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Soldering ends of shift & brake cables

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Soldering ends of shift & brake cables

Old 05-09-14, 09:40 AM
  #26  
Metaluna
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
You're missing the point. It is true that soldering of cable ends would eliminate the need for the crimped cable tips, but wouldn't rule them out. The real purpose of soldering is to protect the cable end when there is no tip crimped onto it, like when feeding the cable through the levers or other parts of the system. Especially if the cable has been previously cut, it is very susceptible to fraying while installing it. Soldering (or super gluing) the end eliminates that risk.
Another area is front derailleurs, where sometimes you have to cut the cable end stupidly short to keep it from hitting the right crank arm. Since the cable is so short, if you ever have to release the cable for any reason (such as to adjust the FD clearance or reset cable tension), the only way to re-tension the cable is by grabbing the end with pliers, which almost always means fraying. Soldering would make the tip a lot more durable.

P.S. I realize you can leave the cable longer by wrapping it around the pinch bolt for 135 degrees or so, but that's more of a trick that can also kink and fray the cable. Often the manufacturer will cut a groove in the cable clamp area that makes it pretty clear they intend the cable to be routed straight out.
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Old 05-09-14, 11:10 AM
  #27  
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I am surprised I missed the point and forgot about keeping the ends from fraying and installation / re-installation problems. No- I remember why I tried to solder the cable ends. How about dip-soldering instead of using a massive iron?
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Old 05-09-14, 02:05 PM
  #28  
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I have used hot melt glue before, after the cables received the final cut. It does a good job keeping the cable from fraying.
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Old 05-09-14, 02:37 PM
  #29  
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I've soldered once using a .032" silver solder, a zinc chloride flux, and a soldering iron at around 700F. I didn't have any issues... granted, the cable was already fraying a bit and I had to retwist them and they weren't as tight as a brand new cable would be.

I initially used shrink tubing with mixed results, out of four cables, two of the heat shrink tubes fell off after a couple of months. It also tends to collect some dirt after a while. I don't recall what sized tubing I used, off hand, but it was a tight fit even before I shrank the tube, so it should have been a nice tight fit. I consider it more of a temporary fix than a permanent one. I'll use solder again, not the shrink tubing.
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Old 05-13-14, 06:24 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Metaluna View Post
Another area is front derailleurs, where sometimes you have to cut the cable end stupidly short to keep it from hitting the right crank arm. Since the cable is so short, if you ever have to release the cable for any reason (such as to adjust the FD clearance or reset cable tension), the only way to re-tension the cable is by grabbing the end with pliers, which almost always means fraying. Soldering would make the tip a lot more durable.

P.S. I realize you can leave the cable longer by wrapping it around the pinch bolt for 135 degrees or so, but that's more of a trick that can also kink and fray the cable. Often the manufacturer will cut a groove in the cable clamp area that makes it pretty clear they intend the cable to be routed straight out.
The go is to leave an inch or two, and just bend the cable up parallel to the seat tube where it exits the pinch bolt. Bend it straight again before releasing the cable. You can do this a few times before it starts to fray.
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Old 05-13-14, 06:23 PM
  #31  
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The 95% tin 5% silver solder for domestic water supply with appropriate flux works very well for stainless steel cable. Ed
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Old 05-15-14, 01:09 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by EhGiOeS View Post
The 95% tin 5% silver solder for domestic water supply with appropriate flux works very well for stainless steel cable. Ed
What would be the appropriate flux?

I've soldered wires for electrical connections, but flux has always been a mystery to me.
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Old 05-15-14, 02:02 PM
  #33  
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I use La.Co flux. The guy who sell you the solder will have the right flux. Ed
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