Gear linkage cables for Dummies - help appreciated

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Gear linkage cables for Dummies - help appreciated

Postby DSR66 » Fri 31.05.2019, 15:07

So 1 month in and a few niggles spotted. Latest one is fore / aft cable coming adrift and a low-loader recovery to home...

Had a read of forums and decided to have a go myself but would appreciate a bit of help.

1 Manuals and diagrams. Can’t get to that section of LEC. I’ve filled in the email / registration page but not sure it’s working and I’ve had no acknowledgment. Am I looking in the right place and could anyone help explain what I have to do there.

2 In process of removing header tank etc but without a manual I’m a bit unsure where the fixings are. Can see the original headers are NLA so don’t want to force it. Same for the plug connectors mounted on the header bracket - look like they should release from a retaining lug but just looking for a diagram or a bit of experience.

3 The fore/ aft is hanging free at the gearbox end but can’t get to it just yet to see what’s broken. Read lots about original vs S2 vs SJ vs ShortShift cables. I want to keep it as original as possible and to fix it as easily as possible - strictly an amateur grease monkey - so what would be the recommendation?

Thanks for any ideas.
DR
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Re: Gear linkage cables for Dummies - help appreciated

Postby Saltire » Fri 31.05.2019, 15:46

Welcome, DR!

The manuals are hosted by Brit-Car-Nut on his excellent site here.

He also sells a complete replacement gear cable and short-shift set, which many use (and it has easy-to-follow instructions included). I have a set of BCN’s cables, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them - they are much better engineered than the originals, and you wouldn’t tell the difference without a side-by-side comparison. BCN also has replacement header tanks.

I understand the point about originality - that’s my goal too - but we have to be realistic. The newest of our cars is 24 years old now, and many original parts are simply unobtainable, so it can be a choice between a car you can use, and a garage ornament which doesn’t drive. You’ll find that many people have upgraded brakes, better radiators, improved seals, and so on. For my money, as long as it looks original and has the main mechanical parts as per factory, there’s nothing wrong with sympathetic upgrades. Witness my heated seats :lol:

rip, a member in MK, Is quite near you and may have some thoughts on the gear cables.
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Re: Gear linkage cables for Dummies - help appreciated

Postby Bern » Fri 31.05.2019, 16:02

I recently replaced my cables.

You don't need to remove the header tank, just move it out of the way. Mine has a 10mm bolt on the top at the back and a useless elastic band around it, this unclips. Then it can be moved without detaching the pipes.

I expected to find a break in the old cables, but they seemed fine! I removed them, they looked OK so I put them back - it still didn't work!

I got the SJ cables, sadly I couldn't justify the price of the Short shift cables - though they seem to be very reasonably priced for what they are.

I found that I had to adapt the SJ cables to work, one of them seemed a bit shorter than it needed to be so I extended it with a piece of stud and an oversized nut!

I also made a short 24mm open ended spanner, by cutting off part of the handle.

It's not a difficult job as such, just time consuming. I took mine out several times and got quite quick at it. I've had to adjust the cables a few times since, I guess the cables are stretching. It needs doing again, but I'm living with it!
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Re: Gear linkage cables for Dummies - help appreciated

Postby Bern » Fri 31.05.2019, 16:06

Oh, the bracket that SJ supply to attach to the gearbox (needed if yours is an SE rather than an S2, I think) was very sharp - wish I'd rounded off the edges before I fitted it!
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Re: Gear linkage cables for Dummies - help appreciated

Postby Brit-Car-Nut » Fri 31.05.2019, 16:22

I know my cables are not the cheapest in the world, but they are very high quality and very strong. The Short Shift Adapter Kit is also a great improvement.

THEY ALSO FIT WITHOUT ANY EXTRA STRESS!

I actually install each kit in a stripped down UK car before shipping to the buyer, so I know they are going to fit and are already adjusted.

You will never need another set if you invest in them.

I also made sure to radius the gearbox mounting plate edges so nobody ends up with sliced fingers.

You can email me for more details (icon on the left of the post) or look here for the current price guide:
viewtopic.php?f=48&t=22461&p=348022&hilit=+cable#p348022

That topic is a fairly long discussion of the project if you care to go to the beginning and read a lot.

