Throttle Cable Replacement: Final Report - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 32 Old May 30th, 2009, 10:21 am Thread Starter
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Throttle Cable Replacement: Final Report

Finally got the bike back together and did and took it for a ride after replacing my throttle cable. Good thing I replaced it, as the old one was down to about one strand. How it got that way, I don't know. The new one is so much better. The backfiring and missing when I let off the throttle is gone, plus the idle has returned to where it should be, at about 1K and seems to be holding steady where it was moving before between 1.5K And of course the throttle is much easier to twist without killing my wrist. Hopefully I have everything adjusted right, but it seems to work fine.
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post #2 of 32 Old May 30th, 2009, 10:39 am
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Re: Throttle Cable Replacement: Final Report

Way to go. Now expect your gas mileage to go down, because you'll be able to make the big girl get along a little quicker with the easier cables. Please DAMHIK.

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post #3 of 32 Old May 30th, 2009, 7:03 pm
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Re: Throttle Cable Replacement: Final Report

How big of a deal is it to replace the throttle cable? My 2000 is very stiff.

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post #4 of 32 Old May 30th, 2009, 7:47 pm
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Re: Throttle Cable Replacement: Final Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2002redrider
How big of a deal is it to replace the throttle cable? My 2000 is very stiff.
I think the procedure is in the HoW. Once you have stripped the tupperware, bar covers, stingray, tank, and changed the grip's cable connections, it won't take someone who has done the procedure long to remove the old cables, route the new ones, and make the connection to the throttle body. I had help with mine last fall. I had everything ready for the cables to be removed and new ones routed before John arrived to do the swap. I'd say within 2 hours, everything was back together and we were going for a test ride.

You will have to cut a rectangle in the lower bar cover for the cables to route into. There are pictures posted showing where the hole should be cut. There are also posts detailing the parts you will need. I don't remember the cost.

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post #5 of 32 Old May 30th, 2009, 10:30 pm
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Re: Throttle Cable Replacement: Final Report

Removing the tank is not needed! Just the left tupperware, handlebar covers, and a few screws for the radiator fan.

If it's very stiff it's probably not too far from snapping, better replace it before you find yourself taking the bus
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post #6 of 32 Old May 31st, 2009, 1:05 pm
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Re: Throttle Cable Replacement: Final Report

I would be very interested in knowing what sort of maintenance the folks with this problem did/do on their cables. I ask only because I'm not too sure I'm having any problems with the stock units. I lube all the cables on all my bikes with a penetrating lubricant, and all my clutch cables (not on the BMW), and throttle cables work seemingly well. Cables notoriouly wear from the inside out, usually due to water contamination that penetrates into the cable causing rust and then breakage. Penetrating oils flush that out, and lubricate. So, what is the normal routine for you guys with problems?
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post #7 of 32 Old May 31st, 2009, 1:13 pm
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Re: Throttle Cable Replacement: Final Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by fpmlt
I would be very interested in knowing what sort of maintenance the folks with this problem did/do on their cables. I ask only because I'm not too sure I'm having any problems with the stock units. I lube all the cables on all my bikes with a penetrating lubricant, and all my clutch cables (not on the BMW), and throttle cables work seemingly well. Cables notoriouly wear from the inside out, usually due to water contamination that penetrates into the cable causing rust and then breakage. Penetrating oils flush that out, and lubricate. So, what is the normal routine for you guys with problems?
The problem with the stock BMW cables is they get very stiff and then snap. It's really more of a design flaw than a maintainence issue. BMW fixed the cables on 2005+ (maybe earlier models), so it's not an issue on the newer bikes.
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post #8 of 32 Old May 31st, 2009, 1:46 pm
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Re: Throttle Cable Replacement: Final Report

This is a maintenance issue. I bought my 02 LT last year in October. I rode it for a month and then I turned the throttle on my neighbor's Harley. That's when I realized that the throttle on my bike was incredibly stiff. I took apart the cables up at the handle bar and proceded to drip light gear oil onto the cable and work it down into the sheath. After working 4-5 drops in, I was able to use some pliers to pull the cables up and down in the sheath. Another 4-5 drops and I was able to use my fingers to pull the cables in the sheath. I put it all back together and the first time that I turned the throttle, I nearly pulled a wheely....it felt like the bike was 200lbs lighter and had 100 more horses in the engine.

