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View Full Version : Teleflex vs Uflex - helm and steering cable kits


ryangraham
08-30-2006, 01:33 AM
The original helm on my '86 Prostar 190 gave out last weekend rendering the boat un-steerable. Guiding her home with the wakeboard as my rudor was comical to onlookers, I'm sure. The steering had become extremely stiff over the past 3 years and I've been meaning to do something about it. Now I have no choice. Anyhow, I've found Teleflex and Uflex to be 2 reccomended names out there. Can anyone offer suggestions? Is one widely known to be better than the other? I think the Teleflex offers a No-Feedback technology that is not offered by Uflex, but then I'm not sure if the No-Feedback technology is even for inboard boats (it may just be for outboard drives) but then again, I thought all outboards use rack and pinion steering and the No Feedback I saw was for a rotary system. Clearly I only know enough on this topic to be dangerous, so please, someone shed some light for me.

erkoehler
08-30-2006, 01:36 AM
I believe we solely use Teleflex steering cables. Your local MasterCraft dealer might have them instock, or can order one for you. We stock them in a few different lengths at Chicago MasterCraft. Let me know if I can help you out further.

ryangraham
09-01-2006, 12:00 AM
well, i've learned more on my own threw hours of online research, but I'm still not ready to comit to Uflex or Teleflex. Skidim is pushing the Uflex system, arguing the planetary gear design in the helm is superior. The Teleflex argument is, well, that Teleflex is OEM now adays, and they've been doing it for a long time. I've learned that both systems offer an upgrade providing anti-feedback. The price for either is about the same. ok boys and girls......any help out there? I greatly appreciate any opinions.

ryangraham
09-02-2006, 02:47 AM
ok. after much research I believe I have made a decision. I am going with the Uflex Rotech System. It does not have the Non-reversible Mechanism that the Accura system has, but I have been told that the Accura system is for larger boats. I chose the Uflex Helm over the Teleflex because of the 6 point, planetary gear disign. As long as the construction is solid, I beleive the design to be far superior.

I've added this final post in the hopes that this thread will live on and help someone like me researching a new helm for their Manual Steering MC Classic!!!

......if I think of it, I'll post after the install and test drive to let everyone know how she handles.

ryangraham
12-17-2009, 01:09 PM
Well, it's been 3 years now, and I'm still super happy with the Uflex Rotech Stearing System I installed. It steers like butter. Couldn't be happier. Hope this helps!

thatsmrmastercraft
12-17-2009, 01:15 PM
It will sure help me because I think I am only one more trip away from steering back to the launch with a wakeboard too. I have done a lot of looking, and haven't been too convinced which way to go. I guess I am now.

In fact, if I don't have the project done before I hit the water in spring, I will make sure to have a wakeboard along just for that purpose.

Thanks

ryangraham
12-17-2009, 06:52 PM
I should mention one thing: yes, the quality of the helm and cable are top notch. Like I said, nothing but happy. The one grip I can bring up is this: the black disc that covers the post that the steering wheel attaches too, didn't sit flush against my dash when I first installed it. With a little customizing, and ingenuity, I got it looking good. This in no way affects the performance. It is 100% cosmetic. But I'm sure you're like me, and everything on your boat has to be perfect!

Glad the updated helped ya!

thatsmrmastercraft
12-17-2009, 08:57 PM
Well, just one more thing to look at before I actually buy. Thanks much for the info.

markismm
02-22-2010, 10:42 PM
I am about to purchase the UFLEX system this week as the steering has just about gone out. The folks at Skidim are telling me that the UFLEX system is the way to go. I'll let everyone know how it goes.

thatsmrmastercraft
02-22-2010, 10:44 PM
Looking forward to hear and hopefully see how the installation goes. Good luck with the project.

Cloaked
02-22-2010, 11:03 PM
I am about to purchase the UFLEX system this week as the steering has just about gone out. The folks at Skidim are telling me that the UFLEX system is the way to go. I'll let everyone know how it goes.Trust your resource. Skidim is an excellent source for parts and information. They specialize in this market niche of boats. Their word is good.

ryangraham
02-23-2010, 09:54 AM
You will be very happy with the UFLEX. I agree with Cloaked, Skidim is possibly the best online company I've ever worked with for anything; definitely for everything inboard boat related. Shoot, they may be the best company I've ever worked with online or off. Just a stelar group of folks in SC.

markismm
03-07-2010, 10:56 PM
Let me preface this post by stating that anytime I consider any type of maintenance on my 1984 Stars and Stripes, my two main goals are to make everything work as welll as possible and keep everything as original looking as possible or make it look better than what it originally looked like. Anyhow, my steering froze-up recently and I purchased the UFLEX ROTECH 14 ft. kit which came in this week. Here are my thoughts on it.

When I got the kit the first thing I noticed is that it actually came with a free SeaChoice steering wheel. I thought...well that it kind of cool. After seeing the free wheel, I certainly had second thoughts. Quite possibly the ugliest and cheapest piece of crap steering wheel ever made. My next thought was who cares, I wanted to use my old steering wheel anyway. It was in good shape and it was the original wheel which looks great with the boat.

Next I began to take apart my helm to remove the old frozen steering cable. In case anyone is wondering, Steermaster makes the steering system which includes the helm, steering cable, and chrome bezel where the helm mounts.

