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Old 11 November 2010, 02:02   #1
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Cable Steering - Stuck/Seized

Hi,

Having uncovered my RIB for the first time in 3 months, I find the steering has seized.

This has happened once before (after a long stint of being undercover), but a few strong nudges on the steering wheel slowly loosened the steering and all was ok again.

However this time, nothing is budging it, so I've started trying to investigate.

It's a cable steering system, and so far I have discovered this:

(pardon my lack of technical terms...)

a) When I undo the large nut which attaches the cable/sheath (from console) to the outboard part, the steering wheel turns freely. However, doing so causes the whole cable & sheath to move. If you check out the first photo, you'll see the cable and sheath moved away from the engine as a result of me turning the wheel.

When the large nut is attached to the 'engine' there is no movement at all.

This suggests to me that the cable inside the sheath is stuck against the sheath, as it doesn't seem to be able to move when the sheath/nut is fixed.

Surely the cable should move freely within the black sheath?

Also, moving it in the other direction (extended), it gets as far as 'middle' and stops. Presume it's hitting the stuck end (port side) bar.


b) When I undo the nut as above, and turn the wheel so the cable retracts, it moves as per above, but the port side of the steering 'cable' (the bit which the actual engine bar bolts to) doesn't move at all. I would have expected this to be one piece that moves together, and I'm quite concerned why the starboard side of the cable moves but the port size remains fixed. See second picture.

I have 'hit' the port side bar to try dislodge it, but no movement whatsoever (in as far as I want to go hitting it without fear of breaking something).

I've also put as much pressure on steering wheel as I want to (without fear of breaking something), and also tried pulling / pushing on everything else.

Have read a bit about people have success freeing the bar by attaching it to a drill and turning it... I don't have a drill big enough...!

Where do I go from here?

Should it be doing what it's doing in terms of part moving (but only when sheath is loose) and part still stuck?

This is probably caused by lack of maintenance on my bad, so I know for future, but at present, I need to get it moving so I can get it out to clean (or replace) it.

The 3rd and 4th pictures are just for reference to try and show the setup.

Any assistance, hugely appreciated! It's my birthday tomorrow as we were planning a day on the lakes to celebrate.

Many thanks
Rob
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Old 11 November 2010, 02:41   #2
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I've had this happen in the past.

A couple of things to try: Disconnect the arm from the cable to the outboard and try twisting it with a spanner. If that doesn't free it then cover the end with a block of wood and try some blows with a hammer.

Don't forget to apply loads of WD40 or similar and grease the whole thing up if you do get it free as it looks very dry of any lubricant.

Ian
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Old 11 November 2010, 03:01   #3
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Hey,

Thanks for the reply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by walruz View Post
Disconnect the arm from the cable to the outboard and try twisting it with a spanner.
Presume you mean the port side part, ie where the arm from engine attaches. I've tried that -- the part where the 'engine arm' bolts through spins freely so I can't use that to jimmy in a long screwdriver to then turn... and other than that, there is no way to get real purchase on the arm as it's pretty much smooth circular...

Quote:
Originally Posted by walruz View Post
If that doesn't free it then cover the end with a block of wood and try some blows with a hammer.
Smacked it a number of times with wood... and medium force with hammer. Don't want to go too hard just yet incase I break something... or am I safe to hit it as hard as I can (with wood in between)

Quote:
Originally Posted by walruz View Post
Don't forget to apply loads of WD40 or similar and grease the whole thing up if you do get it free as it looks very dry of any lubricant.
I've put wd40 pretty much everywhere I can, but there isn't really anywhere which looks like a handy place to squirt it... it's all sealed, so I've put some around the ends where the bar seals/enters into the engine block thingie.

Sounds like I need to cover the thing in more wd40, and whack it harder... I see how twisting it could help, but can't see how I can get any grip to do so...

Many thanks
Rob
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Old 11 November 2010, 03:37   #4
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two things more, dont turn the cable round and round as the inner cable is spiral and you can bugger the cable, just wiggle it, second is put a bolt through the end of the cable before you wack it so you dont collaspe the hole, hit it as hard as you like, it the only way to get it out
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Old 11 November 2010, 05:20   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biffer View Post
two things more, dont turn the cable round and round as the inner cable is spiral and you can bugger the cable, just wiggle it, second is put a bolt through the end of the cable before you wack it so you dont collaspe the hole, hit it as hard as you like, it the only way to get it out
good tip re the bolt,


what is the best way to prevent the cable becoming seized ? ( apart from use )

Is grease, WD-40 or oil the best to use ?

would a wee bit of grease packed into the plastic end cap screw be worth while ?

any other ways ?

currently I spray a few times a year with WD-40 ( which is not "oil" ) or rub the bar with oil.
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Old 11 November 2010, 07:24   #6
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wd ain't no good grease or oil
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Old 11 November 2010, 09:53   #7
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Have you tried tilting the engine up and down? You'll need the cable fully installed, nut done up to do it. Sometimes it'll turn the cable in the tube, breaking the corrosion/dried out grease 'seal'.
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Old 11 November 2010, 10:06   #8
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If you undo the steering arm (shown in your last photo) you will end up with a couple of flats which you shoudl be able to get your adjustable spanned onto, and then give it a turn i.e. rotate the stainless rod that passes though the tilt tube. In future, I woudl think you need to pump some grease into the grease nipple which is halfway along the black tilt tube.
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Old 11 November 2010, 10:13   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin View Post
If you undo the steering arm (shown in your last photo) you will end up with a couple of flats which you shoudl be able to get your adjustable spanned onto, and then give it a turn i.e. rotate the stainless rod that passes though the tilt tube. In future, I woudl think you need to pump some grease into the grease nipple which is halfway along the black tilt tube.
Sometimes a rag soaked in hot water and wrapped around the tilt tube helps too-or any other way of heating it gently.A hot air gun (not too close) is good if you can shield everything else. The heat will soften any grease in there.

If you're trying to free it with WD40, don't. Use plusgas instead-it penetrates far better.
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Old 11 November 2010, 11:04   #10
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Plusgas? Never heard of it.

jky
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