Driv3r
Driv3r

Heater box cable refurbishment

So I know that the heater valve/fresh air Bowden cable is still available but I couldn't find the two flap cables. So initially I restored my heater box with old cables because they were working. But the thought of those cables getting rusted and stuck again, was daunting.
 
I've decided to do a research on alternative options. The oem metal wire has 1.4mm diameter and it's not so strong. The wire cover itself is made of metal spring and vinyl skin but over time, rusty metal cause friction and eventually wire or lever get stuck.
 
I decided to search for a stainless steel wire in bigger diameter that would strengthen the lever force and basically won't rust. So I went to local hardware store and bought stainless steel wire in 1.6mm diameter.
 
To replace the old wire cover, I chose Shmano brake line sleeve. It's made for mountain bike application with extreme brake use conditions and is much more resistant and durable than the oem cable. It's available in most colors (of course I went with inka!) for around $6 meter. The brake sleeve has 5mm external and 2mm internal diameters. Be aware of fake copies out there!
 
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After using the stainless steel wire with Shimano sleeve, I notice a complete improvement with almost no friction. Here is a comparison:
 
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The hardest part of copying the oem wire was the swirled attachment tip to the lever shaft. Stainless steel wire was really hard to bend and it came coiled under tension which made it harder to bend in opposite direction but I finally figured it out. Using a screwdriver with same diameter as the lever shaft, hold the wire with a plier over the screwdriver and use your thumb to bend it around the screwdriver.
 
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Then cut the excess with wire cutter. Once you master these, the rest is self explanatory.
 
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The lever movement has improved to better than the oem part and will last longer. I can move levers with my finger nails. I hope this help so many of members out there looking for better, more reliable and cheaper alternative.
 
Cheers.
 
 



User Feedback


That is wonderfull, im glad that you able to reproduce the cables. How about the double bowden cable, if the dia to big, it may not be able to go through the valve lever pinch bolt.  

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On 25/05/2017 at 0:39 AM, Pramono said:

That is wonderfull, im glad that you able to reproduce the cables. How about the double bowden cable, if the dia to big, it may not be able to go through the valve lever pinch bolt.  

 

Hi Hami, sorry for the late reply. The 1.6mm stainless steel wire went through the valve lever bolt with no problem. Although I think the bolt hole diameter is 1.8mm. 

To create the double bowden cable, I used a long stainless steel wire, bent & curled it (a few turns) in the middle, then pushed it over the lever control shaft tip which locked it in due to spring tension. Now the lever could move two wires at the same time. I can send you a photo if you need more info. Cheers

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1 hour ago, NYNick said:

I"d sure like to see a pic of the double bowden cable attached to the lever.

Great write up!

 

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