As I began taking the helm apart, I compared the new parts of the UFLEX system to the old parts of the Steermaster system. I immediately realized that the Steermaster and UFLEX systems mount completely differently and mount with a different bolt pattern. Most importanly to me is the fact that you cannot use the old Chrome bezel with the new UFLEX system. The new UFLEX system comes with its own bezel which is made of black platic as opposed to a solid piece of chromed metal. While I do not think that the new black plastic bezel would look horrible, I do not think it would look near as good as the original.

The nezt thing I noticed in looking at the two bezels was that the old chromed bezel mounts at an angle to the dash. The bezel that came with my UFLEX system did not mount at an agle to the dash. I believe you can get that same UFLEX kit with an angled bezel however. Anyhow, without getting a UFLEX angled bezel with my kit, the angle of the steering wheel would have been changed had I put the new helm together.

Finally, the new helm would have required me to drill some new mounting holes in my dash. Something I did not want to do if I did not have to.

I immediately started having second thoughts about whether I wanted to use the system. I started looking at the old cable to see why it was frozen up and I started looking to see if I could find a replacment cable for the steermaster system on-line. I found one place that sells the 14 ft. steermaster cable. However, they have been out of stock since July of 2009 and do not know if they are getting more cables in as Steermaster was bought out and is no longer being made. Also, the place where I found the steermaster cable was charging $225.00 for the cable alone. My new entire UFLEX system was purchased for $92.00 from my father who runs a boat shop. This was his wholesale price but most people can buy th same system for around $150.00.

I decided after much deliberation to try to "refurbish" my old steermaster cable. I worked with it all day and finally got it moving smoothly again. The lube in the end near the rudder had become dry and basically turned to dust. The inner cable itslef had began to corrode as a result. After working with it all day however, I got it moving real smooth.

The bottom line is that I saved trhe cost and headache of changing to a new system. I think if I maintain the old cable well, it will last for another 10 years. I am glad I did not change to the UFLEX system and install that ugly a$$ plastic piece of crap bezel. I am at a loss as to why anyone ever decided to change the engineering from the way the steermaster system was. When you take it apart (the helm) it is simplicity at its finest. Too bad Steermaster is no longer in business. Their system to me seems to be a superior make all around.

Just my thoughts.

tph
03-08-2010, 12:15 AM
I couldn't agree more. The Steermaster system was rock solid with almost no play. They just seem to have a problem with the inside of the cable. Many years ago, the cable on my '83 failed as well. (the inside of my cable was full of rust at the output end) I replaced the helm and cable with the tilt system that MC was installing at the time. It too, seemed less well made than the Steermaster. Overall I'm happy with the tilt system, but it still has a little more play than the original. Also, I did have to re-bore the center hole and mounting holes.

A couple of years ago I purchased an '89 project boat (a real mess) It had a bad helm but a good cable (the output end had a grease fitting that was used enough, I guess.) I still had the good helm from the '83 so I combined the good parts and now the '89 has a great steering system.

mrprostar
03-08-2010, 11:39 AM
I'm looking at replacing mine too. It is broken somewhere in the casing. What does the control cable from skidim replace? Its only $30, so its worth asking.

ryangraham
03-08-2010, 12:10 PM
My helm broke because the cable had become so tight that I had to use too much force to turn the wheel and it broke the gears inside the helm. Had I replaced the cable before the helm broke, maybe I could have avoided the full replacement. That being said, I am much happier with the performance of the new system. FYI - when my helm broke, the wheel would spin freely.

I respectfully disagree with Markismm's opinion about the UFLEX helm and cable. I don't know what kind of helm system I had before (I'm pretty sure it was stock from 1986, so whatever that might have been) but whatever it was, it was inferior to the UFLEX design. The UFLEX I have has 4 planer gears that spread the force out. I keep everything greased, and it still works beautifully. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the helm cover had to be "finessed" a little to make it sit flush and look right, so I agree that cosmetically that one small part doesn't look as good as the factory part did, but you can make it work and and you can barely see it anyways. BTW - I didn't have to drill any new holes to mount the new helm.

I too try to maintain the stock look of my boat. I am 95% happy with the way my new helm looks and 100% happy with the way it performs. At the end of the day, performance is more important to me than appearance. Again, just my opinion...for what it's worth.

:-)

markismm
03-08-2010, 09:40 PM
I do nto disagree about the quality of the build on the UFLEX system. It does have 4 planetary gears, but in my experience is if it ain't broke don't fix it. What I mean by that is that the helm on the Steermaster is super simple in its design and it works fantastically. I put mine back together today and tested it out. Smooth as silk and I saved over $100 bucks and did not have to modify my mount.

ALSO, I wanted to point something out to everyone. I spoke with a dealer today at http://www.boatdesigns.com/products.asp?dept=642 . They said that the cables are still being made for the steermaster system. They have no problem getting them. They are much more expensive and they take 3 weeks to get one usually, but you have the luxury of leaving the boat as original as possible and do not have to worry about any modification of changes in the steergin wheel angle. In my estimate, worth the price, if you cannot refurbish your old cable as I have, because your classic boat stays a classic without any cheap looking plastic replacing the quality chromed metal the boat came with. To me, replacing the bezel and helm with some new one that looks horrible is like taking a classic Chevy Chevelle or some other mucle car and putting a new rubber bumper on it. The rubber bumper may be safer and function well, but it destroys the fact that you have a mint classic car on your hands. Same here with a classic Stars and Stripes.

Raphel
08-15-2010, 09:12 AM
Does anyone have instructions or advice on how to remove and reinstall the steering cable from a planetary gear design helm? The warnings on the helm are pretty scary.