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Soldering cable ends for easy maint

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Soldering cable ends for easy maint

Old 12-30-14, 11:25 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by cyclotoine View Post
It's worth mentioning that if you used modern cables in housing, in most cases they are not meant to be lubed and doing so only attracts dirt and causes more friction. I used to lube lube lube, no I don't bother and my cables generally run fine all season long and I replace housing at the high bend points once a year. I never have problems. I mention this to point our that there shouldn't be that much grease on your cable to begin with. Some shimano cables come pre-lubed. I prefer sram's 1.1mm derailleur cables anyway, way less friction.. but then I am talking about running modern 10 speed drivetrains. Still I will use sram on anything indexed, just better (just as shimano chains are better).

The soldering ends is a nice touch.
I agree wrt lubing. Used to do it, not anymore, at least with modern housing and SS cables. The lube I used after progressing from TriFlow or Superlube was a graphite-based lube something like this:

Dri Slide Multi Purpose Motorcycle Lube DSL 250 4oz | eBay

Can't remember where I got it from, bicycle classics maybe?
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Old 12-30-14, 11:44 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by poprad View Post

Those guys have a word for everything!
Actually it's 4 words stuck together as in "forkshaftcutteroffer". I wish we did this more in English.
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Old 12-30-14, 11:53 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Rabid Koala View Post
That's a really nice Raleigh Competition!

I use a small piece of heat shrink tubing in place of cable ends. It slides off easily to remove the cable, and it keeps the cable end from fraying. One bag of heat shrink tubing lasts forever.
I do exactly the same thing. I use the color that compliments my cables. I use 1.5 mm inside diameter. I also use it to cover the exposed cable runs on my Medici. It makes it easy to keep cables clean and keeps them from scratching paint if they get rubbed against the tube.
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Old 12-30-14, 07:31 PM
  #29  
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Well, tried this today, on both galv. and SS cables, and so far, no joy. Solder just balled up. Using Kester 60/40, Kester paste flux and liquid flux.

Originally Posted by RoadGuy View Post
You aren't trying to use silver solder are you? 60/40 is getting harder to find, since it was outlawed years ago, but it's still available. It flows much better than silver, at a lower temperature, and is not as easy to overheat. When you overheat silver solder (or don't have enough flux), it acts just like 60/40 when you are not using enough heat.
When was 60/40 leaded solder outlawed?

https://www.mouser.com/Tools-Supplies...11qq?P=1yzxt4m
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Old 12-30-14, 07:49 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Matariki View Post
Actually it's 4 words stuck together as in "forkshaftcutteroffer". I wish we did this more in English.
A better German rendition of fork steer tube would be Gabelrohr..., so the tool would be "Der Gabelrohrabschneider"!...

Last edited by old's'cool; 12-31-14 at 12:26 AM. Reason: correction
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Old 12-30-14, 10:41 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Pars View Post
Well, tried this today, on both galv. and SS cables, and so far, no joy. Solder just balled up. Using Kester 60/40, Kester paste flux and liquid flux.

Huh...no idea what might be the issue if you followed the stuff above. The cables in the pic are, in fact, SS (Jagwire). Maybe yours are some sort of pre-preg with silicon lube or something? Really douse it with alcohol and then let dry completely before dipping in the flux (alc dilutes flux immediately on contact, so if there's a film of wet Alc on the wire it will not allow the flux to penetrate and do its' job).

When was 60/40 leaded solder outlawed? Didn't know it was...news to me.

Kester Solder | Mouser
Maybe try again?
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Old 12-31-14, 07:42 AM
  #32  
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I've been soldering my cable ends for years, but add me to the list who have trouble with the stainless steel cables. Sometimes I can get the solder to wick in on them, but often times not. Seems like low heat works best with the SS.
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Old 12-31-14, 07:59 AM
  #33  
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Poprad,
Excellent tutorial post, thanks much. Now to get a nice soldering iron with enough heat, some quality solder (wish I had kept my stash of the 60/40 I built up, while we were doing an RF Shielded structure for the USAF SpecOps,) and try this on the new brake cables I have, that I want to install shortly.

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Old 12-31-14, 07:59 AM
  #34  
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Wow, onto the 2nd page.
Whodathunk?
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Old 12-31-14, 08:03 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Sierra View Post
I've been soldering my cable ends for years, but add me to the list who have trouble with the stainless steel cables. Sometimes I can get the solder to wick in on them, but often times not. Seems like low heat works best with the SS.
This is interesting. I don't think it's heat, as I have found the higher heat produced by my soldering g*u*n works much better than when I used a lower wattage iron. Now I'm really curious what it is that's causing this. Like I said above I used to use special liquid flux made for stainless steel and special solder, but discovered that thorough prep using the method above alleviated the need for those materials.

Still, with both you and Pars experiencing difficulties I'm wondering what I might have missed in describing my technique.

