Hard to steer


Old 06-24-13, 04:13 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Indiana
Posts: 125
Hard to steer

I have a 1965, 100HP Merc. It always starts and runs good, and I'm not in a position to replace it for a few years. My problem is the steering has been very hard for several years. I replaced the old cable and pulley system about 10 years ago with a teleflex system,and that helps. The grease in the tube that the motor pivots on is hard and dry. I took the motor off today to try and remove the tube and clean it so I could put it together with new grease. I discovered the shift rod runs inside the tube and seems to only slide out the top. this requires removing the power head or at leased, all 3 carburetors. Is there a way to free this up that I'm not seeing? Or do I need to do major surgery?
Sponsored Links
Old 06-24-13, 09:55 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 45,128
I was looking around for answers to your question and I found this video on you tube. Maybe it'll give you some help.

Teleflex How-to: Maintenance of a Mechanical Steering System - YouTube

While you are there.... there are few others listed there that may be beneficial.

Teleflex marine has an FAQ page that may also be helpful to you.
Teleflex Mechanical Steering Systems FAQ’s
Old 06-25-13, 04:51 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Near Buffalo, NY
Posts: 4,239
The Plastic jacket of the steering cable ends as a Large Lock Nut, then from there to the end of the steering cable it becomes a telescoping ram that flattens out at the end with a 3/8 hole in it.
The hole is where the link arm connects the engine or rudder to the steering system.
1)Disconnect the link arm from the steering cable.
2)Undo the Large Lock Nut from the support tube that the ram portion of the steering cable goes through.
3)Grab the cable by the plastic jacket and pull it towards the side of the boat exposing the ram portion of the cable.
4)When you have that ram fully out of the support tube clean off the ram and out the tube then re grease them with a good WATER PROOF MARINE GREASE.
5)Re assemble the steering system making sure that the Large Lock Nut is fully bottomed out and that the link arm connection is secure.
-- Jim Corday from Teleflex, posting in one of our sister forums, The Hull Truth
Old 06-25-13, 03:31 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Indiana
Posts: 125
Thanks for your replies. I watched the video, and that will be useful when I put the cable back in the tilt tube.
The tube i'm having trouble with is the vertical tube that the motor pivots on when you steer. The grease is nearly 50 years old, and I can hardly turn the motor with the cable disconnected. I removed the grease fitting, and sprayed a light oil inside. I hoped that might loosen the grease. I have tried to grease it a few times over the years, but could never force any in. I have had this motor since the mid 80's, and as far as I remember it has always been hard to steer. Now I'm at the age where my arms hurt after a day of turning the wheel.
Old 06-26-13, 05:11 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Near Buffalo, NY
Posts: 4,239
Sorry for misunderstanding your original post. My aging memory says you have to remove the lower unit and go after the shift shaft from the bottom. Either way I suspect it may be more than lubrication. Seals and bushings wear out over that many years.
Old 06-26-13, 04:55 PM
Sharp Advice's Avatar
Admin Emeritus
Join Date: Feb 1998
Location: The Shake and Bake State USA
Posts: 10,440
My Two Cents.

The area I suspect you're referring to is the connection between the power head (engine) and the drive shaft housing. (Lower end.) If so, it's major surgery for a non professional both skill wise and having the correct tools. As well as a cherry picker and motor lift off bracket if separation between both as you mentioned. Etc.

Agree. The bearing as well as the seals very aged and worn. Likely cause and likely will need to replace all the parts. In My Opinion, best left to a marine repair shop. Be-sides, never know what else will be needed as parts for it's proper repair and or what just might brake......during any type of major (surgery) repair.

Regards, Good Luck & Safe Boating. Sharp Advice. Boating Enthusiast. Web Sites Host, Forums Monitor, Moderator Hiring Agent & Multiple Topics Moderator.

Old 06-27-13, 03:22 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Indiana
Posts: 125
Thank you for the advise. I have the lower unit off, to rebuild the water pump. I think I'll put it all back together, after I replace the impeller, and seals. Then it's time to burn some gas in it.
I will talk to my local marina, they rebuilt the lower unit about 8 years ago and did a fantastic job.
God bless Ya

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes