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Sunset_Bob

Holly Smoke Batman!!! I liked to hit the dock!!!

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Sunset_Bob

I had a weird think happen yesterday. We haven't had the Malibu out in about 3 weeks, so yesterday we decided to go out and get caught up on our boating. Like usual I manned the boat, the wife the truck. She backs me in the water I fire the boat and back off the trailer.......same as we do any other time.

But when I grab the wheel to turn away from the dock, the Steering Cable is almost froze solid!!! I finally got it to break loose somewhat, but it's a beast to turn now, especially to the left! Needless to say I almost hit the docks. Crazy.gif I felt like a goober for a second until I realized what was going on.

I guess it has gotten moisture in the cable and since we haven't been in a few weeks, it rusted and started to seeze up. I called the dealer and ordered a new one this morning. Anybody have any good tips on replacing it. I figured I'd tie a rope or wire to the old one and use it to pull the new one back thru the floor. Didn't look like it was a big deal if I can feed the new back thru. ;)

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Daniel
I I figured I'd tie a rope or wire to the old one and use it to pull the new one back thru the floor. Didn't look like it was a big deal if I can feed the new back thru. ;)

Exactly what I did. I had more trouble getting the old cable loose from the adjustment tube close to the rudder than I did running the new cable under the floor.

Daniel

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SunriseH2OSkier

Just did this myself a few weeks ago, piece of cake. I used some 60# (I think) nylon string tied to the end of the cable when I pulled the old one out - made pulling the new one through very easy.

If it isn't too late, you might consider cancelling the order through the dealer. I found out (too late) that you can save big $$$ by going through boatfix.com. I paid $178 for mine, could have got it for $126.

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Mike00LXI
Just did this myself a few weeks ago, piece of cake. I used some 60# (I think) nylon string tied to the end of the cable when I pulled the old one out - made pulling the new one through very easy.

If it isn't too late, you might consider cancelling the order through the dealer. I found out (too late) that you can save big $$$ by going through boatfix.com. I paid $178 for mine, could have got it for $126.

I need to do this on my sunsetter as well. Can you give any more detail as to where and how each end detaches, what tools you needed and whether is requires any kind of adjustment once you hook up the new one on both ends or is it just simply run the new one through and bolt it on to both ends and done. Also, can it be done while the boat is in the water? How long did it take you to do?

Thanks!

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SunriseH2OSkier

First thing you need to know is there are two different styles of steering mechanisms: Rack and (I think) Rotary. Mine has a Rack system, which is easily identified under your dash by a long rectangular bar (16-18" long). I have no experience with the other type, so keep that in mind...

Can you give any more detail as to where and how each end detaches

Pretty straightforward really. The rack attaches to the steering column with 4 bolts, easily reached from under the dash. The bolts are actually installed from above the rack. Once removed, the rack lifts right off the steering column. I'd leave this to the last thing you do before pulling the cable - lots of grease there to get all over your baby...

The other end attaches at two points:

(1) the cable jacket slides through a clamping block, and there is a large diameter nut that threads on (from the end closest to the transom) to hold the jacket in place at the block.

(2) the 'cable' (the only part you see protruding from the jacket is actually a solid rod with a hole through the end of it) attaches to the tiller arm of the rudder. There is a double ended stud with a 1/2" nut in the center. The upper stud goes up through the tiller arm, the lower stud goes down through the cable (traps the 1/2" nut between the tiller arm and the cable). A 9/16" lock nut (nylon insert) and washer is threaded on each end of the stud to secure the assembly. The threads only go so far on each end of the stud, so you can torque down the nuts without risk of clamping to tightly on the assembly (which would make the steering feel very tight and/or cause excessive wear.)

what tools you needed

(1) nylon string (tied to the end of the old cable before pulling it out) - makes pulling the new one through a snap. I think the string had like a 40lb rating - it was only about 1/8" diameter.

(2) a pair of channel locks and an adjustable wrench (both left-handed metric ;) ) - to remove the nut that secures the cable jacket through the clamping block in the rear

(3) a 1/2" open end wrench and a 9/16" box end wrench (ratchet style worked particularly well) - to remove the nuts connecting the cable to the tiller arm of the rudder

(4) a 1/2" open or box end wrench - to remove the rack from the steering column.

