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Author Topic: Engine Oil for Clutch Cable Lubrication  (Read 231 times)

adi-4004

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Engine Oil for Clutch Cable Lubrication
« on: October 20, 2014, 04:09:21 PM »
Hello

I am wondering if I can use engine oil to lubricate by cables (clutch, throttle)?

What is so special about the clutch cable lubricant compared to engine oil?
« Last Edit: October 20, 2014, 04:19:53 PM by adi-4004 »
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pmanaz1973

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Re: Engine Oil for Clutch cable Lubrication
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2014, 04:19:55 PM »
Well...in a pinch you could...but I'd recommend something in a aerosol can and a cable lubing tool.  For around $12 it makes life much easier, cleaner and when used with a aerosol lube it flushes some of the grit and gunk out of the cable housing and makes things nice and smooth.

I've been using Tri-Flow foaming and a cable lube tool I found at a yard sale and my cables slide like greased poop on wax paper - that is smooth by the way ;)
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mattsz

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Re: Engine Oil for Clutch Cable Lubrication
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2014, 04:36:56 PM »
One argument might be that most of these canned cable lubricants flow easily through the cables as a liquid, much less viscous than oil... but then the liquid carrier evaporates, leaving a dry coating of lubricant behind.

You might not find two people who agree on what's the best brand or formula to use to lube your cables, but I'm pretty sure everyone here will agree that anything (even motor oil) is better than nothing!

motorman2whel

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Re: Engine Oil for Clutch Cable Lubrication
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2014, 05:15:34 PM »
Any kind of lube you can get into a cable is better than nothing. For years I have used a pressure type cable luber and chain lube on my cables it works great. If your cables are older & possibly have some grit & rust inside I use WD40 to flush them out & then lube them. For new riders, the cable luber pictured goes over the cable & slides over the outer cover then it is tightened down forming a seal, a aerosol lube straw is inserted into a small rubber port sealing around the straw, when the sprayer is depressed it forces lube into the cable. Often it is not a perfect seal and leaks some so wrap a rag around the luber to catch the leakage. These are very cheap, this one is less than $8 U.S. including shipping.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2014, 05:25:25 PM by motorman2whel »

Ducati Scotty

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Re: Engine Oil for Clutch Cable Lubrication
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2014, 05:16:37 PM »
+1.  Cable lube is designed for just that.  It lubes the cables, helps flush out grit, and is designed to not attract too much new grit.  If you feel inclined to use up old engine oil, get an automatic chain oiler and use it there.

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suitcasejefferson

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Re: Engine Oil for Clutch Cable Lubrication
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2014, 03:52:36 AM »
I have used just about everything to lube cables with, and have not had any problems, at least on Japanese bikes. My favorite cable lube is LPS #2. I'm not too crazy about all these expensive specialty products that have come out lately. I have 2 bikes with foam air filters. I use gasoline to clean them, and engine oil to reoil them, just like I have been doing since age 8. That's what the manufacturers used to recommend in the manuals years ago. It still works great. I also use engine oil to lube the non o-ring chain on my dual sport bike.
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Scotty Brown

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Re: Engine Oil for Clutch Cable Lubrication
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2014, 05:29:16 AM »
For excellent penetration and lubrication just look to Magic Mystery Oil --- It is a wonder !

SteveThackery

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Re: Engine Oil for Clutch Cable Lubrication
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2014, 02:38:50 PM »
I've never had much luck using engine oil - the cable seems to go stiff again quite quickly.  A grease seems to work better, but you will need one that has a built-in solvent, such as the various aerosol products you can buy.

You will need one of those clampy things mentioned earlier.  Here's a tip: when using it, wrap it in a rag and hold it firmly in your hand, because if it's anything like mine it leaks lube from every orifice (including down the cable, luckily).
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barenekd

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Re: Engine Oil for Clutch Cable Lubrication
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2014, 06:12:45 PM »
I've used Dri-slide since the sixties and it works extremely well. It's very slick, doesn't attract dirt like oil will, and keeps lubing for a long time.
As for chain cleaning, I used to take the chain off and, clean in gasoline, then boil it in grease. I don't do that anymore, but I don't race dirt bikes anymore, either.
I still use Dri-Slide though. Nowadays it comes with a very thin metal tube that can be stuck down between outer housing and cable, making it a quite clean and easy application.
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mattsz

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Re: Engine Oil for Clutch Cable Lubrication
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2014, 07:40:39 PM »
+1 - Bare beat me to it.  I bought Dri-Slide on his recommendation.  It works, and it's easy (the tube does indeed just fit between the cable and the housing).  It's not a spray, it's a liquid, so it's a very clean application.  Just be ready to catch the drips that come out the far side of the cable housing...

suitcasejefferson

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Re: Engine Oil for Clutch Cable Lubrication
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2014, 04:03:54 AM »
I've never had one of those cable lubricator thingies. I use a flexible plastic insulator that goes over the alligator clips on electrical test leads. The one I use is about 1" long, and can be stretched over the cable end, and fits tight around the cable. I fill it up with whatever I am using, and let it run down the cable till it starts dripping out the other end. Works with speedometer cables too.
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JVS

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Re: Engine Oil for Clutch Cable Lubrication
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2014, 08:14:30 AM »
I also just use a generic cable lube for throttle + clutch + bi-starter. All is well till now  :)
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