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Old 10-24-2012, 09:57 AM
Miss Rita's Avatar
Miss Rita Miss Rita is offline
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rudder trouble

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?
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Rita View Post
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.
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:44 PM
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...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?
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Rita View Post
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.
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Rita View Post
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.
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Rita View Post
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.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Rita View Post
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.
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  #8  
Old 10-25-2012, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
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.
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  #9  
Old 10-25-2012, 10:32 AM
jschildm jschildm is offline
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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.
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  #10  
Old 10-25-2012, 06:24 PM
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Rudder Lubing

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.
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