Robbie; yeah I think I struck a chord here. Who knew the wool and moustache crowd would be interested in trying a more involved, expensive, environmentally hazardous, and sometimes frustrating method to do something? Ha!
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Old 12-31-14, 08:21 AM
  #36  
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My prep is to degrease the cable end with acetone then etch by dipping the end in muriatic acid. After drying the acid off I dip the end in electronics paste flux(what I have) then soldering with a 125 watt iron and flux core solder. This works really well with steel cables. The solder wicks in immediately, but not with the stainless cables. The stainless seems to be impervious to the acid etching step. I seem to have the best success at getting the solder to wick if I heat the cable just enough to get the solder to melt. Any hotter and the solder just rolls off. I may have to look into the silver solder and special flux.
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Old 12-31-14, 08:26 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by poprad View Post
The first time you go back to that bike and do an overhaul you'll be rewarded with not having to cut off old alum caps and shorten the cable each time you remove it. It's also just one of those slightly more involved but ultimately more satisfying methods of doing something. I figure our group would appreciate that philosophy.
Thank you for the well done tutorial.

Regarding the ease of removing a cable and reusing it, I find that the bend in the cable caused by the anchor bolt is far more a factor in preventing reuse than the cable end. If the cable has a crimped-on end it is almost always in good shape (even on bikes manufactured in the 70s and that have never been touched since). It is the bend caused by the anchor bolt that does not want to go through the housing. That is why I don't bother with soldering. I can gently remove the crimp and get the cable out on my own bikes because I don't overdo the clamping down of the anchor bolt and cause a permanent bend in the cable. I find the cable is easy to reinstall because the crimped end is still in original condition, and the bend from the anchor bolt is minimal. It is a different story down at the bike coop. I find that people will naturally torque the hell out of anchor bolts and cause a permenant bend that will prevent the cable from being reused, and the cable end is not a factor. Soldering the ends of customer bikes would do no good, so I always crimp an end on them. I also use lube (typically Tri-flow) on the end of the cable (from the housing end to the crimp) to prevent rusting. A rusted, inflexible, cable also makes it hard to remove/reinstall a cable.

The tutorial is very good, I just wanted to give a different perspective on why soldering may not be useful.
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Old 12-31-14, 08:27 AM
  #38  
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I use this Stay Brite Kit on SS cables, and it works well with an inexpensive 25w iron. I also find that it is much easier to remove the cable from the bike to solder the end.
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Old 12-31-14, 10:28 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by StevePGN10 View Post
Thank you for the well done tutorial.

Regarding the ease of removing a cable and reusing it, I find that the bend in the cable caused by the anchor bolt is far more a factor in preventing reuse than the cable end. If the cable has a crimped-on end it is almost always in good shape (even on bikes manufactured in the 70s and that have never been touched since). It is the bend caused by the anchor bolt that does not want to go through the housing. That is why I don't bother with soldering. I can gently remove the crimp and get the cable out on my own bikes because I don't overdo the clamping down of the anchor bolt and cause a permanent bend in the cable. I find the cable is easy to reinstall because the crimped end is still in original condition, and the bend from the anchor bolt is minimal. It is a different story down at the bike coop. I find that people will naturally torque the hell out of anchor bolts and cause a permenant bend that will prevent the cable from being reused, and the cable end is not a factor. Soldering the ends of customer bikes would do no good, so I always crimp an end on them. I also use lube (typically Tri-flow) on the end of the cable (from the housing end to the crimp) to prevent rusting. A rusted, inflexible, cable also makes it hard to remove/reinstall a cable.

The tutorial is very good, I just wanted to give a different perspective on why soldering may not be useful.
Thanks for your added insight. Great point, and taking things to the "next level" might mean soldering also the short section that crimps under the binder bolt to prevent deformation. Hmmmm.....
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Old 12-31-14, 10:37 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I use this Stay Brite Kit on SS cables, and it works well with an inexpensive 25w iron. I also find that it is much easier to remove the cable from the bike to solder the end.
Thanks for that. I never picked this up but had looked at it before. Might have to try it.

And StevePGN10, I agree about the binder bolt location. I've been guilty of cranking these down to the point that strands of the cable are broken. I've wondered whether soldering these sections, combined with more sane tightening, might eliminate this problem, as Poprad mentions.
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Old 01-03-15, 11:02 AM
  #41  
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Thinks for the primmer on soldering. I used it to make a gear cable today
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Old 01-03-15, 12:12 PM
  #42  
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Nice! Some pics of the rest of this machine please!
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Old 01-07-15, 02:51 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I use this Stay Brite Kit on SS cables, and it works well with an inexpensive 25w iron. I also find that it is much easier to remove the cable from the bike to solder the end.
+1 on the cheap 25 watt iron. Just did that today on SS cables. Problem wasn't heat, it was the flux I bought for plumbing copper charing so the solder wouldn't flow in that area. I tried a torch but way to hot too fast for me.
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Old 01-11-15, 08:18 PM
  #44  
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Tried it once didn't work dirty wire. Now that I see this I'll try again.
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Old 01-11-15, 10:07 PM
  #45  
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Interesting... I've been using the silver solder and acid flux with acceptable results... never thought of unwind/rewind the cable for better penetration. I'll give it a go next time! In regards to heat-shrink, I've tried that in the past but it tends to collect dirt underneath (if you use clear heatshrink) and sometimes fall off at some point. Superglue works really well, but the end result tends to be bulkier in my experience (but it's just as quick and fits in my travel bag).
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Old 01-12-15, 09:21 AM
  #46  
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Have used a soldering *** for years. Works great. Only regrets is when I am in a rush and don't do it. Pay me now or pay me later.............
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