BritBike Forum logo
BritBike SponsorBritBike SponsorBritBike SponsorBritBike SponsorBritBike Sponsor SteadfastCyclesBritBike SponsorBritBike SponsorBritBike SponsorBritBike SponsorHepolite PistonsBritBike Sponsor
Upgrade to: Gold Membership | Premium Membership | Vendor Membership | Site Sponsor Membership
Member Spotlight
Bry
Bry
Scotland
Posts: 311
Joined: May 2006
ShoutChat Box
Comment Guidelines: Do post respectful and insightful comments. Don't flame, hate, spam.
Search eBay for motorcycle parts in following countries
Australia, Canada, France, Holland, Italy, United Kingdom, USA
Random Gallery photo
a word from..
Manuals on DVD (Shipping included)
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate Thread
soldering cables
#495566 06/27/13 1:15 am
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 849
edunham Offline OP
BritBike Forum member
OP Offline
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 849
The compression release cable on my Velo was looking tatty, so I ordered a new one. After fitting, I discovered that the handlebar end barrel was a shade too short. Under tension it would cock and one side would pull out (trigger style decompressor lever). No problem, says I. I will just solder on the correct barrel from the "British cable ends kit" I bought off eBay. First problem, no barrel in the right size. Thats ok says I, I will use the barrel off the old cable, after all, it fit (you can see where this is going). I cut the barrel off the new cable, clean up the cable nicely with contact cleaner and acetone. Do the same with the barrel off the old cable. Put the barrel on the cable, spread the cable, smear flux paste all over everything, heat it up with my propane torch, get out my 50/50 lead solder, and second problem; it doesn't want to stick!!! Finally, after playing with it for quite a while, I manage to get an ugly blob on the end. I file it down, clean it up install it, and third problem; the cable pulls out as soon as its asked to lift a valve. I pull everything apart, clean again and try again. This time it lifted the valve twice before pulling out. Now fourth problem; I no longer have a working decompressor cable and I seem to have lost my ability to solder cables.
Any words of wisdom? What am I doing wrong? Have I forgotten something. The old guy who I use to go 20 years ago (George Parsons- RIP), would solder greasy oily cables in 5 minutes with a rag and his propane torch, muttering incantations under his breath. I can't get a new cable to hold for the life of me. Is this the onset of Alzheimers?

Worried in NJ

Support Your #1 BritBike Forum!

Check out British motorcycles for sale: British Motorcycles on e-Bay UK, British motorcycles on e-Bay North America
Re: soldering cables
edunham #495584 06/27/13 7:22 am
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 763
BritBike Forum member
Offline
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 763
sounds like you have the right idea.i myself dont like propane torches for this as they are "too much gun"try a high wattage soldering iron.tin barrel over all shake off excess solder.clear hole as required, slide over cable but up out of the way. tin lower end of cable using multiple apps of solder/flux until it is tinned and no un covered strands slide barrel to its new home sweat and ensure you fill hole. file as necessary and your done

Re: soldering cables
edunham #495587 06/27/13 8:24 am
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 6,401
Likes: 8
BritBike Forum member
Online Happy
BritBike Forum member
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 6,401
Likes: 8
I tend use (or have been using until B&Q stopped selling it) Plumbers grade silver solder. Electrical solder with or without lead content just won't cut it. I have made brake and clutch cables using this method!

A solder pot is the way to go with this, I have had a look on eBay for them - some are different outputs etc and then you find the solder for the pots - again... Are there different types available or what do I need to get???

I know this solution isn't as cheap as using the solder and propane/butane torch (which is what I have used to make my cables) but it does make a more professional looking and what looks a simpler job.

HTH


beerchug

(Display name changed for cyber security reasons)

Re: soldering cables
Allan G #495620 06/27/13 3:08 pm
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 44
BritBike Forum member
Offline
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 44

I had exactly the same issue when I went to sort out the advance retard cable on my new B33 frown

I used to be able to solder cables with no bother. I am using plumbers solder Like This and I use a home made solder pot (the same one I used to use 30 years ago smile )

I also do not know where I am going wrong. All cleaned, de-greased, and sandpapered. The brass nipple tins ok but not the cable frown

Thinking it might be the gas blow lamp causing oxidisation, or maybe I am not using the correct flux ? I seem to get a black muck in the (small) solder pot (from the flux perhaps).

I wonder what type of flux is best ?

