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Miss Rita
10-24-2012, 09:57 AM
When I'm driving my '89 at idle speeds the steering wheel turns very easily, I can spin it lock-to-lock with one finger, there's no perceptible drag, no obvious problems. However, once on plane, turning the boat becomes a chore. Anything more than just a slight correction is definitely a two-hand job, it takes a fair amount of strength and concentration to do it. This makes me think the rudder is binding when under load, and not necessarily a steering cable problem.

Any advice as to how to go about looking into this? Does the rudder have a bearing that needs to be lubed/replaced?

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
10-24-2012, 10:08 AM
When I'm driving my '89 at idle speeds the steering wheel turns very easily, I can spin it lock-to-lock with one finger, there's no perceptible drag, no obvious problems. However, once on plane, turning the boat becomes a chore. Anything more than just a slight correction is definitely a two-hand job, it takes a fair amount of strength and concentration to do it. This makes me think the rudder is binding when under load, and not necessarily a steering cable problem.

Any advice as to how to go about looking into this? Does the rudder have a bearing that needs to be lubed/replaced?

Yes the rudder can be greased is has zerks on it, does turning port and starboard require the same effort? on mine it requires more effort to turn to port than starboard, it's due to the rudder being offset.

Miss Rita
10-24-2012, 03:44 PM
...does turning port and starboard require the same effort?

Since this isn't an official tournament boat, the rudder isn't tuned, and I don't see any difference turning right or left. I'm wondering if I should use this down time to remove the rudder. If I just lube the zerks, I won't know until next May whether it made a difference or not. The TriStar isn't designed with easy access to the rudder. The whole back of the boat has to be removed: dog house, seats, storage compartments, battery tray, and floor, and I don't want to have to do it twice.

Any advice for someone who has never removed a rudder before?

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
10-24-2012, 03:53 PM
Since this isn't an official tournament boat, the rudder isn't tuned, and I don't see any difference turning right or left. I'm wondering if I should use this down time to remove the rudder. If I just lube the zerks, I won't know until next May whether it made a difference or not. The TriStar isn't designed with easy access to the rudder. The whole back of the boat has to be removed: dog house, seats, storage compartments, battery tray, and floor, and I don't want to have to do it twice.

Any advice for someone who has never removed a rudder before?

My rudder has not been "tuned" but my boat definatly turns sharper and quicker to starboard than to port. I too will be removing my floorboards this winter to do some pm.

petermegan
10-24-2012, 05:56 PM
Since this isn't an official tournament boat, the rudder isn't tuned, and I don't see any difference turning right or left. I'm wondering if I should use this down time to remove the rudder. If I just lube the zerks, I won't know until next May whether it made a difference or not. The TriStar isn't designed with easy access to the rudder. The whole back of the boat has to be removed: dog house, seats, storage compartments, battery tray, and floor, and I don't want to have to do it twice.

Any advice for someone who has never removed a rudder before?

Sounds like a good idea, I had to remove and clean up properly because of all the stale grease in there. You may have to jack your boat up if your trailer fouls the rudder removal. I made up a new nylon washer for mine between the rudder and the port, I don't know whether this is needed on yours or not, but helps to take out any vertical slop and self lubricating nylon stops them binding. Bear in mind mine is a 2000 with the winged rudder so it has upward force. Have fun.

ahhudgins
10-24-2012, 06:17 PM
When I'm driving my '89 at idle speeds the steering wheel turns very easily, I can spin it lock-to-lock with one finger, there's no perceptible drag, no obvious problems. However, once on plane, turning the boat becomes a chore. Anything more than just a slight correction is definitely a two-hand job, it takes a fair amount of strength and concentration to do it. This makes me think the rudder is binding when under load, and not necessarily a steering cable problem.

Any advice as to how to go about looking into this? Does the rudder have a bearing that needs to be lubed/replaced?

I have the EXACT same issue with my 95 Maristar 200VRS. I replaced the steering cable, removed the rudder, cleaned out all of the old grease from the box and relubed. All of this only helped the problem slightly. My steering seems to get a lot tighter the further I get away from center and it's hard to return the wheel back to center. I've read where other MC owners had his issue and ended up replacing the rudder/box and it solved the problem due to a bent rudder shaft. When I purchased my 200VRS used, the shaft strut was bent so I'm guessing the PO hit something and may have bent the rudder as well. I just put my boat away for the winter so this will be a spring project.

mikeg205
10-25-2012, 08:33 AM
When I'm driving my '89 at idle speeds the steering wheel turns very easily, I can spin it lock-to-lock with one finger, there's no perceptible drag, no obvious problems. However, once on plane, turning the boat becomes a chore. Anything more than just a slight correction is definitely a two-hand job, it takes a fair amount of strength and concentration to do it. This makes me think the rudder is binding when under load, and not necessarily a steering cable problem.

