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Old 01 January 2008, 15:50   #1
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Trailer brake cables

Probably a dumb question but how do you oil your trailer bowden cable as directed by the handbook for routine maintenance. The manual says use oil and not grease but the cables (Knott) come with a grease nipple built into the outer sheath?

Any help welcome!

Cheers Dave
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Old 01 January 2008, 16:08   #2
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There is a very good reason why you should use oil and not grease on bowden cables. Grease will harden over time and then you will have to replace the cable. It is probably an oil nipple with a sprung loaded ball in it. You need a pump type oil can with a fine tip. Press the tip into the nipple and pump. Can get a little messy so put a drip pan underneath.
Hope this helps.
T.
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Old 01 January 2008, 18:53   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daveboy 71 View Post
Probably a dumb question but how do you oil your trailer bowden cable as directed by the handbook for routine maintenance. The manual says use oil and not grease but the cables (Knott) come with a grease nipple built into the outer sheath?
Put the oil into a grease gun.

However, the cable manufacturers are not reckoning on you immersing the cables in salt water. Oil will let the water in. I'd use Castrol CL water resistant grease. It's nice and thin and seriously tenacious. Pump it in fairly regularly to keep the grease fresh and tie up the centre of the cable to keep it above the ends if possible so that water will not accumulate inside. Conveniently, you can buy Castrol CL at Halfords.
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Old 08 January 2008, 10:27   #4
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I take the cables off & hang them up, fill the cup at the end with oil & let it drain down the cable, worked for me so far!
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Old 08 January 2008, 10:56   #5
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There are gadgets around for oiling cables - you can get them from places like

http://www.frost.co.uk/item_Detail.a...s&FrostSubcat=
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Old 08 January 2008, 12:12   #6
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Linda, is AZ Arizona? thank You and happy new year!
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Old 08 January 2008, 13:29   #7
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Linda, is AZ Arizona? thank You and happy new year!
Yes, AZ is the postal abreviation for Arizona
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Old 08 January 2008, 14:48   #8
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is it not marvellous, so to be ables to change communications between Arizona and south France!
Thanks for your reply
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Old 08 January 2008, 15:34   #9
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I take the cables off & hang them up, fill the cup at the end with oil & let it drain down the cable, worked for me so far!
Works for me too

Although I'd reccomend a piece of rag on the garage floor underneath.

I use any oil I happen to have in the garage going spare, from engine oil to EP80 gear oil, I don't think the cables are fussy, as long as they get oiled and not greased.
Remember not to use too much, as it'll find its way into the drums.

I also tie the cables up in the middle so any water that does get in drains back out.


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Old 08 January 2008, 15:41   #10
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Will that cable oiler I posted a link to work on trailer cables - it looks useful and maybe a bit less messy.............
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Old 08 January 2008, 19:04   #11
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Will that cable oiler I posted a link to work on trailer cables - it looks useful and maybe a bit less messy.............
I've looked at these at a couple of classic bike shows in the past, and just from memory, I don't think they would take something as big as what we are discussing.
I could however be wrong.

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Old 09 January 2008, 03:44   #12
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Remember not to use too much, as it'll find its way into the drums.
Nasher
Yer but it stops the brakes ceasing on!
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Old 13 January 2008, 18:42   #13
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anti-seize for cable

see pictures, easy and very efficient
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Old 14 January 2008, 02:44   #14
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yorfuoj

Good idea.

May look at doing this myself.

I presume the pulleys are placed in just the right position so the brakes work at all angles of the suspension movement.

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Old 14 January 2008, 05:25   #15
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From that photo it looks like the right hand brake will come on & the left will be released!
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Old 14 January 2008, 16:19   #16
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I agree - keeping the cables exposed seems like a very good idea!!
Sadly my cables are past it.......after only 9 months no amount of oil could revive them...two new Bowden cables now fitted - this time I have ensured the middle sections are raised above the ends.

It has been said many times before......drum brakes/cables are not fit for purpose!! It is quite amazing that we can send men to the moon, dive the deepest oceans, build an artificial heart.....make body parts from stem cell......but as of yet not manage to devise a braking system (and hub) that can last the equivalent of a few minutes/month in salt water!!

PS. Thanks to all for feedback.....I think there should be a section on the site for a 101 great ideas/tips!!

Good idea

May look at doing this myself.

I presume the pulleys are placed in just the right position so the brakes work at all angles of the suspension movement.

Nasher. [/QUOTE]
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Old 16 January 2008, 07:23   #17
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brake cables

I made it by myself, with the following :

- enough 4.2mm cable - it should be easier with 3.5mm cable, see further
- 2 celoron pulleys, diameter is approximately 60mm external, 10mm deep
- 2 stainless steel plates, just to avoid the cable to escape in case of ...
- 1 x 12mm SS rod
- rectangular tubing, etc ...

Work with my lathe :
- center drill the pulley and flange to 12mm
- groove the pulley deeper to ensure the cable to stay in,
- after removing the head, I drilled a 8x125 machine bolt to the right diameter to allow the cable to fit in tightly
- drill (same diam.) a piece of 8mm rod, 10mm long
then I silver-brased both ends to the cable
- lathe too, I grooved the 12mm rod to allow fitting a circlips, to keep all in place, plus a 5mm screw and washer to add safety if the circlips broke or escaped

- I had to re-machine one brake end of the new cable, because my cable was 4.2mm - original is 3.5, and it was impossible to fit the end with cable into the brake actuator lever jaw, which allows 4mm, no more !
So I did a special end.
If one wants to do the same, better to check the possible size before soldering.


to Nick H., the left brake cable goes through the pulley and connects to the right side of the puller piece, which is connected to the pulling threaded axle.
Conversely the right brake cable ...

Angle : indeed, it is true.
The movement of the suspension lever is very short when loaded, nothing to compare with a car ... so the length of the cable will effectively be affected by this movement - when the wheel goes up by 2cm (a lot on a trailer) for the same braking strength the cable length would increase by 1 or 2mm .
The angle is very low, less than 5, if one wants to calculate the variation ... I didn't !

Anyway, it works perfectly !

Attachments : parts before fitting, special cable end for 4.2mm cable
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Old 16 January 2008, 07:30   #18
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rework

the yellow plastic piece is intended to avoid the 12mm rod to bend possibly.
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Old 16 January 2008, 07:31   #19
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I have seen old trailers with solid rods operating the brakes - aren't these still used???
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Old 16 January 2008, 07:38   #20
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Quote:
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It has been said many times before......drum brakes/cables are not fit for purpose!! It is quite amazing that we can send men to the moon, dive the deepest oceans, build an artificial heart.....make body parts from stem cell......but as of yet not manage to devise a braking system (and hub) that can last the equivalent of a few minutes/month in salt water!!
Dave your missing the point, its very profitable to sell new parts for trailers every year why would you make something that doesn't wear out or sieze. You could have stainless steel brake components but if it added 400 to the cost of the trailer which one would people buy?

Pete
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