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Old 17 May 2015, 12:43   #1
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Siezed steering

Looking for some advice on steering. Mine is completely seized and I assume it is the cable. Ive undone the cable at the engine end (pic) and undone the steering arm linkage. I have no idea though how to remove at the steering end - I have removed the pin and two screws (pic shows the two screws still in but this was a 'before' shot) and turned the wheel but no joy. What am I missing or is the fact that the cable is seized the issue?

I am of course, assuming that the cable is the issue. What I have noticed is that the rod which attaches to the steering arm linkage and goes through the tube on the engine doesn't move when pushed or pulled (shown before detachment on first pic) - should it???


Thanks in advance for any advice!
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Old 17 May 2015, 15:09   #2
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The 'rod which attaches to the steering arm linkage and goes through the tube on the engine doesn't move when pushed or pulled' is the business end of the steering cable. With the retaining nut on the starboard end fully undone & the steering arm detached from the port end the whole cable should just pull out. Loosen the nut on the port side as well & see if you can now pull the complete cable from the engine. If you can't, its seized to the tube & you will have to try & free it off with penetrating fluid. Be very careful if you try & hammer it out as you may expand the end & it then won't go though the tube, meaning you'll have to cut it off & buy a new cable.
Not the best, but this link should help you see how the helm end works on your steering helm:
Another one here:
Once the cable is released from the tube try & turn the wheel. If the cable end then moves freely in & out clean the end and the tube - I use a shotgun cleaning phosphor bronze brush - lubricate & refit. If the steering tube is very corroded/rusted an expanding reamer may be of help, but only use it to clean not to enlarge the hole.

DO NOT try to loosen a seized cable by forcibly turning the wheel. The insides of the steering helm are alloy and you WILL break it leading to having to buy a new one.

ETA. With the starboard sized nut removed does the wheel now turn & the cable outer move freely? If it does then the cable is OK & it's just the end seized in the tube.
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Old 17 May 2015, 16:39   #3
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Confused (its not the first time and it wont be the last)

Thanks paintman. The videos are very helpful. Think I understand how to remove from the steering wheel end now. What's confusing me is that I have loosened the cable end and the cable (or at least the sleeve) pulls out easily (haven't pulled it out fully yet because I need to remove the A-frame which is, inevitably, in the way). The port side (the steering linkage end) end however didn't budge - and I thought it was one continuous rod

As a matter of interest, when I say the cable moves, I mean the whole sleeve, rather than the inner core - which suggests to me that the core is seized inside the sleeve and I'm not sure how the hell I then remove it from the helm end.

Unfortunately, the boat is on Arran and there aren't any marine engineers otherwise I would just tow the bloody thing and leave it with them!
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Old 17 May 2015, 18:21   #4
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At the engine end, if the outer sheath is moving along the innner cable when its retaining nut is undone (as in your pic) - i.e when you turn the wheel more of the inner is exposed - but the inner isn't then the rigid bit that the steering arm is bolted to is seized inside the engine bracket steering tube.
When the cable sheath nut is attached to the steering tube this rigid bit should slide easily through the steering tube when the wheel is turned as that's what makes the engine turn to steer.
The rigid bit is a part of the steering cable assembly and is attached to the inner cable. You can't remove it from the inner cable.

That the outer sleeve appears to move along the inner cable says that your cable is OK, it's just stuck inside the steering tube. The steering tube is a component part of the engine mounting bracketry.

You remove the helm end as shown in the 1st video - release the retainer & turn the wheel which will push the whole thing out. Refitting involves pushing the end of the cable into the helm & then turning the helm until the outer sheath engages with the retainer.
Refitting is the fun bit if you want the spokes of the wheel in a particular position. I've always attached the engine end first, set the engine in straight ahead then refitted the helm end. Usually takes a while to fine tune so the spokes are as I want them. Mine's twin cables so they need to go in together. If there's an easier way I'd love to hear it! (Bearing in mine the wheel positions is restricted to lining up with a woodruff key on the helm shaft. Splines would be SO much simpler)

The inner cable is not removable from the outer sheath. If any part of the steering cable assembly is damaged you will need to replace the whole steering cable.

Pulling out & cleaning/regreasing the engine end is part of routine servicing to avoid the problem you have.
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Old 17 May 2015, 18:26   #5
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Thanks. I'll go back next weekend and have a fresh look. Appreciate the advice. Cheers
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Old 17 May 2015, 18:51   #6
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Take plenty of penetrating fluid (not WD40, something like PlusGas or Loctite's Freeze and Release - I use both & the latter is very good) with you! I've dealt with this problem a few times.
Sometimes gently twisting the rigid end back & forth, don't fully rotate it, can help free it up - put a bar through the hole the arm bolt goes in - but don't get too rough with it.
If you want to tap the end with a hammer then use a block of wood to protect the end. Again don't be too heavy handed as you don't want to damage it.
When you get it out clean everything up & apply plenty of suitable grease before putting it back in.
Good Luck.
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Old 17 May 2015, 19:30   #7
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Incidentally, you don't have to undo the helm end to be able to get the engine end off.
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Old 24 July 2015, 17:12   #8
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Paintman, just wanted to say thanks for your advice. It turned out that the cable was fine. The rod was seized at the engine end. It took some shifting - but after a thorough clean and re-greasing everything is working well. Cheers.
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Old 26 July 2015, 02:12   #9
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Well done
And thanks for letting us know the result.
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