John, in the N.W. UK


Current rides = 1959 650 Matchless G12CSR in near showroom nick, 1956 BSA B33 in "Goldy" trim (yeh, I know, cheesy but I like it !)
Re: soldering cables
edunham #495644 06/27/13 5:21 pm
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,844
Likes: 14
BritBike Forum member
Offline
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,844
Likes: 14
Certainly a solder pot is much better than a flame.
With a solder pot the item is immersed in the solder thus preventing air getting at it to oxidize it. With a flame there is high temperature local heat and an excess of air so oxidation takes place much easier.
However I suspect the main culprit of this syndrome (I used to be able to do it OK -I am using the same kit--but it doesn't seem to work anymore)is that a lot of inner cables these days are some grade of stainless steel. These steels need different fluxes than the old style inner cables.
I suspect this is why John in the posting above can tin the brass nipple OK but not the inner cable.
There are fluxes especially formulated for stainless steel so I would recommend trying one of those.
In conjunction with a solder pot at a high enough temperature and a tin bearing solder you should be able to produce a cable "just like in the good old days"
HTH

Re: soldering cables
edunham #495706 06/28/13 3:32 am
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 6,112
Likes: 9
BritBike Forum member
Offline
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 6,112
Likes: 9
I've been using liquid acid flux and metal repair solder from Alpha Metals. I have not had good results with a torch, but a high wattage iron works for me. An iron made for stained glass puts out quite enough heat.
I never repaired a compression release cable. But, I once fixed a Trident clutch cable. If that held up the solder must be good. laugh


Stepping on others doesn't make you stand tall.

71 A65L "Zelda"
92 BMW K100rs "Gustav"
72 T120V cafe project "Mr. Jim"
72 T150V "Wotan"
Re: soldering cables
edunham #495709 06/28/13 5:28 am
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 5,795
Likes: 6
BritBike Forum member
Offline
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 5,795
Likes: 6
Originally Posted by edunham
smear flux paste all over everything,... ; it doesn't want to stick!!! ...the cable pulls out as soon as its asked to lift a valve.
There are two things going on. The most important is that the flux you are using isn't the appropriate one for whatever the inner cable is made of. Flux from the hardware store is almost certainly made for copper pipe, not something ferrous like your cable.

Your cable is steel. Someone in one of the other posts mentioned stainless steel and while that's possible it's not likely. Stainless is more expensive than "normal" steel and suppliers tend toward the cheapest way of producing things. Anyway, if it is regular steel, basically you need a flux that works with iron oxide not copper oxide. However, if it actually is stainless, you'll need an acid flux to deal with it.

The other issue is geometry. Even if the flux does its job and the solder has nicely wet the cable, if the cable itself is straight you are relying entirely on the sheer strength of a lead-tin joint to keep it from pulling free. What you need to do is to insert the cable through the fitting, splay the wires of the cable radially so the end has a larger dia. than that of the fitting, then solder it. If you do this the only way the cable could pull through is if somehow that solder were squeezed out from between all those wires. The cable itself would break before that could happen.

Re: soldering cables
edunham #495711 06/28/13 6:13 am
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,518
Likes: 1
In Remembrance
Offline
In Remembrance
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,518
Likes: 1
Brake cleaner works well to clean any oil/grease of the cable.I just use zinc chloride acid flux and 60/40 solder (60% tin).63/37 solder is marginally stronger,but not much.

Re: soldering cables
edunham #495743 06/28/13 1:06 pm
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,844
Likes: 14
BritBike Forum member
Offline
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,844
Likes: 14
Certainly some cable inners these days are stainless steel.
You need a flux for steel/stainless steel. IME zinc chloride flux (also known as killed spirits as it is made by putting metallic zinc into hydrochloric acid--Bakers Fluid is one of the better known brand names in UK)works pretty well.
You need heat--preferably a solder pot or a good high wattage soldering iron (100 watts at least). Don't try using the normal 25 watt iron that is sold for soldering electrical connections---if you do then a dry joint is virtually guaranteed.
The exact solder composition is relatively unimportant.
As long as there is some tin in it it will work OK.
The solder metallurgically bonds to the cable and nipple by forming a very thin tin rich layer (about 95% tin) just a few atoms thick--this acts as an interface between the cable and the bulk solder.
To get the capillary action so that the solder draws itself up the gap between the cable inner and the nipple the gap needs to be 5-10 thou. So as we have two gaps in the typical inner cable/nipple configuration you need about a 15 thou difference between the inner cable O.D. and the nipple I.D.
The actual shear strength of bulk solder is quite low so it is vitally important to get the mechanical lock that Magnetoman describes.
HTH

Re: soldering cables
Tridentman #495784 06/28/13 8:26 pm
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 849
edunham Offline OP
BritBike Forum member
OP Offline
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 849
Thanks for all the comments. The main problem is, as many of you have suggested is that the cable is stainless steel (at least it appears to be- it wasn't attracted by a magnet). I had a chat with John Healy today at The Triumph Come Home Rally, and he confirmed that the real problem is the flux. Of course, neither the welding shop, HVAC supply shop or the industrial supply shop in town had the right stuff, so I won't be fixing it tonight. I ordered the right stuff, as well as a roll of solder appropriate for stainless from McMaster Carr, so it should get here tomorrow evening. As to Magnetoman's comment, I splay the strands out and make a "rosette," but if the solder doesn't stick properly, it can still pull through. Although, some one else was telling me tht they make up a special jig with a tapered split hole that they use with a hollow tapered punch that results in the end of the cable becoming a tight wedge. They then use no solder at all.


