Engine Control Cables

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This is a bit of a quick hack.
I had two nice blocks of G10 fiberglass, which had originally been prepared as shims for the rear engine mounts. It turns out they weren't needed for that, but they worked perfectly to move the cable brackets out 1-1/4" and change the angle of attack. They're bolted onto the existing bracket.

I'll take them back off, grind them into a more aesthetic shape and paint them, after I know for sure that this is correct.

Note that the cable must be at right angles to the shift lever when the gear box is in neutral.
This is important.

June 2006 --

Well, the engine's "in", and now
I have to hook up all the crap
that connects to it.

One key component is the
throttle, shifter and engine kill cables.



Down at the engine end,
the cables are secured with little notched brackets.

Naturally, it has to be assembled outside the pedestal, and then maneuvered down
into the pedestal column.

At this point I discovered that it doesn't fit past the chain. The steering chain and cables have to be disassembled to install the control cables.

I sure am glad I spent six hours getting my steering system aligned so that top dead center on my wheel was just exactly perfect. (grin.) Oh well, it isn't a boat project if you don't take it all apart and
put it back together at least twice.

Make that four times.
Once I had it perfect, I should have
taken a marker and marked the center link
when the wheel is TDC. Oops.

Here's a close up of that fitting. Because if it, I had to move the control cable to the outside of the lever.
I also chewed up that black plastic cover
while figuring this out, and I'll need to
find a replacement for it to keep dirt out.

Moving the control cable to the outside meant modifying the mounting bracket above it, so the cable is properly aligned with the shift lever.


I have a Hurth V-Drive. Because it's a V-Drive, everything is "backwards", and the standard cable mounting setup would have put the gear box in Forward when the pedestal control was
set to Reverse, and vice versa.

I'd planned on this, knowing that the shift lever on the gear box can be flipped over the other way to make everything work just fine.

However, I hadn't counted on this little fitting on the gear box. There are two of them, and they aren't on the engineering drawings for the V Drive, nor did I have them on my last Hurth V Drive.
I believe they're for an external oil cooler, which is only required for high speed applications.

Up that the pedestal end of the cable, the threaded end of the cable was already fully seated into the little brass fork that Edson supplies with the pedestal. I couldn't shorten the cable without taking a die and moving the threads further down the little steel rod.

Rather than do that, I just drilled a hole 1/2" down the fork.

This worked just fine.

The throttle also presented challenges, as the cable ends were a total of about 1" too long. Rather than try and move the mounting points for the brackets, which would involve drilling and tapping in tight quarters, I used my Handy Dremel Tool to shorten the threaded end of the cable by 1/2" at the engine end. This worked out fine, as it still could be fully screwed into the little threaded fitting on the throttle lever.

Ever the optimist, I stuck a dab of red Loctite
on the threads. Of course I had to take it apart and put it back together about three times for each cable, but once I had it all fastened down inside the pedestal I wasn't going to take it apart *again*
just to add Loctite.

I kept singing that Stones tune:
"This may be the last time.
This may be the last time.
Maybe the last time, I don't know."

It's hard to tell from this angle,
but at full throttle the lever now stops
about an inch in front of the pedestal guard.

The cables are well secured
along the entire run,
using Ancor tie-downs.

I used Volvo-Penta cables instead of Morse cables, as I've been told that they're just as good but cost half as much.

At each end, the cables have a groove in the fitting, which is used to secure the sheath.

Here's a picture of the cables at the pedestal end, secured into a little bracket that came with my new Edson pedestal. Note that Edson has changed the way the cables are secured over the years, and this is just the way
they're doing it today.

That bolt goes through a hole in
the pedestal column.

Morse (Teledyne) makes a cable just for mechanical kill switches. On my new engine, the kill switch is a lever that cuts off the fuel.

I have a friend who sustained major damage to her boat when a passenger accidentally caught a foot on the kill knob, pulled it halfway out and broke it off, then didn't say anything. My friend missed a tack in very tight quarters, tried to start the engine to get the boat out of trouble, and the engine wouldn't start. She ended up broadside to an old wooden pier, and it chewed the living heck out of her topsides, teak rails and pulpit.
A bad and bloody day for her.

So I tucked my engine kill knob up under the lit for the cockpit seat, where it's well protected and can't get stepped on.

Inside, I caulked a scrap piece of 1/2" fiberglass against the cockpit for strength, and tightened the cable down really well.

I may have not lined the front and back up very well, and may have bent the metal sheath on the end.
There's enough resistance in the cable to overcome the strength of the spring on the engine end, which can leave the knob out. I'd like to have it spring back. So I may go back and redo this someday.

The cable has to be cut down to fit, and the inner wire exposed.

It's a strong cable. Note that the inner cable is protected by a sheath of tempered steel wire, and the whole thing is very stiff.

Hmm. Auto focus didn't work too well here.

There's a nylon sheath around the inner wire. I left it about 1/2" longer than the outer sheath, and then cut all the tempered steel support wires to leave about six inches of the inner wire exposed. Those little ends are really sharp.

The reason for leaving a bit of the interior nylon exposed should be clear in this picture.

I put a bit of clear heat shrink over the raw wire ends, so that they won't cut my hands up every time I reach down near them. The clear stuff is thicker than the black stuff.

Just for the record, this is a picture of the label on the Morse control cable box. If I ever need another one, now I'll know which
one to get.

Here's the kill cable, on top, and the throttle cable below.

The kill cable is just held in place with a set screw, so once it was properly positioned I bent the end of the wire down about 20 degrees, so that if the set screw comes loose the cable
won't pull out.