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Response steering adjustment


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Can I adjust the steering cable or rudder to have less tension or pull to the right?

I know most slalom drivers like to have tension on the wheel (boat pulls to one side). The Malibu books says this is normal and the boat will track straight with a skier in tow. I have only had this boat one year and have not gotten adjusted to the steering. It’s a little annoying pulling so much.

I don’t pull any short line skiers so, would it matter if I adjusted it to pull less?

2001 Malibu Response Lx, 325hp monsoon, prop: OJ 3 blade (pitch? diameter?)

PS: I am sure this question comes up a lot.

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Some pull also helps minimize L-R corrective steering slop, but the pull should barely be noticeable at the helm. Unless that's how it felt when brand new, I think you'll find the problem is actually somewhere else.

The strut bushings could be worn and need to be replaced. Or if the boat has ever hit something the tracking fins, strut and/or rudder could be bent out of alignment causing an unusual side thrust. A good place to check for minor alignment problems is at the drive shaft transmission coupler for .003" tolerance. It's easy to access on DD models like your's and others have posted good write ups about how to check and adjust that properly. Newer, bigger models now have an adjustable rudder. So if everything ends up being true and straight and the pull still bothers you enough, maybe "upgrading" to the adjustable rudder could be worth the cost and effort.

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I doubt there is anything wrong with your boat. What you are experiencing was how direct drive boats were set up back then. I'm sure you could adjust the steering so there is a more neutral feel to it. Some have made adjustments by grinding on the rudder as well. I'm sure your local dealer could help you out.

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ahopkinsVTX

I doubt there is anything wrong with your boat. What you are experiencing was how direct drive boats were set up back then. I'm sure you could adjust the steering so there is a more neutral feel to it. Some have made adjustments by grinding on the rudder as well. I'm sure your local dealer could help you out.

Agreed, I would check in with your local dealer if you can. You want tension on the steering wheel to pull skiers at all line lengths and speeds. But you could be in need of a new steering cable or rudder packing, as you shouldn't have to force the wheel around if that is how it is.

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@wkendwarrior: The reason for torque steer to the right is the rudder has either been ground along the starboard trailing edge or if equipped with a rudder tab, it has been adjusted to create that amount of right-steer. To reduce that, you will need to either adjust the tab (very easy to do) or grind on the rudder to compensate for the asymmetry of your current setup. One can assume that the or a previous owner set the boat up for tournaments (the torque really helps keep a straight path in the ski course due to only needing to unload the wheel rather than steer both ways, it also adds stability). You might try to find out who did the adjustment if no rudder tab and they might help you with details on what they did. On pulling less, you might start to feel some side to side pull by the skier and a need to adjust the wheel side to side when pulling a short line or heavy skier.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Hi I am new to this forum, and just reading the information above can i confirm that if the boat is pulling to the right with its steering (reasonably sharply) without a skier then it may be set up this way and that pulling a skier may stop this occurring? We have only recently got a Malibu Response 2010, and just noticed on the weekend the pull to the right with the steering. We didn't ski cos the water is to cold. Can anyone confirm that it probably is set up this way and that it should be ok with skier in tow. or do i need to make changes to the rudder tab. Thanks for any feedback.

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Tournament boats will have a pull to one side. The idea is that with a slight pull you will have load on the steering so that you can more easily coutersteer the skier in the course

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Hi I am new to this forum, and just reading the information above can i confirm that if the boat is pulling to the right with its steering (reasonably sharply) without a skier then it may be set up this way and that pulling a skier may stop this occurring? We have only recently got a Malibu Response 2010, and just noticed on the weekend the pull to the right with the steering. We didn't ski cos the water is to cold. Can anyone confirm that it probably is set up this way and that it should be ok with skier in tow. or do i need to make changes to the rudder tab. Thanks for any feedback.

The torque steer will not go away with a skier. You can dial in more or less torque with the trim tab. The torque also is variable as to the speed of the boat. Some torque is a good thing and intended.

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@wkndwarrior & Jarrod: The pull to the right will still be there w/ a skier in tow, the idea to have enough pull or torque so that when the skier pulls from both sides the driver does not have to steer left and right, just countersteer slightly to keep a straight path. To change or lessen the pull the rudder torque needs to be reduced. With a rudder equipped with the tab, simply adjust that to alter the torque, on a conventional rudder, the common approach is to have ground the driver side trailing edge of the rudder to induce more torque, thus a slight grind on the opposite side will reduce that torque level. Proceed with caution, it does not take much to create the asymmetry. Also, you should be able to see the current grind marks on the rudder if done that way.

Note: LH rotation DD boats are ground to pull right, RH rotation DD boats (Nautiques) are done the opposite.

If you google rudder torque there are some good articles on rudder grinding on various slalom ski sites such as Ball of Spray.

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