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  • Steering locked

    Last fall I disconected the steering cable at the steering wheel to move the cnt console on a 20', '79 Mako. As I prepare the boat this spring, I have found the steering arm, at the engine mount, is frozen in place. I have added grease, manually rocked the engine and steering wheel with not a budge. Any suggestions?

    Thanks for the help. So close to the water but yet so far.

    TJS

  • #2
    This problem is going to require some patience and elbow gease. This is the procedure that i recommend:

    Start be removing the bar that connects the steering rod the engine.

    then, unscrew the lock nut on the stbd side of the cable where it thread onto the guide tube on the engine.

    With a soft faced hammer (Brass or other soft metal) hammer the steering rod into the guide tube on the engine. Then, with a piece of round bar (smaller diameter than steering rod) hammer the steering rod out of the guide tube.

    Pull the cable out and check for any flaring on the end if there is use a file to clean it up.

    Next, the important part is to clean out he inside of the guide tube as best as you can. I have found that a brake master cylinder hone that you can attach to the end a drill works extremely well. Other wise a small wire brush of file will do the job.

    After all is clean go back together in the reverse order. I do not recommend useing alot of grease on the reinstallation (less is better). Eventually the grease will get hard and you will be faced with this problem again.

    Good luck,

    Lane.

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    • #3
      I went thru this every year. I mean, every year.

      DO NOT BEAT, FORCE, OR OTHERWISE MUSCLE YOURSELF THRU THIS. You'll only destroy the gears under the steering wheel. I speak from experience.

      Hopefully there is enough of the steering arm protruding fromt he engine to get a pipe wrench on. Disconnect the link arm to the engine, get a pipe wrench on it, and ROCK IT back and forth, as opposed to in and out.

      Once you rock it, it will break free. No work it in and out with the wheel, and loosen all the salt hardened grease as you do this with something like wd-40. Again, when you rock it, it should break free and the majority of your problems are over. You may need to sand any tool marks out of the steel with emory cloth.

      When you lay the boat up for the winter, store with the engine turned so that the steering arm is out of the tube. This makes it easier to free and clean up in the spring.
      1990 261 T/2001 200 HPDIs[br]Basking Ridge/Mantoloking NJ[br]

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      • #4
        MAKO RIDER: YOUR ADVICE IS GOOD, BUT IF YOU DO NOT CLEAN THE INSIDE OF THE GUIDE TUBE YOU WILL BE "DOING IT EVERY YEAR" THE POINT OF DISCONNECTING THE LOCK NUT IS TO REMOVE IT FROM THE ENGINE AND NOT FORCE THE CABLE INTO THE HELM.... BEATING OUT WITH THE PROPER TOOLS IS THE ONLY WAY TO PROPERLY CORRECT THE PROBLEM.

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        • #5
          Empress III and Makorider: Thanks for the help!

          There is ~8" of steering rod protruding. It rotates because when I trim the engine, the rod rotates as necessary. I diconnected the steering cable at both the engine and the steering wheel. The cable seems to operate just fine. With a wood block as a buffer, I put a hammer to it but got no/very little movement of the rod back into the cylinder. I had not remove the nut prior to the hammer though. I'll try that this evening.

          Thanks again.

          TJS

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          • #6
            You definitely need to disconnect the steering cable from the engine and start from that side once you get it loose. Clean it out real good and then put some new grease in there and you should be ok. I would definitely take this time to inspect your steering cable real good. When they break, your motor moves on it's own....usually VERY rapidly.
            1978 Mako 25 - Blind Hog
            1985 Mako 20c - sold
            Fort Walton Beach, FL
            http://www.classicmako.com/forum/top...TOPIC_ID=42841

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            • #7
              If you plan on keeping the boat for at least the next several years cut the manual stearing off and install Teleflex Hydrulic stering. It will save you money (in the long run) and you will be real glad you did every time your on the water and you touch the stearing wheel.

              Mike
              1973 22 CC Milford, CT USA[br]

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              • #8
                My 22' had the same problem. With my nephew helping (he put torque on the steering wheel) I greased the ram and tapped lightly on the on the ram until it was all the way in. Then I scratched my head since it wouldn't move out, I thought a come-a-long would help. I put the come-a-long between the ram and eye on the hull. It came out slowly. I repeated this a couple of times, greasing all of the time and it finally worked fine. Actually better than before. Hopes this helps.
                72\' Mako 22\'[br]NoNeck, VA

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                • #9
                  Thanks for the suggestions! I can't get over how solidly locked that shaft is.....

                  I disconnected the steering cable. But I was not able to remove the solid metal bar at the end of the cable from the cylinder. The consequence of that is; I can't bang the steering shaft out from the cylinder once I have nudged it in. Should the steering cable disengage completely from the engine so as to allow access to bang the steering arm back out? Should I be able to just pull the steering cable away from the engine or is it somehow attached to the steering arm?

                  Thanks for your comments and suggestions.

                  TJS

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If I understand your question correctly, I left the steering cables and linkages connected, and pulled on the linkage connecting the steering cylinder to the engine. See picture:

                    The whole time I had the steering wheel under torque to take any play out of the system and help with the forces at the cylinder. With the come-a-long, (I actually connected it to aft cleat shown in dashed lines) you can pull on the cylinder without hitting it with anything. If you are concerned about the linkage, find an acceptable fitting that will will mate to the cylinder.
                    72\' Mako 22\'[br]NoNeck, VA

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                    • #11
                      MakoShako,

                      Thanks for your reply. I appreciate the detailed picture. If I can not loosen the arm this evening (after an overnight with grease and WD40), I'll try the come-along.

                      TJS

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        RE POST:Posted - 04/26/2005:20:51:44

                        I AM A LITTLE UNCLEAR ABOUT YOUR SITUATION. WHAT IS PREVENTING YOU FROM REMOVING THE SOLID LINKAGE BAR THE CONNECTS THE TILLER ARM TO STEERING CABLE? ONCE THAT IS DONE PUSH IT ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE GUIDE TUBE ON THE ENGINE AND OUT. THEN START ON THE CLEANING.

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                        • #13
                          I had this same problem on my McKee. I used a hydraulic jack in the horizontal position - braced against the inside of the gunnel. Do not continue to apply pressure from the steering wheel - you will only strip the gears in the helm or the helm end of the cable. Use the hydraulic jack and a piece of pipe or bar-srock or whatever that will pass thru the guide tube. Also - I had to use heat ie a butane torch on the guide tube - you don't have to hold it too close - just pass it back and forth along the tube and slowly increase the pressure on the jack. I cleaned the guide tube with a shotgun barrell cleaning rod and brush attached to a drill. This is easier done with help to hold the jack in position while you heat the tube.
                          1992 261B[br]Beaufort SC

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                          • #14
                            Been there, done that..heat, baby, heat..as well as all the other suggestions..slow, and arduos..put the torch on the piston, but never over heat..caress this one..

                            mark
                            \'73 22 Mako Reedville, VA

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                            • #15
                              Success!! Thanks for the suggestions. I relied on this information to fix this one. I pounded the rod all the way through the cylinder. I am still surprised how stuborn that was. I'll work on cleanup and re-install next. Enjoy the water!

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