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Old 12-05-2008, 04:17 PM
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Default steering cable seized

new (used) boat steering cable is shot. it's a 18' dc with 115 was in salt prior to me buying it. shop wants $350 to replace cable or $1300 to go hydraulic. my local auto mech (also off shore boat owner) recommends just replacing the cable and not spending the $ for hyd. also said he'll do the work for me but doesn't know what the hyd kit costs. says cable will be fine for my boat and motor and use 90% freshwater.

any other thoughts out there? anything I should consider or know? thanks.
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Old 12-05-2008, 04:54 PM
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Default Re: steering cable seized

Just buy the cable and change it. I have changed one on the boat I had before the one I have now. You need to know how long the cable is and get one the same length. I payed a lttle over $100 for a new teleflex steering cable. Not that bad of a job if you are mechically inclined.
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Old 12-05-2008, 06:56 PM
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Default Re: steering cable seized

One of the age old problems BUT are you sure it is the actual cable? A "siezed" (as you indicate) steering cable generally indicates the push rod through the tilt tube is cruded up and caused by nothing much else than being greased.

Disconnect the steering arm from the cable push rod and see if the rod is free in the tilt tube.

Oh and forget this thinking there is any difference between salt and fresh water use, it don't matter!
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Old 12-05-2008, 07:03 PM
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Default Re: steering cable seized

I will sell you my used teleflex rack/cable system for $30 plus whatever the shipping costs. On my last boat (18') my steering became stiff. I thought it was the rack/cable system so I had it replaced. Turned out to be a problem on the outdrive itself, the steering cable still works fine through the complete range. I purchased a new boat this year and have no use for it. Let me know.
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Old 12-05-2008, 07:53 PM
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Default Re: steering cable seized

Now there is a great solution! Thirty bucks and you have another complete system. If you try and take that greasy, slimy helm apart and fight with the cable to get it to lay in place, you'll think thirty bucks is a gift.
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:01 PM
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Default Re: steering cable seized

Forget hydraulic steering on a 18", most boats that have it are 24" and up. Replacing the cable should only take an hour or 2, but if your luck is like mine you will encounter problems never witnessed before.
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:03 PM
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Default Re: steering cable seized

Quote:
kerno - 12/5/2008 10:53 PM

Now there is a great solution! Thirty bucks and you have another complete system. If you try and take that greasy, slimy helm apart and fight with the cable to get it to lay in place, you'll think thirty bucks is a gift.
eperience talking!
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:26 PM
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Default Re: steering cable seized

Yeah. I remember deciding how easy it was going to be to replace that slimy sumbitch cable without even having to unbolt the helm. An hour later, me, the boat, the seats and the carpet were covered with all of the grease that had once been in the helm. If you are going to try it, take the helm out to a point a long ways from the boat and wear clothes you plan to throw away. Bleeding a hydraulic system is a mess, but replacing a steering cable makes greased pig wrestling seem tidy....................................
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:35 PM
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Default Re: steering cable seized

I can't believe that's there is such a thing as cable steering on anything anymore. But than again I may be bias.
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:54 PM
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Default Re: steering cable seized

Quote:
kerno - 12/5/2008 11:26 PM

Yeah. I remember deciding how easy it was going to be to replace that slimy sumbitch cable without even having to unbolt the helm. An hour later, me, the boat, the seats and the carpet were covered with all of the grease that had once been in the helm. If you are going to try it, take the helm out to a point a long ways from the boat and wear clothes you plan to throw away. Bleeding a hydraulic system is a mess, but replacing a steering cable makes greased pig wrestling seem tidy....................................

Kind'a like before bearing buddys, and pre greased hubs, we could both tell stories ! I changed bearings in a hot hub in 7 minutes , on I 285 in Atlanta with aprox. 2000$ worth of gear. Wife said it was like having sex!
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:59 PM
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Default Re: steering cable seized

When you try and fight that stiff and slimy cable into the tight curve of the housing, you'll know where they got the idea for Viagra.......
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Old 12-06-2008, 05:06 AM
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Default Re: steering cable seized

A couple years ago I had a seized cable on my 14' center console skiff. I really like hydraulic steering so I plunked down the $$ to buy a system & did the job myself. Nothing complicated. Just time consuming being that it is a small boat.

Later I got to thinking about that cable that I had not thrown out. Managed to get a little diesel down it from the motor end & sure enough, after about a week worth of soak I got a little movement. After that it was simply keep working & wiping the gunk off till I got to the point that it is now, just like new. It can be moved by hand on the wheel spindle.

Moral of the story. Don't be so fast to throw something that is perfectly good out unless you like throwing money away.
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Old 12-06-2008, 05:39 AM
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Default Re: steering cable seized

thanks. sure, i guess we can monkey with it and maybe save it but based on all your comments it seems worth $300 to let the shop do it for now. i'll try to learn more about it so the next time we'll do it ourselves.

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Old 12-06-2008, 05:53 AM
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Default Re: steering cable seized

another question i have is, can i assume that the system on this boat is nfb? if not, how would i know looking at it?
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Old 12-06-2008, 06:01 AM
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Default Re: steering cable seized

Quote:
kone - 12/6/2008 8:53 AM

another question i have is, can i assume that the system on this boat is nfb? if not, how would i know looking at it?
The part number on the helm should tell you. NFB is just a different helm.
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Old 12-06-2008, 06:05 AM
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Default Re: steering cable seized

Before replacing the cable try this:
1. disconnect the cable fromm the helm/rack etc.
2. Cut the corner out of a freezer zip bag
3. Place the cut corner over the end of the disconnected cable.
4. Place 2 wraps minimum of duct tape around the zip bag and cable. Basically taping the corner of the bag to the cable.
5. Then open the zip bag and pour some sea star hydraulic fluid into the bag. 3-4 ozs.
6.Close the zip bag and zip tie cable as high as you can making sure the hydraulic fluid is over the open end of the cable.
7. Wait at least a day and add fluid as needed to maintain the end of the cable in a submerged state during this time
8. Reconnect the steering and work back and forth.
9 Repeat steps 1-8 until the cable is free.

This has worked every time for me on 2 different boats. This will cost you a few hours time and less than 1$ in parts. The cable can be disconnected from the outboard or outdrive and tested (turn the helm)to see if the cable is truly seized. By the way the rack system above for $30 is a good deal if it will fit in your boat.
MM
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Old 12-06-2008, 06:12 AM
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Default Re: steering cable seized

i understand the $30 system is a good deal but can't figure out how that would save work or mess. can someone explain?
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Old 12-06-2008, 06:20 AM
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Default Re: steering cable seized

based on the responses here, i'm thinking i'm gonna go pick up the boat from the shop, pay my bill, and get it back to our shed. from there we have time to learn more and decide what to do and try doing it ourselves if it's not too big of a job. we have till spring and seems dumb to rush into dropping $350 when there may be a better way.
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Old 12-06-2008, 06:29 AM
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Default Re: steering cable seized

Quote:
kone - 12/6/2008 9:12 AM

i understand the $30 system is a good deal but can't figure out how that would save work or mess. can someone explain?
I think because you wont need to remove the cable from the helm. He has a helm and a cable together. Just feed the cable through the hull and into the motor and bolt the helm up. If you change your cable you will get messy with all the grease when you feed the cable into the helm.
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Old 12-06-2008, 06:48 AM
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Default Re: steering cable seized

would anyone know off the top of their head whether this boat came with nfb steering from the factory?
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