Lubing throttle cables
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Thread: Lubing throttle cables

  1. #1
    Senior Member mrlmd's Avatar
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    Lubing throttle cables

    Haven't been on here for a while, cleaning up after Hurricane Michael and haven't used the bike since then. My problem now is that there is a lot of resistance in twisting the throttle back and forth and it doesn't return back to idle or slow speed when you release the grip from a faster setting. The spring in the carb throttle control is not the problem, that end works fine as I've had the carb off to inspect and clean it. It seems from all the incredible amount of sustained moisture down here recently that it feels like there could be some rust or corrosion inside the cables and sheaths, so I'm wondering how to access this or disconnect them from the twist grip. I would like to try and drip some PB Blaster or oil into the cables to try and loosen them up, or I have to replace them and that means having the same access to the top ends. So I need to know how to get this apart. Thanks.
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    Senior Member Badgerflorida's Avatar
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    Two screws on the black throttle case. Easy peasy. Messy process no matter how you do it. Made a big difference on all three of my old bikes.
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  3. #3
    GOF
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    One thing I have done on different bikes is to use a plastic bag. Once the cables are free at the handlebar clip the corner off a plastic bag. Slip it over the end of the cable any tape it to the outer casing. Then add your favorite lube to the bag. It acts like a funnel. If you can grab hold of the cable and operate it it helps work the lube through.
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    Member Kayak's Avatar
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    I have one of those gizmos that clamps to one end of the cable housing and a spray can extension tube fits into an opening... it's a 50/50 as to how well it works, good sometimes terrible other times. GOF's plastic bag method is my favorite and any new cable gets a good soaking in lube before installation. I consider cable maintenance an every other year chore, like changing brake fluid (I do them at the same time), inspecting electrical connectors and checking wheel bearings if I haven't swapped on fresh rubber recently. Unless, of course if I've drowned the bike or ridden in the rain for an entire week (yes, I have done that).
    I've become particularly fond of a spray lube from Wurth called HS2000. Comes out of the spray can as a thin red liquid to allow excellent penetration and the carrier evaporates turning the liquid into a greasy coating. Love spraying it into a sandwich bag, sealing the zip lock and then 'forcing' it through the cable with a little pressure while 'jiggling' the cable back and forth through the bag. Have not had a cable fail in... well forever, and I've had some of the bikes more than thirty years.
    You'll know you've gotten lube through the cable when there's a mess at the other end (carb or clutch arm).
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    Senior Member mrlmd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badgerflorida View Post
    Two screws on the black throttle case.
    My case seems to have only one screw (rusty) on the bottom, I'll have to take another look at it.
    Can you just take the cables off the throttle twister or do you have to remove them from the bottom end at the carb, to get the upper ends free?
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  7. #6
    Senior Member RaZed1's Avatar
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    You don't need to remove them at the carb end, best to lube cables from the top down, let gravity help you out.

    I have one of the Motion Pro "cable luber" gadgets also that uses the pressure in a spray can to supposedly force the oil rapidly through the cable. When it works, it works great and oil will come dribbling out the other end in seconds. Other times, oil just sprays everywhere. Both times it makes a mess, usually wrap the end of the cable and the luber clamp in a rag to catch all the leakage. Getting it clamped on correctly and firmly is kind of hit or miss.

    The plastic bag method is free, usually less messy, and works well. Cut the corner off the bag, slip it over, and I use a zip tie (tight) to "seal" it to the outer jacket. Spray some oil in, can either let gravity do the work for you or pinch shut and gently squeeze the bag to help it along. Again once you see oil at the other end of the cable you're done.

    If you do that and the throttle is still sticky, replace the cables. They've likely frayed internally. Not expensive or difficult to replace, but a shot of lube every year or two goes a long way in helping them last virtually forever.

    Do the same with the clutch cable while you're at it. The speedo cable apppreciates some oil now and then, but it's a lot easier. Just unscrew it off the back of the gauge, and put a few drops of oil into the bell-end that mates to the gauge, screw it back on. No gadgets or tricks necessary. The giveaway it needs lube is if the needle on the gauge "wiggles" or "bounces", particularly at higher speeds.
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    Senior Member mrlmd's Avatar
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    Found the second screw hidden under some dirt from the storm, got them both out and took apart the cable cover. Both the cables are loose, slide freely and easily in their sheaths. The problem with the hard to rotate throttle twist was due to a thin layer of rust on the bar causing a lot of friction, binding up the twist handle. I cleaned it off with some PB Blaster and fine sandpaper to remove the rough coating of rust, cleaned out the plastic interior of the twister, coated the bar with Silicone, Corrosion X, spray lubricant, you name, it, and it rotates freely now. Like I said, the cables run free, the spring return mechanism at the carb end works well, but the twist control doesn't snap back to idle like it should. One day I'll take it apart again and clean it more because that's a safety issue, but it's too cold here to fck with it more today.
    So in short, a sticky or hard to turn throttle twist is not always a cable issue, it could be due to dirt or rust underneath the twister itself. Keep that in mind but I'm sure you'll find that if you take it apart.

    I did lube up the cables though when I had it apart even though they were working fine.
    Last edited by mrlmd; 03-06-2019 at 03:24 PM.

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    Junior Member sopheiatay's Avatar
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    Great post. . . .
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    Senior Member mrlmd's Avatar
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    I've been messing with this for two days now and it's still the same. My throttle twist grip moves freely, spins easily when not connected to the cables, no binding at all. When the cable housing is put back on and it's all together, the throttle rotates freely but it doesn't snap back from a high throttle setting when you release it, back to idle. The cables run freely, and when you pull and release the throttle cable without the covers on the case, it quickly snaps back to the idle position. My return throttle cable is completely free also, no binding. But again, when the cover is put back on, the grip won't snap back to idle. I have thoroughly cleaned and lubed the inside of the case as well as the cables. but something is binding up inside and I can't seem to get this right. I can ride the bike fine, but I would like the throttle to return to idle if I release it instead of having to rotate it back down. Any suggestions about what could be causing this or how to fix it?
    Also, that very thin washer between the case and the throttle grip is supposed to be outside the case right, between the case and the grip, not inside the case? That's also clean and lubed a little too, not binding on the case or the grip.
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  11. #10
    GOF
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    You haven't been pushing the throttle all the way up tight on the bar end have you? I saw this once when someone was having trouble like this. He swore he was getting everything lined up right when putting it together. But I moved the throttle an eighth inch to the right and it was fine. The end of the bar was rubbing against the inside end of the throttle grip.
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