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Author Topic:   Tilt tube removal
acseatsri posted 09-16-2001 07:36 PM ET (US)   Profile for acseatsri   Send Email to acseatsri  
I'm installing hydraulic steering on my 150 Evinrude. I need to remove the tilt tube to remove the twin-cable bracket. Has anyone had experience with this task? It turns hard in the housing, I'm assuming from hardened grease as well as SOME motor weight still being present on it. My plan is to support the engine from beneath, remove the top bolts that hold the engine to the transom, and then loosen the bottom bolts, which are in elongated slots. Then I should be able to raise or lower the trailer tongue to see that no weight is present on the tilt tube outside of the engine bracket itself. Hopefully I can just tap it out after that. Any other suggestions?
Clark Roberts posted 09-17-2001 06:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
Sounds like you've got a handle on it! My only suggestion is that you be careful to not deform the end of the tube as you knock it through and that you use a tube of same OD so as to keep all parts in alignment. A plastic or leather hammer may do the trick.. good luck.. Clark.. Spruce Creek Navy
Whalerdan posted 09-17-2001 07:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerdan  Send Email to Whalerdan     
Are you talking about the tube the engine turns on. On my engine the top bracket is rusty and I'd like to replace it if its not that hard.
acseatsri posted 09-17-2001 09:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for acseatsri  Send Email to acseatsri     
Thanks, Clark. And yes, Whalerdan, it is the "pivot point" of the engine. I'll let you know how it goes on Wednesday. Going tuna fishing today and tomorrow. The fishing stinks right now, but it's a good way to take the mind off this depressing period in our history.
Bigshot posted 09-17-2001 12:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
If you guys are talking about the arm the steering hooks to, it is major surgery. You have to disassemble the "Whole" engine. Most motors have tis rust problem and if you sand it down and repaint, it is fine. if it is really thin and dangerous, bad news.
lhg posted 09-17-2001 02:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
The safest way to replace a tilt tube is to support the engine as you have described, but DO NOT loosen the engine mounting bolts. That's the last thing you want to do. You could have the whole thing fall apart on you! Use the trailer jack to be sure you have taken the weight on the engine skeg. Keep taking up the weight by gauging ease of tilt tube removal. I would buy a new replacement tilt tube and drive the old one out with the new one. This is the best way to accomplish your task, and you will have a clean tilt tube for the hydraulic. And you only have to drive in the new one, instead of driving the old one back in again. Tilt tubes cost about $60. Or at least, as suggested, use a heavy steel pipe that is EXACTLY the same diameter. If you're careful, this is an easy job, at least it was on my Mercury 115 and 200.
Whalerdan posted 09-18-2001 04:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerdan  Send Email to Whalerdan     
lhg - Sounds like the Mercury set-up is quite a bit different form the OMC. I don't see how one could get the tube out without unbolting the engine, and the steering arm (on the OMC) is welded to the tube. Can't wait to here from acseatsri on how it went.
acseatsri posted 09-18-2001 07:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for acseatsri  Send Email to acseatsri     
Bigshot- No, it's not the steering arm, it's the tube that the engine tilts up and down on, and cable steering usually runs through it.
lhg- My plan was to remove the top bolts in the engine (drilled, not slotted) and loosen the lower bolts so I can tell when the weight has been transferred to the skeg from the transom bracket. I don't plan on removing the bolts in the slots completely.
Whalerdan- I'll keep you posted how it goes and any problems I encounter.

PS- Caught and released 4 Bluefin Tuna approximately 60-90 pounds Monday night. Too bad they weren't yellowfin or albies! Lots of fun, nonetheless.

Bigshot posted 09-19-2001 11:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Ok. my steering got stuck in there and when I beat it out, the tube came with it. Replace with a SS one about $60.
acseatsri posted 09-19-2001 01:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for acseatsri  Send Email to acseatsri     
Update- Mission accomplished!
Slid tilt tube out enough to get the bracket for the twin-cable steering bracket off and slid back in as well. Ready to install the hydraulic steering now. Right arm is visibly larger (stronger) from swinging 2 pound mini-sledge hammer for over an hour. I left the nut on the port side of the engine so I could turn the tube and spray WD40 on it as I drove it out. It turned out I didn't need to unbolt the engine. I supported the front of the skeg with cement blocks and adjusted with the trailer tongue jack, adjusted the rear with a floor jack. It took a lot of fiddling to get it balanced perfectly. My driver was a piece of 1/2-13 threaded rod with a nut screwed on approximately 1/2" to act as a crude pilot. The threads on the outside were undamaged, but the inside of the tube required a little chamfering to allow the 5/8 rode to go through. Hope this helps anyone who is willing to attempt this task.

PS- I'd suggest removing the engine if you have the facilities handy, especially if you're considering totally removing the tilt tube. It's NOT an easy job. If you're not mechanically inclined, either FOGETTABOUTIT or else get help!

lhg posted 09-19-2001 02:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Now you know why I suggested not to unbolt the engine. Easiest way to accomplish this task, as I said, when the tube MUST come all the way out, is to just drive in a new one. Even if the old one can be restored and refurbished. Just save it for the next time.

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