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Old 21 October 2012, 15:18   #1
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How do you grease the steering?

Hi there,

I want to know how to grease my steering and how often it should be done?

(I know this is probably a very simply answer and I think I have answered my own questions below, but I am very new to all of this and want to double check before I go out and buy grease guns etc and try myself!)

Below is a picture of the steering on my Tohatsu engine.




I only recently noticed the two nipples on it (in the red circles) and I assume you grease the steering cable via this?

How often should you grease it? and is general purpose lithium grease ok to use?

Also I need to buy a grease gun. I found these two on ebay, will they do?...

GREASE GUN SET PISTOL GRIP WITH CARTRIDGE FLEXIBLE HOSE FOR HARD TO REACH PLACES | eBay

Hilka Greasing Gun with Flexible & Rigid Delivery Tubes & 1 85g Grease Cartridge | eBay


They have general purpose lithium grease with them and I need to also use this grease gun for my trailer too. I understand your meant to use high temp grease in the wheel bearings, but will the ebay general purpose lithium grease suffice for me? So you know my trailer is ONLY ever pushed about by hand, never driven!


Thanks for your help
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Old 21 October 2012, 15:32   #2
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Hello James

Those two grease points are for the tilt, not the steering. Theres another one or two on the steering tube within the engine lower down but again they do not grease the steering cable itself. There is no way to grease the steering without removing the steering cable. We then do it with a 16mm extended drill bit to remove all of the corrosion and old grease. Sometimes this is not possible without removing the engine due to the layout of the transom.

There was a product on eBay a while back called "steering saver" which replaced the brass holding nut on the steering cable with one that had a grease nipple. Great idea.

The usual way currently is to just extend the steering fully and clean off as best you can the exposed cable before greasing and turning it back in.

Peter @ Boatsandoutboards4sale ~ askboatsandoutboards4sale@sky.com ~ 07930 421007
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Old 21 October 2012, 15:36   #3
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^Yeah what he said. I open too many windows at once and it can take a while to work my way down the line.


Those zerk fittings are for the tilt of the motor not for the steering cable. Most all steering cables are not able to be lubed inside. In the past I had saved a frozen Morse cable by drilling a hole, then working it deep enough, without nicking the cable, using a Dremel type tool to allow a zerk fitting to be installed. After pumping a lot of grease into it, and working it back and forth I was able to bring it back to life as new. Water is the demise of cables. You can lube the part that sticks out with some grease and it will pull a little into the cable housing, but not enough to make a difference if the cable is stiff.

If you don't own a grease gun you should. How else do you lube your trailer bearings? I have three grease guns, one for each type of grease I use. Personally I wouldn't bother with one of those baby grease guns. The refills are hard to find compared to a full size gun, plus operating costs are higher as you pay the same for less grease. Also having a flexible hose is nice.
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Old 21 October 2012, 16:55   #4
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Ok so it seams I was not right and its not as simple as I first thought! lol I am glad I asked now!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boats&Outboards View Post
Hello James

Those two grease points are for the tilt, not the steering. Theres another one or two on the steering tube within the engine lower down but again they do not grease the steering cable itself. There is no way to grease the steering without removing the steering cable. We then do it with a 16mm extended drill bit to remove all of the corrosion and old grease. Sometimes this is not possible without removing the engine due to the layout of the transom.

There was a product on eBay a while back called "steering saver" which replaced the brass holding nut on the steering cable with one that had a grease nipple. Great idea.

The usual way currently is to just extend the steering fully and clean off as best you can the exposed cable before greasing and turning it back in.

Peter @ Boatsandoutboards4sale ~ askboatsandoutboards4sale@sky.com ~ 07930 421007
Thanks for the info! The "steering saver" does sound like a good idea, though I couldn't find it on ebay! Don't suppose you know where else you can buy one from?!

So by the sounds of it, you have to remove/unwind the steering cable (from the steering wheel end?) to be able to do anything about it?! How often do they normally need attention? My boat is brand new so I hope I wont have to do this any time soon!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter_C View Post
^Yeah what he said. I open too many windows at once and it can take a while to work my way down the line.

Those zerk fittings are for the tilt of the motor not for the steering cable. Most all steering cables are not able to be lubed inside. In the past I had saved a frozen Morse cable by drilling a hole, then working it deep enough, without nicking the cable, using a Dremel type tool to allow a zerk fitting to be installed. After pumping a lot of grease into it, and working it back and forth I was able to bring it back to life as new. Water is the demise of cables. You can lube the part that sticks out with some grease and it will pull a little into the cable housing, but not enough to make a difference if the cable is stiff.

