|Clutch cable upgrade by Bill Taylor|
After being left stranded by a second broken clutch cable in five years, it was time to fix the problem. Both cables had broken at the lever end, just after the barrel fitting. A close look showed discolouration of the first 10mm or so of the cable ends. This was caused either by overheating during soldering or residue from acid flux, leaving the wire brittle and prone to breaking.
|For the record, here is a copy of the cable specifications from the 1973 CJ maintenance manual. In order, the rows are: Clutch/Front brake/Throttle Ignition advance. The columns are: Wire diameter (mm)/Length including the soldered ends (mm)/Sleeve length (mm)/Distance from the sleeve to the soldered ends (mm)/5 minute withstand strength (kg).|
|The lengths in this table dont exactly match the cables on my OHV CJ, so Id recommend using an existing cable as a model if you plan to make one.|
|It seems that most recent cables use undersized wire. All the cables I have on hand have thinner wires; one is only 1.74mm instead of the specified diameter of 2.16mm. I decided to make a stronger cable using 2.5mm diameter wire in a nylon-lined sheath, using parts bought from Flanders.|
|I soldered the brass ends using acid-free flux and minimal heat so not to weaken the wire.|
|Another problem area was the adjustment at the other end of the cable. It was a sloppy fit and had partially stripped its threads. The adjusters are threaded M8x0.75 but all the ones Ive seen are only 7.4mm in diameter. Being slightly undersize as well as having very fine threads makes them prone to stripping.|
|I removed the original nut and replaced it: I drilled and tapped a 1/4 inch wing nut to M8x0.75. Then I cut a slot in the nut and squeezed it in a vice so that it was a good fit to the adjusters undersized threads. After sizing the nut, I enlarged the slot to 2.5mm so it could fit over the wire.|