Cable Gears

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30 Jan 2021 05:34 #1 by Paul Scherek
Paul Scherek created the topic: Cable Gears
Alister, I rolled my own cable set up using external levers and bearings. The factory cable gear set up used a different selector at the gearbox itself, directly controlled by the cables. I believe Frank on this site has had castings made to duplicate the factory set up.

At the gearbox end, I bolted a plate above the original gear selector with a couple of lever arms translating the movement of the cables from the gear lever to the gearbox itself. My Oka was a single cab, and all others (dual cab etc) have a cross member above the gear selector area which would prevent the use of the arrangement I made.

It is worth a bit of effort - the cable gear set up is much easier to use. I did completely overhaul my original gear set up and it was okay, but the cable set up is much, much nicer to use. I only made the cable set up in order to fit the Perkins 6 in, but it was a real bonus that it made the gears so much better.

Frank, if you are there, I think we would all be very interested to know how you got on with your set-up.

Cheers,

Paul
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30 Jan 2021 06:58 #2 by Peter and Sandra OKA 374
Peter and Sandra OKA 374 replied the topic: Cable Gears
The cable on mine works well, slots into P R N D 1 2 3 4 5 6 really well :-)))

OKA 374 LT Van, converted to camper/motorhome,
400ah Lithiums, 1100w solar, diesel cooking heating and HWS,
Cummins 6BT, Allison 6 speed auto, Nissan transfer.
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30 Jan 2021 07:08 #3 by Paul Scherek
Paul Scherek replied the topic: Cable Gears
Yes but............:huh: :huh:

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30 Jan 2021 12:49 #4 by Alister McBride
Alister McBride replied the topic: Cable Gears
Peter (there's no 'rolling eyes' emoticon but i would use it here if i could! :D )

Paul - I was going to use a donor truck shifter for the job and jury rig a set of cables to it but starting from scratch could end up in trouble... so i was wary and thought a linkage system doesn't require replacing cables (just rose joints from time to time). This linkage setup looks simple enough but at $1300 for a pair of cables i'd be thinking about another option!


It would be MUCH easier to use a donor truck for the setup, there's a few cars with them but the cables aren't long enough and i don't imagine the cables would be stout enough...

I'm assuming from what people wrote above some of the later OKA's had cable shift? Both #57 and #317 have a linkage (#317 has a cable shift for the t-case)

Cheers, alister

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30 Jan 2021 13:03 #5 by Paul Scherek
Paul Scherek replied the topic: Cable Gears
Agreed, at $1300 for two cables I would also be thinking of another option. I don't recall what they did cost but way less than that. I am guessing those cables were a "spare part" and hence expensive. I sent my specs to Flexidrive and they made them to suit. I needed three, (the XT also had rods for the transfer case).

Just found the receipt - I had four made (one spare) for $720.. bit better than $1300 for two!!
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30 Jan 2021 18:38 - 30 Jan 2021 18:41 #6 by Alister McBride
Alister McBride replied the topic: Cable Gears
Absolutely! My point being that there may be a donor out there i can get from a wrecker which would be easier than making something up (although i still like the idea). Wouldn't be hard for example to bolt up something like above under the oka dash panel. I'm sure they wouldn't wear out as quickly in the oka being a straighter run... Anyway, i might try to get to a wreckers and see what's about.

Out of interest, what diameter cable did you run with?
Last Edit: 30 Jan 2021 18:41 by Alister McBride.

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31 Jan 2021 06:22 #7 by Paul Scherek
Paul Scherek replied the topic: Cable Gears
Sorry Alister, I don't remember, and my cables are not easy to access to measure. I am fairly sure it was 8mm, but it may have been 10mm.
At the wreckers you may be able to find the 'cabin' end of the works, but unless you can find a similar Spicer gearbox with cable controls you will still need to to the more difficult part, that is, the gearbox end.
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31 Jan 2021 08:23 - 31 Jan 2021 08:49 #8 by Rick Whitworth
Rick Whitworth replied the topic: Cable Gears
resurrected some old cable links that might be of use

cable-shifter
cable-gear-shift
cable-gear-change-adjustment
cable-gear-change
oh-what-a-feeling-gears
transfer-case-cable-shifters

something I always mean to get round to!!
Last Edit: 31 Jan 2021 08:49 by Rick Whitworth.
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31 Jan 2021 17:22 #9 by Alister McBride
Alister McBride replied the topic: Cable Gears
wow! didn't realise it had been covered so readily. I've got a bit of reading to do, thanks Rick!

