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View Full Version : Steering/Rudder Issue- Urgent


mattb
06-12-2012, 09:06 PM
Guys I am in desperate need of some urgent help. I am going to Torch Lake on Friday for a week and just experienced a steering problem -

Problem/Description: Under power or at any speed above 5-10 mph, while making a left turn (turning wheel to the port side), it now requires some muscle to turn it and then stays in that position when I let go. Normally, the wheel will always turn to the right when I let go or lighten up on the steering wheel. No problems turning to the right. At idle or with the boat out of the water, steering feels smooth full turn port to full turn starboard.

What I've checked - cables, rudder assembly, and other steering related grease fittings were recently greased. Visually inspected steering cable and rudder for any binding. The only thing I noticed is that the rudder has some vertical play it in, but nothing extreme.

What else could be wrong? This trip's success hinges on my boat working properly. I used my boat all weekend with ZERO steering problems until tonights little outing. Help TeamTalk! Boat is a 1995 Prostar 190, LT1, Powerslot. If my only options include replacing, does anyone have part numbers to what I would need?

Pics -

Cloaked
06-12-2012, 09:26 PM
New cable. Give that zerk a shot of grease.

www.skidim.com (http://www.skidim.com)

Overnight delivery.

Done deal.

.

mikeg205
06-12-2012, 09:27 PM
I assumed everything lubed up? ( I assume yes) - DO you have time to drop rudder and check the housing? Usually needs a second set of hands and a floor jack. I would try to get a hold of cloaked.

mattb
06-12-2012, 10:07 PM
New cable. Give that zerk a shot of grease.

www.skidim.com (http://www.skidim.com)

Overnight delivery.

Done deal.

.

I initially thought it was the cable, but it seems strange that the cable would only be affected when turning left.

I assumed everything lubed up? ( I assume yes) - DO you have time to drop rudder and check the housing? Usually needs a second set of hands and a floor jack. I would try to get a hold of cloaked.

I can do so if necessary. Everything was greased up no more than 10 engine hours ago. I re-greased everything and it seems to have tightened up any play in the rudder. If i drop the rudder, what am I looking for in the housing? Are there any seals or bearings that could be binding? OR am I simply looking for signs of wear?

ahhudgins
06-12-2012, 10:23 PM
I have tight steering (tighter than I like) on my Maristar and I'm still not happy with it. I replaced the cable, the pivot clamp, and I've removed and cleaned my rudder box.
When you remove the rudder you need to clean all of the old grease out of the box and off of the rudder. Mine had two o-rings in the box. I've posted some pictures but for the life of me I can't find them. Still looking.

The work I have done so far has helped a little but I may have a bent rudder shaft. As yours, my steering is free until the boat gets up to speed. Mine has the same stiffness in both directions and it's mostly at the ends.

jfw432
06-12-2012, 10:24 PM
To rule out the cable, it may help you isolate the problem if you disconnect the cable and try to move the rudder or rudder arm by hand. If it's binding or dragging, you'll be able to feel it.

keith3613
06-12-2012, 10:47 PM
I had the same problem. Check the guide tube in front of the rudder. Mine had rusted on the inside. Once the rust was removed ( I repainted it too with POR-15) it worked like new. The steering cable was rubbing inside the tube. And, it was binding on the rust.

TOO-TALL
06-12-2012, 10:47 PM
I found that by turning the steering wheel to the right and left while pumping grease into the rudder box helps also. It takes two people of course.

mattb
06-12-2012, 11:25 PM
I have tight steering (tighter than I like) on my Maristar and I'm still not happy with it. I replaced the cable, the pivot clamp, and I've removed and cleaned my rudder box.
When you remove the rudder you need to clean all of the old grease out of the box and off of the rudder. Mine had two o-rings in the box. I've posted some pictures but for the life of me I can't find them. Still looking.

The work I have done so far has helped a little but I may have a bent rudder shaft. As yours, my steering is free until the boat gets up to speed. Mine has the same stiffness in both directions and it's mostly at the ends.

Mine is only tight to the left. When removing the rudder, do you need to replace the o-rings with new ones?

