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A Couple Steering Issues

RamkerRamker Member Posts: 32
When idling up and down the river occasionally the steering wheel will bind up and I can either turn it harder, it will pop and start turning or turn the wheel back the opposite direction just a bit and then turn the in the original direction.  Hasn't happened while on plane (yet).  Is this a lubrication issue, cable issue or ram problem?  The steering in general is not particularly easy or extremely difficult either and there is quite a bit of free play as well, maybe almost a half turn.  Would like to get this addressed as losing steering control could be very bad.
'03 Rinker 312 Fiesta Vee

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    rasburyrasbury Member Posts: 8,285 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Play in the steering going slow, I'm told, is a natural occurence. Drives me crazy. Binding, that is an issue that for sure would not be lube but something that is worn and getting to a spot where it binds..get back there and have someone rotate the wheel and see what's going on. I would not operate the boat until its resolved please!
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    212rowboat212rowboat Member Posts: 2,591 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Typical cable issue... take dash panel off and inspect where cable comes out of rack... turn wheel slowly with your hand around the cable housing and see where it sticks... open engine cover and watch it as someone turns wheel slowly.. it ought not move or flop around- the cable should slide effortlessly through that housing all the way from the helm to the power steering assist ram. 

    Check fluid.  Check the connection where the cable comes into steering assist ram... there is a flat spot on the part that the cable screws into- between it and the cotter pinned stantion... make sure the flats on that are pointed north and south as they actuate the assist... 

    Have someone turn the wheel while at idle while you watch that ram... 

    What drive are you using? 
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    reneechris14reneechris14 Member Posts: 3,134 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Sounds like the cable make sure to have the old one in your hand when you get a new one. The manufacturer has changed hand a couple of times so the number on the cable may not match the new one. 
    2005 Rinker FV342  Pawcatuck river,Ct
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    Dream_InnDream_Inn Member, Moderator Posts: 7,594 mod
    Alswagg said:
    Also check your tilt helm for wear in the ball joint   These have loosened and can cause a binding sensation 
    @alswagg - would this happen to make a slight "helicopter" sound that is a bit louder when turning the wheel, say at idle?  I have that happening right now with my boat.  I have a work order in to have it checked out.

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

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    RamkerRamker Member Posts: 32
    Thanks all.  Bravo III drives.  Will try and get the exact number off the existing cable.  Hopefully the hub on the wheel side is not damaged.  Will also check the tilt ball joint.
    '03 Rinker 312 Fiesta Vee
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    212rowboat212rowboat Member Posts: 2,591 ✭✭✭✭✭
    everything i read said the cable's last two digits would be the length... if i'd have gone off of that i'd have bought a 12' cable when i needed a 17' cable. 

    pull the old one out... lay it down stretched out... measure the CABLE HOUSING, then add thirty inches and buy the cable the next nearest foot longer.  

    pull a cord through the gunnels as you pull the cable out- do it from the helm as you won't be trying to pull the rack part through and disrupting other things such as wiring harnesses while you do it.  

    with both old and new cables side by side on the ground, and even with the old cable's housing (in my case) broken free from the rack the new cable pushed and pulled through the cable housing almost effortlessly.  the old cable? it would push through and pull back, but it took quite a bot of effort. 

    the steering ram: there is a cotter pin holding the pin in- you only need to pull that out and then unscrew the nut on the end of the housing off the ram... you'll need a 7/8" wrench i think it was to hold the flat spots on the pipe the cable goes through, and a 1 1/16" if i recall to screw in the cable housing nut... make certain it's all the way on (as far as you can so it's seated).  when you're done the flat spots of the pipe need to be up and down oriented... 

    the entire job will take you less than an hour combined.  it's not a big deal to do this.  the crucial part by my reckoning is to get the old one out and measured BEFORE you go buying a new one based on numbers... measure it. 

    by the way- mine was OE and 16 foot 4 inches long.. it was difficult to pull the cable end out of the steering assist due to the length (i imagine it was installed before the shells were put together?}... that 8" more with the 17' cable allowed an easier turn out of the gunnel toward the steering assist... i feel i'm better off now than i was. 

    that pinion at the helm..... i didn't think about that... yeah, that needs investigation too.  you can buy both the rack and cable and the tilt steering pinion as a package deal, and maybe you should as the wear on the pinion will no doubt not align perfectly with the lack of wear on the rack.  
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    RamkerRamker Member Posts: 32
    Thank you very much 212!
    '03 Rinker 312 Fiesta Vee
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    RamkerRamker Member Posts: 32
    I took the pin out and was able to freely move the wheel (which was not what I was expecting) the wheel would still bind in a few spots.  Then I put a bit of pressure on the ram and immediately the wheel was difficult to move.  

    I ordered a replacement cable kit that includes the cable and the hub at the wheel.  Hopefully replacing those two items will do the trick.  Will follow up when I get the install completed.
    '03 Rinker 312 Fiesta Vee
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    [Deleted User][Deleted User] Dana Point, California, USAPosts: 0 ✭✭✭
    @Ramker. Which vendor did you use? My steering isn't as smooth and easy as it used to be either.
    Andy
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    RamkerRamker Member Posts: 32
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    [Deleted User][Deleted User] Dana Point, California, USAPosts: 0 ✭✭✭
    Thanks. Looking forward to seeing how the job went.
    Andy
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    RamkerRamker Member Posts: 32
    Well the cable is in, 19ft ssc13419.  Took about 2.5 hours, taking my time.  Wasn't terribly difficult.  Another set of hands is a big help when routing the cable.

    I still have an issue with the hub at the steering wheel. With the rack part off of the cable completely disconnected and the wheel spinning I still have some binding (not sure if it's in the hub or ujoint or something).  So now I need to figure out what the correct replacement part is with the tilt steering wheel.

    The steering is easier, but still not 100%.  
    '03 Rinker 312 Fiesta Vee
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    RamkerRamker Member Posts: 32
    Alswagg - Yes I forgot you mentioned that.  Do you have any pictures what of what (and where) needs to be tightened?  I assume it's under the rubber bellows piece.  Thanks.
    '03 Rinker 312 Fiesta Vee
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    69fastback69fastback Member Posts: 951 ✭✭✭
    That’s similar to what my steering was doing a couple of years ago. Replaced the cable and helm and it’s all good now. 
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    [Deleted User][Deleted User] Dana Point, California, USAPosts: 0 ✭✭✭
    Thanks Al, I checked my tilt ball joint, it has two hex head bolts, large & small, both tight.
    Andy

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