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I test drove a 90 skier and noticed when i made a turn in either direction underload(moving at a good pace), I had to use two hands to turn the boat. Its my first boat like this and am wondering how the steering shoud be??

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I test drove a 90 skier and noticed when i made a turn in either direction underload(moving at a good pace), I had to use two hands to turn the boat. Its my first boat like this and am wondering how the steering shoud be??

Should be able to turn w/ one finger (pretty easily). My guess would be that it needs a new steering cable. Depending on which it is, you can order them from SKiDim.com fairly reasonable and are not too awfully hard to put in. Use the search function for exact instructions. Acutally, I just replaced mine and found it cheaper than SkiDim. I'll try and find the place for you.

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Plus1.gif Should be pretty much one or two finger to turn - even at speed. Could be couple of things...

Steering cable - would be tough all the time.

Rudder needs grease - lack of grease makes hard to turn, more so while loaded by prop-wash.

Rudder needs replaced - too much wear in rudder & binding against housing when prop wash hits it.

Best diagnosis is to disconnect cable from rudder & see where the system is binding up.

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I to am actually interested to know this, My brothers Echelon just had the Cable replaced last year because of the hard steering and it still is Very Hard to steer while moving.. When the boat is just sitting there it is really nice and easy to turn the wheel but even at a low speed it gets very hard....

I assume it has something to do with the rudder and we have greased it numerous times with no improvement.. Is changing a rudder a difficult (expensive) procedure?

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Most likely scenario is steering cable.

Costs if you replace it yourself should be under $200. Use search function to see install procedure - should take anywhere from 1 to 4 hours.

Grease - Nearly free. Typically take one or two slow gentle pumps into Zerk fitting (or two depending on rudder) while a helper rotates the wheel stop to stop. Don't over fill or you can blow the o-ring seals.

Replace Rudder & Housing - Should be under $500 or so if you replace. Instruction for doing so are here. You can likely find exact match at dealer, but it may be more.

Rudder removal process was discussed in thread not too long ago. Airforce 1 is also going through it now.

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OK, I forgot to mention the boat had about 1000# of ballast plus 4 adults. I think it still needs replacing but would this wieght be an issue when steering?

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My 1991 F3 Skier is easy to turn. The steering cable shouldnt be hard to replace at all. Best way to do it it to tape the new cable onto the old one while you remove it. I wouldn't think the rudder replacement would be too difficult once you got the correct parts. Just take your time and remember where everything goes.

By the way, did you end up buying the boat?


Edited by jcaksume
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Not yet, trying to find out all i can first. But its a good chance it will happen. Were u implying in your post that u think the rudder should be replaced??? I hope not!!! Im not very swift at mechanics. More of a computer guy. I think i can handle the cable though.

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Weight in the boat shouldn't make a difference in the steering. We've had 8 people, 400lbs of ballast & the wedge down (about 2500lbs equivalent) and steering has been 2 fingers at most.

With that vintage of boat though, it's difficult to know without separating the cable & rudder & trying each.

Still most likely the cable - however if you separate the two & the steering is smooth & easy - 1 finger, then it could be the rudder. We've had members that have had similar steering difficulties & it took replacing the rudder to solve the problem. Most of the time, it's just the cable.

How was the steering at idle?

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my 89 sunsetter's steering wheel turns very easy w/o load (when idling and off water). as i drive it faster and faster (with more load) it does have progressive 'resistance'. You don't need two hands to drive it though...but it doesn't turn with 1 finger, either.

what is the best way to lube the rudder? I don't recall a grease zerk on the upper side of the bearings, etc. Perhaps I should disconnect my cable and check out the situation. the boat has about 450 hours?! I doubt the cables/rudder have ever been replaced (still working good for 19 years young).

can you 'just' replace/repack the bearings on the rudder? why replace the whole rudder when it just needs new bearings. rudder = $400; bearings = $25....just curious.

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The way I test a steering cable is by trying to rotate the steering wheel by moving the rudder with my hand(s). If I can't, the cable is no good. No point in toughing it out, you are going to have to change it sooner or later. Basically, it won't get any better on its own.

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A 90 skier will not have grease fittings on the rudder. There are no bearings in the rudder box either. Just bushings & o-rings. I had no luck finding replacement bushings for mine. Check to see if there is slop in the rudder, could be binding under load. Most likely it is the steering cable or helm. Does it have tilt steering? When I bought my boat the steering was really tight. Mine had the tilt mechanism, there is a u-joint inside the tilt mech & it was the culprit . I replaced the helm & steering cable & ditched the tilt...smooth as butta now. Replacing the cable is a piece of cake.

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