To rule out the cable, it may help you isolate the problem if you disconnect the cable and try to move the rudder or rudder arm by hand. If it's binding or dragging, you'll be able to feel it.

I moved the rudder by hand with the cable connected and it moves freely and feels smooth. It feels smooth from turning it by the wheel as well.

I had the same problem. Check the guide tube in front of the rudder. Mine had rusted on the inside. Once the rust was removed ( I repainted it too with POR-15) it worked like new. The steering cable was rubbing inside the tube. And, it was binding on the rust.

What is the guide tube? The silver threaded tube that the steering cable goes through?

I found that by turning the steering wheel to the right and left while pumping grease into the rudder box helps also. It takes two people of course.

I always do this when lubing the steering cable and rudder. Thanks for a little the advice guys. My boat absolutely has to work for this upcoming week!

millpondkid
06-12-2012, 11:55 PM
As keith stated check the inside of the guide tube for rust buildup. Yes the silver threaded pipe that your cable goes into. This was the same thing wrong with my boat this spring. Sticking when I turned to left but otherwise turned good. Remove arm from rudder and see if rudder moves freely by hand then remove cable from guide tube and look inside guide tube for defects. Be careful if your guide tube gets stuck while trying to pull the cable out. Mine was stuck and while I tried to force it back down I slammed the end of the guide tube on my inner thumb and it busted me wide open. Should have gotten stitches but hey the boat had to be fixed first lol.

mattb
06-13-2012, 12:06 AM
As keith stated check the inside of the guide tube for rust buildup. Yes the silver threaded pipe that your cable goes into. This was the same thing wrong with my boat this spring. Sticking when I turned to left but otherwise turned good. Remove arm from rudder and see if rudder moves freely by hand then remove cable from guide tube and look inside guide tube for defects. Be careful if your guide tube gets stuck while trying to pull the cable out. Mine was stuck and while I tried to force it back down I slammed the end of the guide tube on my inner thumb and it busted me wide open. Should have gotten stitches but hey the boat had to be fixed first lol.

I'll try that out in the morning. I've been reading a lot of other steering issue threads, and almost everyone mentions to remove the cable and turn the rudder by hand to check for binding. IF there is binding in the rudder, what should I look to do and/or replace?

millpondkid
06-13-2012, 12:18 AM
I don't know about any fixes for a binding rudder, sorry. Please check the inside of guide tube ill check on ya tomarrow. Hope this helps....

mikeg205
06-13-2012, 09:02 AM
Call OJ props in TN...ask eric maybe he can give you a heads up...they made the rudder and rudder box.

mattb
06-13-2012, 09:30 AM
Call OJ props in TN...ask eric maybe he can give you a heads up...they made the rudder and rudder box.

I may have to give that a try. I really can't imagine that something so simplistic could be "worn" out. It appears to be a shaft, a couple o-rings, some c-clamps and that's about it. there's nothing really to it.

I re-lubed everything last night, i'm going to check out the guide tube for any rust, and then water test. If it's still binding i'm going to overnight a cable and replace. I hope this fixes it.

mikeg205
06-13-2012, 09:38 AM
I may have to give that a try. I really can't imagine that something so simplistic could be "worn" out. It appears to be a shaft, a couple o-rings, some c-clamps and that's about it. there's nothing really to it.

I re-lubed everything last night, i'm going to check out the guide tube for any rust, and then water test. If it's still binding i'm going to overnight a cable and replace. I hope this fixes it.

Lot of pressure back there when the water is rushing passed the face of the rudder...I am no expert on hydrodyanmics but if something is not right..such as being a bit loose I believe it would make a difference. My friends steering is loose on his 97 205 at idle...underway it is hard to turn. BTW my '95 205 rudder has absolutely no play at all- 568 hours... If there's some play something may need to be replaced inside.. not much in there like you said.

mattb
06-13-2012, 03:34 PM
The guide tube was clear and rust free. Re-lubing the rudder box took all the play out of the rudder and the steering returned to normal. Seems kind of odd that it needed re-greasing a mere 15 hours after i originally did it, but that seems to have solved the problem for now.

mikeg205
06-13-2012, 05:25 PM
good for you man!

mattb
06-13-2012, 05:59 PM
Back to the basics I guess - a little grease goes a long way. Hopefully this is not just a temporary fix. I'll report back my findings in a week.