Any advice as to how to go about looking into this? Does the rudder have a bearing that needs to be lubed/replaced?

I have 2 grease fittings...wonder if you have 2 as well.... one on the rudder and one where the steering cable meets the control arm - under floor in my 95. Had tight steering and it loosened up when I greased the second grease fitting...wonder if you have that as well.

Miss Rita
10-25-2012, 09:58 AM
I have 2 grease fittings...wonder if you have 2 as well.... one on the rudder and one where the steering cable meets the control arm

I did some more disassembly last night, have the same two zerks you describe. I'm going to pump the zerk on the rudder full of grease, call it good. Hopefully it will be better next spring.

jschildm
10-25-2012, 10:32 AM
I had a Tri-Star 220 that was the same way. Actually broke 2 steering cables in year before I finally fixed the issue. My grease zerk was broken off though. I would start by doing what you did, pump it full of grease, move the steering wheel lock to lock, pump it again. It will be hard to get it to take grease, but it should start coming out the bottom. If that doesn't fix your problem, you could try dropping the rudder, clearing out the old grease, greasing, and reassembling. I actually ended up replacing the rudder and rudder box, as well as putting in a rack and pinion steering system. That thing drove like a dream after that. Judging by what you describe, I would agree that the rudder is your issue. By the way, it was not fun at all standing on my head to get to the rudder in that boat, good thing I have long arms, so I feel your pain there.

glgisler
10-25-2012, 06:24 PM
I always disconnect the cable from the tiller arm when doing the greasing. This way, the rudder can be rotated almost 360 degrees, which really helps distribute the grease.

mikeg205
10-25-2012, 06:26 PM
I did some more disassembly last night, have the same two zerks you describe. I'm going to pump the zerk on the rudder full of grease, call it good. Hopefully it will be better next spring.

I actually found a 3rd zerk today before I buttoned her up...I need stronger glasses...lol

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
10-25-2012, 06:37 PM
I actually found a 3rd zerk today before I buttoned her up...I need stronger glasses...lol

yep, owners manual shows 3 zerks.

Miss Rita
10-25-2012, 07:17 PM
You guys are killing me! LOL! I really didn't want to remove the rudder, but all this talk has my OCD taking over, an irresistible force. Before I can remove the rudder, I'll have to remove the prop cage from the trailer, just another half hour of laying on my back on the cold garage floor scraping my knuckles. (sigh)

It sticks in my mind that I should have something soft for the rudder to land on when it falls out of the boat. True?

Is there a cure of MCOCD?

mikeg205
10-25-2012, 07:54 PM
You guys are killing me! LOL! I really didn't want to remove the rudder, but all this talk has my OCD taking over, an irresistible force. Before I can remove the rudder, I'll have to remove the prop cage from the trailer, just another half hour of laying on my back on the cold garage floor scraping my knuckles. (sigh)

It sticks in my mind that I should have something soft for the rudder to land on when it falls out of the boat. True?

Is there a cure of MCOCD?

There's a thread I have been looking for...shows how somebody put a jack under rudder... the $20 one from Wallyworld should do it...it will keep it from falling down.

MCDOCD is only curable by huge piles of cash...that way you can do other things while someone else does all the work...lol.

I love working on the boat..wish I could help ya Miss Rita but the Black Hills are a tad bit far way...

JDC
10-25-2012, 08:07 PM
... It sticks in my mind that I should have something soft for the rudder to land on when it falls out of the boat. True?Another set of hands perhaps?

...Is there a cure of MCOCD?I would say no. :)

mikeg205
10-25-2012, 08:16 PM
The only relief is skiin' behind an MC or EastTX's type of boat... :D

jschildm
10-25-2012, 08:52 PM
Definately no cure for MCOCD. Even cash just means you are going to double check someone elses work instead of doing it yourself.

With that being said, I would see how the grease did. Its considerably easier than dropping the rudder, and as long as it took some grease, it should make a difference. I understand the dilemma though. I would lend a hand if closer.

