How to replace your throttle cables


Step-by-step tutorials on how to maintain and fix your GL1100
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How to replace your throttle cables

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:50 am



There are two throttle cables on your motorcycle: a pull, and a push. The pull cable is the one that does most of the work - it is the cable that is under tension when you open the throttle, against the spring that is trying to snap it shut. The push cable is your safety net - should the pull cable break, or the throttle jam, the return spring break, or any number of things that could go wrong that would leave you with an open throttle, the push cable will "push" the throttle closed. Replacing the throttle cables will take between 2 and 3 hours, and requires some work in a confined area behind the carburetor assemblies. I bought my replacement throttle cables at Puget Sound Motorcycles' eBay store at a very good price.

1. Remove the side covers.

2. Remove the false tank, air filter cover, air filter, and air filter housing. Instructions on removing the false tank can be found here, and on removing the air filter cover, filter and housing can be found here.

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3. Find the adjusting screw and lock nut below the throttle handgrip. The adjusting screw is on the "pull" cable only - it is the one that is closest to the front of the bike.

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4. Loosen the locknut, and move it all the way up the shaft. Screw the adjuster as far up as it will go.

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5. On the push cable (the one closes to the rear of the bike), unscrew the fastener from the throttle grip housing. Unscrew the lock nut at the throttle grip housing from the pull cable.

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6. Unscrew the three screws on the bottom of the throttle grip housing. These screws hold the housing top and bottom halves together.

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7. Optional: Remove the handgrip. You don't have to do this, but it makes it a bit easier. I was replacing my handgrips anyway, so I removed my old ones. The handgrip should just pull off, unless, as in my case, it was glued in place, in which case you may have to cut it off.

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8. Separate the throttle grip housing halves. You can see how the cables link into the twist grip.

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9. Remove the spark plug boots from the spark plugs on each side. Remove the four screws holding the carburetor linkage guards on each side, and remove the guards.

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10. Remove the two bolts fastening each intake manifold to the cylinder head, eight bolts in total.

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11. Gently lift each intake manifold off the cylinder head. Slide the entire carburetor assembly out towards the left side of the bike as far as it will go.

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12. The pull and push cables are connected to a bracket at the rear of the carburetor assembly. The pull cable is on the top. This is looking down at it from the top, through the space where the air filter housing normally fits.

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13. Loosen the push cable: From the left side of the bike, using one wrench to hold the long six-sided part at the top of the picture, use a second wrench to loosen the lock nut holding the cable in the bracket.

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14. back the lock nut all the way off the threaded rod, and remove the cable from the bracket.

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15. Do the same with the pull cable, backing its lock nut all the way off, and removing the cable from the bracket. You may find it easier to have one wrench holding the main six-sided cable part from the top, while loosening the lock nut from the side.

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16. From the right side of the bike, using needle nose pliers, gently pull the cable off of the throttle bell crank, and remove the cable ends by pulling them towards the rear of the bike.

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17. Pull the cables ends out the left side of the bike.

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18. Now that the cables are free, rotate the twist grip back and forth to get slack, then pull the cable ends sideways out of the twist grip. Remove the cables from the twist grip assembly. You may need to unscrew and separate the curved portion of the pull cable from the cable end in order to get enough slack to unscrew it from the throttle grip housing.

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19. Pull one of the throttle cables out of the motorcycle from the hand grip end. Be careful to leave one of the cables in place.

20. Tie a strong piece of string to the bottom cable end of the remaining cable. This string will be used to ensure the new cables are routed exactly the same way when they are replaced.

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21. Pull the cable out from the hand grip end, carefully feeding the string through the motorcycle as it goes.

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22. Tie the string to the bottom cable end of both new throttle cables. You may wish to lubricate the cables first. Gently pull the string from the bottom end, routing the cables through the bike and out the left side at the bottom end.

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23. Looking at the cable ends, the cable with the half-round washer and the shorter fastener is the pull cable. We will be working with the pull cable first.

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24. From the right side of the bike, push the cable end of the pull cable into the top hole in the throttle bell crank.

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25. Position the cable on the bracket, with the half-round washer on the top side of the bracket as shown. This picture is looking down from the top of the bike, through the air filter housing space.

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26. Tighten the cable in place on the bracket with the lock nut. This again is looking down from the top of the bike, through the air filter housing space.

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27. From the right side of the bike, route the cable correctly around the bell crank.

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28. From the left side of the bike, position the push cable end in the bracket, and tighten the lock nut.

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29. From the right side of the bike, pull the push cable end around the bell crank and push the cable end sideways into its hole. You may need to use your fingers to open the throttle mechanism in order to get enough slack on the cable to get it to fit easily into the hole.

