View Full Version : steering cable replacement in Maristar 230

04-24-2005, 12:35 AM
I'm trying to replace the steering cable in my 2001 Maristar 230, and it gets wedged under the gas tank when it tries to slide up and forward through the bulkhead at the back of the center compartment. Has anyone been through this and have any tricks to get past this bottleneck? I stopped when it appeared I would need to lift the gas tank. Thanks. Bill Z
ps What is the fitting on the hull on the port side of the engine just below the starter and near the packing gland? There is a single wire attached to it leading forward that was zip tied to my steering cable. Luckily I did not pull too hard on it before I went to investigate the hangup and didn't pull anything loose. Depth finder?

04-24-2005, 12:36 AM
JimN, where are you? :worthy:

04-25-2005, 08:04 AM
Hey Isupcar,

I have a MUCH older boat but, yeah, I think what you're refering to is the depthfinder transducer, it's either silconed or epoxied to the hull.

Sorry I can't shed any light on the steering cable, when I bought my boat last year, someone had re-assembled the ball-type fitting that secures the cable to the hull backwards, this allowed the rudder to turn more than 90 degrees and it got into the prop - BANG, BANG, BANG....scared the poop outa me....any way, my entire assembly is visible under the tank once you remove a "floor" panel back in the "trunk". My cable however, is sorta loosely secured to one of my exhaust pipes....this would cause it to hang....and its in a space where you can't really see.


04-27-2005, 11:32 PM
If the cable goes under the tank and is getting stuck, you may need to remove the center floorboard to get access to the tank's mounting flanges. Once these are loosened, you can insert something under the tank to lift it enough to raise it so the cable comes out. If the tank has a lot of gas in it, it'll need to be emptied enough to make it easier to lift. Walmart may still sell a siphon tube with a one-way valve on one end. You put the end with the valve into the tank and shake it a few times, till the gas gets to the high end and wants to come out. Make sure you have a large container or another vehicle to siphon it into.

Before you get the old cable out, attach a wire to the rudder end so that the wire will be pulled to the floor when the old one comes out. You can use that to pull the new cable to the stern of the boat.

04-28-2005, 11:20 AM
Thanks Jim, that's what I was afraid of. I tried to remove the rear floor, but stopped when it became apparent that the aft lip of the floor slipped under the rear seat supports and to remove the floor, all the back seat supports and possibly even the pylon would need to come out. Also, as you guessed, the gas tank still has its winterization fuel load of 60+ gallons on board and I didn't know how I would budge that even if I got the floor out. I was hopeing you would have some trick to avoid all that. I have the service manuals for my cars and trucks and they walk you through these sorts of things. As far as my searchs on this forum have led me to believe, such a service manual does not exist for my boat. Does the dealer have access to step by step instructions for maintanence such as this, or do they just feel their way along like the rest of us using their experience? I appreciate your help. Bill Z

04-28-2005, 10:13 PM
Part of what a dealer will/can do is through repetition after being shown or finding out how the different models come apart. The first time is the most time consuming, then shortcuts are found and things go a lot faster. Usually. Either way, the gas has to get out of the tank to make it possible to raise the tank. It's pretty easy if the tank is empty(relatively speaking).

Re: the boat service manuals, I don't know of any boat companies that have them for boat owners. There are a lot of specialty tools that don't work on cars and trucks, although this is more frequent on a sterndrive or outboard than an inboard. Just like car manufacturers, boat makers don't like consumers working on the boats during the warranty period, regardless of their qualifications and ability. It's not rocket science and there are definitely some bad service shops out there, but a lot of the reason they want their dealers to work on the boats is because the boat makers want to know that if their product is serviced by factory authorized people and they're properly trained, a more accurate indication of failures and repairs can be had.

04-28-2005, 11:22 PM
The enlightened one has spoken :worthy:

04-29-2005, 09:59 AM
OK, thanks Jim. It's good to hear it from somone who knows, so I can stop wondering if there is source of information out there I am missing. I'm trying to get on the dealer's service schedule which unfortunatly is quite a wait this time of year. Bill Z

04-29-2005, 06:59 PM
If you ski/boat with a lot of people and some live on the water, ask around if anyone has a Gas Buddy. It would let you remove the majority of the gas in one shot and once the tank is empty, replacing the cable isn't that hard, just kind of involved. There is also some foam or rubber strips under the tank that keep the tank from rubbing on the fiberglass and potentially wearing through. Make sure they don't come out.

