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T O P I C    R E V I E W
OLD HOUSEBOATER Posted - Jan 26 2007 : 23:29:28

Once in a while a request comes up for information on how to lubricate control cables.

You need a foot and a half of 3/8 ID reinforced plastic hose from Lowes, a tire valve, three hose clamps, a tire pump or small 12 volt air compressor with a gage, and MMO.

Shave the tire valve down and clamp it in one end of the hose.

1. Remove the fittings from one end of the cable.

2. Put 3 inches of Marvel Mystery Oil in the hose for every 20 feet of cable length.

3. Double clamp oil filled hose over cable.

4. Apply and maintain 50 PSI of air to the tire chuck. DO NOT EXCEED 50 PSI.

5. It will take 10 to 30 minutes for oil to appear at the other end. then your done. Have rags to catch the oil if your in a sensitive area.

I suggest safety glasses just in case somethings blows apart, but I have never had a problem. My save rate on cables is about 75%. I did all my cables every 2 years as PM but I was not on salt water.

33   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Shake n Bake Posted - Apr 30 2015 : 15:24:37
I used this method to lube a windshield wiper motor shaft that was binding and grinding. It looks like it saved the motor.
smitty477 Posted - Mar 14 2014 : 15:02:19
FWIW - older cables that were solely steel jacketed could receive some benefit from cable lubricants.
Going back 15 years or more most marine control and steering cables started being lined with Teflon or similar types of liners which should not be lubricated.

If you do introduce a petroleum based lube into these cables the Teflon liner will most often soften and swell leaving you with more issues a year after lubing them. If you must send something down into these 'plastic' jacketed cables please consider a non petroleum based lube such as "Superlube" and avoid the light penetrating solutions such as WD-40 at all costs. There is a reason why most all current marine control cable suppliers have Q & A's that tell us to not lube these 'permanently lubricated' type cables.

I have had this same situation exhibited but much worse in the "teflon bearing surfaces" of a larger davit pivot which would completely 'lock in place' after petroleum products were used. It became so common on these davits that we wrote up a procedure to fix them complete with photo's and a step by step process.

Hope this helps
RWS Posted - Feb 21 2014 : 04:54:03
here's a good bump for everyone.

I remembered this and did a search.

I'm doing an adjustment this weekend for WOT and will do this at the same time.


gaineso Posted - Nov 14 2013 : 19:12:45
Saved and will be tried on my 26 YO cables. Steering stays lubed. It's hydraulic.
OLD HOUSEBOATER Posted - Nov 13 2013 : 21:47:17
Steering cables have the same construction as throttle and shift cables only bigger. You would have to up the size of the hose. HOWEVER: steering cable failure is more of a hazard than throttle or shift. Let us know your results. Note: this has been discussed higher up in this thread.
stmbtwle Posted - Nov 13 2013 : 09:35:36
OHB do you think it might work on a steering cable?
Cam Posted - Nov 13 2013 : 08:32:20
This post is good enough for me to make it a sticky. Now it will be available right on the main menu.

KiDa Posted - Nov 13 2013 : 08:24:59
Just bumping this up in case anyone needs to work on their cables this winter.

Thanks to OHB for this one.
j-d Posted - May 22 2011 : 14:02:14
I don't see a reason why this wouldn't work on a steering cable. The one I looked at seemed to call for 3/4" hose. There are tire valves that would wedge into 3/4" and then be clamped.
If it was "rotary" steering like most outboards, the oiler could be used from either end. Our I/O is rack steering, so the oiler would have to be put at the outdrive end. Just getting in there is such a PITA that I think I'd just get a new cable.
chc Posted - Dec 08 2010 : 22:26:48
Rigged a similar thing using a small bicycle tire pump & Mouse Milk. took a bit longer to work the oil thru the cables. But seemed to work fine. frankly, I never thought the cables would handle that much pressure. Great idea
carver 2557 Posted - Nov 26 2010 : 07:12:25
Mind?...what mind?...bump?...what bump? have a bump on your mind?...strange....

