steering stuck question

dorian kennedydorian kennedy Posts: 121 Deckhand
We just bought a project boat. It has a Mercury 125 (1994) with cable steering. The arm coming OUT of the tilt tube extends about 10 inches but is stuck so it cannot be rotated and pounded back in even with a hammer. I have several questions....
1. The cable on the opposite end does not want to come out of the tilt tube. Is it connnected to something inside? I tried to rotate it, it does rotate but does not seem to do anything when rotated.
2. Will the arm coming out of the opposite end come ALL THE WAY out? Or does it have to be forced back through the tube and out of the end the cable is inserted into?
3. Any ideas on getting the arm out of the tube?
4. If I have to take it to a shop, any idea on cost of repair for fixing this type of steering problem.

One thing to note: I notice that the retaining ring on the bottom bushing of the bottom yoke that holds and rotates the motor relative to the mounting bracked is not in position and just laying on the motor. This problem appears to cause some play in the bushing, could this have caused the steering rod to bend?

Replies

  • idlerickidlerick Posts: 229 Deckhand
    The cable is connected to the arm; they are a single assembly. When lubed and working properly, you should be able to pull the arm out thru the tube to the cable side by pulling the cable.
    Hard to follow all your description, but it sounds like the whole thing is rusted in place, not bent. Very common in S/W motors. At the very least you'll need a new tilt tube (about $100), a new steering cable/arm and probably control box (~$200) plus the labor to replace them all. Removing a tilt tube isn't easy, esp if it's rusted in place.
    Best to evaluate the whole motor before you start piece-mealing repairs, or you could be wasting time and cash.
    :)
  • 2fastlx2fastlx Posts: 407 Deckhand
    [HTML][/HTML]That arm coming out of the tilt tube is the end of your cable. It slides through the tilt tube, then the large nut on the cable attaches to the other end of the tube. It has probably been sitting a long time and is corroded to the inside of the tube. You can use PB blaster to try to loosen things up. Take the zerk fitting off that's on the tube and spray into there. Put a screwdriver through the hole on the end of the cable and use that to rotate the cable inside the tube to loosen it. Don't rotate it more that a quarter turn or so. And be careful hitting the end with a hammer. You don't want to mushroom it.
  • dorian kennedydorian kennedy Posts: 121 Deckhand
    There may be a real problem if the arm and cable are supposed to be attached because I can turn the wheel and cause the cable to move in and out of the tube but it definitely does not move the arm on the opposite side of the tube....they are not connected.
  • Mako_OneMako_One Posts: 216 Officer
    If the trim motor works try trimming the motor up and down to try and free it up. Try using an air chisel with a blunt fitting to free it up. The vibration will help break it free. if nothing works then it's off to removing the motor then tearing the two end off and replacing the tilt tub. You might be able to save the stearing cable.
  • FLCoyoteFLCoyote Posts: 271 Deckhand
    Speaking from experience I recommend you bite the bullet and install Hydraulic steering. If you do it the cost is about $720, if you are mechanically challenged as I am it will cost a total of around $1,250 parts and labor. I fought this issue on my last two boats and spent around $1,000 on the first one before I sold it. My current boat has a 90 Yamaha, 4 Stroke and the steering has been perfect since I had it converted to hydraulic about two years ago. I couldn't figure out why I always seemed to have this particular problem as I take care of my equipment and keep it all clean and lubed. A friend pointed out that I often run in reverse when we have a large fish on and we take a lot of water over the stern. Same when trying to hold on a spot in rough water. I can assure that until you replace the steering assembly that the problem will recur over and over again. I think the replacement for cable steering will only end up being around $300 less that hydraulic. Just my 02.

    FLCoyote
  • crackedconchcrackedconch Posts: 379 Deckhand
    I had the same problem with an Evinrude I have on a project boat. Another mechanic told me to heat it. It took a little while, but between heating it with a map gas torch and a mini sledge I worked it out. I did have to drive it all the way through. There was a little rust on the shaft, but mostly old hard grease. Now I just have to clean up the tilt tube and replace one of the nuts, and the cable of course.
    Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things!!

