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Loose Steering


usaski1
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So boat steers fine, and is not tight (cable is good) but I seem to have some play.. maybe an 1/8th of a wheel turn when centered before the boat really turns in one direction or another. Its as simple as that.. anything I can check or adjust/tighten?
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I had like problem with 2004 Mastercraft X7 (197). Boat drove

fine but had a little "play" in the wheel and lacked positive pressure on steering wheel. By putting a small grind on the

rudder I was able to get positive pressure and reduce play, and make driving the course much better. Grinded right side near top and rear of rubber. Do little at a time and test.

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If the cable if properly mounted at the helm - Maybe you need to tune the rudder?

 

After installing a new steering cable in my Ski Nautique it had the same issue. Not only was there play in the wheel but it was difficult to maintain position in the course.

 

The boat's adjustable rudder tab appeared to be in the normal position. I took off the steering wheel and made sure it was put on in the correct way. Steering/Tracking was very annoying.

 

I loosened the adjustable rudder tab and re-positioned it. Now there is pressure on the steering with zero play. Problem solved.

 

My previous boat was a 97 Outback and it did not have an adjustable rudder. If that is still the case and you decide to tune your rudder by grinding - then do the proper research and take very small steps.

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hehe.. yeah.. I have ground the rudder, and its better I need to grind it more. But I still believe that if one person was observing the rudder, and one at the steering wheel, that the rudder would not move until I'd turned it a certain fraction. I could be wrong.. have to check...
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  • Baller

You will want to look at the tilt mechanism and the steering mechanism, they develop play over time and tend to loosen up. Pull the rubber boot at the base of the steering wheel out of the way and tighten up the U joints and attaching screws to reduce the play in that area.

 

Next look at the rudder itself and the play in the shaft and tiller arm. You will want to make sure all those are tight and consider greasing the rudder shaft, but not much as too much will make it bind.

 

Adding rudder torque will not solve the problem as described but simply mask the problem by loading only one side of the system during operation so that the play does not affect the boat as it travels through the course.

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  • Baller

Just noting that in the profile the boat in question may not have rack and pinion and may have a rotary system. if that is the case take a look at the fastener that jams the cable into the main rotary body. some of the newer rotary systems also tend to get loose due to a clip that holds the cable in place at again the main rotary body.

 

If the system is rack and pinion check gear mesh at the pinion assy, I have seen premature wear on pinion's and have changed them out when the cable was replaced due to sloppy gear mesh.

Another source for slop in the steering could be at the stabilizer tube assy, have seen the ball and pivot assy wear prematurely due to very little grease.

Tiller arm and it's hardware can also cause slop if not assembled properly and not snugged up.

Also make sure that the tiller arm to rudder mesh is tight and that their is not any play in the assembly.

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