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30. Unscrew the curved portion of the top end of the pull cable from the cable itself. Screw the curved portion into the frontmost hole on the throttle grip housing. Leave several threads exposed for the lock nut to screw on to. Once it is installed, screw the cable back onto the curved portion, as far as it will go.

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31. Push both cable ends up into the housing, and sideways into the throttle grip. Make sure the cable end holes are on the top of the grip when you do this. You will need to do the pull cable first, and then the push cable - the push cable hole is slightly elongated to allow enough slack to maneuver it in.

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32. Ensure the curved portions of the cables are pointing back along the handlebar, and that the throttle grip is seated securely in the channel of the throttle grip housing. Screw the lock nuts in place to hold them. Keep in mind you are screwing into plastic - do not over torque them, or you will strip the plastic threads in the housing.

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33. Close the throttle grip housing. Rotate it back and forth while doing so - it will only close completely when it is in the correct position on the handlebar. When it is completely closed, fasten the halves together with the three screws.

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34. In the air filter housing area, you will see the main throttle tension adjuster. Unscrew the two larger six-sided sections from one another to adjust the free play on the twist grip. The twist grip should have between 2mm and 6mm (1/8 inch and 1/4 inch) free play when rotated back and forth. Large adjustments should be made with the adjuster under the air filter housing. Minor adjustments should be made with the adjuster at the hand grip.

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35. Tighten the lock nut to prevent the adjuster from slipping.

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36. Make any minor adjustments at the twist grip as required, and tighten the lock nut.

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37. Gently position the carburetor assembly correctly back onto the cylinder heads. Ensure any gaskets have not slipped, and reposition them as necessary. Insert the bolts and start them in by hand - the cylinder head is very soft aluminum, and will cross-thread easily, so do not tighten them with a wrench or socket until you are sure (by threading them in by hand) that they are not cross-threaded. Use a torque wrench to tighten each bolt to 4 foot-pounds.

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38. Replace the carburetor linkage guards and screw them back into place.

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39. Replace the air filter housing, air filter, and false tank.

40. Test run the engine to ensure correct throttle operation.


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Re: How to replace your throttle cables

Postby 63hays4honda » Fri May 21, 2010 6:44 am

I own a 1975 Honda gl 1000 and live in Overland Park Kansas. I am writing you to thank you for your techincal advice and pictures posted on this site. I find that some information is missing or incomplete in various honda manuals. The goldwing that i own has been in a old barn for 20 years and I hoping to restore it to its old glory days. I traded a running 1981 honda silverwing for it and hope to have it running again. Have a great day. Sam Sparks
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Re: How to replace your throttle cables

Postby WingAdmin » Fri May 21, 2010 9:47 am

The factory manuals do tend to assume that you have experience working on the bikes, so they have some basic information missing - that's one of the main reasons I started creating these things in the first place. Glad that this helps!
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Re: How to replace your throttle cables

Postby komodoman2725 » Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:48 pm

July 6, 2010 - Just a quick note to say thank you for the detailed information on replacing throttle cables. I am not very mechanically inclined but I followed your directions to the letter and successfully installed both the push and pull cables. Thank You! We appreciate the time and effort it must have taken to put this step-by-step DIY summary together.

Best regards
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Re: How to replace your throttle cables

Postby papasmooth » Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:41 pm

Thanks for this it was a great help
May God bless you greatly
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Re: How to replace your throttle cables

Postby maplewingnut » Sun Jul 11, 2010 1:30 pm

Throttle cable broke a few days before an important trip. Thanks for your step by step instructions. It was very uesful. I am on the road again.
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Re: How to replace your throttle cables

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Jul 11, 2010 2:08 pm

Great to hear that maplewingnut, hope to see you in Hamburg, then?
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Re: How to replace your throttle cables

Postby maplewingnut » Sun Jul 11, 2010 4:51 pm

WingAdmin wrote:Great to hear that maplewingnut, hope to see you in Hamburg, then?

Yup!, That is the trip I had in mind!!
Looking forward to meeting you.
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Re: How to replace your throttle cables

Postby 00ld Gold » Mon Sep 06, 2010 1:59 pm

Thanks for the great article , which I have used to take out my broken pull cable and I am waiting for new one to come. I wasn't sure if the new cable comes with the elbow fitting at the twist grip end , and if the knob on end of cable will fit thr the hole it screws into? My bike is actually a 1984 gl1200 Aspencade, but I'm sure its the same.
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Re: How to replace your throttle cables

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:59 pm

Yes, the replacement cable comes with the elbow fitting, and that little metal knob on the end fits right into the hole the old one came out of.
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Re: How to replace your throttle cables

