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2004 Malibu VLX Hard to steer and pulls right


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408RealEstate

Just picked up a 2004 Malibu VLX and rebuilt the engine (previously froze over and cracked the block). The thing runs awesome. BUT the steering is really hard to turn and pulls more to the right than I think it should. I previously had a 2018 MLX and it didn't seem to have either of these issues. Is this just because the model is older? An aftermarket prop? Or could I do some maintenance to make it a smoother turning boat. Thanks 

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2 hours ago, 408RealEstate said:

Just picked up a 2004 Malibu VLX and rebuilt the engine (previously froze over and cracked the block). The thing runs awesome. BUT the steering is really hard to turn and pulls more to the right than I think it should. I previously had a 2018 MLX and it didn't seem to have either of these issues. Is this just because the model is older? An aftermarket prop? Or could I do some maintenance to make it a smoother turning boat. Thanks 

It should pull to the right some so that it doesn't "hunt" when going straight.  If your rudder has a trim tab it is easy to adjust.  Otherwise you will need to grind the rudder.  Make sure the running gear is in correct order (e.g., no bent rudder, strut, or fins) before you adjust anything.

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53 minutes ago, 408RealEstate said:

Is this just due to the age of the boat wear and tear?

The steering cable can get tighter over time particularly if it gets soaked often.  You should be able to drive with a finger tip. Disconnect the steering cable from the rudder and check the rudder and cable independently to determine which one to work on first. 

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Try a shot or two of grease in the zerk on top of the rudder. Mine was tight from little use when I first got it. Been good ever since. 

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On 11/8/2021 at 9:07 AM, 408RealEstate said:

Is this just due to the age of the boat wear and tear?

My cable had a crack in the jacket, so water got in and damaged it.

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408RealEstate
On 11/17/2021 at 9:42 AM, MarkN said:

My cable had a crack in the jacket, so water got in and damaged it.

That makes sense. How long of a cable did you get? Looks like a lot of options. 

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I called the guys at the bakes service desk and they helped me out. I can’t remember how long it was tho

Edited by MarkN
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