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Stiff Steering


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I drove my buddy's boat on Sunday and his steering was really smooth. It got me thinking that maybe there is something up with my boat. His is a early 90's Stratos fish and ski and mine is a mid 90's stratos. It is basically the same boat and the steering system is identical. Anyway it takes some effort to turn my wheel, both hands and some muscle at times especially when going from stop to stop, where his you can use one finger to turn form one stop to the other. I done some research and everything lead me to the steering cable, so that's where I started. Everything said to clean and grease the tube that connects the cable to the motor. After fighting this for a bit i finally got the cable loose and was able to clean up the tube and lube everything up. Put it all back together and after a few turns of the wheel I realized that all my effort had very little effect on the stiffness of the steering. It now turns easier to the left, when the cable extends, but is still brutal to turn to the right, when the cable retracts. My cable looks to be fairly new looking at the outside of the cable. My question is should i try to lube up the cable itself, not just the tube I spoke of? Also what else could be causing this issue of harder to turn to the right, when the cable retracts. Without the cable hooked to the motor the motor turns with no effort in both directions, so I'm positive its a cable issue of some kind.

 

Does it sound like its time for a new cable? 

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you might try a silicone based steering lubricant or a chain/cable lube first, but generally when steering gets tight as youre speaking of, its time for a new cable or box. Speaking of, does the box under the console have a grease zerk on it? if so, shoot a lil grease in it and see if that helps.

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 I am having the same problem Peck. I put grease on the tubes at the motor and it has got bad now. After I done it I read that you are not supposed to grease them because it will eventually harden and I am guessing that is what happened to mine.  I am gonna try to take them loose like you said and clean them, then see if it will help mine.    I have been spraying wd-40 and turning the wheel and it seems to loosen it up some but it is still very hard to steer.    Please keep us updated if you can figure out a way to fix this..    

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Basslover......find a good commercial grade solvent like steel ink remover. Take the tubes loos at the motor and brush them with a wire brush to get all the dried up grease off. Use the solvent to finish striping it down, then use a lithium based grease...only a thin coat.

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No grease zerk on my box. I cleaned and lubed again. Still not much better. So i started checking the cable run. I think the cable is binding up inside the boat where the turn is coming out to the motor. It has a good kink in the cable. I think the cable may be too long causing it to have some slack and not enough room for the extra cable to lay inside the boat without binding up. I'm going to measure and get a new cable on the way. I may also replace the box as well while I'm at it.

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