Postby Filmcarp » Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:02 pm

Thank you so much. I was a little slow getting started, because I had to build the shed first, but today I put in the cables. Excellent directions from one end to the other. I am a carpenter who has always been nervous about these projects, but know I know more about what is where on this bike. Thanks again.
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Re: How to replace your throttle cables

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:21 am

Your carpentry (even just building a shed) is far better than mine. I can make things strong and functional...but not attractive. :)

The more you work with your bike, the more comfortable you'll become. The 1100 is really an excellent bike to learn to work on, because it is quite easy to work on, and forgiving.
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Re: How to replace your throttle cables

Postby OldSchool_IsCool » Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:53 am

Again, absolutely AWESOME How-To's!!

One trick I've heard of is that, if the pull cable hasn't actually broken, to leave it in place (routed but not connected). That way, if your new cable should break, you have an emergency pull cable already routed, ready to be connected to help get you home.

Does that make sense on a Goldwing or is the routing path too tight?
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Re: How to replace your throttle cables

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:32 pm

You could do it - but with the push cable still in place, even if the pull cable breaks, you'll have (admittedly poor) throttle control left from the push cable.

I've heard of people tying strings to the throttle bellcrank to get them home. Also heard of a broken clutch cable, where the rider had the passenger operate the clutch by pulling a piece of string - he would yell back to the passenger when to pull the string so that he could shift gears. It worked and got them home.
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Re: How to replace your throttle cables

Postby dwight007fchr » Thu May 26, 2011 7:20 pm

Wingman.......I am currently trying to install new throttle cables...the push and the pull cables. Your directions make it look like a piece of cake, but I tell you.......frustration factor is 10 out of 10 on trying to get to that #10 metric lock nut on the carbs. It was almost impossible getting the old lock nut off to remove the cable, and it is even harder trying to get the new cable in the cable bracket, tighten the screw up the threads, and almost impossible to get a #10 wrench on the nut. There is absolutely no room to move the wrench even when I manage to work a miracle and get it on the nut.

Seems like the best way would be to remove the gas tank in order to have enough room to do the job without going insane. How in the world did you manage to do this without removing the gas tank?

I have already installed the new cable ends in the hand throttle at the top, and was hoping that I would have enough slack to install at the bottom. Do you think I should take apart the top of the new cables from the hand throttle so I will have enough slack to first install them on the carb?

I am walking away from this effort, having a dinner break, and hopefully I will get some tips tonight.

In the picture below, you can see I loosened the big crash guard to make more room, which allowed the carbs to slide over another inch. However, the new cable will bind and could be damaged if I try to slide the carbs any further to the left. The second picture shows where the new pull cable is being installed......and this is the lock nut that is absolutely impossible to get a wrench on.

Any suggestions?
Thanks.
Frustrated Wing owner.
dc.
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Removed crash bar, and this allowed carbs to move to left another inch.
Removed crash bar, and this allowed carbs to move to left another inch.
Pull cable lock nut impossible to tighten...No access room for wrench.
Pull cable lock nut impossible to tighten...No access room for wrench.
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Re: How to replace your throttle cables

Postby WingAdmin » Thu May 26, 2011 10:23 pm

I believe I used a wrench that had the head bent at a 45-or-so degree angle, so that it was easier to get a grip on that lock nut. If you have a cheap 10mm wrench, you can make one simply by putting the head in a vise and bending it over. I don't recall having a lot of difficulty getting that on or off, however.
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Re: How to replace your throttle cables

Postby dwight007fchr » Thu May 26, 2011 11:02 pm

Wingman.....thanks for the quick reply. Well, its about midnight, but i got the rascal taken care of. With alot of wiggling back and forth, and a ton of patience, I finally got that lock nut tightened.....and I did not take the gas tank off. Yep, I just had standard issue, el cheapo, #10 metric wrenches.........that would have been a good idea to bend one over at a steeper angle.

As the throttle ends were already in place up top, I did easily manage to get the pull cable slid into place on the carb end. However, the push cable cannot go on the carb side if it is already in-place up at the throttle end. So, I had to take the upper throttle grip assembly apart again and remove the push cable from the slot.....and then with alot of manuvering and more patience, I got it into place on the carb side. Then, it was still difficult to get it to slid into place up top. I found that the only way to do it was to route the wire of the cable into the throttle slot first, and then to pop that fat roller end into the oval-shaped hole, and then to manuver it into its correct position.

I had the pull cable adjusted with as much looseness as possible in the cable, and the push cable did not have any adjustments in the middle of the cable like the pull one has. That would have helped alot if the push cable also had an adjustment midway.