It is so nice to ride when you are not fighting with the bike. It's nearly June and the cables still feel loose. I'm going to oil the cables every winter until I see some wear. Some people on the forum will say that you can't do it because it causes the lining in the sheath to breakdown and that will void the warranty....yeah, like their still under warranty. If you can oil the cables and get them to work, I say, do it. Save your money until you need to do the upgrade or when you have the bike torn open for a major service. You will be amazed at the difference a few drops of oil can make on the cables.

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post #9 of 32 Old May 31st, 2009, 2:16 pm
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Re: Throttle Cable Replacement: Final Report

I took apart the cables up at the handle bar and proceded to drip light gear oil onto the cable and work it down into the sheath

Here in, I believe, is where the problems start. The gear oil will only coat the outside of the stranded cable. Once water gets in between the strands, it starts to rust, and break, from the inside. You'll need to use an oil that will penetrate the strands to stop the moisture and rust.
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post #10 of 32 Old May 31st, 2009, 9:26 pm
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Re: Throttle Cable Replacement: Final Report

Thanks for the overvier on cable replacement. I did check first in HoW but couldn't find it. Will try again.

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post #11 of 32 Old Jun 1st, 2009, 8:27 am Thread Starter
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Re: Throttle Cable Replacement: Final Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2002redrider
How big of a deal is it to replace the throttle cable? My 2000 is very stiff.
I just had a thread going on this very subject. See the threads:
http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=45553 and
http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=46741
PM me if you have more questions.

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post #12 of 32 Old Jun 1st, 2009, 10:15 am Thread Starter
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Re: Throttle Cable Replacement: Final Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by fpmlt
I took apart the cables up at the handle bar and proceded to drip light gear oil onto the cable and work it down into the sheath

Here in, I believe, is where the problems start. The gear oil will only coat the outside of the stranded cable. Once water gets in between the strands, it starts to rust, and break, from the inside. You'll need to use an oil that will penetrate the strands to stop the moisture and rust.
DO NOT use any lubricant on the cables themselves. The inside of the cables are lined with teflon. Using lubricant, especially liquid ones will cause attract dirt that will gum up the cables, making them worse.

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post #13 of 32 Old Jun 1st, 2009, 12:30 pm
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Re: Throttle Cable Replacement: Final Report

tonyn1 what makes the bike backfire and miss when the trottle cable are bad.Thanks in advance
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post #14 of 32 Old Jun 1st, 2009, 8:57 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Throttle Cable Replacement: Final Report

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tonyn1 what makes the bike backfire and miss when the trottle cable are bad.Thanks in advance
Not sure. Maybe the throttle position sensor was not going back to where it should have been. All I know is it's working much better now.

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post #15 of 32 Old Jun 11th, 2009, 7:53 pm
 
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Re: Throttle Cable Replacement: Final Report

I too just finished this task on a '02. And yes, the mileage has gone down because I can now use and ENJOY the throttle. Seeing the design of the original throttle end and the crimp in the shield from a wire tie at a place high between the fork tubes leads me to agree with those who advise against trying to fix the problem with any type of lubricant.
Note that if you decide to follow the procedure in the manual and remove the tank and the air box: Make sure that the throttle valves did not pull out of the connection to the block as you pulled off the air box.
And, if the throttle valves did pull out and you unplugged the throttle position sensor in the process of fixing that, MAKE SURE YOU PLUG IT BACK IN.
And, if it runs terribly rough and smokes like an insecticide fogger from the '60's, make sure that the throttle position sensor is plugged in.
And if you can't figure it our and live two hours from a BMW dealer and load the beast onto a trailer and haul it in, be prepared to smile while you eat lots of crow.

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post #16 of 32 Old Jun 12th, 2009, 9:58 am
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Re: Throttle Cable Replacement: Final Report

I don't agree it is a maintenance issue - my 03 just had it 40k service
cables were checked and throttle was smooth. In fact throttle was smooth right up to the point it broke 7k later. When fixed the dealer updated the cable set-up because theis was a know problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cealbrecht
This is a maintenance issue. I bought my 02 LT last year in October. I rode it for a month and then I turned the throttle on my neighbor's Harley. That's when I realized that the throttle on my bike was incredibly stiff. I took apart the cables up at the handle bar and proceded to drip light gear oil onto the cable and work it down into the sheath. After working 4-5 drops in, I was able to use some pliers to pull the cables up and down in the sheath. Another 4-5 drops and I was able to use my fingers to pull the cables in the sheath. I put it all back together and the first time that I turned the throttle, I nearly pulled a wheely....it felt like the bike was 200lbs lighter and had 100 more horses in the engine.

