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Since I have taken so much from the forum, I thought that I would post up a small project that I have been working on.

My car came to me missing the front limit cables, so I have had a project to get them installed on my car. The cables themselves are available from all the usual suspects although at least one of the suppliers has them on back order as of this moment.

However, the hardware and rubber bits needed to fasten them to the body are less available. I was able to source a set from Alfa Stop in England. They arrived quickly and they look terrific.

I was actually given a decent set of limit cables, so I was not starting with a new set. My hope here is to document what I did with them. I am not stating that my steps are the best, and I am happy to get anyone's feedback for myself and for the benefit of people who may attempt something similar in the future.

I have taken several pictures, but I didn't think to start taking them when I had the raw, unrestored cables. So, the pictures begin a couple of steps into the process.

I will start posting pictures in follow-on posts along with my commentary on each photo.

So here goes....

Jon
 

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After first few steps

Alright, so the cables when I got them had cracked plastic covering on the cables. I cut them off with a utility knife and found just a very little surface rust and a little undercoating type stuff here and there.

So, I used a nylon abrasive disk mounted in an electric hand drill to knock off the surface rust. These things just to a terrific job on surface rust, leaving a really nice finish afterward. I also used carb cleaner to take off the undercoating goop and to generally degrease the cable.

With that done, I used hight temperature semi-gloss black manifold paint on the cables. I actually masked off the threads since I didn't want them clogged up with paint or the paint glueing some bit in the threads. I have had really good success with this paint in the past on parts from my old truck. I used it on a set of new brake drums and baked the paint in my oven (per the paint's instructions), and the result has been really awesome. After two years the drums look like they were painted yesterday without a single nick in them. The paint seams hard as a rock to me.

That brings us to the first picture. I believe that the "foot" of the cable is normally left bright, but I chose to paint it for additional protection.
 

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next steps

I left the cables to completely dry for 24 hours, then I baked them in the oven. Yes, I'm single. A married friend commented that he would get killed for doing something like that!

The can recommended baking at 350-400 F for 1.5 to 2 hours. I noticed a couple of dots of solder at the intersection of the foot piece and the cable during baking. That surprised me since I didn't think that solder would melt in this range. No worries, it solidified again during cooling. Even so, I would consider baking at 250 or a little more for a longer time if I were to do this again.

Notice the wire hangers which I used for...uh...hanging them up to dry/cool. :eek:
 

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Heat shrink.

When the cables cooled, they looked terrific. That manifold paint cures up really nice.

Anyway, then it was on to replacing the plastic covering. As mentioned in some other posts, I used heat shrink, which worked well. I used 3/8" heat shrink to cover the cable itself. This size just cleared the threaded shank, and was able to shrink tight to the cable. I then put an additional 1" section of 3/8" heat shrink at the end of the cable on the "Foot" end to build up the diameter a bit. In this way I was able to put a short section of 1/2" heat shrink to bridge the transition between the "foot" and the cable.

I think that it came out looking pretty decent...take a look. Sorry, I think that the pictures are out of order a bit.
 

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The hardware.

I then fit the attaching hardware to the cables to see how it would work out. As it happened, I wasn't able to get all the hardware to fit on the threaded section. I had to remove one of the split-ring lock washers in order to make it work. I picked the one nearest the cable since the hardware wasn't in much danger of escaping in that direction!

I had some doubt about where in the stack the body should go. I was looking at the schematic posted by GTD and I how it would fit to the car and I finally sorted it out. I also got confirmation from GTD via private email.

I will repost his picture here for reference...

The body should go between the gommet marked (3) and the first larger grommet.

I discovered that, true to Alfa form, you must have fingers 9" long and as strong as vice-grips to get them mounted to the body. Or, in other terms, it isn't what you need to fix, it is what you have to remove to get to the thing you need to fix. So, I can state with authority that the limit cables were installed at the factory before the engine! :D

A call-by-call of the installation to come...
 

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Lovely job, I used shrink just as you have done but I found it easier to mount the top of the cable first when the engine is in position and then move the suspension up to the cable. As you say fingers need to be long.
 

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Installation

As I mentioned earlier, access to the cable mounting points on the body is not very easy. Below are pictures of the mounting points from inside the engine compartment. They are not all that clear as my camera had trouble focusing on the point that I wanted amid all the clutter, and I was too tired to go read the manual for the thing to figure out how to do the manual focus function.

I am a little concerned about how close the exhaust is to the bushings on the driver's side. I am wondering if there will be too much heat there and ruin the bushings. Has anybody had trouble with this?
 

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Suspension side.

Mounting the cables to the lower A-arm is much easier, with a proviso...

I should mention that I did this with the car on the ground, which meant that there was slack on the cable.

Anyway, I removed the bolt on the lower A-arm, and put the "foot" of the cable in place. It was at this point that I found that the A-arm bolt was too short to work with the cable in place. I took a look at the other bolts on the spring pan to see if there was a longer one that was put into the wrong location. No such luck for me.

Anybody know what that means?! Right! I have to buy something else! :rolleyes:

There is a good hardware store for fasteners near my work, so it was a matter of swinging by there on the way to work. As it happened, they had hardened, metric bolts of the right diameter and length, but with one step wider thread pitch. In my judgement, that shouldn't be a problem. I just cinched them down with a zip from the impact gun to be sure. The bolts were about $5 each with nut and washer included. Not cheap.

Here is what the old and new bolts look like. If you look close, you can see the difference in the threads.
 

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putting it all in place.

With the longer bolts, installation was pretty easy. Just put it in place, and tighten them down. I didn't even need to speak any choice words, or anything!

Here is a picture of the "foot" in place. I think that I took the picture with everything finger tight, so you may notice that there are gaps between parts.

I will also put in a picture of the mounting of the cable on the underside of the body. I hope that will help somebody in the future to more quickly figure out how the stack of bit works...

Cheers!
 

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cable news

Great coverage, thanks. I was about to muddle through the job myself, using my typical stumble around in the dark approach.
 

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Awesome!
Great pics, too.
 
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