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wtrskr
11-12-2010, 11:49 PM
1994 prostar 190 tbi.

Purchased a grease gun to lube the steering before storing her for the winter. I attached the grease gun to the rudder box zerk fitting (or whatever you call it). After a few squirts I heard a drop on the ground. The sound was from grease squirting through a small hole above the rudder then falling to the ground.

Is this normal? The tiny hole that it squirted through looks round not like a crack. My only normal explanation is that the hole might allow the grease an exit so not too much pressure builds when squirting into the zerk. If its not normal, what should I do about it? JB weld?

My steering is stiff to the left (only stiff under load) and pretty good to the right.

Here is a picture. This is looking up from behind the boat on the left side of the rudder. The liitle blue dot is the grease squeezing out. Sorry about the picture's clarity.

Skipper
11-13-2010, 09:39 AM
What you are describing is greasing the rudder box only. Also, it might help if you have somebody turn the steering wheel back and forth while you add grease. It is not going to hold a large amount. The real culprit is likely the steering cable itself. They go bad. It can be oiled from the helm and you turn the wheel back and forth, but it may need to be replaced.

wheelerd
11-14-2010, 02:12 AM
There should also be a grease nipple on the cable hold-down bracket at the back. If this doesn't solve it . . .
To check where the problem is, undo the pin attaching the cable to the rudder. If the rudder moves freely side to side then you know it's the cable. Pretty typical to have the replace the cable every so often. I replaced the one in my '01 this summer. If yours has never been replaced (to your knowledge at least) that's likely the problem.

ahhudgins
11-14-2010, 03:52 PM
This is normal. Don't be scared, pump that thing full of grease!! The bigger the blob, the better the job! :D

Just a little information. The steering on my 95 Maristar 200 is still tighter than I would like. I first replaced my steering cable and it made no difference. I then removed my rudder and cleaned out all of the old grease and re-installed. Greasing the rudder helped just a little, but it's still not as free as my previous MCs. Other guys have had to replace their rudder/box in order to resolve their steering issues. My steering is fine on the trailer but gets tight when the boat is in the water and above 20 mph. I dropped my rudder down about 1/16 of an inch just in case it was pushed up too tight and it did make a little difference. The steering cable causes most of these problems, but it didn't fix mine. Looks like I will be replacing my rudder next spring.

wtrskr
11-15-2010, 12:04 PM
That picture is exactly what I needed to see.

I probably had twice as much grease squirting out. I thought maybe the grease gun wasn't working at first. I was pumping away without any evidence of the grease filling up the rudder box until I heard some drip on the floor.

The other posts are helpful as well. I won't know if the grease did the trick until the spring because the steering is only difficult under load. I did also grease the other two areas before doing the rudder box.

BallBushing
11-15-2010, 01:50 PM
So, that explains how grease got onto my swim platform. Greased the rudder this summer (while in the water) and it made a huge difference. Went from being tough to only needing one finger.

jay
06-20-2011, 12:03 PM
This is a GREAT thread!

My 93 S&S was so easy to steer my 4 year old coud poweerturn one handed. Just kidding, but it was Ferrari smooth.

I kept putting off the needed greasing until...you can guess where this is going. She is tight as a, umm lets say "drum" - well, in any case it is drivable with one hand but really stiff. Dang it! Thought I could get away with it this season. I was wrong. Hopefully I can salvage the cable with some grease.

I know there are a couple zerk fittings from reading this and the other 10 or so steering threads. However, aside from the zerk fitting on the rudder assembly/box, helm, and under the floor?, where else could one expect to find additional fitting(s)? I think Skipper was saying there is one at the helm?

I did get the rudder and a little grease shot out of that hole on me as well...before I start removing floor panels, can anyone verify fittings beyond the rudder box, so it isn't a situation where my wife thinks I am having an affair with my boat by taking it apart down to the stringers looking for zerks.

I will check underneath the dash tonight and see if I can see what Skipper is refering to. Thanks.

wheelerd
06-20-2011, 12:50 PM
There's no zerk fitting at the helm (at least not on the ones I've dealt with) -- it's a sealed rack and pinion unit. Maybe what skipper was referring to was if you remove the unit from the back of the steering wheel you may be able to drip some oil into the unit which may loosen the upper end a bit and a tiny bit MAY work its way down into the cable. But the problem usually isn't there to begin with. Heck, while you've got that off, you may as well just replace the whole cable -- just another 1/2 hour of work.

wtrskr
06-20-2011, 01:06 PM
Glad to see that my thread was helpful to someone. The grease did do the trick btw. It now turns easily in both directions.

Page 46 of the attached owners manual shows the zerk locations if you haven't already found all three. You can find older owners manuals by going under General Topics, then find the thread labeled Frequently Asked Questions.