91tri190
10-30-2012, 10:12 AM
Hey Rita,

Sorry to hear your rudder issues. When you showed me your Tristar a few years back, you mentioned you trailer it to/from the local lakes. Maybe grease the zerks and wait till spring to see what happens. If it's not fixed, then take it apart when you get it back in your garage? Such a low hour boat that maybe it just dried up over the years.

Was out in Rapid a few weekends ago with the family and was out on Angostura..very nice.

Steve

Miss Rita
10-31-2012, 10:24 AM
The latest update: I tried to remove the rudder, it wasn't anxious to leave it's home of the past 23 years. I was unable to remove the tiller arm, but I was successful in breaking off the zerk on the rudder shaft housing. Any remnants of grease in there was completely dried out and powdery.

Any hints on how to remove the tiller arm? Judging by the looks of the grease I think the rudder needs to be disassembled, cleaned out, and re-lubed.

PS: Good to hear from you Steve!

tph
10-31-2012, 11:23 AM
The latest update: I tried to remove the rudder, it wasn't anxious to leave it's home of the past 23 years. I was unable to remove the tiller arm, but I was successful in breaking off the zerk on the rudder shaft housing. Any remnants of grease in there was completely dried out and powdery.

Any hints on how to remove the tiller arm? Judging by the looks of the grease I think the rudder needs to be disassembled, cleaned out, and re-lubed.

PS: Good to hear from you Steve!

IIRC the clamp bolt has to be removed (not just loosened) to remove the tiller arm. You may have to pry the clamping section apart a little also.

Miss Rita
10-31-2012, 11:48 AM
You may have to pry the clamping section apart a little also.

Been there, done that. Also, it's very hard to get a pry bar under the tiller arm. I'm thinking a BF hammer may be needed, but I'm reluctant to do that. Yet.

Miss Rita
11-03-2012, 07:43 PM
OK, the final result: On my boat, the clamping bolt on the tiller arm has to be completely removed before the tiller arm can be removed. Once I did that the tiller arm wiggled off, and the rudder gradually slid out the bottom without binding. I used a floor jack to hold it in place so that it didn't fall on the floor.

I chased the threads where the broken zerk was with a 1/4-28 tap, put in a new zerk with some thread lock.

There were two O-rings on the rudder shaft, top and bottom. I replaced them at a cost of $1.10.

I used some 1200 grit wet sandpaper to touch up the rudder shaft (which wasn't bent, BTW). Reassembly was easy, just lubed everything, now it's all buttoned up. Now I only have to wait until next April to try it out.

frankster66
11-03-2012, 08:48 PM
Picture miss Rita? I need to replace that zerk fitting (1/4 zerk), it's not takening grease.

Miss Rita
11-04-2012, 09:17 AM
http://i495.photobucket.com/albums/rr312/edzintars/DE594627-205A-4981-80CA-4EE4901D09F1-4984-00000E45E23FFFD0.jpg

This is a pic of my re-assembled steering assembly. There are three zerks: one in the foreground on the cable clamp, one just past that one the steering cable, and in the distance there's one on the rudder shaft housing.

When I dropped the rudder I found that there is very little extra room in there. The shaft is 1 1/8", and the housing is just a few thousandths bigger. Mine has upper and lower O-rings, and they seal very well. In other words, you just can't pump more grease into it as you would a wheel bearing; there's no place for it to go.

You can see the tiller arm on top of the shaft, and the clamping bolt on the right side of the picture. The bolt had to be completely removed, not just loosened, before the tiller arm came off.

I would venture that you can't pump more grease into the zerk because the system is already full of grease. When my zerk broke off I found that it was corroded, so maybe you want to replace yours. It would be easy to do, just unscrew it. I bought some new zerks, got ten for $6.50. (This will be a lifetime supply for me!)

Have fun!

frankster66
11-04-2012, 09:56 AM
Thank you Miss Rita:), you may have just saved me some time. I tried to pump grease into the zerk fitting and I couldnít get any grease in their I assumed the fitting was bad, or corroded. I thought thatís how you filled the rudder box with grease. The other two zerk fitting took grease just fine.

Frank

Snipe
11-29-2012, 04:43 PM
Bear in mind mine is a 2000 with the winged rudder so it has upward force. Have fun.[/QUOTE]

I have a 1998 Prostar 190 with the "winged rudder". Never saw this before, what does it do for boat handling? Good? Bad? or.....

mikeg205
11-29-2012, 05:16 PM
Bear in mind mine is a 2000 with the winged rudder so it has upward force. Have fun.