(5) a Phillips head screw driver - to remove the plastic vent cover in the side of the stringer in the engine area. This was necessary to help guide the new steering cable past some of the other wiring/throttle & shift cables that occupy the same space. Also used it to remove the kick panel under the dash for better access to the hole in the floor where the cable enters. This may or may not be needed on your SSLXi.

whether is requires any kind of adjustment once you hook up the new one on both ends or is it just simply run the new one through and bolt it on to both ends and done.

The rear of the cable bolts to the tiller arm of the rudder with no adjustment there. The only adjustment is the alignment of the rack to the steering column - if you make sure your steering wheel is straight and your rudder is straight (after you've attached the rudder end of the cable), you will be pretty close. In my case, I think I'm off by one tooth of the steering gear. All I need to do is unbolt the rack, carefully rotate the steering wheel by the one tooth, and bolt it back down.

Also, can it be done while the boat is in the water?

There's no reason the boat can't be sitting in the water when you do this. But I'd recommend tackling this job sitting next to the dock, as opposed to trying to do it out in the middle of the lake (not that you were suggesting you would ;) ).

How long did it take you to do?

Took me at most 90 minutes, including putting all my tools away and cracking a fresh Beer.gif.

The only other comment is that (at least on my RLXi) the connection to the rudder was a blind operation - it's buried under the fuel tank & trunk (it wasn't worth the effort to pull the tank). I pulled the access panel in the floor, and reached back under there with my arms. There was no room to see, so I was doing it all by feel. I ended up with a few scratches on my arms, but not too bad.

Edited by SunriseH2OSkier

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Sunset_Bob

Well, I removed the old cable tonight to get a length. I called the dealer and he told me the HIN number said it had a rotary helm and cable. :( I told him that wasn't the case, i knew for a fact it was a rack cable and helm.

So I called Tenn Malibu Factory customer service and he said, it has a 17 ft rack cable but they do not stock them any longer but I could use a 19ft in place of it, which they did have. :(

I thought what would I do with the extra cable? There isn't that much room under my dash with the stereo equipment and heater......

So decided to pull the old one and get a acurate measurement on the length and find the cable online. Took me about 30 minutes to remove the old one.

It was a 17 ft cable. I looked it up on West Marine's website, they wanted $178 for a 17 ft. Iboats.com has the same exact cable part number for $108 Biggrin.gif

So I've got one coming my way. When it gets here I should have to just tie the rope to the end and pull it back thru and hook it up and set the wheel. Thanks for the input on replacement.

I'll let everyone know how the replacement goes when I get the new cable on...... :)

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Mike00LXI
First thing you need to know is there are two different styles of steering mechanisms: Rack and (I think) Rotary. Mine has a Rack system, which is easily identified under your dash by a long rectangular bar (16-18" long). I have no experience with the other type, so keep that in mind...
Can you give any more detail as to where and how each end detaches

Pretty straightforward really. The rack attaches to the steering column with 4 bolts, easily reached from under the dash. The bolts are actually installed from above the rack. Once removed, the rack lifts right off the steering column. I'd leave this to the last thing you do before pulling the cable - lots of grease there to get all over your baby...

The other end attaches at two points:

(1) the cable jacket slides through a clamping block, and there is a large diameter nut that threads on (from the end closest to the transom) to hold the jacket in place at the block.

(2) the 'cable' (the only part you see protruding from the jacket is actually a solid rod with a hole through the end of it) attaches to the tiller arm of the rudder. There is a double ended stud with a 1/2" nut in the center. The upper stud goes up through the tiller arm, the lower stud goes down through the cable (traps the 1/2" nut between the tiller arm and the cable). A 9/16" lock nut (nylon insert) and washer is threaded on each end of the stud to secure the assembly. The threads only go so far on each end of the stud, so you can torque down the nuts without risk of clamping to tightly on the assembly (which would make the steering feel very tight and/or cause excessive wear.)

what tools you needed

(1) nylon string (tied to the end of the old cable before pulling it out) - makes pulling the new one through a snap. I think the string had like a 40lb rating - it was only about 1/8" diameter.

