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Author Topic:   Stuck Steering Cable
renoduckman posted 06-24-2010 12:14 PM ET (US)   Profile for renoduckman   Send Email to renoduckman  
[It is now] time to replace the steering on [an unidentified boat made by Boston Whaler], and [I am afraid I] have turned [the replacement of the steering cable] into a big problem. I cannot get the cable to come out of the tube on the Mercury [outboard motor]. I oiled [the steering cable], hit [the steering cable], and [the steering cable] moved slowly, but, now , as [I] have gotten the end of the cable about even with the tube, [the steering cable will not] move any more. The inside of the cable is beginning to come out of the other side of the tube. [I] thought [replacement of the steering cable] might get eaiser. But [replacement of the steering cable] has gotten harder, and now [the steering cable] won't move at all. [I am] not sure what to do. This has the makings of a disaster. [Give me] any advice or thoughts. Joe
Narragansett Outrage posted 06-24-2010 12:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Narragansett Outrage  Send Email to Narragansett Outrage     
Well, I guess you could try to get some kind of pipe that fits within the tilt tube, and continue banging on that until the cable comes out the other end.

Or, less likely, perhaps you can cut the cable at the other end, slather oil on whatever is left, and push it back through from the other end.

Would there be any reason for the tube to loosen up a little if you were to tilt the motor up or down? Perhaps any bushings in there might be binding on the cable at the current angle.

renoduckman posted 06-24-2010 03:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for renoduckman  Send Email to renoduckman     
Thanks. I was thinking of the same thing. Maybe cutting the cable off and see if it will go back out the other side? Its a tough one and i appreciate any more help or ideas? Joe
Whaler_bob posted 06-24-2010 03:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whaler_bob    
When I did my cable replacement- I cut the starboard side with a hacksaw then banged the rest out to the port side of the tilt tube with a 4lb mallet and brass rod.
Sebash4 posted 06-24-2010 03:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sebash4  Send Email to Sebash4     
If you can get a pair of Vice-Grip pliers on the tube and twist it back and forth it will probably come out without a lot of beating and banging. Once you get it out you will need to clean the tube out of all the old grease. A brush like you use to clean a shotgun works well. Good Luck !!
L H G posted 06-24-2010 06:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
Without knowing what Mercury you have, you can also simply install a new SS tilt tube and Steersman grease nut.

I think a tilt tube is about $70, and to install it you simply use the new one to drive out the old one. After removing the tilt tube nuts on both sides, support the weight of the engine vertically at the skeg, and drive the well greased new one in. This method leaves the engine continuusly supported and the internal parts can't fall out.

Mercury tilt tubes have one notoriously bad detail, with the O-ring gasket just inside the end of the tube, making it imposible to service and replace, which is why these problems develop. Hence the Steersman nut which accomplishes both functions easily. When you install it, DO NOT install the Mercury o-ring into the tilt tube. The Steersman nut has its own O-ring wiper. It replaces the Mercury nut on the Port side.

renoduckman posted 06-24-2010 07:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for renoduckman  Send Email to renoduckman     
Thanks for the advice. I will try a bit more to remove [the steering cable], and, if not [able to remove the steering cable], [I] like the idea of changing the tilt tube. I have a 1988 [Mercury] 80-HP.

Where do you buy the [stainless steel] tilt tube? How hard is [the tilt tube] to change? I [am] a maintence man so [I] normally can do this kind of stuff. The tilt tube does turn [easily]. Does [the tilt tube] just slide thru the clamp part of the engine, and only the nuts on the outside hold in [the tilt tube]? Thanks Joe

GRAND NUSSIE posted 06-25-2010 11:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for GRAND NUSSIE  Send Email to GRAND NUSSIE     
On my '89 8hp Merc, the tilt tube does just slide out as you suspect simply by removing one of the nuts. Support the engine unless you have it resting on it's back.


contender posted 06-25-2010 03:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
Whaler/bob is correct you will have to beat it out with a hammer and some type of rod that will fit in side the tube. Then do as Seabas4 states use a shot gun cleaning rod on a drill and dip it in actone and run it in and out to clean out the old crap/grease/dirt..
Ernesto Devarona posted 07-01-2010 10:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for Ernesto Devarona  Send Email to Ernesto Devarona     
My advice before use hammering: try turning the cable (after cutting it from the right side)disconect the small rod that conects the cable to the engine ,pass a screwdriver or any steel piece for the hole and try turning it to both sides spray W40 or penetrant oil ,try several times you can help with any other instrument for lever action or proper streght transmission
maineuropa posted 07-06-2010 10:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for maineuropa  Send Email to maineuropa     
I am trying to effect the same repair on my 15' Sport...I ended up driving the outboard pivot tube right out of the hinges because the steering cable was truly "welded" into the tube and still is.
I purchased a replacement tube and cable, but here's the issue: the replacements from Teleflex are in whole foot lengths. I suspect that my original with the lettering "10 5 ft" is 6 inchs longer than the 10 foot replacement, so the new cable will not reach. There is very little wiggle room on the sport 15 wrt cable length. So I am asking the group wisdom:
Should I return the replacement cable because someone out there knows of a 10 1/2 foot whaler teleflex replacement cable source?
Should I simply move the entire seat and console assembly backwards about 6 inches? I would only have to fill the most forward screw holes on the console floor cleat and the side rails?
Or is seat and console movement going to alter the weight distribution set up for the boat by moving too far to the rear?

Ps I haven't actually tried the 11 foot teleflex...but I supect that would have me moving the console forward 6 inches...

contender posted 07-06-2010 10:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
When you have a 1/2 lenght you are suppose to go to the next size larger/longer, so if you are at 10.5 feet you need the 11 ft cable...good luck
Ernesto Devarona posted 07-06-2010 04:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ernesto Devarona  Send Email to Ernesto Devarona     
Yes, nothing bad could happens for 1/2 foot cable longer
renoduckman posted 07-13-2010 03:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for renoduckman  Send Email to renoduckman     
LHG was correct! I replaced the tilt tube. It was pretty simple. Much less trouble then the constant pounding i did while trying to get the old rod out of the tilt tube. There was clearence on my 74 Montuck with the 1988 80 hp Merc to slide the new tube right in! I just supported the skeg and no problem.
Unfortuantly my new Teleflex was damaged in shipping so now i have more of a delay to get back to fishing. Joe
L H G posted 07-13-2010 06:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
Nice to hear that it worked out for you. Don't forget the Steersman nut detail.
maineuropa posted 07-14-2010 09:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for maineuropa  Send Email to maineuropa     
Regarding going with an 11 foot steering tube: there is no leeway for additional length with this steering set up: the Teleflex runs along the inside of the starbrd rail so if it were longer it would have nowhere to go. I ended up moving the whole console, sides back about 5 inches. I have not had a chance to run the boat so I cannot say if the balance/handling will have changed.
renoduckman posted 07-19-2010 05:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for renoduckman  Send Email to renoduckman     
Finally got the whole steering changed and installed. Just wanted to point out that on my boat there was enough clearence to slide the new steering cable/rod into the tilt tube without removeing or loosening the engine. I know that question is asked a lot! Joe

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