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Preventative Cable Maintenance - Snowblower? <SOLVED>

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  • Jan 20th, 2021 10:42 am
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 12, 2009
4594 posts
2225 upvotes
Toronto

Preventative Cable Maintenance - Snowblower? <SOLVED>

Last winter season was the 3rd season on my snowblower. The sheathed cables that control the chute were getting sticky so I removed the control handle to allow me to extend the cables straight up and gave them a good dosing of penetrating oil. After working the cables for a bit the problem resolved.

This season, the cables were essentially seized. I tried the same thing. When working the cables, one broke. So I decided to replace them both and ordered some in. Sticker shock of $40 ea for what is essentially a bicycle brake cable. Before I put them on, I'm wondering if there is anything I should be doing now and at the end of the season to keep this from happening again. The cables are about 4' in length with about 8" of exposed cable that can be accessed if I pull the inner cable out to it's limit. Pull it out from the other end and I have direct access to ~ 16".

Should I be lubricating the cable before installation and at the beginning / end of each season?
If so, what would you use? I've got spray-able white lithium grease, penetrating oil, regular oil ...

I know part of the problem is that the inner cable is exposed to the elements at the control lever on the snowblower handle and it allows for water to flow down inside of the cables. I'm going to try taking a piece of flexible rubber, poke a hole through it and slide it over the lever handle so it covers the opening while still allowing the lever to move.
Last edited by ROYinTO on Jan 17th, 2021 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Following the advice of the Health Experts - I will consider voting for Dougie @ 12:01 AM, five days after the next provincial election.
6 replies
Deal Fanatic
Nov 21, 2013
5669 posts
3997 upvotes
13 yers old snowblower here. Never done anything to maintain the cables and so far so good.with original cables.. I know this won't help, but I never done anything to cables wheter on the snowblower, grass mower or bicycles...
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 12, 2009
4594 posts
2225 upvotes
Toronto
DoorCrasher wrote: 13 yers old snowblower here. Never done anything to maintain the cables and so far so good.with original cables.. I know this won't help, but I never done anything to cables wheter on the snowblower, grass mower or bicycles...
Pretty much the same for me with everything else.
I just noticed on the parts diagram, my snowblower was missing a 2nd cable clip to hold the 2 cables together. This allowed for a low spot in the cable routing and moisture pooling.
The new cables did not come with new clips. A couple of well placed zip ties should resolve that problem. A $0.10 fix for an $80 failure.
Following the advice of the Health Experts - I will consider voting for Dougie @ 12:01 AM, five days after the next provincial election.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Dec 12, 2009
4594 posts
2225 upvotes
Toronto
I'm going to answer my own question here because I spent the afternoon searching. It seems that lubricating cables is an issue with many things such as: boats, motorcycles, ATV's, bicycles etc.

There are kits available that have a special tool and cable lube such as this: https://www.protectall.com/shop/cable-products/

There are DIY solutions such as this.

Image

I'm liking the idea of using an elastic band rather than duct tape.

Image

So I think I'll McGuyver the two ideas together, using some B'laster Chain & Cable Lubricant with Teflon that I can get from Canadian Tire.

Problem Solved
Following the advice of the Health Experts - I will consider voting for Dougie @ 12:01 AM, five days after the next provincial election.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 25, 2007
9987 posts
5261 upvotes
Paris
DoorCrasher wrote: 13 yers old snowblower here. Never done anything to maintain the cables and so far so good.with original cables.. I know this won't help, but I never done anything to cables wheter on the snowblower, grass mower or bicycles...
Same here... never lubricated any of this stuff. I think OP just got unlucky.
Deal Addict
Sep 17, 2002
1085 posts
472 upvotes
my 16 yr old blower never had any lubrication on cables but a few years ago the chute cable would freeze during really cold weather....it's a pain....as it would work other wise.

just like changing the oil - lube the cables (preventive maintenance, especially if you an older blower).

Don't forget to get shear pins, spark plugs, etc...
Deal Guru
User avatar
Sep 1, 2005
12607 posts
7331 upvotes
Markham
+1 on the No lube. I haven't even used my snow blower for a few years now in fact as we haven't had much snow. I also have snow sleigh/sled and use that for lesser qty of snowfalls.
We're all bozos on the bus until we find a way to express ourselves...

Failure is always an option...just not the preferred one!

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