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Window Winding Cable



Y Type Window Winding Cable – Repair by John Harris


Have you ever had that sinking feeling? Well I did on y way home fro the Speckled Hen Run recently. “Wind the window up please dear” my wife Doreen said as we headed back to Radley College for our cream tea. Just as it got to the top “BANG” and it disappeared into the door. The winder went all easy to turn so I guessed something broke, or slipped off. I had no idea at the time how it worked, never having had a YA to bits. All my experience with building and fiddling with MG’s has been with MMM and T types. Oh well, another job to do.


When I got home I took off the door panel and immediately saw what had happened and what a simple and ingenious system.

 winding 1  winding 2


A very simple gear and chain driving a Bowden cable over some pulleys. For those who have never had the door panel off, the photo shows you what you will see. Looking at the diagram the winding handle connects to a gear over which passes a chain. A closed Loop of Bowden cable is connected to each end of the chain with a loop and crimped ferrule. The system works thus:- Winding the handle anticlockwise pulls the left hand cable downwards. It passes over the first pulley “F” and passes through a clamp, which attaches it to the bottom of the window thus the window is raised. In order to lift the window evenly the cable then passed under another pulley “A” , down low in the door and up again over a second pulley “F” and down through another clamp attaching to the window. Hence both sides are lifted evenly. The cable then goes down and round the second pulley “A” and attaches to the other end of the chain. This ensures that the window is pulled down. The cable needs to be free of slackness to prevent the chain slipping on the gear. For this reason the two lower pullets “A” are adjustable.

Repairing the cable

When I examined the cable I found that it had broken where it is attached to the chain. The first action was to contact my usual supplier for a spare but unfortunately to no avail. I contacted David Pelkham and he passed on my message to Paul Barrow, who gave me some useful information. The cable diameter is 0.072” (this confirmed that mine were correct also) and 76” (193.04cm) long. This gave me the minimum length I needed to order.


However, scanning via the web for Bowden cable I did find a supplier “Clarik Engineering Supplies” and bought a coil (I have some spare if anyone should need some). As for the crimped ferrules I couldn’t find any easily on the internet so I went to my local bike shop.


They couldn’t provide anything suitable but one guy told me that he used to used a suitably sized insert from the plastic electrical connector blocks. Once the plastic is removed they can be used to solve the problem. Making the new winder cable was made very much easier using these as you can alter the length easily if you find it doesn’t quite fit.

 winding 3  winding 4


There is some adjustment in the two lower rollers, marked “A” in the diagram. I made the whole continuous loop, including chain, before I put it into the door. You will need to take out the bolt that secures the bottom of the window runner at the front edge of the door to be able to pass the cable down to where the gear wheel is. Other than that it is just a matter of fitting the cable into the pulley grooves and the chain onto the gear wheel. You will need to leave the clamp bars off the two positions where the cable is secured to the bottom of the glass before you start.


It pays also to slacken off the two lower pulleys where the adjustment exists. Easier said than done though. I found it helpful to remover the wooden window surround and the felt wiper bar from the door so that I could see the pulleys. It did require a little patience and tenacity though. Once in position and reasonably tensioned you can then position the window and put on the clamps. Some adjustment will be required to make sure that the window winds right up and fully down and is lined up at the top when in the up position. One done and everything works it’s just a matter of putting all the other bits back again. Job Done.