It is so nice to ride when you are not fighting with the bike. It's nearly June and the cables still feel loose. I'm going to oil the cables every winter until I see some wear. Some people on the forum will say that you can't do it because it causes the lining in the sheath to breakdown and that will void the warranty....yeah, like their still under warranty. If you can oil the cables and get them to work, I say, do it. Save your money until you need to do the upgrade or when you have the bike torn open for a major service. You will be amazed at the difference a few drops of oil can make on the cables.

TBob
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post #17 of 32 Old Jun 14th, 2009, 3:36 pm
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Re: Throttle Cable Replacement: Final Report

I just replaced my cables this weekend and by just pulling the airbox out was enough for me. Granted, those two airbox claps suck to put back on-
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post #18 of 32 Old Jun 18th, 2009, 4:13 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Throttle Cable Replacement: Final Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunshine
I just replaced my cables this weekend and by just pulling the airbox out was enough for me. Granted, those two airbox claps suck to put back on-
Too bad, but you didn't need to pull the airbox.

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post #19 of 32 Old Aug 15th, 2009, 8:19 pm
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Re: Throttle Cable Replacement: Final Report

I replaced my throttle cables on my 2000 LT. Upgraded to the new cables. Wasn't as hard as some make it out to be. Just takes time and patience.

I didn't need to remove the airbox, fuel rail, any of that. Just the left side panel, the air-duct thingy. Long needle nose hooked the cables in with patience.

Now the bike won't start!?!?! Started fine before I embarked on this. I turn the key on. Lights all come on. Headlight is bright. Fuel pump runs. Normal whirring and buzzing sounds. Then I hit the starter button and all I hear is a faint thud or clunk and then nothing.

Bike is in neutral. I've tried with bike in neutral, clutch pulled in, clutch out, side stand up, side stand down, and every permutation there of. Kill switch is on.

I wanted to do this throttle cable replacement myself so I could save $$$ vs. going to the dealer. However now I'm stumped with this no-start problem. I'm worried a dealer trip is going to be required.

I still have the lower left side body panel off (the silver lower). Any microswitches or anything I'm missing or something like that. What might I have unplugged that I forgot to plug back in?
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post #20 of 32 Old Aug 15th, 2009, 8:42 pm
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Re: Throttle Cable Replacement: Final Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by motoexplorer
I replaced my throttle cables on my 2000 LT. Upgraded to the new cables. Wasn't as hard as some make it out to be. Just takes time and patience.

I didn't need to remove the airbox, fuel rail, any of that. Just the left side panel, the air-duct thingy. Long needle nose hooked the cables in with patience.

Now the bike won't start!?!?! Started fine before I embarked on this. I turn the key on. Lights all come on. Headlight is bright. Fuel pump runs. Normal whirring and buzzing sounds. Then I hit the starter button and all I hear is a faint thud or clunk and then nothing.

Bike is in neutral. I've tried with bike in neutral, clutch pulled in, clutch out, side stand up, side stand down, and every permutation there of. Kill switch is on.

I wanted to do this throttle cable replacement myself so I could save $$$ vs. going to the dealer. However now I'm stumped with this no-start problem. I'm worried a dealer trip is going to be required.

I still have the lower left side body panel off (the silver lower). Any microswitches or anything I'm missing or something like that. What might I have unplugged that I forgot to plug back in?
Jeez, just sounds like a weak battery. Were you down for a week or more doing cable change? I can't think of anything you could disturb doing the cable change that would cause the clunk you described when pressing the starter button. You won't even get that with one of the interlocks engaged.

I guess see if your lights cutoff for the start as this will indicate your load shed is working correctly. If the lights don't cutoff then the load shed isn't doing it's job thus loading the battery further. Sounds like a coincidence to me unless the downtime drained your battery.

Good luck.

John

2004 - LT - Anthracite
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post #21 of 32 Old Aug 16th, 2009, 9:53 pm
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Re: Throttle Cable Replacement: Final Report

Bike was only down for 4 days. My first thought was that maybe the battery was weak. I hooked it up to another battery and got the same behavior.

When I hit the starter button the headlight doesn't go out. It stays on. There were a couple of time I could hear the starter just start to turn over and then quit.

How do you diagnose the load shed relay and where is it at?

Joe
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post #22 of 32 Old Aug 16th, 2009, 10:17 pm
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Re: Throttle Cable Replacement: Final Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by motoexplorer
Bike was only down for 4 days. My first thought was that maybe the battery was weak. I hooked it up to another battery and got the same behavior.

When I hit the starter button the headlight doesn't go out. It stays on. There were a couple of time I could hear the starter just start to turn over and then quit.

