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albernhagen

Chatter in Steering Column for Response

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albernhagen

Hey Guys,

On my 2012 Malibu Response LX at high speeds (45 mph or faster), the rack and pinion unit behind the steering wheel is making a very audible rattling sound.  I don't feel any vibration through the steering cable itself, so it seems it's just the rack and pinion gears.  Is this something you guys have ever come across?  Do I need to tighten something with the steering cable unit perhaps?

Thanks as always!

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UWSkier

Normally only feel that on holeshot briefly or loading on trailer.  How's your rudder tab adjusted?  This is usually from turbulence across the rudder blade.

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albernhagen

I've never adjusted the tab but it appears to be out to the right a bit.  Is there a certain adjustment it should be at?

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oldjeep

see if the joint in the tilt unit is loose

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albernhagen

Thanks oldjeep, I'll check that out.  I also contacted Malibu and they said to try and grease the rack and pinion system.  Anyone have any info or links as to what the process is to disassemble and grease that?

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oldjeep
3 minutes ago, albernhagen said:

Thanks oldjeep, I'll check that out.  I also contacted Malibu and they said to try and grease the rack and pinion system.  Anyone have any info or links as to what the process is to disassemble and grease that?

Can't recall seeing a zerk, so I think you would have to get under the dash and remove the 4 bolts that hold the helm to the rack.  Then the rack (attached to cable) can be dropped down and you could apply grease to the teeth on the rack.

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Woodski

@albernhagen:  From the info posted and the solution suggested by Malibu, if my boat, I would check to see if there is any free play or slop in the rack & pinion gears (hold rudder and see if any free play at wheel specifically going by wheel feel that it is just turning at the helm and not moving the cable at all).  Reason I say that, Malibu suggests adding grease to rack which would put a 'damper' between the gears.  Another option would be to add just enough rudder torque (making boat want to turn to the right since LHR) to keep the gears at least slightly loaded at all times.

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skyskier

My guess is the vibration is telegraphing from something in the rear of the boat. I would give the rudder a shake and see if the bearing is worn. Check for play in the cutlass bearing. Check shaft alignment. Check connections between steering cable and rudder.

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formulaben
On 9/20/2016 at 10:02 AM, albernhagen said:

I also contacted Malibu and they said to try and grease the rack and pinion system.  Anyone have any info or links as to what the process is to disassemble and grease that?

If yours is similar to mine, it's simple.  The rack drops off the pinion with 4 bolts; grease as appropriate.  Just make sure you turn all the way left or right and then mark your steering wheel with tape so you can keep it aligned (if necessary.)  The only worry is mixing different types of grease.  Rack is lubricated as below:

 

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