I have a 1998 Prostar 190 with the "winged rudder". Never saw this before, what does it do for boat handling? Good? Bad? or.....[/QUOTE]

Long story... :) ... leave it best for some of the long timers here... :rolleyes:

ahhudgins
11-29-2012, 07:06 PM
http://i495.photobucket.com/albums/rr312/edzintars/DE594627-205A-4981-80CA-4EE4901D09F1-4984-00000E45E23FFFD0.jpg

When I dropped the rudder I found that there is very little extra room in there. The shaft is 1 1/8", and the housing is just a few thousandths bigger. Mine has upper and lower O-rings, and they seal very well. In other words, you just can't pump more grease into it as you would a wheel bearing; there's no place for it to go.

You can see the tiller arm on top of the shaft, and the clamping bolt on the right side of the picture. The bolt had to be completely removed, not just loosened, before the tiller arm came off.


Have fun!

Sorry that I didn't keep up with this thread, I may have been able to save you a little bit of time. But for others that may venture into this project, here is the link to when I removed my rudder. Like you said, the bolt has to be completely removed from the tiller arm before you can drop the rudder. It's not like a battery clamp. http://www.mastercraft.com/teamtalk/showthread.php?t=36396&highlight=rudder

My rudder box has a small groove cut into the I.D. which allows the grease to be pumped into the box and exit out a small hole in the bottom....provided that the groove is not clogged up with dried up grease. You can see the groove in one of the pictures. I'm not sure which year boats have this set up.

ahhudgins
11-29-2012, 07:11 PM
Here is the bottom hole in the rudder box:

Bob B
11-29-2012, 08:44 PM
Conversation I had with Peter this spring:

Hi Bob, I am sure there is meant to be a white nylon washer about 1/8" thick and 2"diameter between the rudder and the port. ie. Put washer on shaft then slide rudder in from underside. I gather you are still experiencing problems. Have you actually had your rudder completely out yet? Because I found mine was caked with dry grease up in the port, and once cleaned out I could get grease to ooze out of the little hole about the size of a pinhead underneath. Curious does yours have the winged rudder or not? Cheers, Peter

Peter, I decided to grease the rudder again, it finally took some grease. Looked under the boat (on a lift) and saw a fine string of grease. Took the boat for a drive, no binding

SkiDaddy
12-01-2012, 07:25 AM
Good stuff. I'm planning on working on my rudder today. I'm not happy with the steering ('93 ProStar) even after greasing everything. But I don't think the rudder box took any grease, so I'm guessing its old and nasty in there. I plan to disconnect the tiller arm first and then rotate the rudder by hand to feel how it is rotating. Then after re-assembly and re-greasing, I'm hoping that it moves easier and will solve my issues.

Did any of you guys take note of the before and after "feel" of the rudder rotation without the tiller arm connected?

Thanks!

Miss Rita
12-01-2012, 03:10 PM
My rudder moved very easily when the boat wasn't moving, both in the water or on the trailer. It only started to bind up at speed when doing sharp turns. When I disconnected the tiller arm it had a very smooth action. I can't say that in my case the rudder action was any better after doing the maintenance.

Be sure to support the rudder after removing the tiller arm, or put something cushy for it to land on after it falls out. My '89 had two o-rings, if yours is similar you'll want to replace them.

I looked very carefully at my rudder last night, I could not find an external weep hole for the grease to exit.

SkiDaddy
12-03-2012, 06:52 AM
Well, removed the rudder yesterday. Same thing here - with the steering cable removed, the rudder had a smooth easy motion. Removed the arm and dropped the rudder and things generally looked OK. Pretty clean and no corrosion.

Rita - where did you get the new o-rings? Mine look OK, but might as well replace them while I'm in there.

My '93 ProStar has the weep hole on the rudder box housing. I almost think that this system has to have a weep hole, otherwise you wouldn't be able to get any grease through the zerk because it would have no place to go. I can say this though - when I tried to grease it before, I didn't get any grease coming out through the weep hole. So maybe it was light on grease and this only manifested as a problem with the rudder under load?

So I'll put it back together - make sure it is greased well and we'll see how it does in the spring. If the binding is still there under load, I'll replace the steering cable.

Good luck!

petermegan
12-03-2012, 03:49 PM
Those O'rings are nothing special and should be readily available. Might need to find where the gallery is for the weep hole and clean it out. Still sounds like it may be binding up there.

Kyle
12-03-2012, 05:30 PM
I have a relitavely new steering cable. Like 1.5 yrs old and very low hours on it.

