View Full Version : Stiff rudder or normal ?

08-09-2004, 07:43 PM

I have a 1990 Tristar 190 with a single cable rack and pinion steering. With the boat speed zero (or out of the water), the steering is nice and reasonably easy..ie can use one finger to go from full left to full right. However, at any speed above 1500 rpm or so, the steering gets much harder. I guess it's understandable and makes sense since there is a load on the rudder and there is no power steering. However, my buddy with his 2001 Malabu said that he steers with his baby finger at any speed and my steering is way too difficult. Admitedly, I need to use both hands turning tight at 4000 rpm...but is this too stiff or is it normal for THIS boat?

Otherwise does anyone have an idea what the problem may be ?

Thanks very much..great forum !


08-09-2004, 10:02 PM
Seems like it could be a little stiff. I have a 94 prostar, and it's easy at slow speeds and out of the water. When driving above 2k it gets harder, but never to the point where i need to use two hands. On my other boat (a 92 aquasport) I have just recently installed a new teleflex steering cable and gearbox because the cable got old and the gear teeth stripped behind the steering wheel. You might also need to grease all the fittings for the steering system. I think there's a post somewhere about how to get at them. Hope this helps.

lakes Rick
08-10-2004, 01:24 AM
Lolly, on my old tristar the floor section behind the engine cover came out to get to some steering grease zerts... I believe there were screws around the perimeter that came out and the panel lifted out.. The MC shop did it when I first bought the boat, so I didnt do it.. I do remember thinking "what a dumb place to put those".....

Michael Epp
08-16-2004, 08:33 PM
My 2004 X-10 also seems stiff, particularly in hard turns. I'd also like to know if that's normal. However, I do like the tracking. The boat does not vear "right" if I momentarily let go of the wheel while cruising. Maybe the stiffer (tighter) steering allows for this. I know that my 2003 Malibu Response immediately went to starboard if I let the wheel go. I know that a direct drive will always handle and steer better than a V-drive. That has been my experience, anyway. I have also been told by my dealer that they can loosen or tighten the steering.

08-22-2004, 11:54 PM
How much effort does it take to turn the wheel when you're not moving? It should go from lock to lock effortlessly. When you're powering through a turn, there will be increasing resistance as the thrust from the prop hits the rudder 'broadside'..

' hope your summer was as good as mine's been...

08-23-2004, 02:48 PM
Rick's comment is right...there should be three Zerk fittings under the flooring behind the engine. Have someone else there and lift the engine cover and flooring panel all in one piece. Follow the black steering cable and there should be two on the cable linkage and one on the rudder mount. My steering is a bit stronger than that of a BU or CC so if you greese those parts you should be in good shape.

08-31-2004, 08:15 PM
My steering started out stiff, and it's gotten stiffer, to the point that I need to use two hands. I've greased all the fittings, and verified that it's not in the helm or the rudder. Does this mean that I need to replace my cable? It should be under warranty, but why do they go bad?

Paul Pecha
Plano, Texas :confused:

08-31-2004, 10:07 PM
Paul, cables do go bad if they get corroded from moisture inside. I had mine replaced under warranty this spring.

09-01-2004, 05:48 AM
I hope you guys who are turning hard at speed aren't throwing donuts for the rest of us skiers out there... :steering:

Anyway.... your steering should get tighter at speed. If it's two-hands tight, that sounds a bit much. If the greasing doesn't help - maybe it's time for a new cable?

Sorry I'm not much help, just had to "bust your chops" for the turns :D

Michael Epp
09-01-2004, 11:20 PM
Neil, it moves effortlessly lock-to-lock while at rest and only stiffens up while underway (at at higher speeds). I guess its operating the way it's meant to.

We've had a great summer, over 87 hours and still counting. Bought dry suits so we can extend the season. The Shuswaps was great, 3 weeks of great boating. Been out to our local lake a number of times, also. The kids (and their friends) are very enthusiastic, they can't believe the size of the wake and all the other neat features of the boat. The most fun is trying the wake-surf right behind the boat and learning to "go without the rope". We're having some success (the kids can stay up for a few minutes at a time). Overall, I'm very happy with my purchase. An electrical glitch (kill switch) took several attempts to fix (dealer was very supportive) but otherwise its been a flawless summer.

How about your summer?

09-17-2004, 10:17 PM
Wow - weird: my X-7's steering that kept getting stiffer and stiffer suddenly is way loose. It's like the grease I've been pumping into the cable over the Summer finally worked its way to the stiff spot. I'm thrilled - and relieved.