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Z Bender

I used to use a couple needle nose pliers to make the z bends for throttle and choke cables.  Eventually, I purchased a device made specifically for that task.  While it doesn’t make as compact a bend as I like, I generally use it if I don’t want to take the time to remove the cables from the Cub Cadet.  I’d thought I’d include a description here since it’s a process that’s pretty simple to duplicate.  The bender looks like this:

Since it’s not obvious from the picture, here’s two closeups of the ends.

z-bender-3-end view 2z-bender-2-end view











To use the bender, insert the throttle wire in the hole in the end.

z-bender-4-with wireAfter the wire is inserted in the hole, it is bent forward (or downward depending on your perspective).

z-bender-5-first bend
After the bend, the wire is rotated around until it is seated in the slot in the tool.

z-bender-6-first bend rotate
The wire is then bent forward.

z-bender-7-second bend
The wire can then be rotated out of the slot and removed from the bender.  The finished product looks like:

z-bender-8-finished product
Notice in the above photo that the resulted z bend is not very compact and the bends are more rounded then I like.  The device is easy to use and it’s pretty fail safe, but although it’s not obvious in the picture, it’s a fairly “wide” z bend.

If I have the cable removed from the tractor, I came up with another method that I prefer.  I made a fixture by drilling a through hole (5/64″) in the side of a  1/2″ piece of steel from the scrap pile.  Begin by placing the wire in a vice.  The wire should be about a 1/4″ into the vice.

z-bender-9-wire in vice
Using a hammer, make a bend.  The hammer assures a sharp 90 degree bend.

z-bender-10-first bend in vice
Remove the wire from the vice and stick the 1/4″ length in the fixture.

z-bender-11-wire in fixture
Place the wire and fixture in the vice.  The depth that you place it will determine the width of the z-bend.

z-bender-12-fixture in vice
Again, using a hammer bend the wire forward.

z-bender-13-second bend in vie
Remove the wire and fixture from the vice and you have a z-bend.

z-bender-14-finished product and fixture
It’s not obvious from the picture, but the z-bend created has much sharper corners and is much narrower.

Again, I hope you find this article useful.  I’m sure with a little creativity someone could come up with an even better and simpler bender.  If you do, drop me an email.  I’d be glad to hear from you.

Last Modified On: 2014-03-15 11:27:46