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Author Topic:   steering cables
Harold Wilcox posted 03-27-2000 09:04 PM ET (US)   Profile for Harold Wilcox   Send Email to Harold Wilcox  
I just had my cables cleaned and freed up in Jan. Now, two months later, steering is frozen up again. What is the answer? Should I just expect to replace the steering cables every year?
Clark Roberts posted 03-28-2000 09:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
Harold, old buddy, I think you have a corroding tilt tube (the tube that the steering cable rod runs thorugh). it's not a huge job to drive the old one out and slide a new one it... unless something's frozen up!
the corrosion inside the tube has to be completely sanded out or refreezing is certain... remember we talked about this earlier... you have to unbolt the engine and rotate about the upper port bolt to get clearance to remove the steering rod... don't let it just sit or it may freeze permanently..... not a good thing... Happy Whalin'..... Clark
lhg posted 03-28-2000 02:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Corroded or split cable coverings can also be a problem like you have described, but assuming they are in good shape, I agree with Clark that the tilt tube is your problem. I did a similar replacement on one of my engines, and except for loosening the two large nuts that hold the tilt tube in place, its not too hard to drive the old one out with the new one. That way the engine is never unsupported, especially if you put a block under the skeg for good measure. If you're going to keep the engine for a while, you might consider getting one of the new SS tilt tubes that most saltwater versions of the engines use. I would also stongly recommend replacing the port side nut with one of those SS nuts with a grease fitting, as made by "Steersman". Remove the OEM O-ring in the tilt tube BEFORE inserting the steering rod, since the "Steersman" nut has it's own O-ring. The grease inserted into the nut lubricates the steering rod, and more importantly, the grease packing in the nut keeps out dirt, etc. It can easily be removed, cleaned out, and a new o-ring replaced as needed (whenever you start to see grease on the extended steering rod). The problem with most OEM tilt tubes is that you have to remove the steering rod (often not easy to do, and rarely done by anybody) to replace the worn o-ring that is letting in the dirt & water, causing the corrosion. I have Teleflex hydraulic steering on my boats, with side mount (tilt tube mounting similar to mechanical steering) cylinders, and those Steersman nuts work like magic to keep the steering rods & inside of tilt tubes clean & greased. Highly recommended. As a final solution, switch to hydraulic steering, and your problems will be over.

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