How to Solder Motorcycle Cables

Written by jim murkot sr.
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How to Solder Motorcycle Cables
Soldering a wire represents a permanent repair. (green fuse wire image by Brett Mulcahy from Fotolia.com)

Loose or broken wiring has been a source of woe for many motorcycle riders. The constant vibration of the engine can cause wires to short or to break. And while there are a few techniques for fixing broken wiring on the side of the road, repairing a broken wire while at home can be best accomplished with the solder method. Soldering a wire represents a permanent repair. As such, it will generally last longer than some other temporary repair methods. The time it takes to repair a broken cable depends greatly upon the number of wires involved, but each wire will generally take 10 to 20 minutes of your time.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Wire strippers
  • Wire cutters
  • Heat-shrink tubing
  • Solder resin
  • Resin-core solder
  • Soldering iron

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Strip both ends of the broken cable with wire strippers or wire cutters, if the cable is large.

  2. 2

    Strip the insulation off each individual wire within the cable with wire strippers, exposing 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch of wire.

  3. 3

    Slide a large bore, heat-shrink tube over one end of the cable. Allow it to slide down the cable, well away from the work area.

  4. 4

    Slide a small bore, heat-shrink tube over one end of the first broken wire to be repaired. Allow it to also move away from the work area.

  5. 5

    Dip both ends of the first broken wire into solder resin. Touch the end of the solder roll onto the tip of a hot soldering iron. Allow a small amount of solder to collect onto the tip.

  6. 6

    Place both ends of the broken wire side by side, in contact with each other. Touch the tip of the soldering iron to the exposed wire, allowing solder to flow to the resin-coated, exposed ends.

  7. 7

    Remove the soldering iron and allow the newly-joined wire to cool for a moment.

  8. 8

    Slip the small bore, heat-shrink tube to cover the exposed metal of the repair area on the wire. Using the side of the soldering iron tip, heat up the heat-shrink tubing, allowing it to shrink and conform to the wire.

  9. 9

    Repeat this process for the remaining wires in the motorcycle cable.

  10. 10

    When all wires are soldered, slip the large bore, heat-shrink tubing over the repaired area on the cable and shrink it with the soldering iron, covering the wire bundle.

Tips and warnings

  • Exercise caution when working with a hot soldering iron, in order to avoid burns.

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