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bad cable housing cut symptoms

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bad cable housing cut symptoms

Old 04-13-17, 11:09 PM
  #1  
vdo168
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bad cable housing cut symptoms

i recently replaced a bad shifter cable. i didnt have the housing cable cutter tool so i just use some tin snip clippers and did a really bad job with cutting it. after installing it, the shifting seems tight on the RELEASE. pulling it seems fine.

is this a symptom of a bad cut with the housing or just a new cable? should i get it cut right or it does matter? does it shorten the cable life any downside to just leaving it? thanks
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Old 04-14-17, 02:51 AM
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Originally Posted by vdo168 View Post
i recently replaced a bad shifter cable. i didnt have the housing cable cutter tool so i just use some tin snip clippers and did a really bad job with cutting it. after installing it, the shifting seems tight on the RELEASE. pulling it seems fine.

is this a symptom of a bad cut with the housing or just a new cable? should i get it cut right or it does matter? does it shorten the cable life any downside to just leaving it? thanks
Depending upon how badly you crushed the housing, yes it could be causing the cable to bind.

There are tools that will do the job but I use a Dremel with cut off wheel. Just takes a few seconds and since I already had the Dremel no additional purchase was necessary.

I still insert an ice pick into the cut end which widens the housing slightly before cabeling to make sure there are no snags that would inhibit smooth operation.

By the way, when I first started wrenching bikes, I tried the tin snips route. Didn't work for me either.

Last edited by okane; 04-15-17 at 04:18 AM.
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Old 04-14-17, 03:01 AM
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CliffordK
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I think I've sawn cable housings with a hacksaw. Lately I've been using a diamond cutter from Harbor Freight designed to go with chainsaw sharpening. The biggest issue is melting the liner slightly.
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Old 04-14-17, 06:16 AM
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Yes, a mashed cable housing will screw up shifting as you have described. I like the Dremel, then poke the hole with something sharp to clear the melted stuff.
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Old 04-14-17, 07:11 AM
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One excellent way to avoid crushing the cable is to insert an old wire before doing the cutting.

This way the cable won't collapse under the pressure of the snipers.
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Old 04-14-17, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by okane View Post

since I already had the Dremel no additional purchase was necessary.
How do you crimp the small metal caps at the end of the cables without the dedicated tool? I don't want to buy a cable cutter just for that.
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Old 04-14-17, 07:30 AM
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You can crimp those caps with a needlenose plier. My Pedro's cable cutter doesn't have a crimper: do some cutters have this? Never noticed.

curbowman is spot on: use a cable cutter with some cable inserted. If you want to be really spiffy, knock the cable remnant out. Then square off the end of the cable on a grinding wheel (gently, never letting the thing get too hot). Then use something to open up the plastic liner.

Alternately, the little cutting wheels on a dremel or a flexible shaft tool will cut the cable as noted above. I guess that this allows you to avoid the grinding wheel, with the concern others noted about not melting the liner when cutting.

At some point, having the right tool for the job is worth it, though. And cutting cable housing (and cable!) is pretty easy with the right tool.
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Old 04-15-17, 04:33 AM
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Originally Posted by curbowman View Post
How do you crimp the small metal caps at the end of the cables without the dedicated tool? I don't want to buy a cable cutter just for that.
I assume you are not referring to cable housing end caps that are not required for all components. They slide on fairly tight and are "captured" by the frame or component stops and I don't crimp them.

For crimping cable end caps that prevent the end of the cable from unraveling I use a cheap (I paid 50 cents at a flea market) multi purpose crimper of the type used for electrical connectors. (see photo)
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Old 04-15-17, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by okane View Post
Depending upon how badly you crushed the housing, yes it could be causing the cable to bind.

There are tools that will do the job but I use a Dremel with cut off wheel. Just takes a few seconds and since I already had the Dremel no additional purchase was necessary.

I still insert an ice pick into the cut end which widens the housing slightly before cabeling to make sure there are no snags that would inhibit smooth operation.

By the way, when I first started wrenching bikes, I tried the tin snips route. Didn't work for me either.
Me too. I have a small diamond cutting wheel and it is just about perfect. Super clean cuts and no crushing at all.

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Old 04-15-17, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by curbowman View Post
One excellent way to avoid crushing the cable is to insert an old wire before doing the cutting.

This way the cable won't collapse under the pressure of the snipers.
Great tip. Thanks!
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Old 04-15-17, 02:30 PM
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If you have an awl, just use it to open up the cut end of the housing.
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Old 04-15-17, 03:39 PM
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Oh, I meant cable housing end caps, like the ones in the picture. If I put them on the housing they will fall away unless they are crimped as shown. How can I lock them without the cutting tool?
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Old 04-15-17, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by curbowman View Post
How do you crimp the small metal caps at the end of the cables without the dedicated tool? I don't want to buy a cable cutter just for that.
Why would you need to crimp them? Both ends of the cable housing are captured and there shouldn't enough slack for them to "escape".

I've never done it and never gave it much thought.

BTW: I cut my housing with a Dremel and cut off wheel.
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Old 04-15-17, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by curbowman View Post
Oh, I meant cable housing end caps, like the ones in the picture. If I put them on the housing they will fall away unless they are crimped as shown. How can I lock them without the cutting tool?
How about a small drop of CA judiciously placed on the housing before it is inserted.
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Old 04-15-17, 04:14 PM
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Crimp a cable end cover???? Why? That's only gonna cause problems.
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Old 04-15-17, 08:02 PM
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Maybe "crimp" is not the correct word?

In the picture you can see the metal end caps have compression marks that avoid slippage. I see them all the time, but I never thought I could simply use two drops of Krazy Glue instead.
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