Gregory Bender

Cable end repair notes

Moto Guzzi V700, V7 Special, Ambassador, 850 GT, 850 GT California, Eldorado, and 850 California Police models



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Thanks to Brian who sent me this information via email. In Brian's own words:

I had a throttle cable failure. No complaints about the cable--I put it on in 1991--USED!!, while on a ride in Baja Mx.

A couple days ago I scouted around for parts to fix it and did not have luck. I did find a cable with only one end on it [splitter end]. New. Housing length and cable length both had to be adjusted to fit. So, I had to terminate the cable somehow--make an end to fit the twist grip [Suzuki grip]. Attaching one to the other [penny to cable] is the tall part of the order.

Again, a Guzzi cable was not going to work with the Suzuki grip/hardware.

Solution; grab a penny, make a 1.5 mm hole in the center then, begin to fold it up into a barrel. Then, take a file and notch the barrel. The notch gives the solder somewhere to grip the penny after the cable is passed through the 1.5 mm hole then, the end is frayed [important]. Crimp the penny together on the frayed cable then, fill all voids with solder [I used 50/50 solder, solid core, and got it hot with a soldering iron]. Flux paste was my friend.

The stock springs are still in the carbs. I use the bike quite often. So far, kinda looks like its gonna hold.

Two years later:

OK, the Guzzi issue for now is a broken throttle cable. Yes, my penny fix finally failed. 50-50 solder is just too soft. Gonna silver it tomorrow. Anyway, I wanted to mention that when making up an upper cable, its good to have the splitter piston flush with the aft end of the splitter bore (throttle off, lowers disconnected). This helps find cable length The kicker is that the adjuster at the front will limit piston travel. Yikes but, one could use this to limit piston travel as well. So, I think it's a mistake to have this adjuster anywhere but flush with the screw-on housing -- inside. Adjust to stop at full throttle later. I made that mistake and wondered where full boat was. It was stopped by the adjuster. Lock-nut the adjuster on splitter to keep it from vibrating against the threads is good too.

Also, use of a solder pot is good. It will help keep the temper of the wire strands with minimal [local] heat exposure.

An additional email from Brian:

I just put the cables together about 30 minutes ago. So, I had the splitter adjuster adjusted out, as mentioned. So, I was freakin' a little 'cuz I cut the cable about 18 inch too short. I was able to adjust to full on/off.

While pinching the lowers gently with a gentle pull, I could feel the piston being driven aft when adjusting [in] to see what would happen. I wanted to mention to Guzzi folks 'cuz its a natural thing to adjust for cable stretch which would mean all the way in on all.

Solder pot: I just got a 12 inch copper pipe end and set it on a brick, melted the low temp [1100f], silver solder in it. Copper goes at about 1900f. So now I have a little pot/flux I can throw into the toolbox.

Its good to make your own cables. Cheap, fast, and why not make an extra to put under the tank or help another guzzi person.

My response to Brian:

Earlier this year I made up some custom cables for my Suzuki DR350 (taller handlebars to fit me better). Instead of a solder pot, I used a propane torch to heat a small cast iron skillet. I clamped the handle in my bench vice at such an angle that I didn't need to fill it with much solder. Worked a treat.

Brian's response:

Yeah, I called it a solder pot but really, one just needs something to keep it in a puddle. I still think the penny fix would work--just use silver solder, not 50-50 like I used long ago. Just too soft.

Anyway, I am confident about this repair and am glad I took the time to do it.

Note: There are several types of cable; a 7-7 cable has seven windings and 7 strands in each one. I just put a 316 inch 7-19 cable in a Maserati [E brake] yesterday. Very flexible/strong cable.

I'm tellin ya, there is an irony to working in a restoration shop (almost all Italian sports cars), and pulling up on the old Italian war horse. Then, I go home on it and come back, everyday. Its not worth millions as the cars are but, it gets the job done.

Thanks to Hayden who sent me this related information via email. In Hayden's own words:

Ceramic crucible for jewellery works well. Mine are 20 ml, 10 mm diameter inside the base, but also available as 10 ml and 5 ml. Good for 1800° Celcius!. Uses a miniscule amount of solder. Cheapish but also common in chemistry departments in schools or college so can be even cheaper! Don't bother with the lids.