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Author Topic:   Steersman Questions
triblet posted 02-07-2004 01:11 PM ET (US)   Profile for triblet   Send Email to triblet  
I'm cleaning things up prepatory to putting the new steering
cable in, and some question about the Steersman nut:

1. One O-ring or two? There's a captive O-ring in a groove
at the end of the nut, but I vaguely recall an O-ring that
went on the streering rod before the nut went on.

2. Anybody got the O-ring size spec? I can probably find the
right one by playing match-up at the HW store but a size would
be nice.

3. There appeared to be something on the threads, maybe
Teflon tape, maybe some thick goo. Anybody know what this


lhg posted 02-07-2004 04:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Chuck - I am a great fan of the Steersman SS greae zerk nut, and use them on my boats for the side mount hydraulic cylinders, with have the same ram as a mechanical steerer.

You only want to use the O-ring in the steersman. I am not familiar with the OMC O-ring design, but any of these factory O-rings need to be removed, so the injected grease can work it's way IN to the steering tube. Otherwise your grease is trapped just between the two rings, and does you no good. The Steersman also replaces the factory nut.

On a Mercury engine, the factory O-ring is inside the end of the tilt tube, which means to replace it the steering cable must be removed from the engine. This is big job, and nobody ever does it, so when the O-ring wears out, the crud gets in and then the steering fails. But even with the old o-ring in there, it's impossible to get more grease in and to clean it. Not a good design at all in my opinion. The great thing about the Steersman is that simply by removing the drag link, the SS nut can be fully slid off the ram, and new o-ring installed before the tilt tube gets contaminated. The open end of the tube now allows one to work/drag new grease back in there. I have also found that the "grease plug" that is behind the nut effectively keeps contaminants from getting in also, and kind of soaks them up. Whenever the ram is showing grease build-up, the o-ring needs replacing and the nut cleaned out. This is now a simple job.

I have found that this device keeps a tilt tube clean and fully lubricated.

Don't know the size of the O-ring, but as you say, take the original to a hardware store an buy about 10 of them. It's a common size.

I don't recall anything on the threads, nor do I think teflon tape is necessary as a grease seal. You will be removing this nut every 6 months or so for a new O-ring.

triblet posted 02-08-2004 09:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
FTR, it looks like the O-ring is 3/4' OD, 5/8" ID, 1/16"
thick. That's an AS586-016 in the standard numbering scheme,
or #40 in Ace Hardware's non-standard numbering scheme.


HAPPYJIM posted 02-08-2004 10:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for HAPPYJIM  Send Email to HAPPYJIM     
Harbor Freight has a collection of O rings for $10.

triblet posted 02-08-2004 04:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
The Harbor Freight collection does not include the Steersman
size (-016). It does have a cool case. I saw the same
collection on one of the O-ring manufacturer's websites in
the last day or so.

BTW, I noticed that OSH (Orchard Supply Hardware, our local
old-line chain of hardware stores) uses the same non-standard
numbering scheme as Ace (same supplier: Danco).


ldo posted 03-01-2004 11:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for ldo  Send Email to ldo     
I have not been able to locate the Steersman Nut in San Diego. Can you provide the name of a supplier. I have a 1990 Mercury 100 hp on a Montauk.

Thank you.


Gene in NC posted 03-01-2004 10:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for Gene in NC  Send Email to Gene in NC     
What is Steersman. Sounds like the Davis Lube II which has been marginal. Oring goes in a day. Have used their special low viscosity lube on a new cable. OK for the first season. They caution against using zerk to lube w grease (force out seal and or cause steering lock).
Chuck Tribolet posted 03-01-2004 10:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Ido: West Marine.
Chuck Tribolet posted 03-01-2004 10:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
DUH. I typed West Marine, and somehow clicked SEND has I
got up to get the catalog. Now I can't find it in the

Yes, it's similar to the Davis Lube II. Zerk only, no plug.
I greased it with OMC Triple-Guard marine grease.

My problem with the Steersman was that I didn't replace the
O-ring in five years.

No problems with steering lock, and the o-ring is the only
"seal". No problems with the O-ring except that it got old
and tired.


ldo posted 03-02-2004 08:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for ldo  Send Email to ldo     

I also tried West Marine but they apparently stopped carrying it this year.

Does anyone have a manufacturer's name for the Steersman Steering Guard?



LHG posted 03-03-2004 01:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
Call Boat Owners Warehouse in FL, 1-800-262-8799, or They will have it, or can quickly get it for you, and I think they're about $20. For Mercury engines 75 HP and up, you need the 1" thread size. Many boat places only stock the 7/8" size. They make these in both SS and aluminum.

When this part originally came out, it was called the "Widget".

Incidentally, cracking the paint seal on the large nuts on Mercury's tilt tube is not easy. You need two large wrenches. The Steersman replaces the Merc nut on port side.

ldo posted 03-03-2004 07:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for ldo  Send Email to ldo     
Thanks. I'll call them tomorrow.
ldo posted 03-04-2004 01:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for ldo  Send Email to ldo     

I called Boat Owners Warehouse in FL, 1-800-262-8799 this morning. They had to do some searching and call me back but they were able to fill my order. Very nice people.

Thanks for your help.


WWMarine posted 07-15-2010 03:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for WWMarine  Send Email to WWMarine     
I realize that this is a pretty old thread, but it may help someone with the same problem currently. You don't need to search the local hardware stores for a replacement O-ring. All Steersman Steering Guards come with a spare. Not only that, we will send you a replacement free of charge if you send us a self-addressed stamped envelope. See our Website for the address. Also see the thread at

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