Transmission linkage and cable

Teedee

Junior Member
Hi All,
I have had my 1990 Ericson 38-200 for one year. I have found that it is difficult to shift between fwd, neutral and reverse. I've lubricated the linkages at the transmission and in the pedestal. Other than the wire for the binnacle light being wrapped around the shifter, I noticed nothing out of the ordinary and unwrapping the binnacle wire did not improve anything.

I talked to the marina's service manager and he said he has seen other Ericsons with the same problem. He feels that there are too many tight turns in the transmission cable resulting in a lot of friction and that replacing the cable would not help.

Anyone else have difficulty shifting? Any remedies? Regards. Tom
 

Frank Langer

1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
Hi,
The experts say you should replace the cable every 5 years but most sailors don't do it that often. I replaced ours about 5 years ago, and noticed a significant improvement, the older ones being about 12 years old.
When I replaced ours I was able to shorten the cable by rerouting it, and shorter is better as long as you can maintain a radius of about 18" at the turns.
They are not too hard to replace though I'm not familiar with the routing on the E38
Frank
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Here's a recent thread. Many other threads too, if you search "control cable replacement" or similar. It will require taking the pedestal apart, also well documented here.


You'll love the improvement.
 

southofvictor

Member III
We had the same condition on our 38-200, and replacing the cables made a big improvement. Also shortened the shift cable and probably still could have shortened it more. Here’s more info:

 

peaman

Member III
The cable alone should be very smooth and easy to move. It may be useful to disconnect the cable from the transmission first, and check to see how easily the transmission shifts by hand. It should have some, but not a great deal of, resistance.

Check the entire length of the cable to see if there are any clamps attached. Clamps are sometimes used to add resistance to a very smooth action, more so on throttle cables than transmission, but it's worth a check.

As others have noted, if the cable is several years old, it is time for a change. And when completed, you will probably be very pleased with the result.
 

Pete the Cat

Member III
It is also possible that someone put a clamp somewhere on the cable so that it would not slip and it might be too tight. This is usually put at the base of the binnacle but could be anywhere on the cable. While it is true that there are a lot of tight turns to get out of the YS binnacle, my throttle would not stay in gear an I needed to add a clamp. I have seen them less often on shift cables. FWIW.
 

u079721

Contributing Partner
Well it's certainly past time for new cables. BUT, check out this thread of mine from 2002. After my trans cable snapped I discovered that the factory had indeed bent the cable through way too tight a bend. If yours looks like mine did you'll want to modify things.

 

southofvictor

Member III
Well it's certainly past time for new cables. BUT, check out this thread of mine from 2002. After my trans cable snapped I discovered that the factory had indeed bent the cable through way too tight a bend. If yours looks like mine did you'll want to modify things.

Yeah mine had a loop at least 12” in diameter in it behind the diesel tank which theoretically could have been made to avoid a tight radius bend coming past the rudder post but in practice did nothing I can tell other than add unsupported length to the run.
 

Jaybee

Cocoa, FL 1984 30+
Possibly a silly question, I was working on my shifter cable just today. Anyhow, the retention bracket, circled in red on the attached photo - does that come with a new cable? If NO, where would I find one (googling cable retention bracket not hitting the right results...)?

Thanks

retaining clip.jpg
 

trickdhat

Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
It didn't come with my cable. This is a picture of a Yanmar. I'm not sure if Universal does it differently.
 

Jaybee

Cocoa, FL 1984 30+
Can't edit prior post, I always forget shifter cables are called control cable on boats.

Google search for control cable clamp will produce the right result if this helps anyone in the future.
 
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