Bowden cables (to oil or not to oil?)

kevindb880

Member
Location
Herts
The levers on our 21 year old Bomford trimmer are a bit hard work nowadays making my fingers a bit sore.
Have never oiled the actual cables, are you even supposed to oil them?
Anyone know if you can take the inner cable out and clean and if you can what would be the best if any lubricant to use when putting back together?
 
The levers on our 21 year old Bomford trimmer are a bit hard work nowadays making my fingers a bit sore.
Have never oiled the actual cables, are you even supposed to oil them?
Anyone know if you can take the inner cable out and clean and if you can what would be the best if any lubricant to use when putting back together?
I suppose you could try a squirt of WD40 down the ends of the cable & just keep working the levers
 

C.J

Member
Location
South Devon
The levers on our 21 year old Bomford trimmer are a bit hard work nowadays making my fingers a bit sore.
Have never oiled the actual cables, are you even supposed to oil them?
Anyone know if you can take the inner cable out and clean and if you can what would be the best if any lubricant to use when putting back together?
Its usually just rust on the steel rod on the ends of the cables.

I have taken the cables out of the sheaths to oil them out but once I didn't think I was going to get it back in again.

Better to just oil the bit sticking out , after cleaning any rust off , and only work the cable in and out a couple of inches.
 

Dave W

Member
Location
chesterfield
The levers on our 21 year old Bomford trimmer are a bit hard work nowadays making my fingers a bit sore.
Have never oiled the actual cables, are you even supposed to oil them?
Anyone know if you can take the inner cable out and clean and if you can what would be the best if any lubricant to use when putting back together?
After 21 years I'd be fitting a new set. They don't exactly owe you a lot and it with literally transform the machine. Will be like having a new one
 

Netherfield

Member
Location
West Yorkshire
On David Brown loaders the instruction was Not to oil the bowden cables at all, although the valve block eventually leaked enough to do one end anyway.

A bit like a lock should not be oiled, oil and fine grit make a grinding paste, locks want graphite powder maybe bowden cables the same.
 

Dave W

Member
Location
chesterfield
On David Brown loaders the instruction was Not to oil the bowden cables at all, although the valve block eventually leaked enough to do one end anyway.

A bit like a lock should not be oiled, oil and fine grit make a grinding paste, locks want graphite powder maybe bowden cables the same.
if its a build up of grim greace and worn metal - flushing out with solvent may help but if they are worn then replacement may be the better option
This ^^
it's a nylon coated wire inside a nylon sleeve. Nylon rubbing on nylon likes to be dry.
brake cleaner and a blow out it's as good as anything
 
a tip for oiling them if you must is get a-
old bicycle inner tube
a jubilee clip a bit bigger than the cable
a cork or bung that will fit in the inner tube and a jubilee clip for that too

cut inner tube about 8 inches each side of the valve
clip 1 end over the disconnected cable
pour in some oil into the inner tube
fit cork or bung into inner tube and clip it in
apply a LITTLE air via the tyre valve and work the cable back n fore
 

clbarclay

Member
Location
Worcestershire
About the best lubricant I've tried on Bowden cables has been JD branded aerosols of "Chain and cable length lubricant". They seem to be over £20 a can thought. The cans I have were included in winter combine services. I've been meaning to find a good supply of it without the rebranding premium.

It feels like a medium weight oil (heavy compared to anything else I've had in an aerosol), but it seems to penetrate pretty well when just sprayed on the expised end of a Bowden cable and the worked in and out a few times.
 

335d

Member
Motorcyclists have long had cable oiler gadgets, but I suspect for the OP, the larger diameter cables on his machine will not allow them to be used...
Was just going to add that.
I have one for oiling brake cables on the quad bike.
Never see a big enough one though for Bowden cables

 

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