View Full Version : Really tough steering on PS197

06-07-2008, 08:26 AM
Hey everybody - I've got an 03 PS197TT that I've had for less than 1 yr. When I put it in storage LY it was fine, but now that I took it out the steering is REALLY tough - you need to pull on the wheel with two hands to get it to turn. Speed makes no difference...but it seems to get a little easier once the engine warms up. Is there a way to "lube" the steering cable/system? I was going to take a look, but thought someone out there might be able to point me in the right direction. Thanks!

06-07-2008, 09:23 AM
Page 29 here, http://www.mastercraft.com/manuals/1989-1990_OwnersManual-PS190.pdf is typical for most all inboards, no matter what year, except for the rudder port on later years.

06-07-2008, 09:38 AM
Lube may help, but more often than not the description you give is typical of a steering cable that's done for. By all means try lubricating it, but my guess is you're looking at replacing the cable.

06-07-2008, 10:02 AM
If the lube doesn't work don't wait to long to replace the cable, see this thread
It cost me $170 for the cable and 2 hours to replace.

06-07-2008, 10:10 AM
just had dealer replace mine for same problem your having. Don't remember exact cost but it was around 250 bones or so..

06-07-2008, 05:03 PM
I don't know if your ProStar has the same setup as my TriStar, but I imagine it's pretty close... I just went through the same thing.

After bringing the boat out of storage, I did every conceivable de-winterinzing detail - except check the steering. So when I went to launch the baot, it was a bit exciting when then steering was totally solid.

I had heard the same $250+ price tags for a new cable, so I got busy. Getting it out of the boat was the hardest part, believe it or not. Most of the interior came out - floor section, seats etc... Anyway, not a big job, and it gave me a chance to clean some hard-to-reach areas.

Once the cable was out, we figured out pretty quickly where the problem is, and I suspect yours and everyone else's is the same. The stern-end of the cable has a metal sleeve, usually aluminum, which is the part that attaches to the boat and holds the "body" of the cable in one place so that when you turn the steering wheel and push the inner core of the cable forward or back, you turn the rudder. This aluminum sleeve tends to get corroded on the inside and stick to the rod which attaches to the rudder.

We ended up putting ours in a vice and heating it a bit, along with some WD-40. Get the sleeve nice and hot, till the grease starts bubbling. Then start working the rod inside the sleeve a bit. Use a "motivator" (hammer) lightly if need be.

If you can start to get the rod moving at all you're home free, now it's just a matter of getting it right out. Once it's out, run a rag with WD-40 down the inside of the sleeve, coat the rod liberally in marine grease, and re-insert. Add some grease through the grease nipple and away you go.

Sorry, no pics, but hopefully that helps. It was defintely a fiddle job, but I saved $300+ and a 3 hour round-trip drive to my dealer.

Good luck! And make sure to hit the grease nipple next fall before you put her away!:D

06-07-2008, 05:06 PM
One more thing... before you go ripping the whole thing out, try hitting the grease nipple with some grease. To get to mine I had to take the engine box and rear floor panel out. The grease nipple should be on the sleeve, somewhere near where it bolts to the floor.

Pack that sucker till it's squeezing out. If you can turn the wheel now, you might still be able to save it. I would guess the reason it gets better as the engine warms up is that the heat allows it to loosen slightly for you.

Good luck!

06-09-2008, 10:06 PM
Wow - thanks guys for the advice and the WARNINGS. Unfortunately I've been busy bailing out basements in WI for the past week since I thought the 2nd flood was coming. I'll take a look, but if at all fails, let the pros do the work (but I also have 2 hrs round trip to the dealer). Thought I was stupid there, but envisioned myself like that other post flying into shore with no steering!!

My guess is the guy before me didnt do any maintenance...wondering if lubing the steering should be part of what my dealer did last fall to winterize? I'm guessing not unless I asked specifically for it (of course).

06-10-2008, 09:57 AM
I wouldn't take it to the dealer especially if it is 2 hours of driving, you could replace it in the time it takes to drive there and back and save $100 dollars, which you could use on gas. The cable is really easy to replace just a little time consuming because of the awkward size. Here is the best way to remove it on a 197.

1. Take out engine box
2. Take out floor panels, one in back of the engine box and the one in front around the ski pole.
3. Remove or slide the kick panel by the drivers seat out of the way, (3 screws)
4. Remove ski locker carpet.
5. Remove bow cushions
6. Remove cable tie (1 screw) on right side of boat just behind the engine that keeps the cable close to the stringer
7. Remove nut and bolt at the rudder
8. Remove the nut from the ball joint that locates the steer tube at the back of the boat, its under the gas tank
9. Remove 4 bolts that hold the rack to the pinion at the steering wheel.
10. Feed the cable back and up through the square hole in the gas tank, just enough to get the bend out of the cable by the steering wheel.
11. Take steer tube off of cable.
12. Tie rope, cable, wire etc.. to the back end of the steering cable.
13. Pull rack out of the front of the boat from under the bow seats.

Install everything in reverse.everse.