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Ten4x4

Tough steering but only under power

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Ten4x4

Im having trouble with steering on my 03 VLX. It is only tough under power and is much harder to steer to the left than to the right. could it be as simple as greasing the cable or is it more complex than that. How do i find all the grease fittings?

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oldjeep

Tough under power tends to indicate rudder bushings to me.  With the boat on the trailer grab the rudder and see if it moves in directions it shouldn't.  Forward/Back side to side (not in a twisting motion)

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Ten4x4

great, ill try that out. Im also hearing a droning pulsation type noise from by v drive which started around the same time. I got a rope wrapped around my prop which was cleated to my boat. It could have been around my rudder when it tugged tight. I had the alignment looked over and everything looked good.

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oldjeep
Just now, Ten4x4 said:

great, ill try that out. Im also hearing a droning pulsation type noise from by v drive which started around the same time. I got a rope wrapped around my prop which was cleated to my boat. It could have been around my rudder when it tugged tight. I had the alignment looked over and everything looked good.

Ugg, then I would also be looking real close to see if the rudder shaft got bent

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malibu2004

If you've never swapped your cable I would say that's a good place to start. I just did mine because it was easy out of the water and super hard in the water under power.  

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formulaben

Mine was similar, stiffer to one side than the other...after procrastinating for far too long I replaced the cable.  Should have done it long ago.

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Ten4x4

Where can I buy that part? I have no clue where to buy parts for my boat. Ill probably try to do the cable myself.

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malibu2004
56 minutes ago, oldjeep said:

Cable you can get from Bakes.

 

https://www.bakesonline.com/detail.aspx?ID=1466

That's the one I got make sure you get the correct length. I think it was 19 feet. Two sets of hands make if far easier and you'll need something to cut (bolt cutters) the steering wheel side of the cable so you can feed it thru the hole. You don't have to take up the floor panel like some boats. It takes about 90 minutes as long as you can get the cable cut. 

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Ten4x4

awesome info, could you explain the cutting of the cable part? am I cutting the old one or the new one? I was told I should attach a string to the rudder side of the old cable before I pull it back through so that when I feed the new one in I can pull with the string.

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robtr8

Probably not the cable if it's easy to spin the wheel while sitting still.  More likely the rudder box is worn.

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MadMan

Mine was not bad when not moving, but really tight when moving.  A new cable gave me 1 finger steering.

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formulaben
17 hours ago, malibu2004 said:

That's the one I got make sure you get the correct length. I think it was 19 feet. Two sets of hands make if far easier and you'll need something to cut (bolt cutters) the steering wheel side of the cable so you can feed it thru the hole. You don't have to take up the floor panel like some boats. It takes about 90 minutes as long as you can get the cable cut. 

I definitely did NOT have to cut anything...just turn the steering wheel so that the steel rod is retracted before pulling the cable.

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oldjeep
2 hours ago, Ten4x4 said:

awesome info, could you explain the cutting of the cable part? am I cutting the old one or the new one? I was told I should attach a string to the rudder side of the old cable before I pull it back through so that when I feed the new one in I can pull with the string.

Cutting is the cutting off of the rack on the old cable so that you can just tape the rudder end of the new cable to the helm end of the old cable and pull it through.

Article from D-Goose

 

One I did on an LXI with pictures

 

Edited by oldjeep

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malibu2004
1 hour ago, formulaben said:

I definitely did NOT have to cut anything...just turn the steering wheel so that the steel rod is retracted before pulling the cable.

Maybe our boats are cable differently. You don't have to cut if you think you can feed the cable to the back of the boat without a connecting the new to the old cable. I didn't want to take that chance. 

 

This is the cable I had on my boat. As you can see you have to cut the cable on the steering wheel side if you want to use the old cable to pull the new cable. I have no idea how you would get the piece that connects to the steering wheel through the hole so you can feed it to the rudder. 

http://www.overtons.com/modperl/product/details.cgi?pdesc=SeaStar-Solutions-No-Feedback-Single-Cable-Rack-Pinion-Steering-System-SS151&i=22792&r=view

 

Quick steps.