08M3Sedanski
06-13-2012, 06:23 PM
Back to the basics I guess - a little grease goes a long way. Hopefully this is not just a temporary fix. I'll report back my findings in a week.

This may be a completely ridiculous question and I apologize if it is but might you be using the wrong grease and it is either breaking down and/or being washed away? Or perhaps o-ring (or whatever kind of seal it has) is worn and letting grease "leak" out? Good luck.

millpondkid
06-13-2012, 09:54 PM
Good to hear.

mattb
06-13-2012, 09:59 PM
This may be a completely ridiculous question and I apologize if it is but might you be using the wrong grease and it is either breaking down and/or being washed away? Or perhaps o-ring (or whatever kind of seal it has) is worn and letting grease "leak" out? Good luck.

I don't think that's ridiculous, it's a definite possibility. I don't remember exactly what I put in it last time but it was a high performance commercial-grade grease.

SkiDaddy
06-14-2012, 06:38 AM
Matt,

When you say you "relubed the rudder box" did you just pump some grease into the zerk fitting there, or did you disassemble and drop the rudder itself? My steering gets a little sticky at the ends of travel in each direction and I'm contemplating following the advice in this thread. Just curious exactly what you did.

Thanks!

rubypc
07-24-2012, 05:58 PM
anyone know if you can tighten the steering up...i mean it's sloppy. I had a 209 that was flawless and responsive. went to a 96 prostar 190 for the smaller wake for my daughter. the steering has a lot of play in it. any suggestions

thanks,

CCAnderson
07-26-2012, 12:22 PM
first off check to see if the rudder has been "adjusted". if not file the rudder. My 209 was sloppy until I hit it with the bastard file. Be careful though a little goes a long way. there are many good threads covering that topic

thatsmrmastercraft
07-26-2012, 01:21 PM
anyone know if you can tighten the steering up...i mean it's sloppy. I had a 209 that was flawless and responsive. went to a 96 prostar 190 for the smaller wake for my daughter. the steering has a lot of play in it. any suggestions

thanks,

Have you pulled the rear floor and checked out what is happening?

mattb
07-26-2012, 10:37 PM
Matt,

When you say you "relubed the rudder box" did you just pump some grease into the zerk fitting there, or did you disassemble and drop the rudder itself? My steering gets a little sticky at the ends of travel in each direction and I'm contemplating following the advice in this thread. Just curious exactly what you did.

Thanks!

SkiDaddy,

I didn't drop the rudder. Just greased up all the fittings while turning it both ways. Solved my issue immediately and have been good ever since.

PS197TT
10-06-2012, 06:50 AM
No doubt you have fixed it by now, but the grease on the steering rod in the photo looks filthy. I have no doubt this is causing you the steering issue.

The best way to address it is by removing the steering cable, removing both nuts from the guide tube and cleaning the rods thoroughly with prep wash. Push the steering rod in/out while you apply the prep wash on the inner rod and this will keep bringing the greasy grime out. Use a bottle brush and pre wash to clean the grease out of the guide tube. Blow out all the parts with an air compressor. Now apply white lithium grease from a cartridge (not an aerosol can) to the inner tube and work in by pushing rod in and pulling out...then reassemble..this worked for me!...like new :)

glgisler
10-06-2012, 10:43 AM
The rudder has a fixed range of motion, so it's possible that when greasing the rudder zerk and only rotating the steering wheel, that the grease doesn't get well distributed. Once, after greasing the rudder, I disconnected the cable at the tiller arm and moved it back and forth, and found that at the end of its travel, it got really sticky and chattered if moved quickly. So, I put more grease in it and moved the tiller arm back and forth as far as it would go (well beyond what the cable would allow). After doing this a number of times, the chatter went away, and the rudder felt totally free. Now, I always do this when I grease the rudder.