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  1. #1
    steve45's Avatar
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    Cable Lubrication

    I discovered that the cables on one of my STXs had frozen after being stored for a year. I was able to free them and save the time and expense of replacing them.

    The problem typically occurs at the stern end of the cable because that part is in the water. I used Marvel Mystery Oil because it penetrates well. You could certainly use other light oils, but I would definitely NOT use WD-40 because it will get gummy.

    Start by loosening the locknuts that secure the cable end fittings to the cables (5/16" wrench). Slide the locking collars back on the cable ends and remove the cable end from the ball. Unscrew the ends (count the number of turns and write it down). Next, remove the locknuts. There are two rubber seals on the ends of each cable. Odds are the seals have gotten hard with age. I found that by warming them up for about a minute with a heat gun, they softened to where they could be removed easily and without damage.

    Next, slide a small hose clamp on a 3/8" ID clear vinyl hose. Slide the hose over the cable end, all the way up to the thru-hull fitting, then tighten the clamp. I found that a flexible shaft 1/4" hex drive adaptor made it easy to tighten the clamp in such close quarters. https://jet.com/product/detail/34400...FZSEaQodQrsKcw

    Fill the hose with oil, then raise the loose end close to the ceiling and secure it. Let it soak for a day or two. If the cable was frozen, try to move it gently-- DO NOT FORCE IT! I found that I had to remove the hose, put the cable end back on, then tap it a few times before it broke loose. I then put the hose back on, filled it with oil again, then worked the cable back & forth until it moved easily.

    Put everything back together the way it was originally. Make sure to screw the cable end on the correct number of turns, then set the locknut.

    If you're running in salt water, I think you'd be wise to do this annually.

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    Last edited by steve45; 04-21-2016 at 10:49 AM.


  2. #2
    swlamarshrunner's Avatar
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    Good post! The Ultra LX I picked up a while back has a stuck reverse bucket cable that I am going to try this on.

  3. #3
    nicjak's Avatar
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    a tip is secure the other end of the hose to an air nozzle and force the oil mix through.

  4. #4
    steve45's Avatar
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    Yes, you can apply a little pressure, but it's easy to blow the hose off the cable and make a mess.

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  6. #5

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    good idea!

  7. #6
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    I wonder if a carefully selected rust penetrant product might be more effective than just oil?

  8. #7
    steve45's Avatar
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    Perhaps. I tried to pump grease into the cables on my boat after the oil, just to provide a seal. That was a nuisance.

    My Ultra 150 has the rubber bellows on the trim cable, which I filled with grease before installing.

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