Thought this was a very useful and helpful tip for looking after cables, so I gave it the "CB"..Carver Bump...
It's something I am going to try in the spring....
Cam Posted - Nov 26 2010 : 06:30:41
Good bump Carver....As I was reading this, I thought to myself "I remember reading this before a few years ago", not realizing the age of the post. I guess they are right, the mind is the first thing to go.
carver 2557 Posted - Nov 25 2010 : 16:53:33
j-d Posted - May 21 2007 : 13:53:02

Yes, disconnect whatever you have to in order to be able to clamp the OHB Lube Kit Hose to the cable casing. In case of an outboard [OMC] I had to take the connector off the end of the cable. In my case, 1/4" hose worked. Whichever end is easier.
b_fuss Posted - May 21 2007 : 11:52:38
OHB, to do this. Would I just pull the shifter housing and disconnect the "shift and throttle" cable then attach the oil kit assembly?? Thanks I have been wondering how to do this my cable are a couple years old and getting a little stiff.
OLD HOUSEBOATER Posted - May 06 2007 : 12:32:29
Welcome to the wonderful world of Bombardier
jimraab Posted - May 06 2007 : 04:48:03
I won't hesitate to replace it if necessary. I can't believe this cable is $140.00. My cables on my Carver boat are less than half the cost of the much shorter Seadoo cable. The margin on this thing must be 1000%.

OLD HOUSEBOATER Posted - May 05 2007 : 23:46:24
Might work BUT since this is a steering cable I'd suggest you spring for a new one. Keep us informed.
jimraab Posted - May 05 2007 : 21:40:51
Do you guys think this process might free up a frozen steering cable on on my 2005 Seadoo GTX? The Seadoo is only 2 years old and happen to just lock up while sitting unused for about 5 months in my garage.

Hystat Posted - May 05 2007 : 17:42:59
They used to sell an aerosol version of this in motorcycle shops for brake and shifter cables, but I haven't seen them for years - this is handy - thanks!
OLD HOUSEBOATER Posted - May 05 2007 : 16:14:56
Anybody try this lately?
KiDa Posted - Feb 07 2007 : 20:50:22
Originally posted by OLD HOUSEBOATER

Picture is at the top of the post. It's the assembly under the MMO

Sorry shipmate. I just found out that PhotoBucket (and the like) have been blocked at work.
Noodles Posted - Feb 07 2007 : 13:57:50
What a great tip. Thanx
OLD HOUSEBOATER Posted - Feb 05 2007 : 14:22:35
What ever is easiest. Put a rag on the other end to catch drips. Let us know how you make out.

I always did the uppers first as they have more exposure to the weather.
bkap Posted - Feb 05 2007 : 13:48:34
I need to try this before deciding to replace shift cables.

Does it matter which end you start with? By the transmision? By the shift lever?

What issues would there be with dual stations?

bruceb Posted - Jan 29 2007 : 19:35:47
That is an excellent idea...thanks for posting.
OLD HOUSEBOATER Posted - Jan 29 2007 : 16:36:03
Picture is at the top of the post. It's the assembly under the MMO
KiDa Posted - Jan 29 2007 : 13:00:54
Originally posted by OLD HOUSEBOATER


Do you have pix of this setup? I think I know what you are talking about, but I am a visual person by nature.


starfishkiller Posted - Jan 29 2007 : 11:34:02
I used this method on my cables and it worked great.
Bay2260 Posted - Jan 27 2007 : 00:55:06
I like that! That's way better than anything I've tried yet!

jtybt15 Posted - Jan 27 2007 : 00:37:05
That'll work!!! I've had to make a few cable oiler/greasers. I turned the brass tube, at the end of one cable, in the shape of a zerk fitting so it fit a grease gun. Another one I soldered a zerk fitting to a brass tube that fit a cable. The last one I just got a tube that fit both the outdrive oil pump and the cable and pumped the high performance outdrive oil into the cable.

Cables are expensive so if you do as OHB does and grease/oil them, they can last almost indefinately.
jmas Posted - Jan 26 2007 : 23:42:55
Good tip, Ill give it a try.
hooks Posted - Jan 26 2007 : 23:41:12
Nice set up Houseboater. I'm gonna copy and paste that for later. Thanks for the post..

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