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  1. #1
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    Default Ironhead CV throttle cable

    Quick question for those with CV carbs on their ironheads. What throttle cable are yall using?

    I tried the stock replacement for an 81 XLH from J&P but I had to cut the housing back, that worked for a little while but it broke. So I bought one for a 1990 sportster thinking that bike came with a CV so it should work, but even with the slack adjusted all the way out the housing is too short. Not really sure which way to go now.

    The nut that threads into the throttle tube was too small on both cables too. Not a huge deal but figured Id mention it.

  2. #2

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    The screw in cables for CVs are from roughly '91 - '95. In '96 they went to the push-in cables. The CV throttle cables have 5/16-18 threads and fit the dual cable housings ('81 - '95). Depending on the length you need, you can choose from big twin or XL cables. In most cases you can drill and tap a single cable throttle housing for the later cable.

    Jim

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    These Boys will make up a cable for your needs.

    http://www.barnettclutches.com/cables.html

    Can get fanny with the outer covering ...

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    Plenty of people here have CV carbs on their ironhead and I doubt they all had custom cables made. I just need to know what combination of throttle tube and cable will work so if it breaks I’m not ordering another expensive custom length cable.

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    I have a stock throttle cable from a '95 dyna on my IH with CV carburetor. My throttle housing is an aftermarket Arlen Ness single cable model. Works as it should with the single cable.

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    https://www.dragspecialties.com/prod...oductId=248787

    Poke around and find what you need.

    Otherwise, if you happen to have W&W catalog, they have every possible cable config listed.

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    I cut cables and sheaths all the time and never use special cables because I don't want to hunt down another when I wear one out vs. grabbing a common cable and being back on the road that day. I have a serious "be able to fix everything in the field" fetish.

    If it broke you did it wrong but it's easy to do it right. Exactly what broke and where? I use whatever cable fits the throttle but I'm not picky since the relationship between inner cable and outer sheath is what matters.

    An abrasive cutoff disk in anything from a Dremel to an angle grinder severs cables and sheaths neatly without leaving burrs. I use the cheap Kiwav and Dorman cable end kits (their ends are reusable) to terminate the cable at the carb end.

    https://www.amazon.com/KiWAV-univers.../dp/B009YEYN6A

    https://www.amazon.com/Dorman-3336-C...0GRQ5G46AK0FSX

    I've used Barnett cables since the 1970s.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinN View Post
    I have a stock throttle cable from a '95 dyna on my IH with CV carburetor. My throttle housing is an aftermarket Arlen Ness single cable model. Works as it should with the single cable.
    Would the housing that came with the dyna cable not work?

    If something breaks on the road I want to be able to fix it without having to special order each piece individually.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tater66 View Post
    https://www.dragspecialties.com/prod...oductId=248787

    Poke around and find what you need.

    Otherwise, if you happen to have W&W catalog, they have every possible cable config listed.

    I don’t know what I need, that’s the problem.

    Knowing only the housing length doesn’t do me any good because I need the perfect amount of cable length in order for it to hook up right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by farmall View Post
    I cut cables and sheaths all the time and never use special cables because I don't want to hunt down another when I wear one out vs. grabbing a common cable and being back on the road that day. I have a serious "be able to fix everything in the field" fetish.

    If it broke you did it wrong but it's easy to do it right. Exactly what broke and where? I use whatever cable fits the throttle but I'm not picky since the relationship between inner cable and outer sheath is what matters.

    An abrasive cutoff disk in anything from a Dremel to an angle grinder severs cables and sheaths neatly without leaving burrs. I use the cheap Kiwav and Dorman cable end kits (their ends are reusable) to terminate the cable at the carb end.

    https://www.amazon.com/KiWAV-univers.../dp/B009YEYN6A

    https://www.amazon.com/Dorman-3336-C...0GRQ5G46AK0FSX

    I've used Barnett cables since the 1970s.
    That’s my whole point, if this breaks I want to be able to walk into a store and get another one.

