my forehead!!! (*you know the gaze, pretty much the same one that greets most Tasmanians as they step off the ferry onto the mainland for the first time... ).


Anyway Lars von Hightech proceeds to tell me in no uncertain terms, that under no circumstances should I "grease" the cables with anything. he goes on to explain that in modern cable technology applications - especially for these frilly pants'ed hight tech MTB derailleur systems they have these days, that a "frictionless" cable function is optimal. Grease (or fet - as he said in Swedish) has the effect off attracting dust etc. that actually hinders the cable action. He said that moisture (corrosion) and dirt/mud/dust debris (we learned Aussie Adv types known this stuff better as "gunk" ) are the biggest fiend to good cable operation, and his advice was that (if only to stave off the ingress of water/corrossion) that I sparingly use a little light silicone spray or similar to keep the cable "lubed" after muddy or wet rides.


So now the wheel of our time machine hase turned past 2010 and hyraulic's have taken over the majority of the chore of clutch engage/disengagement function on modern dirt bikes (those of us who have not alread goney and opted for the recluse alternative). Double handed clutch grabs are for the mostpart a thing of the past... current day middle aged motocross wannabe's can rail a berm with just a flick of the left index finger... enduro g00bs forget there evn is a lever on the left side... and XT Ténéré owners are left with their leagacy from the age of the dinosaurs and regail us with pleasant memories of times long past.


BlackDuck, if you are looking to keep the clutch cable in good wouking order, you latest acquisition and some CRC 556 will have it in good order I reckon. If you need to "lighten" the clutch actuation, I'd consider one of those lengthened actuator arms... I've seen mention of them both in the Ténéré tragics threads both in here at the Ozsylum and on the various ADV dirt singles pages.


happy trails all!
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Old 10-15-2014, 03:23 AM   #12
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Oh tsc, you have plucked my heart strings All this talk of Duckhams and Maico 490's, TM400's ect etc has me running for a can of highly slippery silicone spray

And, oh my God, drum brakes and diagonal cuts with a hacksaw blade; sheer bliss
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Old 10-15-2014, 03:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rider 101 View Post
Oh tsc, you have plucked my heart strings All this talk of Duckhams and Maico 490's, TM400's ect etc has me running for a can of highly slippery silicone spray

And, oh my God, drum brakes and diagonal cuts with a hacksaw blade; sheer bliss
X cuts with the hacksaw

And figure of 8 with the metal clutch platrs on the shed floor
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Old 10-15-2014, 06:10 AM   #14
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Local mechanic to me also runs Sunshine Coast Cables ... he's made up a few cables for me in the past and insists modern cables are self-lubricating so "don't effing bother mate".

So I don't.

Which is good 'cos i'd forget anyway.

... God knows if Troy said something along those lines in his post, but
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Old 10-15-2014, 07:03 AM   #15
troy safari carpente
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Cool2 old school stuff that don't plague modern bikes...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rider 101 View Post
Oh tsc, you have plucked my heart strings All this talk of Duckhams and Maico 490's, TM400's ect etc has me running for a can of highly slippery silicone spray

And, oh my God, drum brakes and diagonal cuts with a hacksaw blade; sheer bliss
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr AT View Post
X cuts with the hacksaw
hand's up who else here has spent hours trying to adjust out the "drag/scuff" from the double leading shoe front drum brake (after brushing/filing the shoes)... only to find (after a lot of f#¤%in' around and frustration) that you'd merely just put them back in around the wrong way...
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