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Old 02-04-2021, 07:46   #1
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Does it make sense to install spare shift cable?

I have to replace a teleflex shift cable. As it is roughly 28-30 feet long, and winds from the center cockpit, down under the galley and forward under the sole to the engine. So, since most of the work is running/fishing the cable, I'm wondering if it might make sense to install a spare cable alongside the new one. It seemed like a no-brainer, but thought I'd run it up the mast here for the collective wisdom on the idea. Shouldn't the spare still be viable? Or will non-use cause problems?

TIA,
Kent
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Old 02-04-2021, 07:53   #2
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Re: Does it make sense to install spare shift cable?

My vote would be "No".

In most every case I have had to replace these cables the primary cause was corrosion, not wear. Since the "spare" would be exposed to exactly the same conditions, I doubt it would be in servicable condition when the one you are using fails.
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Old 02-04-2021, 08:12   #3
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Re: Does it make sense to install spare shift cable?

I did have that thought, as well, but had ideas of wrapping both ends in greased cloth, etc. But you're probably right. Guess I'll keep the spare in a vacuum-sealed bag instead.
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Old 02-04-2021, 08:20   #4
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Re: Does it make sense to install spare shift cable?

NO. It doesn't.
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Old 02-04-2021, 09:09   #5
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Re: Does it make sense to install spare shift cable?

It seems that all problems I have had with the shift occurred at one end or the other and not with the cable. However, it seems like a good and inexpensive plan to have a secondary cable running at the time you do the installation.
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Old 02-04-2021, 09:19   #6
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Re: Does it make sense to install spare shift cable?

Good question.

I love a good pair of belts and suspenders as much as the next guy but ask yourself:
How long did the last cables last?

Is there any reason they would not last that long again?
Is there anything you can do in the installation this time to help them survive longer? Such as putting them in a PVC sleeve in grease or route them away from bilge water?
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Old 02-04-2021, 09:34   #7
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Re: Does it make sense to install spare shift cable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Crothers View Post
Good question.

I love a good pair of belts and suspenders as much as the next guy but ask yourself:
How long did the last cables last?

Is there any reason they would not last that long again?
My opinion - if the original cable is USA made and so is the new one, expect the same length of service. BUT if the new cable is an Asian import expect HALF the original lifespan. Now if the original is an import, your guess is as good as mine. Regarding the duplicate cable? No thanks.
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Old 02-04-2021, 09:39   #8
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Re: Does it make sense to install spare shift cable?

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Originally Posted by Brewgyver View Post
I have to replace a teleflex shift cable. As it is roughly 28-30 feet long, and winds from the center cockpit, down under the galley and forward under the sole to the engine. So, since most of the work is running/fishing the cable, I'm wondering if it might make sense to install a spare cable alongside the new one. It seemed like a no-brainer, but thought I'd run it up the mast here for the collective wisdom on the idea. Shouldn't the spare still be viable? Or will non-use cause problems?

TIA,
Kent
Just run a mouse line for the next time you need to replace this cable. Much cheaper than a spare cable and you should be able to pull a new one in less than five minutes when the time comes (which shouldn't be anytime soon).
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Old 02-04-2021, 10:09   #9
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Re: Does it make sense to install spare shift cable?

Buy the best quality Teleflex cable you can get - the low friction one. Avoid tight turns if possible. Tight turns cause friction that wears through the jacket and shortens the life of the cable. That is a very long run. Watch the end of the cable at the transmission while shifting. The cable should be in-line and not bind. The shift action should operate smoothly, the cable should not flex.

That cable should last decades. The first one on my boat lasted 12 years. The replacement is now over 20 years old.
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Old 02-04-2021, 10:12   #10
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Re: Does it make sense to install spare shift cable?

What Stormy said. No need for a mouse/messenger line, use the old cable as a messenger if you ever have to do so.
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Old 02-04-2021, 10:15   #11
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Re: Does it make sense to install spare shift cable?

No. 15 years down the line your son will wonder what was that second line for and just scratch hies head about the craziness of the world.
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Old 02-04-2021, 19:10   #12
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Re: Does it make sense to install spare shift cable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joelhemington View Post
Just run a mouse line for the next time you need to replace this cable. Much cheaper than a spare cable and you should be able to pull a new one in less than five minutes when the time comes (which shouldn't be anytime soon).
Mouse line, is that a line you run through the bilge for mice to eat? Whatever it is made of, I wonder if it has any chance of outlasting a teleflex cable?
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Old 02-04-2021, 23:33   #13
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Re: Does it make sense to install spare shift cable?

no better to install a spare engine
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Old 02-04-2021, 23:47   #14
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Re: Does it make sense to install spare shift cable?

Not really - of the 3 Teleflex cables that have broken in 2 boats in 30 years, they've only broken at the end, not in the casing, and I now just replace the core. If you judge it right, you can frequently inch the core through to have a second life.
Most chandleries refuse to sell the centre core, it's too small a margin to stock and the differences make it a nightmare to maintain a stock.
I use a local distributor for all flexible cables - the cost of the new core is only 3-5% of the complete replacement and you buy it by the metre.
If the outer is damaged, usually due to poor fitting, you do need a new cable, I've only known of that once on someone else's boat.
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Old 03-04-2021, 02:20   #15
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Re: Does it make sense to install spare shift cable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chasfgr View Post
Not really - of the 3 Teleflex cables that have broken in 2 boats in 30 years, they've only broken at the end, not in the casing, and I now just replace the core. If you judge it right, you can frequently inch the core through to have a second life.
Most chandleries refuse to sell the centre core, it's too small a margin to stock and the differences make it a nightmare to maintain a stock.
I use a local distributor for all flexible cables - the cost of the new core is only 3-5% of the complete replacement and you buy it by the metre.
If the outer is damaged, usually due to poor fitting, you do need a new cable, I've only known of that once on someone else's boat.

Thank you very much for this info.
Great news for a Yammer owner such as myself.
Not that I'd ever buy a Yanmar branded cable.
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