    Pioneer 197 Sportfish
    Suzuki DF150
  • Gary SGary S Posts: 1,311 Officer
    Air hammer like Mako said. The only thing different that I do is I use the pointy bit. I drill a indention in the cable and go to town on it. You might want to use the PB Blaster overnight and heat it before you hit it. The trouble with a big hammer is mushrooming the end of the cable out so it will not go thru the tilt tube. If you have already done this take a grinder and clean it up so it will pass thru.
  • FS DanFS Dan Posts: 2,353 Moderator
    If you haven't done so already, remove the link arm from the steering cable and steering arm. See if the motor turns freely. The lack of maintenance on the steering(dried hard grease) would make me also skeptical of the grease in the steering shaft. The cable is a pain but relatively easy to access for repairs. The steering shaft is a major undertaking and requires the pulling of the powerhead and dozens of bolts that usually Break or fight you constantly during removal. If I read correctly you can turn the wheel but the cable doesn't move. If there is no movement at the engine end of the cable, your helm has stripped its gears and will also need replacing.

    1. There is a nut that screws onto the tilt tube that holds the cable in place. The arm that stick out of the tilt tube isn't connected to the black outer conduit of the steering cable. It runs internally back to the helm. The outer conduit is anchored at the tilt tube by a big nut.

    2. Yes the cable must go back thru the tube for removal. http://www.wholesalemarine.com/rotary-steering-cable-by-teleflex-80165.html?gclid=CKiGzvr0iboCFcZj7AodCVgA6A
    the link above has a good picture of a cable, check it out so you know what your looking at when at the boat.

    3. The above ideas are all good. My experience with having done this on several boats, is that its a slow incremental process. Your not going to whack one end and have it come flying out the other side. The Phrase "heat it and beat it" probably started from your exact situation. make a mark on the arm to gauge your progress. If you can achieve results without heating it, a SS 12 gauge shotgun brush in a drill can clean the old tilt tube of old grease and surface corrosion.

    4. it would depend on how long it actually takes. Labor rates vary a little usually between $65 to $100 an hour + parts + shop supplies. some itemize the shop supply items for added profit, some just have a fixed fee they charge everyone.

    also an added value is a shop will also point out any areas of concern that they see, Their motives are a little self serving as they are looking for more work for the shop, but nothing says you cant use there trained eye to spot problems that you can then fix your self.

    Good luck with your project, Post some pics of your work as you go, you can get a lot of good advice here from member who have probably already been there an done that.

    CMD
    Formerly Catmandew
  • SeaBoss180ccSeaBoss180cc Posts: 89 Greenhorn
    My cable steering got stuck and then the cable came apart at the helm end so I decided to switch to hydraulic steering. Cost me 460 bucks for a Baystar system from low cost boating.com and a few hours of labor. Kit came with helm, hoses, ram, and fluid. Everything I needed and I couldn't be happier. There's nothing like smooth steering.
  • jawzjawz Posts: 137 Officer
    never a good idea to use a torch on that- there's plastic bushings in there - you've just melted them...

    beating it with a hammer is "primitive" move - never a good idea either...

    smart play:

    get a replacement tilt tube and the nuts,washers and bushings to go with it.if you're on budget,go with cable steering - get the Teleflex kit,thekit has cable,cable head and a trim piece everything you need...

    pick up a tube of non metallic waterproof grease...

    hydraulic steering is the way to go !
  • FS DanFS Dan Posts: 2,353 Moderator
    jawz wrote: »
    never a good idea to use a torch on that- there's plastic bushings in there - you've just melted them...

    beating it with a hammer is "primitive" move - never a good idea either...

    smart play:

    get a replacement tilt tube and the nuts,washers and bushings to go with it.if you're on budget,go with cable steering - get the Teleflex kit,thekit has cable,cable head and a trim piece everything you need...

    pick up a tube of non metallic waterproof grease...

    hydraulic steering is the way to go !

    Sometimes you cant play nice, ideally it never get to this point. Even though your going to replace it, You still have to remove it.
    Heat and beat can sometimes be your only option.

    CMD
    Formerly Catmandew
  • crackedconchcrackedconch Posts: 379 Deckhand
    Catmandew wrote: »
    Sometimes you cant play nice, ideally it never get to this point. Even though your going to replace it, You still have to remove it.
    Heat and beat can sometimes be your only option.

    CMD
    :Agree
    Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things!!

    Pioneer 197 Sportfish
    Suzuki DF150
  • dorian kennedydorian kennedy Posts: 121 Deckhand
    :Agree

    finally took it to the shop, they cut the rod at both ends, still could not get it out, so replaced the tube too. This was a project boat, the steering works great now, if we keep it for the kids to use we may someday replace with hydrolic steering.
  • jawzjawz Posts: 137 Officer
    finally took it to the shop, they cut the rod at both ends, still could not get it out, so replaced the tube too. This was a project boat, the steering works great now, if we keep it for the kids to use we may someday replace with hydrolic steering.


    that's the way to do it

    cut the cable with a cut off wheel - remove/replace the tilt tube along with the cable...

    no need for a torch and a hammer...
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