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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:21 am 
Site Rank - Admiral

Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 180
Hey all,

I recently had to order a replacement idler cable when I noticed mine was cracking. I have two questions in the regrad:

1. Are there any proven preventive techniques to stop this from happening? I clean my drive with a freshwater rinse and use WD40 per the instructions after every use.

2. I noticed that all of the nuts had loosened over the course of the last year's usage. Is it advisable to use Loctite or nylon locking nuts on the drive to help lessen the chances of them loosening?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:02 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 12:44 pm
Posts: 12053
Location: Oceanside, California
The Idler cable is not the one I would expect to have issues, but all chains and cables are subject to wear and fatigue over time. I clean and lube my bike chain on every ride too.

Nuts should be replaced when replacing chains and cables. The nylon gets cut. Cables and chains stretch, so would appear that the nuts are working loose as well. Use blue Loc Tite if you use any.

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Director of Parts and Accessory Sales
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:33 am 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:06 am
Posts: 734
Location: Amelia Island, FL
Always check the tension of your cables after each use. Yes, they can work loose. I recently had to replace the idler wheel because of wear and tear on the wheel because of loose cables and the set screw on the rod holding the idler wheel worked loose.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:57 pm 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 5:17 pm
Posts: 675
Location: Auckland NZ
I have had a couple of idler cables go (N.B. on several drives that I have owned over ~6 years and this after extensive hard use mind you, not on a single drive).

On both occasions the cable actually tore apart in the middle.

One of the breakages was foretold by cracking in the outer plastic sheathing on the cable - first a small crack appeared across the sheathing which grew and grew until the sheathing pulled apart into two separate sections. After that the cable beneath it went. The problem is that I didn't make the connection between the sheathing splitting and the cable parting ( :oops: ) - I just took up the slack by tightening the adjustment nuts ! So the cable ended up parting when I was out on the water leaving me with a long paddle home. I mention this just in case it may help someone else with a split idler cable sheath avoid the same difficulty in the future :)

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:38 pm 
Hobie Approved Guru

Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:46 pm
Posts: 2749
Location: Escondido
Cable failure is one of the few items that can be hard to prevent or forsee. Even with the loss of any one cable you should still be able to pedal home. Cable life appears to be quite variable, and the actual failure can be in the cable, swedge or gradual stretch over time.

Stocking extra cables is expensive. Besides, cable specs change from time to time so there is no guarantee your old spare will fit on the next generation Drive (We've seen at least 3 sizes of chain/cable so far over the life of the Mirage Drive and two idler cables).

You can best stay ahead of the situation by checking chain and cable tension after each use -- only takes a second.

LocNuts loosening on the current slotted cables are not uncommon (but not easily preventable). If Loctite Blue fails, you can lock them by double nutting -- not convenient (requires 2 wrenches) but effective! 8)

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