How To Measure Control Cables

How To Measure Control Cables – Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Marc Adams with SeaStar Solutions and welcome to our technical training videos. Today we're going to discuss how to measure shift and throttle control cables.

Before you take your boat out, you should test your control. It should be easy to move in both forward and reverse positions. If it feels stiff or is locked up, there's a good chance you need a new control cable. The first thing you want to do is disconnect the cable at the engine or at the transmission and then test your control again. You'll want to check out our separate video on disconnecting and removing the old throttle and shift cables and reinstalling new cables.

If it's still hard to move, then remove the cable from the control and test the cable again. Grab one end and try and push and pull it. If it's still hard to move you can probably get the part number off of the plastic jacket of the old cable. The old Teleflex and the new SeaStar Solutions cable part numbers will start with the letters CC or CCX then have five numbers after the last letter. The first three numbers will tell you what cable you have and the last two numbers will tell you the cable length in feet.

If you have an old Morse cable, the part number will start with a single letter then be a five or six digits, a dash then one two three digits then another dash and then your cable length in inches. If for some reason you cannot see the number, you'll want to measure tip to tip and then round up to the nearest even foot. Before going to your local marine retailer, look at the control and the engine and transmission. You're looking for any manufacturers part numbers. It's a good idea to snap a photo of the cable and the cable ends to compare with the new ones that you're going to be getting.

If you have a new boat or you don't have the old cable, again, get the control in the engine transmission manufacturer. Next, using a tape measure, measure the boat from the middle of the control directly to the thottle arm using the best path with as few and big sweeping bends as possible. These bends should have no less than an eight inch radius. And then add four feet to make a loop in the cable in front of the outboard. This allows for the engine to turn side-to-side and tilt up and down without damaging the control cables. This is a lot easier as a two-man job. It's best to recruit a helper.

Please note on inboards and inboard/ outboards the cable lengths can be two different lengths. Whereas on outboards, they're going to be the exact same length. If your boat has a rigging tube, your loop may be below the splashwell deck then come to the engine through that rigging tube.

We offer OEM control cables for Mercury, MerCruiser, Evinrude, Johnson and OMC. There are also some specialty cables for L Drives, jet boats and older Transmissions. Most other applications will use a 3300 or a 33C style control cable with a 10/32 threaded ends and the correct adapter kits for both the engine and the control end of the cable. Please note, most of the time the original ends are reused. If they look worn, you'll need to replace these ends as well. And remember, measure twice and order once.

That concludes this technical training video. If you have any questions at all please feel free to call SeaStar technical support. We'll help you out.