How do you diagnose the load shed relay and where is it at?

Joe
The load shed relay is normally closed (i.e., the headlight, etc. work). When the starter button is pressed, voltage is applied back up the load shed relay's trigger ground line, causing the load shed relay to open, killing the headlight. If there is insufficient voltage getting to the load shed relay, the headlight won't go off.

Your symptoms suggest that the starter relay is fried -- the voltage to the load shed relay is supplied from the *output* terminal of the starter relay. So, if the relay is dead, no matter how good the battery is, little-to-no voltage will get to the starter and the load shed relay.

My first question is: Does the bike have the updated starter relay and harness?

Early in the life of the LT, there were significant issues with the starter relay welding itself shut, so that the starter motor ran whenever the battery was hooked up. This condition was caused by trying to start the motor with a battery having to low a voltage (low voltage, very high current would cause the contact to arc/weld shut). While this is not exactly your problem, I mention it for the idea that the original starter relays were not great bits of kit; they can fail in a number of ways.

I'm afraid checking (and if this is the problem, remedying) this issue requires getting to the starter relay, which is in the electrical box under the gas tank.

See post #25 in this thread, and in particular the 3rd photo, for the start relay position:
http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/showthre...lay+electrical

The starter relay is the component in the upper half of the electrical box, on the lower level to the left.

Mark Neblett
Fairfax, VA

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post #23 of 32 Old Aug 17th, 2009, 8:55 am
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Re: Throttle Cable Replacement: Final Report

I don't see how that relay got fried from doing the throttle cable change.

On the fuel rail, there are little nipples sticking out for each cylinder with a rubber tube attached to it, are u SURE one or two didn't slip out? That can def cause your starting problems.

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post #24 of 32 Old Aug 17th, 2009, 9:07 am
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Re: Throttle Cable Replacement: Final Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caveno
I don't see how that relay got fried from doing the throttle cable change.
Not suggesting that. Maybe by shear coincidence, he has this problem. Or maybe the battery drained to too low a level while doing the throttle cable work. Who knows? Bottom line, this potential cause fits his symptoms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caveno
On the fuel rail, there are little nipples sticking out for each cylinder with a rubber tube attached to it, are u SURE one or two didn't slip out? That can def cause your starting problems.
Considered that, but a canister purge hose off an intake stub would cause rough running due to a lean condition and the Moronic hunting for the proper idle in response to the O2 sensor, but the bike would definitely start/run. BTDT.

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post #25 of 32 Old Jul 3rd, 2018, 10:02 am
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Re: Throttle Cable Replacement: Final Report

I have a quick question. I have read about an E clip that is notorious for flying across the shop? Can someone tell me the location of this E clip? I've got my 04 with 90K miles stripped down due to a miss. I decided to deal with the CCV oil slick on top of the engine and that is when I discovered the frayed throttle cable down to it's last few strands. Also planning on replacing both front and back brake lines since I have to pull the tupperware on the handle bars anyway. Just curious to learn more about this E clip though before had so I can take extra measures to ensure it does not end up MIA. LOL

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post #26 of 32 Old Jul 3rd, 2018, 11:18 am
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Re: Throttle Cable Replacement: Final Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swift1967 View Post
I have a quick question. I have read about an E clip that is notorious for flying across the shop? Can someone tell me the location of this E clip? I've got my 04 with 90K miles stripped down due to a miss. I decided to deal with the CCV oil slick on top of the engine and that is when I discovered the frayed throttle cable down to it's last few strands. Also planning on replacing both front and back brake lines since I have to pull the tupperware on the handle bars anyway. Just curious to learn more about this E clip though before had so I can take extra measures to ensure it does not end up MIA. LOL
....
...
There are 2 throttle cables:
One is higher visually, this is the return cable. The lower one is the main pull-cable.
At the end of the upper/ retun cable, there is a plastic insert that has a notch for a small circlip - this is the one that is a bit tricky. It is just below / on the back of the cruise-control micro-switch attached to throttle-bodies.

See 2 attached photos that will make this clear.

