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Old 25 May 2019, 04:29   #1
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Skipping teeth on cable steering - new helm time?

I had a yam 20hp with cable steering (teleflex style). Last year the steering had seized and I had it replaced - boatyard did it because it was seized to the tilt tube which had to be replaced. I think they replaced the helm unit as well as the cable but I am not 100% certain about that. It was still stiffer than when it had been new and the kids struggled to steer it.

Iíve replaced the engine with a 30hp tohatsu. The yard that supplied it fitted it to the existing steering and weíve been ironing out some niggles over the last few weeks. The steering has still been heavy but with power trim can be lighter than it was before despite engine being much heavier. Long story short, the steering has got worse, and I can feel and hear the teeth skipping on the cable in the helm unit when attached to the engine (feels fine with no load on the cable).

Am I right in thinking that if the cable is skipping I should be replacing both helm and cable?

If I am going that far should I bite the bullet and go hydraulic? Obviously that is more than twice the price but 1. The cable routing is pretty tight which I think is 1/2 the problem - I assume hydraulics are more tolerant of this; 2. Presumably the kids would find it easier; 3. Iím hoping Iíd get longer life from hydraulic.
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Old 25 May 2019, 05:08   #2
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If I am going that far should I bite the bullet and go hydraulic? .......... Presumably the kids would find it easier........
Get yer purse out.

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Old 25 May 2019, 06:30   #3
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A tricky one. A cable working well will be fine. The 'secret' is to keep it well lubricated, with water resistant lubricant if possible though you may need to use oil to get it down the cable, and keep the water out of the cable. Undo the big nut on the through tube frequently and pull the cable outwards to keep it well greased. Be sure to lather plenty of grease into the helm unit too. Don't fill it so full you hydraulic lock it though!

My previous Humber used cable steering, I used double cables because they can be loaded in different senses to eliminate the free play and although the steering was certainly heavier than hydraulic it was not overly heavy. Yours being as heavy as you say on a single cable has to be past its best.

The benefit of a cable is there's no slippage in the steering and no possible hassle with hydraulic fluid and chafing hoses.

Nothing's ever completely straightforward!
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Old 25 May 2019, 13:36   #4
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I wouldn't bother with hydraulic on a 30hp. Just replace the helm and cable. Parts will cost you about £150, compared to about £500+ for hydraulic.
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Old 25 May 2019, 14:09   #5
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JW - yeah the original set up was fine, when I had a bench seat in it and the cable just lay around the deck aimlessly as a trip hazard. Then I upgraded to add jockey seat and routed the cables via a tunnel on the centre line of the boat. The rear of the jockey is <50cm from the transom, and the cable has to rise from deck level to the top of the transom and get out to the starboard side (and curve back in for the steering ďrodĒ).

That said Iíve never greased the inside of the cables - Iím sure someone once told me not to!

I can get a hydraulic unit for 399 delivered so itís not quite as painful as Tim suggested but Willk recognises by genetics! But routing the cables and fitting them into the back of the original helm unit involve a lot swearing and some loss of skin from knuckles so I am not averse to always that might be easier! Either way I have a bad feeling I am going to have to remove the engine to get the old cable out :-( If I am going to the hassle that either solution involves Iíd rather not be doing it again in a year or two...
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Old 25 May 2019, 15:52   #6
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That said Iíve never greased the inside of the cables - Iím sure someone once told me not to!
Aha, that'll be a professional person, then...

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If I am going to the hassle that either solution involves Iíd rather not be doing it again in a year or two...
Mmm...either way, maybe aye, maybe no...

I think perhaps you've already made your mind up!
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Old 26 May 2019, 04:50   #7
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I disconnect mine at the engine end & clean inside the tubes with a shotgun brush before regreasing. I turn the helm from one lock to the other to extend the cable ends & clean & smear them with grease - the Quicksilver 2-4-C stuff.

As you say it was free to move before you fitted the jockey seat & altered the cable routing I think you now have excessively tight bends in the cable.

Replaced my helm some years ago due to damage. The helm ends of the cable were steel & the internals of the helm were alloy so no surprise that the internals suffer & any increase in load is just going to make it wear faster.

If you can't alter the cable routing then it may well be the case that you'll have to go hydraulic.
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Old 26 May 2019, 16:54   #8
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Aha, that'll be a professional person, then...
I have a feeling it might be the person who sold me the replacement cable the first time!

Quote:
I think perhaps you've already made your mind up!
I guess to some extent I had (and now have as I clicked Buy Now a moment ago!) but was checking in case anyone thought the switch was mental (which Tim did). I just can't convince myself that with like for like replacement I would have an improved solution after spending £150 and probably a day fighting to fit the thing.
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Old 27 May 2019, 03:06   #9
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I have a feeling it might be the person who sold me the replacement cable the first time!





I guess to some extent I had (and now have as I clicked Buy Now a moment ago!) but was checking in case anyone thought the switch was mental (which Tim did). I just can't convince myself that with like for like replacement I would have an improved solution after spending £150 and probably a day fighting to fit the thing.


If you apply Daveís law, the hydraulic steering has cost you £250
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Old 27 May 2019, 03:16   #10
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If you apply Daveís law, the hydraulic steering has cost you £250
I like Dave's law!
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