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Old 14 May 2006, 13:57   #1
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Stiff Steering

Hello, I have a mercury 75hp and the steering is very stiff.

I have changed the steering cable, and whilst I changed the cable I noticed that the helm was turning freely, so I think I can safely say there is no problem with the helm. So it must be on the tube that the engine moves on. I think that is called the through tube?

Anyway, I've blasted some grease in the tube via the grease nipple and the old grease started to come out the bottom. But the steering is still stiff.

So does anyone know what else I should try?

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 14 May 2006, 14:05   #2
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The manual tells you to make sure you have the steering arm fully retracted (in) before greasing - if you don't you fill the tube with grease and the steering will 'lock'. Not sure this is your issue but I guess you should be able to tell if you can turn the steering freely one way (ie while the steering arm is extending out of of the tube) than the other. Just something I noticed when I read the manual as I have the same engine.


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Old 14 May 2006, 17:08   #3
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Remember to grease gun the main vertical engine pivot shaft (if thats what its called) .... caught me out once, changed the helm, cable and greased it all up as you have ... no difference until I remembers there where other grease points to service the left to right pivot on the engine itself..... under load this was binding. Once greased ... all was well again.
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Old 14 May 2006, 17:52   #4
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Many years ago I had same problem with 50 Merc. The grease in the vert. tube goes hard after time. Putting grease gun on it will not blow the old grease out if it is cold. Used hairdryer, or you could use a 500 w floodlight)took several hours to get the whole area warm then applied grease gun. Get it warm enough so you can barely touch it. Be patient. It worked!! Make sure you have plenty of grease in the gun as you need to push all of that old crap out.
Hope this helps, Tony
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Old 14 May 2006, 18:10   #5
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Mine was stiff too (ooer) when I got it, greased it up the other day and made a huge difference, all sorts of gungy filth came out of the vertical pivot. Gonna do it a lot more regularly than the every 30 days use it recommends.
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Old 15 May 2006, 15:05   #6
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also stiff steering past weekend, especially to the right side and only at full speed.. when going slower, steering is no problem... when I go faster and faster, the steering gets very very stiff and almost impossible to turn... not found solution yet
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Old 15 May 2006, 16:22   #7
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Originally Posted by Barfly
also stiff steering past weekend, especially to the right side and only at full speed.. when going slower, steering is no problem... when I go faster and faster, the steering gets very very stiff and almost impossible to turn... not found solution yet
I noticed that on mine too but I just assumed it was normal? nothing to compare it with!

On mine, you can turn one way or the other easily at high speed but taking the engine back to the straight ahead position afterwards is quite difficult. At low speed/low throttle no problem at all, easy both ways. Is this normal or do I have a problem brewing?
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Old 15 May 2006, 16:30   #8
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I think that is to do with the torque from the direction the prop is turning, I'm sure someone in the know will explain further.
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Old 15 May 2006, 19:55   #9
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To test steering problems do it at rest, engine off, lock to lock. This will elliminate any engine torque effects. When using grease gun it it not sufficient to give it a couple of pumps. Pump until new grease comes out the the ends of the pivotand wipe off. Just like a car in the old days when they had grease nipples.
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Old 16 May 2006, 05:59   #10
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To determine whether it is the cable, engine pivots or both which are stiff, disconnect the drag link, just one bolt or nut. The engine should then swing freely from side to side and the steering cable should travel easily in and out.

If there is difficulty getting the new grease to travel both up and down the engine pivot tube and bearings, fill the grease gun with oil and inject that. Use the engine for a while and then refill the pivot bearings with grease. Lubricate frequently to prevent a recurrence and bearing wear.

It is often difficult to ensure the grease travels up into the top bearing because the weight of the motor presses onto it. If the boat is out of the water, put a jack below the skeg and lift the engine enough to close the small gap at the bottom bearing and try again with the grease gun. It goes without saying, protect the skeg with a pad of some description.
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