Good luck.

jay
06-20-2011, 01:10 PM
That is good to know! Particularly before I ended up pulling the dash pod apart looking for something that isn't there.

I think I remember from when I installed the stereo that the PVC cable housing on one side of the helm has an open end on it that "holds" the excess cable as you turn starboard. Does that sound correct? Maybe I can remove that short PVC sheath and grease the cable there or just put some grease down in the cable when turned to hard right and spin wheel to the left to get grease into the gear.

So I guess this consists of greasing the cable at the attachment point under the floor, the rudder box under the gas tank, and possibly the helm / cable assembly somehow.

jay
06-20-2011, 01:12 PM
Glad to see that my thread was helpful to someone. The grease did do the trick btw. It now turns easily in both directions.

Page 46 of the attached owners manual shows the zerk locations if you haven't already found all three. You can find older owners manuals by going under General Topics, then find the thread labeled Frequently Asked Questions.

Good luck.

Just now seeing this. Thanks. I will pull my 190 manual and check. When all else fails...read the book. Ha!

wheelerd
06-20-2011, 01:43 PM
I don't think the cable housing extension that is part of the rack is accessible for any oiling or greasing, but I guess you can try.
Typically the part of the steering cable that causes the problems is the part you can't access -- in the bilge under the engine/tranny/exahust. It is subject to both heat and water and although it is sealed . . . stuff happens!

jay
06-20-2011, 01:57 PM
I don't think the cable housing extension that is part of the rack is accessible for any oiling or greasing, but I guess you can try.
Typically the part of the steering cable that causes the problems is the part you can't access -- in the bilge under the engine/tranny/exahust. It is subject to both heat and water and although it is sealed . . . stuff happens!

I foresee an engine box and floor sections sitting on a moving pad in my driveway in the near future. Stay tuned for the collateral damage report, I mean outcome.

jay
06-20-2011, 02:39 PM
Here is what I found. Pay extra attention to step #1!

Thanks for the guidance. I printed manual and have it saved off, but always forget to reference it. Makes perfect sense and doesn't seem like too much of a hassle.

jay
07-07-2011, 12:49 PM
You guys probably know this, but I wasn't sure how to access the steering components under the floor in my 93 since it is connected to the engine box hinges...

Here are the steps I took:

1. Remove seat
2. Remove Transom Access Cover
3. Unscrew aft center floor section (2 screws)
4. Pull up on the floor section at the gas tank, leaving it connected to the engine cover hinges. Since it is connected to hinges, I simply "opened" the floor section as I would open the engine cover...

Here is the trick: Upon floor replacement, I had to push back (towards the bow) on the engine box and floor to get the screw holes to line up with the OE reinforced holes in the stringers. Unfortunately the previous owner didn't and I have an extra set of screw holes in the stringers and I now know why / how the insulation in the engine box got all chewed up at the crank...

I realize this is likely how the floor was designed to be opened and most TT members are probably saying "duh" here. However, it isn't mentioned in the book, not that I looked for floor panel removal, but it isn't with the lube your steering section; and this was my first attempt at this task. In any event that was my floor experience.

The cable lubed easily and now I can see how hydro-lock can very easily occur, but some grease did come back out of the zirk when I was steering back and forth. So, I'm not sure if I am upset that the zirk bearing isn't sealing tight or if am lucky that I didn't lock her up!

The cable connection point lubed very easily. The excess just gets pushed out of the sides and can easily be wiped away.

The rudder assembly is a ROYAL PITA. The zirk fitting bearing is so tight that I couldn't get a very good seal even with a high end hydraulic locking coupler and a commercial grease gun. It finally got greased, but it was about a 3:1 grease lost to grease in the assembly ratio. What a waste!

And that, as they say, is the rest of the story. Next year this won't be such a daunting task that I put it off... Thanks again TT!

SS LS1
07-08-2011, 02:25 PM
I believe the zerk fitting on the cable its not supposed to have a check ball allowing excess grease to escape preventing hydro-lock of the steering cable.

jay
07-11-2011, 09:14 PM
I believe the zerk fitting on the cable its not supposed to have a check ball allowing excess grease to escape preventing hydro-lock of the steering cable.
Makes sense. Good to know for reference.

milehigh970
07-13-2011, 01:14 PM
You can't open your motor box all the way and slide it one way off the hinge? That's how most are made... Unless the p.o. replaced those with something else while he was making extra holes in your stringers :)

jay
07-21-2011, 08:40 AM
Hmm. That is a good question, and it was my initial thought, as to how it should work, but the shocks holding the motor box restrict it from opening to 90 degrees and getting those off seems like even more of a hassle.

The hinge mounts appear to be OE, as they (in my opinion) match the handle for opening the box, but they do not appear to "unlock" as one would think. It may have something to do with the 93 vintage?