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View Full Version : Rack and Pinion Steering


H20skeefreek
08-02-2004, 08:48 AM
For anyone replacing thier steering, i thought I'd pass along what i learned.

I was having a problem with my steering, it was getting incredibly stiff, so yesterday I installed a new rack and pinion steering system. While I haven't taken it out on the water yet, i thought I'd pass along what i learned.

Follow the directions, things move much quicker when you do BUT, take in mind that 99.9% of any steering systems you buy are made for stearndrives and outboards. These other boats are usually starboard steered. Our cables run down the center and steer from the port side. what this means is that everything is backwards!!! the helm plate has to be mounted upside down and the rack or rotary helm has to be positioned OPPOSITE of what the directions say. Luckily, i was greaty concerned with my steering wheel alignment with the rudder, so while checking it, i realized that i had hooked it up backwards!! I am so glad i checked it before taking it to the lake for an in water check!!

:uglyhamme :uglyhamme :uglyhamme :uglyhamme

east tx skier
08-02-2004, 12:27 PM
How long did it take you to do the install? Where did you get the rack/pinion parts and, if you don't mind, what did they cost?

H20skeefreek
08-02-2004, 11:24 PM
How long did it take you to do the install? Where did you get the rack/pinion parts and, if you don't mind, what did they cost?

actual work time, probably about 2-3 hours. It really took me half of the day b/c i had to go out an buy a hole saw to put the helm in, and no one had the darn 2 1/4 hole saw. (my old one had a 2" hole in the dash for the helm) I also had problems fitting the cable to my rudder. the hole in the ram was further away from the end than on the old one, so i had difficulties lining up the hole on the ram and the rudder. I had to file about 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch off of the stainless steel ram, that sucked, especially since i had already run the cable, so i was doing it in the boat.

I got the rack from West Marine. It was a 14' teleflex rack and pinion. retail i think is about 158 bucks. I'll get to test it out this weekend and see how it works.

I had a hard time deciding between a rotary, what it had and a rack and pinion. here's how i decided on the rack.

#1 it is what the current prostar has. This tells me something. It cost the same as rotary (cost wise, not retail). If this is the case, then surely there is a reason to choose it.

#2 Rotary is 3 turns lock to lock, rack is 4.2 turns lock to lock. what this means is that a rotary is quicker, but a rack gives you more room to make smaller adjustments. while I'll probably never get to run the course, this is the intended purpose of my boat. the ability to make smaller adjustments is better right? that what i thought (don't tell me otherwise OK, i already invested the time and money, i don't want to hear i could have made a better choice)

chris.willman
08-03-2004, 04:58 PM
Can you describe the benefits of "rack & pinion" steering? I've seen other posts mentioning it, and it's peaked my interest. But honestly, I just can't imagine my steering being much better.

H20skeefreek
08-03-2004, 10:28 PM
#2 Rotary is 3 turns lock to lock, rack is 4.2 turns lock to lock. what this means is that a rotary is quicker, but a rack gives you more room to make smaller adjustments.

I think this is the jist of it. if your current steering is good, i wouldn't screw with it, when it needs replaced, then weigh the pros and cons.