I could not find a photo of the circlip in my collection , but once you are there, with air-box removed, you will see it. You will need to press forward a bit on the plastic cable end to compress the spring and then use a small tool to pull the circlip out. Best to do with small needle-nose plier so it does not fall down (or across the room),

You do not need to remove the Throttle-bodies completely to change the cables, but it will be frustrating with TB in place. ALSO, if you are this far into the beast, I would STRONGLY suggest to do so and replace the 4 rubber stub AND the 4 o-rings located below the throttle-bodies. With age they tend to dry/crack and create intake air leaks that will cause issues.
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post #27 of 32 Old Jul 3rd, 2018, 1:09 pm
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Re: Throttle Cable Replacement: Final Report

John,

That helps me a LOT! I have the TB all removed and I have ordered boots, o rings as well as my injector o rings as well. Like you said..I'm this far in better take care of business while I am here! I'm kind of assuming there is a high possibility that those boots or o rings may in fact be the reason for the engine miss.

Thank you yet again!

Trevor
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post #28 of 32 Old Jul 3rd, 2018, 2:11 pm
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Re: Throttle Cable Replacement: Final Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swift1967 View Post
John,

That helps me a LOT! I have the TB all removed and I have ordered boots, o rings as well as my injector o rings as well. Like you said..I'm this far in better take care of business while I am here! I'm kind of assuming there is a high possibility that those boots or o rings may in fact be the reason for the engine miss.

Thank you yet again!

Trevor
I have no idea of your mechanical background / experience... SO, If I may, a few warnings that may save you to do this job twice:

1) See attached picture: before you install used manifold with new O-RING, make sure to check flatness of lower surface of these manifolds. With age, we have seen many that are not flat and even the new O-Ring would not seal the surface well. If they are no 100% flat, you may use a glass piece (or machinist tool) with very fine sandpaper.


2) With cylinder-head on the engine, you cannot change any imperfect flatness on the cylinder-head junction of these manifolds, HOWEVER you should make sure the surfaces are very well cleaned up - any trace of dirt/grease/corrosion should be removed. OF COURSE WITH PROPER PIECE OF RAG blocking any debris from falling down !!!

3) Install / attach the 4 rubber stub to the TB while it is on bench. The upper clip (top of rubber stub to Throttle-bodies) is NOT a screw type adjustable clip so it should be done first. Only after should you push the whole TB assy toward the cylinder head. Respect the "TOP" mark (cast into black rubber) when installing these rubber stub to TB assy.

4) When re-installing / pushing the Throttle-bodies assy down toward cylinder head, do NOT force on any piece / bracket attached to the TB assy EXCEPT:
- either the top of each TB (the round opening)
- or either the 2 long pieces of metal in front and in rear of TB assy (these metal pieces hold the 4 TB together)

These 2 last item can take some pressure.
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John (Montreal, CANADA)
K1200RS (2002 IceBlue/Red - 96,000 miles)
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"The value of this board is not founded on dismissing the ideas of others, but by posting to share our experiences and what we've learned from them."

Last edited by sailor; Jul 3rd, 2018 at 2:27 pm.
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post #29 of 32 Old Jul 3rd, 2018, 2:29 pm
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Re: Throttle Cable Replacement: Final Report

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Originally Posted by Swift1967 View Post
John,

That helps me a LOT! I have the TB all removed and I have ordered boots, o rings as well as my injector o rings as well. Like you said..I'm this far in better take care of business while I am here! I'm kind of assuming there is a high possibility that those boots or o rings may in fact be the reason for the engine miss.

Thank you yet again!

Trevor
Hi Trevor--I do not know if anyone suggested replacing the throttle valve rail/crankcase breather... you can tell if you need to if it is oily and dirty behind the throttle bodies on the engine block. Some wonderful people posted a lot of info on making your own using copper pipe, fittings, and solder.

(I made my own in the photo because the plastic replacement was expensive, and I think the one I made will outlive me.)
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2000 K1200LTI Champagne


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post #30 of 32 Old Jul 3rd, 2018, 4:23 pm
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Re: Throttle Cable Replacement: Final Report

Also at 90 K you could send off your injectors to Mr Injector. He cleans them and replaces the o-rings as well as the filters screens. You get a before and after flow report and if you mark your injectors the report will reflect your markings Mr Injector - Home 17.50 per injector and fast turn around.
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John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #31 of 32 Old Jul 16th, 2018, 2:41 pm
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Re: Throttle Cable Replacement: Final Report

Great Info from everyone! Thanks again.
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post #32 of 32 Old Jul 16th, 2018, 3:47 pm
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Re: Throttle Cable Replacement: Final Report

FYI to all...

My first main pull-cable failed because the inner cable did not exit the outer sheath cleanly at the throttle body end. The outer sheath was not routed well and the result was that it was angled where it meets the throttle body assy. The misalighnment caused the inner cable to wear, one strand at a time, until it wadded up.

Last edited by GE90115B; Jul 16th, 2018 at 4:53 pm.
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