Stubborn Soldering

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  • Build: Natasha
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J. Sinclair/CONCEPIA LLC J. Sinclair/CONCEPIA LLC These little devils are more than a bit challenging to get right.

Today was one of those days where things started out badly, but then ended in an okay place. I could have stopped and taken a day off, but I stubbornly didn't want to end my work at a place of failure. What went wrong? Soldering the ends of the throttle cable is what went wrong; specifically the inability of the solder to flow into the barrel and create a nice strong joint. I had the right flux, the right kind of solder, but I found out that using the mini-blow torch was just too fierce a heat for good soldering. The flux burns off too quickly and then the intense heat of the flame contaminates the braided cable with soot, then the solder just will not 'flow'. After a couple of failed attempts I got the flame just right and had something close to a satisfactory end soldered in place; but when I installed it in the body of the throttle assembly I discovered I had set the end at the wrong place, AND when I twisted the grip to see if it held firm... it didn't. :( So I spent a couple of hours driving around town trying to find a motorcycle parts store that had the right diameter braided wire to replace the piece I had cut too short. I finally found a bicycle store that had the items I needed: more wire and another barrel 'end'.

Rather than ruin another end, I practiced five times with some scrap wire. I tried different types of solder, with/without flux, using the blow torch or using the soldering iron. Finally after some experimentation the best way to do this is with the soldering iron, water soluble flux, and acid core silver solder. After the solder has flowed into the barrel I cleaned up the excess with the Dremel and flap wheel; I would always find a little bump of solder on the low side of the barrel that needed removing.

I probably have been too exact in my measuring and cutting of the ends going to the carbs. A little bit of excess might have been preferable than being absolutely exact. I can hear both carb slides closing at the nearly the exact same time as I close the throttle shut, so maybe I got things perfect on the first go. But life is rarely perfect, and I haven't left much room on the other side for corrections: I can take up slack, but have none to let out. Oh well, we will see what happens when I start Natasha up. Worst comes to the worst, I can do this process over, now that I have figured out the right way to do it.

Current hours on build: 173.0 

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