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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    DIY "full metal jacket" for cheap

    I was doing a build on a 23-in. frame, and the longer sheath that came in my XTR cable set was 5 in. too short to reach the rear disc. Didn't want to pay $2/foot for generic housing, so I got creative.

    Went to Hobby People and found some K&S aluminum tubing (you may find this at any number of other places, such as Ace Hardware). 1/4-in. OD by 0.014-in. wall and 7/32-in. OD by 0.014-in. wall. One-foot sections were $0.99 each, and they sell 3-ft lengths as well if you want to do a longer one. This stuff is dead-soft, fully annealed, probably 1100 series. They also have brass and stainless, though the stainless is 0.28" wall, making it about six times as heavy as the aluminum.

    I cut two sections of the 1/4-in. tube each twice as long as a steel brake cable housing end. Filed the ends flat and deburred them. Tapped the steel housing end into the tube with a hammer. The 12-in. long section of 7/32-in. tube then slides inside the other end of the 1/4-in. tube perfectly and butts up against the front side of the steel housing end.

    Total cost, $2.50 plus tax. Since you've only used 1/6 of the 1/4-in. tube, you can do additional sections for less than the typical cost of generic housing. If the aluminum bends, you can replace it for $0.99. If it keeps bending, you can go with the stainless for $3. By using 3-ft. sections of tube and cutting them to length, you can make the jacket exactly the right length to go along your top tube, for example.

    Haven't put any trail miles on it yet, but it's working perfectly on the shakedown around the neighborhood. I'll try to remember to report back in a few months with how it's holding up.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: logbiter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    cool, some pictures would be nice (;

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: D.F.L.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    'Dead soft' may be a problem. I know the tubing you're talking about and it's a lot softer and weaker than the stainless Avid uses. I'd expect it to deform and be far more prone to bending.

    Just be careful.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    I found avids flak jacket to work well with my BB7s. But I still paid $30 for it. So, you way is still cheaper.

    Show some pics!!
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

  5. #5
    Off the back...
    Reputation: pinkrobe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    I use full-length Jagwire housing, it's pimp 'cause it has teh Kevlars. $20, and it came with aluminum inline barrel adjusters.

  6. #6
    Rip Van Winkle
    Reputation: Restoman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    how is it working now? Pictures.

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