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Old 27 January 2008, 05:39   #1
K&S
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Under deck trunk. Any tips for feeding wires?

Hi, i have been trying to get the wires for my vhf, gps and depth guage down my under deck trunk without sucess. The boat came supplied with all the engine, fuel and nav light wires allready down the trunk and im finding it imposible to ge a single wire to go through.

Is there a trade secret or tip anyone can give to help?
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Old 27 January 2008, 05:46   #2
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http://www.screwfix.com/prods/89981/...d-Tool-Box-Kit

Very handy bit of kit for feeding cables

ETA... feed a single line down first using the rods, then you can pull your cables through using that. Trick is to lay the cables in a loop so they pull trough straight.
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Old 27 January 2008, 06:06   #3
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Space in the trunking is usually limited and the cables in there are likely to be twisted around each other or otherwise tangled. I use a curtain wire and unless the trunk is pretty full it usually manages to find a way through. When it is through, tape your new cable end to end with the wire to prevent the otherwise overlapping lump snagging. If you've space in the trunk, also pull a string or thin rope through at the same time and leave it there for the next time you need to pull something through.

Good luck.
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Old 27 January 2008, 06:09   #4
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http://uk.rs-online.com/web/search/s...duct&R=2368162

These are better as they dont have the brass lumps to catch on edges on the way down, and the whole thing will go around corners rather than just the nylon end and then the less flexable fibre glass rod getting stuck
You may have to be prepared to pull some of the old cables if they are too twisted, in which case it is often easier just to do that from the start not forgetting to attach a line to the cables as you draw them out.
When you do pull your cables through put another sting in with the cable and leave it in the tube so you don't get the same problem next time.
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Old 27 January 2008, 06:12   #5
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Originally Posted by kitten View Post
http://uk.rs-online.com/web/search/s...duct&R=2368162

These are better as they dont have the brass lumps to catch on edges on the way down, and the whole thing will go around corners rather than just the nylon end and then the less flexable fibre glass rod getting stuck
You may have to be prepared to pull some of the old cables if they are too twisted, in which case it is often easier just to do that from the start not forgetting to attach a line to the cables as you draw them out.
When you do pull your cables through put another sting in with the cable and leave it in the tube so you don't get the same problem next time.

Used this gizmo during the summer drunking wires, did the job nicely
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Old 27 January 2008, 13:01   #6
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If its already rigged, then take one of the throttle / gear control cables off. Attach one of those 20 metre plastic washing lines to the end and pull it through. Keep at least twice the length of washing line in the trunking permanently incase cables need replacing. Washing line is smooth plastic so slides through with a drop of weak washing up liquid.

If its tight, then send the echo sounder wire through first if it has a plug on the end.

Pete
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Old 27 January 2008, 16:38   #7
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If its already rigged, then take one of the throttle / gear control cables off. Attach one of those 20 metre plastic washing lines to the end and pull it through. Keep at least twice the length of washing line in the trunking permanently incase cables need replacing. Washing line is smooth plastic so slides through with a drop of weak washing up liquid.

If its tight, then send the echo sounder wire through first if it has a plug on the end.

Pete
And if the washing line comes off - the throttle / gear cable on it's own is a pretty good way of doing it. After feeding through 10 or so cables my feed line got wrapped round various wires in the trunking so I used the throttle cable to creat a new tow line - worked really well (same deal as curtain wire but at least I had it on the boat and saved a trip to B&Q )

Al
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Old 27 January 2008, 17:55   #8
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I have always used the 'mouse' as indicated by 'Kitten', a liberal spray of silicon will ensure the new cable being pulled through will not snag on the existing ones.
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Old 28 January 2008, 13:07   #9
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If you have existing electrical wires, use one of those (pull it back) to pull a piece of strong twine (nylon; not something that will rot) or even non-corroding solid wire through the duct. Attach new cables or whatever *and another piece of wire or twine*, and pull everything back. Using soapy water or silicone lube will ease getting through tight spaces. Be very careful not to lose your attached wires.

If you are pulling multiple wires, feather the connection points back to avoid having a single large lump at the attachment point (attach one wire using interlocked "U"s, attach next wire a few inches back, etc.) Use tape to fillet the lumps that are there so there is a taper.

When (or if, I suppose) you get the new stuff in, leave the extra bit of wire or twine in there for next time you need to pull something through. Make sure next time you pull in a new pull string as well.

I find a steel electricians fish tape better than the glass ones; tend to be a smaller cross-section, and a bit stiffer for pushing through constrictions.


Luck;

jky
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Old 28 January 2008, 15:41   #10
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Hi, thanks for all your help. In the end i gave in as the navman plugs were just to big to go down the remaining space and also if i have future additions / repairs to carry out i thought it best to mount a surface trunk.
not as neat i know but easier to work on in the future.
Thanks again
Kim
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