Re: soldering cables
edunham #496274 07/02/13 8:08 pm
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 7,728
BritBike Forum member
Offline
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 7,728
I have a little spice jar full of muriatic acid that I dip the cable end into for about 5 minutes before sldering and have had no problems with solder bonding. Also, a 1/2" copper pipe cap screwed to a piece of steel makes a cheap/great solder pot you can heat with a propane or map torch.


A smattering:
'53 Gold Flash
'67 Royal Star
'71 Rickman Metisse
'40 Silver Star
'37 Rudge Special
sixtyseventy Lightboltrocket road racer...and many more.
Re: soldering cables
edunham #496282 07/02/13 9:58 pm
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 3,239
BritBike Forum member
Offline
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 3,239
I also use muriatic, it'll get used parts clean enough to solder. Then I use the clear flux Flanders sells- not sure what it would be out on the market. Was going to make a solder pot, but found one cheep on eBay......it makes a world of difference.

Since I've gotten pretty good at making cables, don't have to buy any more of those new cables which don't fit.

Re: soldering cables
edunham #496287 07/02/13 11:17 pm
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,844
Likes: 14
BritBike Forum member
Offline
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,844
Likes: 14
+1 Leon

Re: soldering cables
edunham #496341 07/03/13 9:15 am
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 10,467
Likes: 9
BritBike Forum member
Offline
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 10,467
Likes: 9
When stuck with no Muratic I have used vinegar successfully.

Re: soldering cables
edunham #496362 07/03/13 4:08 pm
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,844
Likes: 14
BritBike Forum member
Offline
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,844
Likes: 14
I guess Kommando means malt vinegar which is the most widely known and used vinegar in UK.
Malt vinegar is not so readily available in US where if you ask for vinegar you are most likely to get balsamic vinegar. Not sure if this would work as well as malt vinegar which is pretty acidic (for US readers malt vinegar is used with fish and chips)
HTH

Re: soldering cables
edunham #496370 07/03/13 4:55 pm
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 10,467
Likes: 9
BritBike Forum member
Offline
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 10,467
Likes: 9
Yes, I used Malt Vinegar but clear Scottish Vinegar works too.

Both are Acetic Acid.

Re: soldering cables
edunham #496378 07/03/13 5:37 pm
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,311
BritBike Forum member
Offline
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,311
so I guess it would follow that I could use photographic stop bath which is acetic acid ( with an indicator in it for photographic use to show when it's exhausted ). Perhaps I should dilute it more than I would for photos as it's still stronger than vinegar at working solution. Anybody tried this or am I just too far in the past.

I still use film, not into this digital photo world, but I do ride old British motorcycles too....Nothing quite like the image of an old britbike from a 4 by 5 inch or larger sheet of black and white film........Cheers, Wilf


"It's about the ride..."
Re: soldering cables
edunham #496382 07/03/13 6:09 pm
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 10,467
Likes: 9
BritBike Forum member
Offline
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 10,467
Likes: 9
Vinegar is 8% Acetic acid but can be stronger. Last time I used it was to remove corrosion from old copper wire before soldering new connectors on.

Re: soldering cables
edunham #496397 07/03/13 8:38 pm
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,936
Likes: 10
BritBike Forum member
Offline
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,936
Likes: 10
How about apple cider vinegar. Thats the most popular around these parts. And yes we have malt vinegar offered for fries at most of our fairs and hometown events. But then again all of our towns are British or German named too.


http://wadeschields.tumblr.com/

Jack of all trades . Master of fun! wink

Beer is not the Answer.... Its the Question..... The answer is YES

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]
Re: soldering cables
wadeschields #496994 07/08/13 1:26 am
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 2,589
Likes: 1
BritBike Forum member
Offline
BritBike Forum member
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 2,589
Likes: 1
I was just looking at Venhill's web site and saw some info on this topic. It is covered in the final two items on their QandA Page (scroll all the way down).

They also have a video up on youTube showing their Bird Caging Tool. Interesting.


'64 TR6R Plus some Twins from other countries (U.S., Germany, Japan)

Moderated by  Alan_nc 

Link Copied to Clipboard
Home | Sponsors | Newsletter | Regalia | Calendar | Bike Project | BritBike Museum | Spiders Cartoons | DVD- Manuals & Parts books
Upgrade to: Gold Membership | Premium Membership | Vendor Membership | Site Sponsor Membership
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4