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jonredcorn

Help! Steering Cable Replacement

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jonredcorn

Please let me know if I'm crazy and this could be normal or if the cable isn't the problem and I just pulled out the old cable for no reason.

I just pulled out my old steering cable and laid it on the ground next to the new cable. The old cable goes in/out with LESS resistance than the new one. What in the world is going on there?

Background information:

2005 VLX - I bought the boat in Feb. - Not sure when / if ever the steering cable was replaced.

Once we are underway, the wheel gets very hard to turn. (need two hands for sure) - the faster we go, the harder it is to turn.

When the boat isn't moving OR on the trailer, there is little or no resistance turning the wheel left/right.

Things I noticed while troubleshooting:

  • The steering wheel assembly spins freely when the cable isn't bolted on - no resistance there.
  • The rudder has a slight bit of resistance... While the cable was unhooked, I went in the engine compartment and turned the rudder left/right and it did have a little resistance, but not much more than the cable itself when it was laid out on the ground.
  • Then I went under the boat and turned the rudder (while still disconnected from the cable) back and fourth. This had slightly higher resistance it felt like from when I was turning with the rudder arm inside the engine
  • Finally, while under the boat, I put horizontal pressure on the front of the rudder while pushing towards the stern and then turned the rudder left/right. I noticed that it grabs on and off in tiny spurts and makes a slight "bump-bump-bump-bump-bump-bump" like its grabbing and releasing really quickly. The resistance is much higher when I put pressure on the rudder. (Not a lot of pressure, just pushing on it with 1 hand)
  • As mentioned above - when I laid the old and new cable out next to each other, the older cable had less resistance than the new cable.

Questions:

  • Could this still just be the old vs new cable? Could the old cable move freely because its worn down, but in reality its catching when making the corner under the dashboard?
  • Should I just put in the new cable and see how it goes? Put back the old cable and return the new cable?
  • If its the rudder, is there anything I can do about it? I saw plenty of posts about Zirc fittings / putting in some grease... but don't see any zirc fittings.
  • Any other suggestions??

Pics below: (sorry about the messy bilge - Part of this project involves cleaning it up)

Note: From the Starboard side looking port. Rudder is turned all the way so that the boat would turn starboard direction in forward.

4b625ef4-eb4a-46d0-8a2a-960643e4eed5_zps

From the Port Side looking Starboard.

20150909_141031_zps7cvpvyuz.jpg

Another from the port side looking starboard at the rudder

20150909_141012_zpsujrin43d.jpg

Steering wheel assembly exposed (spins freely)

20150909_141405%20-%20Copy_zpshpwtbl2k.j

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jonredcorn

Gahhh - there ARE Zerk fittings! Two on the port side of the rudder assembly. the poor lighting in the pictures kept them from showing up. I will get the Zerk Fitting extension cable tomorrow and put a few pumps in there.

Anyone have any opinions on using the new vs old cable? Any way to tell if the old one is bad?

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formulaben

I would guess the new one is lubed and not "broken in" so it feels stiffer. My 2 cents: with the cable disconnected from the rudder tiller try your test again after lubing the zerks, then you'll hopefully have some clarity.

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Bozboat

Gahhh - there ARE Zerk fittings! Two on the port side of the rudder assembly. the poor lighting in the pictures kept them from showing up. I will get the Zerk Fitting extension cable tomorrow and put a few pumps in there.

Anyone have any opinions on using the new vs old cable? Any way to tell if the old one is bad?

Try one or two pumps and test. If you over load the rudder with grease it makes it worse and you will need to remove the zerk to bleed off the pressure.

Edited by Bozboat

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minnmarker

It looks like the zerk fittings are busted off. You may have to drill the bases and use a screw extractor to get the old ones out. New ones just screw in. They can be easily broken by removing the grease gun in the wrong manner. That being said, if the rudder has gone grease-less for a long time you may need to disassemble and repair.

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jonredcorn

It looks like the zerk fittings are busted off. You may have to drill the bases and use a screw extractor to get the old ones out. New ones just screw in. They can be easily broken by removing the grease gun in the wrong manner. That being said, if the rudder has gone grease-less for a long time you may need to disassemble and repair.

So I grabbed a picture with the camera flash on. I don't really know what Zerk fittings look like either way other than via google images... but do these look fine still?

20150909_183310_zpsldewnu1g.jpg

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jonredcorn

Try one or two pumps and test. If you over load the rudder with grease it makes it worse and you will need to remove the zerk to bleed off the pressure.

Just to be clear - is this one or two pumps for each zerk fitting - or either one? I am aware of over-greasing = bad and don't want that to happen.

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justgary

Those look OK, but a bit rusty. Wipe the crud off of them first, then put one to two shots in each zerk.

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Bozboat

Just to be clear - is this one or two pumps for each zerk fitting - or either one? I am aware of over-greasing = bad and don't want that to happen.

Try 1-2 each, then test as Just Gary suggested.

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oldjeep

Before you try pumping grease into those, take a small screwdriver and make sure the ball is not stuck. Easier to pop it loose by pressing on it than cleaning up the mess if the zerk won't take grease.

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jonredcorn

I will update this with pictures, but this is what I ended up doing:

1) Put the new cable in - aligned and straightened it with the wheel

2) removed the blocked zerk fittings and replaced them with new ones (Tried the screwdriver trick and I couldn't even get the ball to budge at all)

3) 2 pumps into both zerk fittings. Turned the wheel left/right a bunch.

It feels better so far! I guess I'll find out when I put it in the lake tomorrow! Thanks for everyone's help!

Edit* Just curious - does anyone have a diagram of the rudder housing mechanism and would it possibly be worth it to replace the rudder seals? I have that Goretex stuff, but I don't really understand where I would be using it as compared to a kit like this - http://www.skidim.com/SEAL-KIT-RUDDER-BOX/productinfo/RBST1.00-SEALKIT/

Edited by jonredcorn

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