Steering cables to replace

Old 04-13-04, 02:36 PM
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Question Steering cables to replace

Hello, I just bought a older bass boat. I would like to replace the steering cables for saftey. I beleive the boat has a pair of cables for the steering.

Has anybody had sucsess with this opperation. If so what were the first steps in doing so?

Derek Hill
Old 04-15-04, 06:09 AM
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My Two Cents

Hello: Derek. Welcome to the Do-It-Yourself Web Site and the boating topics forum.

Personally have not had a prior need to remove and replace any steering cables. However, doing so should not be all that difficult if easy access is present and or available.

I would suggest starting from the engine end removing one cable at time, if possible. Than work from the engine back to the steering wheel reinstalling the new cables.

Care may have to be taken to insure both new cables are installed exactly as the present cables are installed. The steering wheel should be centered, as it presently is upon completion.

New cables should slide through the guides and supports freely. May also want or need to replacement any guides and or supports also. May be best to install original mfg parts, which may come with installation instructions.

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Old 04-15-04, 07:42 AM
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First see just how long the cable is you need. Its all one piece.If you want take it out so you know for sure. WRITE, MARK DOWN, OR DRAW OUT, witch way the the cable is wrapped around the steering drum there . If you dont get it right. When you turn right you will go left and when you turn left you will go right.

Now With the old cable off you have to start there on the drum. Feed the new cable through the drum and lay it out on the boat so it will reach to the back on both sides, the left side will be longer. Then wrap the cable the same way you took it off the drum and as many wraps. Then feed it through the pulleys to the motor pulleys and to the transom.

If I have you all screwed up get back to me and I can help. Had to do this a lot when you have kids in boats.

Old 04-16-04, 05:09 AM
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We may be talking about two different cable systems here.
Some cables are one-piece (as on my Fish/Ski boat) from steering mech to motor, and probably don't need to be replaced unless it freezes up. And from what I learned they cannot be broken free if frozen. I can't see that one-piece would present a wear/safety problem.

If your's is exposed with the pulley system, then feel free to replace.

Old 04-17-04, 02:28 PM
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Sounds like we need to determine if you equipped with Teleflex (1 piece) or the real old style with a wrapped drum. That would have to be a really old boat to be using that system. What do you see attached to the motor? Is it a tube or a bunch of pulleys? Once we know what type you have, the advice will get much better.
Old 04-21-04, 10:58 PM
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Ditto to determining what kind of system you have. It has been a long time since I have been around boats but I remember 3 kinds that where used. It sounds like you might have a thin (1/4") cable which goes through pulleys. The other two systems use a thick push-pull cable that slides inside a sleeve. The difference in these two is under the steering wheel; one has a long (18"?) rack and a pinion (morse system?) the other has a what looks like a sealed gear head under the dash (teleflex?). The thin cable setup with pulleys has an exposed spool underneath that the cable wraps around.

If you are thinking about replacing the steering cable, it is a good time to take a close look at the throttle and shift cables. By the way, I have freed many push-pull cables that have frozen from improper storage after saltwater use. Typically, it seizes at the engine side where rod/cable enters the jacket. Judicious amounts of WD-40, patients, twisting and tapping frees them. After they have rusted once, they need a frequent light coat of grease to keep it from happening again. But, I have also seen them seize solid and permanently.
Old 05-14-04, 03:57 AM
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Storage after saltwater use

Hi Phil H,
I read your reply about steering cables and have a couple questions for you. What is the proper method of storing your boat after saltwater use to prevent cable freeze up? What is involved in replacing a frozen cable? We use our boat mostly for fresh water however we take it out once a year to saltwater. I have had the cable replace several times. It is currently frozen....I will try what you suggested to unfreeze it. Last year unfortunately we only had the boat out once and it was in saltwater. When we returned I pressure washed the boat and sprayed a lube on the steering at the engine. This cable is only 2 years old. Please advise what I need to do, change to prevent this from happening. I am only gett 2 to 3 yrs service from my cable and the shop that was doing the repairs did not have any advice....other than this is normal. Thanks. Lanny
Old 05-14-04, 10:19 AM
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Dont know how good the boat store is there where your at. But as a liveaboard you find lots of things out. Try Boeshield T-9 for a lubricant, then there is Corrosion Block. If you cant find them try
Also ask for "winch grease" it has teflon in it ,that we use on the winches.
Work on it at the motor end .Turn the motor all the way to the left and to the right as you clean and oil the shaft. You also want to wash it all down just as soon as you take it out of the water.


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