View Full Version : Steering question - X-45

07-21-2013, 07:47 PM
I just got a used 2005 X-45; it was thoroughly checked by the dealer. The steering is fine at low speeds but gets very hard at higher speeds. Is this normal? The dealer took the cable assembly apart, greased the cable and put it back together.

07-21-2013, 09:48 PM
In my experience, that isn't normal. In fact, it Should be the reverse of that.

07-22-2013, 12:06 PM
Had the same problem in my 205v, hard steering under power. Cleaned and greased rudder shaft and major difference! If the cable it would be stiff not just under power but at idle as well. Just from my experience. Good luck!

07-22-2013, 12:49 PM
Yeah drop the rudder and grease it up in there.

07-23-2013, 08:54 PM
Redstorm, thank you, I am trying to do just that. I have removed the pin, loosened the steering bracket and I would have expected the rudder to drop. It is still lodged in there pretty tight; is there anything else that should be removed before dropping the rudder shaft?

07-24-2013, 12:42 AM
I am assuming that your X45 does not have hydraulic steering, is that right? I owned a 2012 X45 that I purchased new, and the steering was always an issue for me (no hydraulic steering). It was fine at low speeds, but very difficult to turn the wheel under power such as power turns when pulling a tube, or if I was in a hurry to get back to a fallen rider (jet skis bearing down on him). I would literally have to grab and steer with both hands and use quite a bit of force. (I know, another reason not to pull tubers). My 2013 steers effortlessly with one hand even under power, as did my 2007 X30. The dealer checked out my 2012 X45 steering and just said "its a big heavy boat."

I would love to hear from other X45 owners on here who do not have the hydraulic steering and see if they had the same issue as I might want to own another X45 one day. Is this just normal for such a big boat?

07-24-2013, 01:05 AM
I don't having any problems driving my X45 with steering moving slow or fast. I don't believe I have hydraulic steering but I could check if you tell me what to look for to confirm.

07-24-2013, 01:52 AM
Don't know if you have the same type of rudder. Mine has a zerck fitting to grease the rudder shaft with a pin hole located at the base of the shaft under the hull. As your greasing the shaft look for a stream of grease to exit the pin hole. Do you have a zerck fitting on your steering box/rudder shaft?? There should be 4 screws under the boat at the rudder. Remove and drop the rudder.

I believe there is thread on here with photos. Do a search under steering / stiff steering.

07-24-2013, 05:45 AM
My boat does not have hydraulic steering. As far as removing the rudder shaft, the dealer told me to remove the cotter pin that is supposed to hold the rudder in place in case the steering arm gets loose, then to loosen the steering arm that clamps the shaft in place. The service manager even told me to place a jack under the rudder to prevent it from falling off. I have done all these things but the rudder is still firmly lodged into the port. I believe the assembly with the four screws through the hull is called the rudder port. I will call the dealer again to make sure the four screws holding the port do not need to be removed to pull the shaft. I will post my findings and hopefully resolve on the site.

07-24-2013, 05:51 AM
BoulderX45, you do not have hydraulic steering, in fact, your boat should be identical to mine. I was told that Mastercraft did not make the X45 until late 2005 and to confirm that, I downloaded the 2005 manual. The X45 is not mentioned until 2006 manuals were printed. Bottom line, we have the same boat, no hydraulic steering.

07-24-2013, 06:16 AM
Okay, it's still dark here this morning and I must have been snoring as my wife is sleeping in another bedroom. So, I have time to post what I found on the forum for others to use. I believe this link shows what I was inquiring about: http://www.mastercraft.com/teamtalk/showthread.php?t=36396&highlight=rudder

07-24-2013, 12:20 PM
You can tell if you have hydraulic steering by looking for a cap on your dashboard to the right of your steering wheel where you fill a reservoir with hydraulic fluid.

07-25-2013, 08:11 AM
I have some lessons learned to share with the group here. On my boat, to drop the rudder shaft, first remove the cotter pin (obvious), but then also completely remove the bolt securing the steering arm onto the rudder shaft (not so obvious as the dealer had said to simply loosen it). I put a floor jack under the rudder to prevent it from falling out. My rudder was bone dry which was the cause of the slight play in the rudder and the stiff steering under load.

Here are the steps I took:

1) Put a floor jack under the rudder with just enough pressure to keep in place
2) Remove the cotter pin on top of the shaft
3) Remove the nut and bolt securing the steering arm to the rudder shaft
4) Drop the rudder (mine was so dry that I still had to pull it out)
5) Pack bearing grease (NOT WATERPROOF GREASE) into the rudder port (housing), and grease the rudder shaft
6) Push the rudder back into the housing, the excess grease will come out the bottom and top of the housing
7) Clean the excess grease, especially around the top of the shaft where the steering arm will clamp the shaft
8) Reconnect the steering arm, checking the alignment of the arm with the steering wheel to more or less center the steering wheel with the rudder in a 90 degree position with the transom
9) Tighten nut and bolt and replace the cotter pin.

This solved my steering problem. Your boat could be somewhat different as I did not have a grease zerk to do this without dropping the rudder. I understand many other boats have a grease zerk. On my boat, the only thing keeping close tolerance in the rudder housing is the grease. Since mine was bone dry, there was enough play in the rudder that under load, the steering became extremely stiff. Now my resolve may be short lived since it is possible that my housing is now damaged from operating without a proper greasing for so long. As I mentioned, I just bought this boat and I am going through it. For now, my steering is fine but if it gets stiff again, I will probably replace the port (housing). Bottom line, if a boat steers fine on the trailer or at idle around the docks, there is nothing wrong with the cable. If it steers stiff under load only, it is most likely a rudder problem.

07-25-2013, 11:08 AM
Our rudders are different. Wonder if or when you need to change the rudder box if you can swap it out with one like mine....with zerk fitting to grease. What is strange is my boat is a 2001 and yours is newer. I almost replaced my steering cable and if I had done this I would have frustrated with the same problem. Glad you got er fixed! You would think the dealer would have known better.

07-26-2013, 07:41 AM
Exactly, I was amazed that the dealer didn't take care of this, and so was the former owner who actually paid for the boat to be gone through. This was our agreement for the sale. As far as replacing the rudder box, I would think I should be able to get one with a zerk fitting. There is really nothing to it in the design. Also, I don't know how long my fix will last since the rudder had been dry for so long, it may have damaged the rudder box. As long as the grease stays in place, my steering will be smooth. The grease has taken all the play out the rudder. This is really where the dealer failed to properly diagnose the problem; all they would have had to do was wiggle the rudder to observe the amount of play and they should have known that under load, it would cause the steering to be stiff.

I really appreciate all the feedback, this is a great forum. My X45 is now steering smoothly.