Paul, i'm not using the spicer but it is a very similar setup for most top mount gear selectors so the principles will overlap.

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01 Feb 2021 05:34 #10 by Paul Scherek
Paul Scherek replied the topic: Cable Gears
Please keep us posted, Alister, we will be very interested in your outcome. To be honest, I think the gear selector was one of the very few weaknesses in the Oka design, and it really wasn't all that bad. Everything else is just so good.....

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01 Feb 2021 08:20 #11 by Rick Whitworth
Rick Whitworth replied the topic: Cable Gears
Standard OKA linkage is hopeless if it is not set up exactly.
I find it works really well when properly adjusted but there is no fixed setting. I hate disconnecting the linkages because they are a mongrel to adjust, requires fine adjustment and always needs some suck it and see to get it just right.

I had a drive of Marj and Lloyd Parson cable shift at Granny's Flat a couple of years back and was impressed with how smooth it was.

Would have thought a universal cable shift would be easiest option for those doing engine swaps who want to keep the spicer?

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07 Feb 2021 20:51 #12 by Frank
Frank replied the topic: Cable Gears
I'm going to chime in here.

I have had my cable shift in use now since 2017. Probably done about 40,000km with it in. Our Oka is an XT.
The gearbox unit is basically a copy of the unit Oka sold, (originally manufactured by Cablecraft). However Oka never did a cable shift transfer case shifter for the XT. I'm guessing the XT was out of production by then. So the transfer case cable shifter is all me.

The gear stick shifter unit I procured from China (~$300), with cables and custom gear labeling on the knob, I hated doing this but the non China option was $800 plus another $400 for cables. The quality of the China unit is nothing special and it took a few shipments before I ended up with what I wanted. I then threw out the crap rod ends and put on decent ones, machined the shifter, retapped etc, until it worked the way it should, with the correct travel etc. Further work (which still needs more work) is making noise shields around the shifter mechanism. As you can see it is still not finished (is an Oka ever finished?).


For the top of the gearbox I wasn't willing to go the cost of casting so built up a layered stack of laser cut profiles that perform the same function. This replaces the selector arm on the top of the gearbox, I machined up the internal parts, a bit of welding and a special piece of 4140 steel machined for the interface into the gearbox selector system. I have no idea if this 4140 is necessary, but if it breaks it goes straight into the gearbox internals. I had the spring made commercially as my attempts at putting the correct bends in were frustrating.




Am I happy with it; yes (and no).
I like the fact that I could change all my air intake, turbo etc without having to modify the gearshift rods. The cables for the gear shift are flexible, but don't think they are easily flexed. They are tough to bend and move and having the correct length is very important to getting them to fit (I have a collection of cables that are only slightly different lengths now:)). I like not having the heavy shift rod bouncing around wearing the gearbox selector out. It makes no difference to feel when selecting gears.

I don't like that on an XT the cable interface at gearbox end has to be at a slight angle to clear the clutch mechanism.
I really, really don't like that I had to remove one of the brace rods that run from back of gearbox to engine adapter plate. I expect I will crack my bell housing some time. (mind you these brace rods need proper engineering anyway - having a slot in one end defeats their purpose I suspect). When that happens I suspect an automatic gearbox is coming to my Oka.
And this is why I probably would not recommend it, as Peter alluded, an automatic makes all this superfluous!

I also converted the transfer box shifter to cable shift also. Part of this process was reinforcing the gearbox/transfer case mounting brackets too. I haven't yet seen an XT with a non warped or breaking mounting bracket. My aim is to affix another mounting bracket from the transfer box to the chassis rail so that the torque is taken by something with a bit move leverage than the gearbox mounts.



Am I willing to make anymore of these units.

I think the answer is yes- BUT I give no guarantees that it wont break and/or cause other damage. The risk is all yours.
What will it cost? I would guess about $1500-$2000 for a bolt in kit for an XT gearbox, for the transfer case (minus the gearbox mount modification welding) probably $600 (All my pricing and supplier info is 4 years old now, so that is just a guess). I would also guess that delivery would be Q4 of 2021 (I'm rather busy at present).

cheers,
Frank

Frank & Christine Thomas
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