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Heavy steering...

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I posted this on WSR for someone who had tight steering. If your steering is getting tight, this is not hard to do and makes it like new again. The only reason for the new rudder was because it got slightly bent from last year.

I was having the same problem of tight steering especially under load. It was even tight before my rudder got bent. Yesterday I replace the entire rudder assembly. I found that the thru hull flange that holds the rudder has two O rings and a seal similar to a crank shaft seal. That is why they have two fittings to grease the rudder because there is two separate chambers.

On the old rudder it was all dry in there and was causing a bind under load. It needed to be greased. The problem was even if I had applied grease, it had dried up contaminated grease in there and it would have contaminated the new grease and still been sticky.

It is pretty easy just to drop the rudder out and clean out the flange and rudder shaft. I had to move the boat back on the trailer far enough for the rudder to clear the prop guard. Then just removed the thru bolt on the rudder actuator arm, (the bolt has to come all the way out), and used a long drift and hammer on the top of the rudder shaft to break the arm loose from the rudder shaft. You need someone down below to hold the rudder from falling out on the ground or place some wood blocks under it to stop it part way out. Carefully remove the rudder while rotating it back and forth so as not to damage any of the seals. Be sure to not loose the keyway piece, you've got to put it back in there.

While you are down in there disconnecting you should notice the grease fittings on the side of the flange. Mine were facing toward the starboard side.

Clean out the flange and the shaft. I lubed the seals with some silicon grease as well as the rudder shaft before re-installing. Be extra careful when you slide the rudder back in not to damage the seals. You should rotate the rudder back and forth as it goes in to get it past the seals.

After you get it re-assembled, use a grease gun with a hose and pump in grease while someone is turning the rudder back and forth. It only takes a small amount of grease and you dont want to have it squeeze past the O rings.

Turn the wheel so that it exposes the end of the steering cable to the max. Use some spray silicon on a cloth and clean the exposed surface real well with it. Then get some more of the spray silicon on a clean rag and have someone turn the wheel back an forth a few times while appling the spray on the exposed part of the cable.

This should take about an hour to complete and the steering should work like new. Hope this helps.

Edited by gooddog

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Nice post gooddog, maybe one of the Mod's could post it in a fack or sticky the post.

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