I also have a set of AB cables I bought to actually "see" how they made their kits. They can be purchased for less but I really wouldn't recommend them as they also had issues with the shifter not returning to center after shifting.

I do have a few of the latest OPEL style header tanks that fit well and are much better quality than the Vauxhall tanks we were stuck with a few years ago.
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Re: Gear linkage cables for Dummies - help appreciated

Postby Bern » Fri 31.05.2019, 16:51

I should add, that with hindsight I wish I'd gone for John's cables!

SJ's cables do work, but they take a bit of fettling (and in my case modification) to get them there.
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Re: Gear linkage cables for Dummies - help appreciated

Postby NewLogik » Fri 31.05.2019, 17:50

I haven't had the chance to install John's cable but I can say that the quality is there. Well, even from the packaging, you know that BCN / JC do cares about quality ! I wasn't expecting a nice kit from all previous comments and photos, however I wasn't expecting something that great !

Once my car have passed the inspection after import which is happening early next week, I should have time to install them !
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Re: Gear linkage cables for Dummies - help appreciated

Postby Brit-Car-Nut » Fri 31.05.2019, 17:57

Thanks for the kudo's. I have a set going to California later next week but still have enough parts to make 5 more kits.

I will keep making them as long as I can and there is a demand.
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Re: Gear linkage cables for Dummies - help appreciated

Postby DSR66 » Fri 31.05.2019, 21:59

image2-1.jpg
image1-2.jpeg


So after a bit of help, I got to the offending item. Thanks for earlier comments - easy, when you know how. The end crimp has failed, obviously - see attached pics

I think the obvious questions are:
1) Is this terminal and replacement or should I be thinking of repair?
2) What sort are they? I got a file of history with the car and they were replaced less than 800 miles ago (Jul 2017) so either badly fitted or poor quality, or both. Whatever the reason, I need to make sure whatever I do to fix them lasts the course...
(Won't say here who fitted them! :cry: :x )

I absolutely get the point about originality vs improvement, saltire, so I'll take the sensible approach and improve where 30 years experience shows the original wasn't perhaps the best it could be.

I'm trying to use the car regularly as poss to iron out these gremlins before I venture too far afield, but I want it to be reliable for some long treks soon so I'm thinking the best cables are a good investment - imminent email to John, I think...

Cheers
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Re: Gear linkage cables for Dummies - help appreciated

Postby Brit-Car-Nut » Fri 31.05.2019, 22:18

Those are AB Cables and they don't look very new. That is the fore-aft cable that is broken.

I suppose anything can be repaired, but you will need to remove the cables and have someone make a new sleeve to reattach the broken hoop (with the bushing) back to the cable and do it so it is facing the correct direction. If they just weld it back together it could end up at a severe angle to the pin and that would cause the inner cable to fail fairly quickly.

If anyone wonders how I figured this, look at the bulkhead adapter on the gearbox and also at the small bushing/fitting on the crossgate cable on the gearbox. Also, none of the Lotus cables used nylon ties on the boots.

My guess is that whoever installed the cables did not adjust them correctly and they were repeatedly over-extended which caused the gearbox end to flex and eventually shear.

There is enough shaft left that you could thread it at 6mm, make an adapter to make it 8mm and use a 8mm rod-end, but the rod end will most likely rotate on the gearbox pin and not the outside of the ball, so there will be some friction. The pin is hardened, so it won't wear out and the ball is also hard so likewise, but I didn't like the results when I converted a set of AB cables to rod ends at the gearbox, so dismissed that option when I moved on to the cables I developed.
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Re: Gear linkage cables for Dummies - help appreciated

Postby DSR66 » Fri 31.05.2019, 22:50

Thanks for the ID, John. I've sent you an email - if it hasn't arrived please holler - and I've printed the relevant section from your index of manuals (pp 335-349 or thereabouts). Time to get this sorted and bite the bullet.
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Re: Gear linkage cables for Dummies - help appreciated

Postby Brit-Car-Nut » Fri 31.05.2019, 22:54

I got your email and have replied. If you don't get it soon let me know and I will use another server to send the message again.

I included links to my install guides as well.
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