(2) a pair of channel locks and an adjustable wrench (both left-handed metric ;) ) - to remove the nut that secures the cable jacket through the clamping block in the rear

(3) a 1/2" open end wrench and a 9/16" box end wrench (ratchet style worked particularly well) - to remove the nuts connecting the cable to the tiller arm of the rudder

(4) a 1/2" open or box end wrench - to remove the rack from the steering column.

(5) a Phillips head screw driver - to remove the plastic vent cover in the side of the stringer in the engine area. This was necessary to help guide the new steering cable past some of the other wiring/throttle & shift cables that occupy the same space. Also used it to remove the kick panel under the dash for better access to the hole in the floor where the cable enters. This may or may not be needed on your SSLXi.

whether is requires any kind of adjustment once you hook up the new one on both ends or is it just simply run the new one through and bolt it on to both ends and done.

The rear of the cable bolts to the tiller arm of the rudder with no adjustment there. The only adjustment is the alignment of the rack to the steering column - if you make sure your steering wheel is straight and your rudder is straight (after you've attached the rudder end of the cable), you will be pretty close. In my case, I think I'm off by one tooth of the steering gear. All I need to do is unbolt the rack, carefully rotate the steering wheel by the one tooth, and bolt it back down.

Also, can it be done while the boat is in the water?

There's no reason the boat can't be sitting in the water when you do this. But I'd recommend tackling this job sitting next to the dock, as opposed to trying to do it out in the middle of the lake (not that you were suggesting you would ;) ).

How long did it take you to do?

Took me at most 90 minutes, including putting all my tools away and cracking a fresh Beer.gif.

The only other comment is that (at least on my RLXi) the connection to the rudder was a blind operation - it's buried under the fuel tank & trunk (it wasn't worth the effort to pull the tank). I pulled the access panel in the floor, and reached back under there with my arms. There was no room to see, so I was doing it all by feel. I ended up with a few scratches on my arms, but not too bad.

Hey thanks for taking the time to explain it! I appreciate it! You should post this under the how to section :)

It sounds easy enough to try myself...I'll have to take a closer look at my boat next weekend. As far as doing it out on the middle of the lake goes...technically that is correct, although it would be tied off to my houseboat on a mooring ball ;)

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edwin
In my case, I think I'm off by one tooth of the steering gear. All I need to do is unbolt the rack, carefully rotate the steering wheel by the one tooth, and bolt it back down.

Great info Jerry...my RLXi is off just a shade as well, will give it a one tooth adjustment and see how she does.

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SunriseH2OSkier
As far as doing it out on the middle of the lake goes...technically that is correct, although it would be tied off to my houseboat on a mooring ball ;)

There are two reasons I suggest being by the dock, both related to some guy named Murphy - (1) my luck has always been that when I start a project on the boat, I invariably end up needing a tool that I didn't bring with me :Doh: , and (2) I don't want to get caught in the position of not being able to finish, generally because of (1) but potentially for some emergency, and not be able to drive the boat back Shocking.gif . In your case, as long as you have access to sufficient tools on the HB, you should be fine.

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SunriseH2OSkier
So I called Tenn Malibu Factory customer service and he said, it has a 17 ft rack cable but they do not stock them any longer but I could use a 19ft in place of it, which they did have. :(

I thought what would I do with the extra cable? There isn't that much room under my dash with the stereo equipment and heater......

Good move! You never would have fit the longer one in there properly. For those wondering, the cable is definitely not so flexible as to allow you just use a longer one and stuff the extra someplace. I don't think I could have even used a cable that was 1 ft longer. There are installation specs with the cable that indicate something like a minimum bend radius of 8 or 10 inches. You'd be hard pressed to bend that cable more - it's pretty stiff.

Similarly, don't expect you can go with a shorter one - there isn't any stretch, and you don't want to kink the cable trying to make a tight bend to make it reach - sure recipe for wearing out the cable fast.

One other thing - you shouldn't have to pull the cable to get the length. on each end of the cable, probably 12"-16" from the end, you should find the p/n stamped in the side of the cable jacket. My cable was SSC13419 - the last two digits represent the length.

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mrothwell

Yup - the cable # is stamped on both ends.

I also found the best prices at boatfix.com, but it sounds like you found a good price at iboats.com.

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