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Teleflex steering issue on an 04 key west 1720

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Teleflex steering issue on an 04 key west 1720

Old 12-07-2018, 04:40 PM
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Default Teleflex steering issue on an 04 key west 1720

Went to go help my dad get the boat ready for an upcoming trip of his for crappies. Back in the past when I had the boat the steering would get stiff if it sat too long. After tapping on the steering arm it always came loose and worked fine.

This afternoon was different. After trying the same same fix there was a snapping noise at the helm which im assuming it's not good. Is there anything in particular I can check that's a possible easier fix or am I looking at a big overhaul on the steering?
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Old 12-08-2018, 02:32 AM
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Change the helm $250 fix for a zero feedback helm. 20 min of your time, stop hoping and praying the boat will work the day you want to use it.
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Old 12-08-2018, 03:16 AM
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If you haven't already try asking at the Key West forum. Very helpful and lots of guys with the 1720.

https://keywestboatsforum.com/search...&discussions=1
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Old 12-08-2018, 03:56 AM
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You didn’t mention whether the steering still works but you need to isolate the cause. Disconnect steering cable from the engine and pull cable completely free of tilt tube then push the engine side to side manually to check engine steering pivot which should turn relatively easily. If engine steering pivot checks out test helm and steering cable from helm while disconnected from engine; wheel should spin easily and cable should extend and retract evenly and smoothly without binding. If the helm/cable binds during test disconnect cable from helm then test cable and helm separately and replace one or both if necessary. BTW you can usually buy a new helm packaged with new cable for less $ than when purchased separately.
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Last edited by LeakinLena; 12-08-2018 at 04:38 AM.
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Old 12-08-2018, 05:06 AM
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That snapping sound usually indicates either a worn out/broken gear tooth in the helm unit, or a damaged spot in the cable spiral. If the snapping sound is accompanied by a "jerkiness" when spinning the wheel it is likely the helm itself. do the tests listed by the previous poster. Because of the pricing, you are basically better off to get a helam and cable kit that either component by itself.
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Old 12-08-2018, 05:49 AM
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I have an '07 KW1720 and i'm having the steering system replaced right now (NFB Helm and Cable) for $600 (parts and mx) from my local mech.

I'm also gonna have a SS tilt tube put in and the Davis Cable Buddy and Lube II kits installed.

My old system still worked but would get stuck like yours. FWIW I've found that storing the boat with the steering turned all the way counter clockwise (rod embedded into tilt tube) helped to keep the steering from locking up. BL it's time for a new system. I'm also gonna have the steering wheel knob moved to the top of the wheel so it doesn't smash my junk every time we hit a bump...
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Old 12-08-2018, 05:49 AM
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Sorry forgot to mention that the engine doesn't turn at all and the wheel spins. The engine does turn easily with the steering arm disconnected.

It was dark last night when it happened so I couldn't really look at it. I'm going to check it out Tomorrow.
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Old 12-08-2018, 06:40 AM
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Pins on the planetary gears are broke at the helm, happen to me, the pins are cast pot metal
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Old 12-08-2018, 07:35 AM
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Is it a bad idea to change the helm and not the cable?
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Old 12-08-2018, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by 04keywest1720 View Post
Sorry forgot to mention that the engine doesn't turn at all and the wheel spins. The engine does turn easily with the steering arm disconnected.

It was dark last night when it happened so I couldn't really look at it. I'm going to check it out Tomorrow.
You broke the helm. It's been stiff due to lack of regular maintenance, which weakened it, and by trying to force it, you broke it irreparably.

It's time to replace the system.
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Old 12-08-2018, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by 04keywest1720 View Post
Is it a bad idea to change the helm and not the cable?
Yes. The cable is seized. If you replace just the helm, you will only break it again when you try to turn it.
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Old 12-08-2018, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by 04keywest1720 View Post
Is it a bad idea to change the helm and not the cable?
Short answer is yes; if the helm is broken you should also replace the cable for the relatively small incremental cost and peace of mind. Unless of course the cable is a real PITA to install; boats with narrow engine wells sometimes require engine mounting bolts removal (and reinstallation) to move engine and provide clearance for steering cable installation (the only way to find out is during removal of existing cable). The most likely cause of steering cable failure in my experience (7?) is corrosion build up in the engine tilt tube which should be thoroughly cleaned with a 12 gauge bore brush and lightly oiled before reassembly with a “Steersman” nut or similar to give longer service life. This is one place where excess grease is a liability IMHO because the repeated exposure and then retraction of the push/pull rod collects crud and water then grease traps it in the tilt tube which accelerates corrosion.

Last edited by LeakinLena; 12-08-2018 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 12-08-2018, 02:49 PM
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Snapping sound means to me the cable broke.
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Old 12-08-2018, 06:41 PM
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Going to replace it all this week so my dad can get out fishing. Thanks for the info!
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Old 12-09-2018, 03:37 AM
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Good time to switch to a Baystar hydraulic system.
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Old 12-09-2018, 05:58 AM
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For what it's worth I had similar issue this summer. EDIT: the NFB is worth it.



Last edited by fritz423; 12-09-2018 at 06:05 AM.
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Old 12-09-2018, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by brownman View Post
Change the helm $250 fix for a zero feedback helm. 20 min of your time, stop hoping and praying the boat will work the day you want to use it.


I did this job recently on a 1720. Its not 20 minutes, but the idea is sound. The engine does need to be pulled away from the transom; but, you can leave the wiring and control cables intact. I did this with a strap from the ceiling joist, and used the trailer jack up forward to lower the boat, putting tension on the strap from engine lift ring to the ceiling. The four mounting bolts need to come off. Its also a great time to put in an aftermarket SS tilt tube. This is NOT 20 minutes, but shouldn't go beyond a weekend. I did this job solo, but help would make it a little easier.
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Old 12-09-2018, 07:51 AM
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It’s 20 min to change the helm not the whole system GOD
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