Do you think the Honda shops actually do it this way, or do you think it is standard practice to first remove the gas tank to allow the room needed to do the job?

Everyone should be very careful when removing those 8 carb manifold bolts. It is easy to not notice the rubber O Rings drop out as you lift the assembly up and slide it to the left. I had two fall out, but put them aside before I stepped all over them. Also managed to clean the flat surfaces where these O Rings fit, and applied some light oil on the dry rubber ORings and the flat sealing surfaces before closing her back up. Was also a good time to lube all moving parts to the linkages around the carb, including choke assembly, etc.

Good luck to anyone reading this who is about to attempt cable replacements......just need alot of patience....and small hands would help.

Now I am just waiting for fresh oil filters to arrive and I can fill her up with oil and antifreeze and see how the new timing belts and all the tweeks came out.

Would like to sync the carbs. Maybe I can find a set of 4 gauges I can borrow instead of buying new ones.
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Re: How to replace your throttle cables

Postby Roy W » Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:53 pm

Just want to say Thank You for an excellent article. Changed the cables today with no problems. Just wish I had piano players fingers with sockets on the end!
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Re: How to replace your throttle cables

Postby jstumbler » Sun Jun 10, 2012 6:29 pm

I have had my Aspencade just over a week, and so far, every thing I wanted/needed to fix on the bike, you have detailed directions for. You are the man. AAAAAND I just realized you are in Strongsville! When I get this beast road worthy, we should ride to Quaker Steak bike night. I'll buy you some wings to show my gratitude. :D

Thanks for saving me...AGAIN!
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Re: How to replace your throttle cables

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:47 am

jstumbler wrote:I have had my Aspencade just over a week, and so far, every thing I wanted/needed to fix on the bike, you have detailed directions for. You are the man. AAAAAND I just realized you are in Strongsville! When I get this beast road worthy, we should ride to Quaker Steak bike night. I'll buy you some wings to show my gratitude. :D

Thanks for saving me...AGAIN!


Glad to hear that we've been able to help you out! That's what this whole site is about. :)
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Re: How to replace your throttle cables

Postby vaughn » Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:55 pm

Hi, new member here. I just had my pull cable break today pulling out of a rest area on I-80 on the Ohio and Pa border. Called the Honda dealer in Sharon, Pa.
They did not have one which did not surprise me but said I could switch the push cable over to the pull side. It took me about an hour but I managed to get it hooked up for the 50 mile ride home. Should of changed them when I bought it last summer. It broke about an inch down from the throttle where it bends when you twist the throttle. Where is the
best place to get cables.
I always carry a cell phone and the Gwrra Goldbook
My bike is a 1983 GL 1100 Aspencade
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Re: How to replace your throttle cables

Postby messenger110 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:29 pm

i have an '86 Aspencade and the push cable does not seem to work like it should. i was told to use some cable lube. should this be done first or should i try to adjust this?

thanks, JD
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Re: How to replace your throttle cables

Postby patbrandon1 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:39 pm

Great "how to" again Wingadmin. I have a question. I replaced my choke cable today, and was going to replace the throttle cables too, but didn't have time, after I learned that removing (partially) the carbs was about the only way to get it done right without breaking anything. Did you also have to remove the fuel line to get enough of the carbs out to be able to reach the cable ends? It isn't a big deal, I just don't like taking them off if I don't have to. There doesn't look like there will be enough slack in those lines to get any room. Just curious. I'm just replacing them because I like new cables, so it can be a winter job. Thanks.
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Re: How to replace your throttle cables

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:58 am

patbrandon1 wrote:Great "how to" again Wingadmin. I have a question. I replaced my choke cable today, and was going to replace the throttle cables too, but didn't have time, after I learned that removing (partially) the carbs was about the only way to get it done right without breaking anything. Did you also have to remove the fuel line to get enough of the carbs out to be able to reach the cable ends? It isn't a big deal, I just don't like taking them off if I don't have to. There doesn't look like there will be enough slack in those lines to get any room. Just curious. I'm just replacing them because I like new cables, so it can be a winter job. Thanks.


I did not remove any fuel lines. If you look, there is actually a bit of slack in the fuel line leading from the pump to the carburetors (the one on the right):

Image

If you find that yours is a tight fit trying to do this, you can easily remove the fuel line from the output of the fuel pump to give you the extra movement you require. Just be sure to turn the fuel petcock off first and run the engine until it dies from fuel starvation, to ensure there is no fuel left in those lines before you disconnect it.
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Re: How to replace your throttle cables

Postby patbrandon1 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:18 am

Looks like the same exact amount of slack as mine. Thanks for the pointer on removing it if I need to. I think it swings just enough to be able to reach the linkage. You're the best.


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