Idle cable snapped!

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by BillMull, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. BillMull

    BillMull Banned

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    As many of you know by now im new to this Harley mechanic thing. Im trying very hard to learn and do repairs myself, and I have to say I have done good so far. The reason I have done so well so far is because this forum and all the answers I get.

    Anyway, today I was cleaning my bike and as most of you know with a lot of bikes you have to turn your handle bars all the way to the right or all the way to the left and then walk away from it. If you dont do that its normal for the handle bars to turn to the direction the bike is leaning. Today, I rolled my bike back to finish cleaning the wheels and let go of the handle bars and the handles bars turned fast and hard causing my idle cable to break. I looked at the cable and you could see the corrosion and rust on it in mid way point of it. So, it was gonna break at some point anyway. Me being me and new to this was wondering if I could still ride my bike with the idle cable broke. I started it and it ran like normal. The reason being I believe is because I had the idle as low as it could go so without the cable it made no difference. I rode it with no problem. My question is, how do you turn the idle down lower than what it is even without the idle cable? My bike to me seems to idle fast and I cant get it to idle down. What do I do? Also, are replacing the idle cable a tough job to do? Thanks a lot!!!:newsmile071:
     
  2. dbmg

    dbmg Experienced Member

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    You need both cables for safe operation. One cable pulls throttle on and the other cable pushes throttle off when grip is released. It probably would not pass state inspection.
    This may help. Click on link: Throttle cable - Harley Davidson Community
     
  3. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    There is an adjustment screw for the throttle stop near where the 2 cables attach to the carb you will need a a long cross head screwdriver to adjust the throttle stop if the tank and air cleaner are fitted
    adjusting this screw will adjust the closed position of the throttle butterfly
    prior to adjusting the throttle stop you will need to put some slack into the 2 cables this is done by the adjusters at the handlebar end of the cables adjust the idle speed then re adjust the cables ensure bike is fully warmed up prior to carrying out any adjustments to the carb
    However i would suggest that the priority is to replace the broke cable as the spring on the carb is perhaps not powerful enough in all conditions

    Brian
     
  4. Dswartz

    Dswartz Active Member

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    Yes, you need both cables. Even though you may be able to ride without the idle cable, the bike really isn't safe until you get it replaced. In fact if your idle cable snapped I would bet that the throttle cable isn't too far behind. I would recommend replacing both of them. It's not that hard to do I actually replaced them both on my bike a couple weeks ago because the idle cable was starting to fray.
     
  5. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    Like mentioned above, you need both cables as a safety. If the idle cable broke the other one may not be far behind. It sounds like poor maintenance was done as far as lubrication if the idle cable was rusty.
     
  6. BillMull

    BillMull Banned

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    Guys, thanks a lot!! Its a really funny story how I ended up getting my bike. I got my bike from my ex-wife and her husband. She was getting a divorce at the time when I saw it. She fought him in court to get it back and she got it. She didnt know how to ride anyway. I told her I wanted it. Well, her soon to be ex still had the bike and he knew he had to give it back to her. Prior to this he babied the bike. He started letting the perfect bike sit outside in the weather and rain and snow. He was doing this for revenge to her. I bought it from her and this is the consequences that im now getting from his actions. The cable was rusted severely where it snapped into. Im sure no lube was ever put done the cables to prevent this. Anyway, sorry I gave a huge story to just say thanks to you all. I was just mentioning it to you guys in case of things I may need to look for on my bike since little things like this are a safety issue.

    I notice there is a screw on the idle thing that the idle cable goes into on the carb. I have adjusted the screw as far as I can while the cable is on it and it wont slow the idle down any. I guess thats why the bike runs fine without the idle cable on it. Im confused to one of the posts to how I can slow the idle down since I have no cable anyway on it. I figured without the idle cable the bike would not idle at all but it does. I notice there is a screw on the throttle side also, kind of like if you adjust the screw it would keep you from rolling the throttle back further than you want, is that what it is?
     
  7. HDDon

    HDDon Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

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    I think you need to understand what Fin was trying to explain. There are adjusters on the throttle and idle cables up near the twist grip. You need to loosen the cables by screwing the adjusters all the way in and than adjust the screw stop on the carb. to get the engine idle where it needs to be to keep the engine turning over at about 800rpm. Once you have the idle adjusted you than screw the adjusters back out to tighten the cables and not raise the idle.
     
  8. BillMull

    BillMull Banned

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    Got ya HD Don, thanks for that. I know exactly what your talking about now! Thanks for clearing that up for me!!:s
     
  9. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    If the throttle cable has no slack in it then adjusting the throttle stop screw can not decrease the idle as the cable is holding it
    Be aware that there should be a wee bit of slack in both cables when properly adjusted and you should be able to swing the handlebars from lock to lock without affecting the idle

    Brian