05-01-2005, 09:32 PM
I have a Gas Buddy and plan to use it as you suggest. Thanks for the tip on the gas tank. Can you give me any tips on the removal of the rear floor on a 230 Maristar? It looks like the rear sear frame has to come off, or lift up from, the top of the rear floor. But the seat support wraps around all the way forward to the observer seat, and the pylon and other support brackets are back there too. I wish to disassemble as little as possible to limit the possibility of messing anything up. Does all that need to come up? Thanks for all your time. Bill Z

05-01-2005, 10:25 PM
If you remove most of the screws holding the seat assembly down, you will be able to lift it enough to put something firm(but not too hard) under the fiberglass and get it off of the floor panel that needs to come out. Once this panel's screws have been removed, get the front edge out and lift up in order to slide it forward. Then, raise the front so it can come out completely. You'll see the tabs that hold the tank in place.

05-01-2005, 11:56 PM
Sounds like a plan. Thanks. We'll see how it goes. Bill Z

05-05-2005, 10:03 PM
I have a 2001 205V and just had to replace the steering cable the week before last. I had to take the center section of the floor up but was able to do that by taking the 4 bolts out that hold the center fiberglass seat support to the outer seat supports. This provide enough flex that I didn't have to get into removing the vertical back cushions. My fuel tank was also full but by unscrewing the brackets and prying the front of the tank up with a short piece of 2 X 4, the fuel ran toward the back of the tank and I got enough clearance to pull the cable through. I also took a section of a plastic file folder and taped it over the front section of the cable including the nut to help keep it from catching on anything. Once I figured that all out it went pretty smoothly however I wish I had seen this thread before I started. It is also a little curious to me why the cable would fail after only 135 hours. I hope this helps.

05-05-2005, 11:14 PM
On a 4 year old boat, it's usually not the 135 hours of use, it's the 8500 hours that it isn't used. If there's moisture in the sleeve, it's better to use it and keep the moisture from sitting on the cable that just eating into it.

05-05-2005, 11:54 PM
Thanks DCF. I have not had a chance to attack it again yet, but when I do I will try to figure out what you mean by "the 4 bolts that hold the center seat support to the outer seat support." Getting the floor out seemed like the most involved step. Thaks for all help. Bill Z

canada air
05-06-2005, 02:56 AM
i am presently replacing mine in my 95 200vrs and mine is hanging up on tank as well. i am going to drain some fuel out of tank tomorrow and lift tank. a little more work but you sure learn your boat when you do it yourself.

05-06-2005, 10:52 AM
I have just bought a new X30, first time out the steering to left was very stiif, has smoothed a little but it is only smooth at idle speed and fully planed out, dealer say this is characteristic of the 230/X30 series.
Does this sound correct to you

east tx skier
05-06-2005, 11:16 AM
MCdriver, I know it's a new boat, but you might want to check the lubrication to the cable (or are these rack and pinion on the new boats). Your other post seemed to say it was binding at idle. My father-in-law's boat did this last year. Lubed the steering over the winter and it's like a new boat.

05-06-2005, 01:09 PM
Isupcar, I will try to clarify the 4 bolts.... Remove the rear center horizontal seat cushion and the insert tray under it. The fiberglass panel that the cushion sits on is a seperate section that starts at the floor and ends at the top of the seat back cushion. This section is secured to the fiberglass panels on either side by 4 through bolts on either side. If you take out the bottom 2 bolts on each side, the bottom edge of the center fiberglass panel should have enough flex up from the floor to allow you remove the center floor section that extends under this panel. You can access one side of the bolts through the hole where the tray normally sits and the other side from the compartments under the port and starboard rear seat cushions. The center floor section is just wedged into place (no bolts). Just remove the access panel for the center drain plug and pull up (toward the front first). This description is for my 2001 205V but before this boat I had a 98 225 VRS which I beleive was layed out the same. I hope this helps.

JimN, You may be right about the lack of use however my boat spends most of it's time in a heated and air conditioned garage and is almost always dry. If the problem is moisture, I guess it doesn't take much....

05-06-2005, 04:21 PM
Thanks DCF. Crystal clear. My floor/seat arrangement sounds similar to what you descibe, although the forward edge of my floor is secured by a screw on each side. I will give it try when I get a chance. Bill Z

05-06-2005, 07:04 PM
MC- if the steering is smooth sitting still, there isn't a problem with it. If it hangs up going to one side with no thrust, there is. The water being pushed toward the rudder(actually, the propshaft) is offcenter and this is probably what you're feeling.

05-06-2005, 07:08 PM
MC- if the steering is smooth sitting still, there isn't a problem with it. If it hangs up going to one side with no thrust, there is. The water being pushed toward the rudder(actually, the propshaft) is offcenter and this is probably what you're feeling.

JimN, that's info most people wouldn't know.... Sure are glad you are here to help :worthy:

Now please go look at the " Amen to this GUYS " thread, the 87' is dead, no problem for you, but Farmer is :confused: .