Moderated Discussion Areas
ContinuousWave: Whaler Repairs/Mods
posted 09-25-2002 10:55 PM ET (US)
Being in the south I use my 17' Montauk all year fishing and hunting. My teleflex steering has stuck before and muscle got it to move. This time it was too stuck and I had too much muscle and something broke. The steering wheel just spins. I bought the boat used and didn't get any info with it. Any help would be appreciated. I would like to fix it or change the steering myself to learn more. Also, any advice on how to maitain it would be get.
posted 09-26-2002 12:05 AM ET (US)
I did a similiar thing to mine. What you most likely did is strip the threads on the gear inside the teleflex helm.
If you take the cable out of the helm you will see that the cable has metal threads on them - it looks like a central wire with a spring wrapped around it. I would check to make sure that this is still in good condition.
You cannot repair the helm. Unfortunately they have changed the helm and the old wires are not compatible with the new helm. You can confirm this by emailing teleflex, their customer support is excellent.
You have three options -
1) Find an old replacement helm on ebay, this is the cheapest and easiest. If you do this then I would recommend working on the engine end of the cables to ensure that they do not lock up again - they make fittings that keep them well greased.
2) Put in a new teleflex mechanical helm. You will have to replace the entire unit. This will be pretty expensive for what you end up with.
3) Put in a new teleflex baystar hydraulic system. These are sometimes available on ebay. Probably not much more work to install than a mechanical helm and the end result will be much better.
posted 09-26-2002 02:37 AM ET (US)
There are a lot of good deals on teleflex mechanical steering on ebay now, I would go with a new teleflex no feedback system.
posted 09-26-2002 09:07 AM ET (US)
While you obviously need to fix what is broken, you should first discover why the steering was locked. Disconnect the steering arm from the engine and see if the engine swings freely. Most likely you have a corroded steering tube, with that portion of the steering system frozen inside the tube. If the motor won't swing freely when disconnected from the tiller, check the steering pivots.
posted 09-26-2002 10:44 AM ET (US)
Might have broken the keyway on the wheel itself. For about $160 you can buy a whole new helm and cable 18'.
posted 12-01-2002 09:08 AM ET (US)
What is the recommended lubricant for teleflex steering? Wish I had asked this sooner, not after the steering broke!!
posted 12-01-2002 04:49 PM ET (US)
I got one of those thread on caps for the steering tube which has a zerk on it and I've been shooting regular old lithium based grease in there (wheel bearing / chassis grease). So far so good, not sure if this is the official recommended lube though.
To repair it I would personally go to the marine store and get a helm/cable combo. You save a lot that way and they have decent prices at West Marine.
posted 12-02-2002 05:52 PM ET (US)
First thing is to make sure the problem is not in the motor shaft. I have seen some saltwater motors where the main vertical tube got so corroded/dirty that the motor would not turn....even with the cable disconnected. If it is the motor, it is expensive as they will have to pull the power head to clean that vertical shaft.
If your motor turns freely with the steering disconnected, then the fix is easy. Buy a new Teleflex helm/cable system from Overtons for less than $200. That is rather inexpensive and easy to install.
BTW, Teleflex recommends NOT using a grease fitting on the tilt tube to lube your steering. They recommend cleaning the tube well before installing the new cable, then greasing the new cable end. They say that the greese fittings only force gunk into your cable and make it harder to turn. Just installed a new cable on my Outrage and their recommendations are right there on the box.
posted 12-22-2002 06:39 PM ET (US)
Just bought new helm and calbe from West Marine. Old Morse mechanical steering had a broken gear in the helm and the cable was pretty much corroded. This happened after leaving the boat idle for 3 months. I'm thinking that the helm and cable ought to be disassembled every 3-4 years and lubricated. especially if you live in the Keys or south Fla. Paul
posted 12-22-2002 06:41 PM ET (US)
Did check the engine after disconnecting the cable and moved freely. Have been lubricating the motor regularly. Next boat will have hydraulic steering.
posted 12-23-2002 07:46 PM ET (US)
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