Disconnect the cable from the tiller arm. One person in locker holding nut and second person on top of motor with a ratchet loosening the bolt. 

Disconnect the cable from the box it's sitting on. It's about a foot from the tiller arm. It has a piece about 6 inches long you have to take off and put on the new cable. You'll see when you do it.  

Disconnect the piece from the steering wheel. 4 Screws. 

Cut the steering wheel 18 inch black piece off the old cable.

Connect the rudder/tiller arm end of the new cable to the old steering wheel side of the cable. We bent a couple pieces of the steel out and put it in the hole for the tiller arm bolt and then used electrical tape to tape them together. You don't want that sucker to come off while your pulling/pushing it. 

Someone pull while the other person feeds the cable down the hole. 

Put that black piece back on that sits on the box.

Connect the cable to the tiller arm

Connect the black box and the piece that sits on it

Connect the 18 inch piece back to the steering wheel. 

Enjoy one finger steering. 

Edited by malibu2004

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oldjeep
Just now, malibu2004 said:

This is the cable I had on my boat. As you can see you have to cut the cable on the steering wheel side if you want to use the old cable to pull the new cable. I have no idea how you would get the piece that connects to the steering wheel through the hole so you can feed it to the rudder. 

 

Some people attach a string to the rudder end of the old cable and then pull the cable out from the helm - then attach string to rudder end of new cable and pull it back. 

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malibu2004
Just now, oldjeep said:

Some people attach a string to the rudder end of the old cable and then pull the cable out from the helm - then attach string to rudder end of new cable and pull it back. 

You could do that also so you don't have to cut. 

No right way or wrong way. 

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oldjeep
Just now, malibu2004 said:

You could do that also so you don't have to cut. 

No right way or wrong way. 

I'd be more worried using the string method unless it was more of a rope - no way you are going to break the old steering cable using that to pull the new one through.

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Woodski

@Ten4x4:  Knowing whether the steering was hard before the rope catch issue will be a big clue to determine the why.  If free before and you noticed a sudden change, the cable is fine and the issue is in the prop/rudder area, if stiff before could be anywhere along the system path.  Lubing the cable can also provide several additional years of good steering feel, ATF works great for this application.

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Ten4x4

@WoodskiI may try lubing the cable first. where are all the fittings?

 

Edited by Ten4x4

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malibu2004
Just now, Ten4x4 said:

@WoodskiI may try lubing the cable first. where are all the fittings?

 

My steering cable didn't have any fittings. The rudder has grease fitting but not the cable. Has the cable ever been changed? If not change it. 

 

My Mastercraft 205 had grease fittings for the steering cable. 

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Woodski

@Ten4x4:  no fittings per say, the process is to remove the cable from the tiller, pull back the rubber dust cover, lift up the cable and carefully pour some ATF between the sheath and cable.  Articulate cable back and forth to work the fluid towards the helm, repeat until satisfied.  Worked well for me, my cable has 1000 hours and 20+ years of use.

As noted, my experience is that asymmetrical steering effort is related to sloppy rudder bushings and what happens is the rudder shifts sideways from load and tends to lock or tighten.

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Ten4x4

I would just hate to replace my cable and find out that I actually bent my rudder shaft or ruined the bushings when I got the rope wrapped around the prop and the rope was still cleated. The steering has no resistance whatsoever when not under power.

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minnmarker
49 minutes ago, oldjeep said:

Some people attach a string to the rudder end of the old cable and then pull the cable out from the helm - then attach string to rudder end of new cable and pull it back. 

Tie a string to whatever you pull through and leave it there.  You'll want it sooner or later when you want to run wires, hoses, or whatever from the helm to the back end.

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formulaben

I used an anchor knot on the end of the cable; pulled it out and attached the new cable and this all by myself.  It seriously took 30 seconds.  What DID take a lot of time was a one-man clustershow trying to get the locknut off of the combination tiller/cable bolt.  Wouldn't have happened without open end wrenches.

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