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Old 07-22-2013, 11:06 AM
JerryW's Avatar
JerryW JerryW is offline
TT Regular
Join Date: Jul 2004
Boat: 2002 X-9; LQ9
Location: Southeast
Posts: 88
I think there is possibly another aspect to the hard steering problems people are having, which is that the rudder may need to be shaved or "tuned" to the boat. If on the trailer and at idle everything is smooth, easy to turn, greased where it should be etc., then it may not be a mechanical component issue. If the steering gets "harder" as speed increases, and the boat starts to pull more and more to the left or right as speed increases, it could be the interaction of prop rotation and torque, a misaligned prop shaft, and or a rudder that needs to be tuned to account for all that. There are a number of posts here that can explain all that a lot better than I can, but heres my experience.

We have 2002 X-9 that came with the "smallest" rudder MC has used recently, sort of triangle shaped, all angles, no curves to it. The boat pulled a bit to the right, more than I liked when we first got it, and when I told the dealer about it, they "tuned" it the next time I took it on for service. After that, it seemed fine, did not pull much on it's own, easy to steer, etc. That rudder got bent last summer and I replaced it with the "largest" rudder, the one used on the current X series boats. At higher speeds, it started pulling to the right more and more as speed increased, and it took two hands to hold it in a straight line. I shaved off the left trailing edge of the rudder a little at a time, to tune it, and got it to the point where it would steer pretty even or neutral and not pull hard to the right. However, it was still too much rudder for the size of the boat, and when you turned hard to one side, it was difficult to turn it back to going straight. Not as easy to drive as it was with the original rudder.

This summer I replaced that rudder with the "medium" sized one that's used on the current Prostar's and the X-14. It's curved on the bottom, looks kind of like a duckbill, and does not have the long trailing edge like the one on the larger X series boats. Without doing anything to it, the boat did not pull nearly as much to the right, or was not nearly as hard to bring back straight after a hard turn. I shaved the left trailing edge on that rudder, and have it to the point where the boat is fairly neutral, will go straight on it's own with no hands on the steering wheel up to about 40 MPH, as long as I increase the speed slowly. Also, if I make a hard turn at high speed, it's relatively easy to bring it back to center.

So, if you are having a "hard steering" problem, it may help to shave or tune the rudder a bit and see if it helps.
"Horsepower is a terrible thing to waste"
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