    The cable that I had on there that worked for a while started acting weird one day and it wouldn’t return to idle so I broke it out of frustration trying to get it off. It was a stock cable for 81 XLH that I had took a cutoff wheel and shortened the housing on. But the barrel on the cable didn’t match up with the nut on the throttle so it had a sloppy fit.

    I don’t know if I trust those cable ends kits. I would rather find a cable that works right out of the bag so I can replace it on the road in case it snaps on a trip.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scottiemcdoogle View Post
    I don’t know what I need, that’s the problem.

    Knowing only the housing length doesn’t do me any good because I need the perfect amount of cable length in order for it to hook up right.
    Look at my post #2, this thread. I gave you your answer. The CV specific throttle cable will have the correct free length to function on a CV carb, no matter the bike it is specified for. Figure out the housing length and elbow angle you need for your bike, and pick one. Note the part number so you can replace it if it ever fails. I have done this dozens of times on pieced together bikes, and the only time I've needed a custom cable is for the tall apes, and even some of those are stocked by distributors like Drag Spec.

    Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBinNC View Post
    Look at my post #2, this thread. I gave you your answer. The CV specific throttle cable will have the correct free length to function on a CV carb, no matter the bike it is specified for. Figure out the housing length and elbow angle you need for your bike, and pick one. Note the part number so you can replace it if it ever fails. I have done this dozens of times on pieced together bikes, and the only time I've needed a custom cable is for the tall apes, and even some of those are stocked by distributors like Drag Spec.

    Jim
    What’s the difference between 1990 and 91 if they both had CV carbs?

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    I keep a sack full of cable parts and make whatever is needed at the time seems like a no brainer to me. http://www.flandersco.com/FlanCableSearch.html If I hit something really wierd or a 4 handed panic I keep some 1/2 brass stock and can machine up those ferrels , ends and adapters.
    Dusty

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    Quote Originally Posted by scottiemcdoogle View Post
    What’s the difference between 1990 and 91 if they both had CV carbs?
    In your initial post, you stated that the threads on both cables you tried were too small for the throttle housing. That would indicate that you may have had the wrong cable in both instances.
    The dual cable throttle cables all have 5/16-18 threads. The idle cables have 1/4-20 threads, as do the throttle cables for the earlier single cable controls.

    Jim

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    There is a difference in the cable guides on CV carbs, depending on whether they were originally for a big twin or an XL. I do not know if that affects the free length of the cable, but I do not think it does, as I have not noticed any issues when mixing and matching these parts. Do you know where your CV came from?

    Jim

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    https://www.wwag.com/cgi-bin/WebObje....1.29.33.0.1.1

    Pictures, measurements, specs, carb info and model. Come on man, look it up. Buy a handful for later. W&W couldnt have made it easier. Only problem is they only list "their" part numbers, not Barnett numbers.

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    I ended up going to Oreily’s and getting a cable stop like farmall suggested.

    My throttle tube is made for the push in style I guess, I found that barrel adjuster that I thought I lost and it’s not threaded. I’ll tap that for 5/16-18 and I should be rolling.

    Sorry for the retarded questions but this is basically my first bike. I learned to ride on a Honda Shadow a couple years ago but I never messed with anything. I didn’t even know what an ironhead was when I bought this bike so yeah, sorry for the stupid questions.

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    There are no stupid questions (but there are stupid answers). It is very difficult to communicate technical information without pictures (and I for one don't do pictures). We are all probably lucky that this information on these forums can be shared as well as it is. Keep asking the questions and answers will be forthcoming.

    You will find that an ironhead is a notorious money pit, but they are cool, and a good one is fast enough to embarrass many a big twin.

    Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by scottiemcdoogle View Post
    Would the housing that came with the dyna cable not work?

    If something breaks on the road I want to be able to fix it without having to special order each piece individually.
    It would but I just had this one available. I have lots of stock HD cables laying around and I always try them first.

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