It is and has always been a little stiff at all times. Wet, dry, on the trailer, driving, etc.

I'm considering doing this rudder removal on my boat.


Looking at the photos the o-rings are installed in the rudder box not the rudder? Correct?


Next I'm sure that the rudder box has caked on nasty stale grease. Besides cleaning the rudder that is easy to clean, how or what is recommended to clean the rudder box. I'm not just super wild about fully removing the box itself. But I'm wanting to start fresh with the box.


I have never taken the box apart and I'm sure that it has never been done.

From center to 1/2 a turn both ways it is fine. Once past 1/2 way it takes 2 hands.

I will post results


My MCOCD found another item to clean on my boat. It's never ending lol

petermegan
12-03-2012, 06:40 PM
Hi Kyle, Yes the O'rings are up in the rudder box. I just got in there with a toothbrush and ULP (gas). May need to get more serious if it is really caked up. Definitely wouldn't remove the rudder box/port unless replacing because of wear. Haven't heard of anyone else putting that flat nylon washer back in,but a mates 197 had one in it and it helps to take out any freeplay vertically that you may have. Have fun.

SkiDaddy
12-04-2012, 06:49 AM
And a follow-up question.... On disassembly of the rudderbox on my 190, there was a nylon washer at the top of the rudder / rudder arm assembly. However, on the bottom of the boat, where the rudder meets the rudder box there was no nylon washer, so that "joint" was just brass on brass.

Sound right or am I possibly missing a nylon washer on the bottom? I'm thinking not, because I don't think the previous owner ever took this apart, but figured I'd just doublecheck with the gurus here........

Thanks!

SkiDaddy
12-09-2012, 05:39 PM
OK, following up with some info here, in case anyone (or myself) find this useful down the road.

Just finished putting the rudder assembly back together. 1993 Prostar 190.

Previous symptoms - couldn't seem to get grease into the rudder box zerk. Certainly couldn't get any grease to come out of the weap hole on the bottom of the assembly (just above the rudder.) Steering also seemed like it was a bit tighter than it should have been. Don't know if previous owners ever did any maintenance on the rudder.

1. After I removed the steering cable from the tiller arm, the rudder seemed to move very smoothly - no obvious issues.
2. Took everything apart, nylon washer at the top between the rudder box and the tiller arm. No nylon washer (at least on mine) between the rudder body and the rudder box on the bottom of the boat. What little grease there was in there was pretty nasty. I think the reason I couldn't grease it earlier was probably a tight/corroded zerk - or the grease was just so caked that the new grease couldn't displace the old grease, so no new grease could get in there.
3. Use a little engine degreaser, some rags and a toothbrush (don't worry - one of my kids - not mine ;-) ) and cleaned it all up.
3. Removed and replaced the zerk fitting. My size: 10mm x 1mm. Found at a local hardware store for about a buck. Didn't have any luck on these at auto parts stores.
4. Removed and replaced both upper and lower o-rings located in the rudder box. I just matched up closest size I could find at the hardware store. Went with 1-3/8" OD x 1-1/8" ID x 1/8" thickness. Seems to be a pretty good match.
5. Put it all back together and could actually get it to take grease via the new zerk. The tell-tale little stream of grease squirted out weep hole on the bottom of the assembly. So if nothing else, I got that going for me.

Honestly, I can't feel much of a difference through the steering wheel. But we'll see once she gets back on the water in the springtime. If I still have issues, looks like the steering cable will be next. At least I know the rudder assembly is good to go.

Now onto that next winter project - carb rebuild!!!

Cloaked
12-09-2012, 05:55 PM
- carb rebuild!!!In most kits, the instructions leave much to be desired. I have a good PDF of a rebuild.

Most important part... patience... while it soaks overnight.

.

petermegan
12-09-2012, 07:09 PM
Sorry Skidaddy must have missed your post nearly a week ago. My buddy's 197 had a nylon washer at the bottom and I assumed rightly or wrongly that mine had worn, split and disappeared. Didn't like the idea of brass on brass so spun one up in the lathe to fit. Info a bit late I know. :confused:

SkiDaddy
12-10-2012, 06:28 AM
Hi there Peter - thanks for the info. I'll keep looking and see what I can find on the need for a bottom nylon washer.

Redstorm
06-18-2013, 06:06 PM
It is now the month of June......any updates? Love to know the results!

bochnak
12-09-2013, 06:56 AM
Any updates?

Here is my problem:
http://www.mastercraft.com/teamtalk/showthread.php?p=996423#post996423