If you don't own a grease gun you should. How else do you lube your trailer bearings? I have three grease guns, one for each type of grease I use. Personally I wouldn't bother with one of those baby grease guns. The refills are hard to find compared to a full size gun, plus operating costs are higher as you pay the same for less grease. Also having a flexible hose is nice.
Yeah I know I need a grease gun! lol. My boat/trailer was brand new this summer and I have never needed a grease gun until now! The trailer is only moved about by hand, it is never hitched to a car, so I havnt needed to grease the bearings yet, but I obviously will at some point!

I didn't realise those two grease guns were small baby ones lol. Though I have to take it via hand luggage on a plane, so I may have no choice! What size cartridges do normal grease guns use?

Also if I did get one of those ebay baby grease guns linked above, is the multi purpose lithium grease that comes with them ok to use on all the grease nipples on my Tohatsu engine and also the trailer bearings? If not what do you recommend?

Thanks.
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Old 21 October 2012, 17:23   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J@mes
Ok so it seams I was not right and its not as simple as I first thought! lol I am glad I asked now!!!

Thanks for the info! The "steering saver" does sound like a good idea, though I couldn't find it on ebay! Don't suppose you know where else you can buy one from?!

So by the sounds of it, you have to remove/unwind the steering cable (from the steering wheel end?) to be able to do anything about it?! How often do they normally need attention? My boat is brand new so I hope I wont have to do this any time soon!

Thanks.
Undo the 15mm nut on the return bar from the steering cable port side (just above your serial plate in the picture). The undo the brass nut (forget the size but think its around 30mm) from the other side (as it enters through the engine). If your lucky you may have enough room on your setup to extract the entire cable this way (you won't need to touch the steering wheel end). Then clean, run that drill through the engine and refit. You shouldn't need to do it that often, usually regular use will keep it free, its up for debate when way to store it, some prefer the cable hidden inside (hard to port) some like it exposed as it is in your picture. For my money I'd bearer it exposed so you can clean it off, once its stuck inside its difficult to shift sometimes and needs a few taps with a lump to get it moving, too much and you can damage the cable.

Alternately you can swap the cable every 5 or so seasons if it becomes a concern but I think you'll be fine.

Pictures show the process for adding grease fitting if desired, like you I cannot find any links for the part ATM which would suggest it didn't take off, it truth its not really that big a problem if the boats looked after.

Here's a link to process of removing steering if required.

http://www.ehow.co.uk/how_5801846_lu...ing-cable.html

Peter @ Boatsandoutboards4sale ~ askboatsandoutboards4sale@sky.com ~ 07930 421007
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Old 21 October 2012, 17:54   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boats&Outboards View Post
Undo the 15mm nut on the return bar from the steering cable port side (just above your serial plate in the picture). The undo the brass nut (forget the size but think its around 30mm) from the other side (as it enters through the engine). If your lucky you may have enough room on your setup to extract the entire cable this way (you won't need to touch the steering wheel end). Then clean, run that drill through the engine and refit. You shouldn't need to do it that often, usually regular use will keep it free, its up for debate when way to store it, some prefer the cable hidden inside (hard to port) some like it exposed as it is in your picture. For my money I'd bearer it exposed so you can clean it off, once its stuck inside its difficult to shift sometimes and needs a few taps with a lump to get it moving, too much and you can damage the cable.

Alternately you can swap the cable every 5 or so seasons if it becomes a concern but I think you'll be fine.

Pictures show the process for adding grease fitting if desired, like you I cannot find any links for the part ATM which would suggest it didn't take off, it truth its not really that big a problem if the boats looked after.

Here's a link to process of removing steering if required.

How to Lubricate a Boat Steering Cable | eHow.co.uk

Peter @ Boatsandoutboards4sale ~ askboatsandoutboards4sale@sky.com ~ 07930 421007

Fantastic help Peter, really appreciate that!

As for what grease to get for using on the tilt nipples etc on my outboard and also to use on my trailer bearings (the trailer is only moved about by hand, never hitched to a car!) do you think this will do? Hilka Manual Greasing Gun with 397g Grease Cartridge 3 Way Fill & Flexible Hose | eBay (multi purpose Lithium grease)

or should I also buy say something like this?... Lucas Oil Red n Tacky Marine Grease Water Resistant Cartridge | eBay

Ideally I want to use just one marine multi purpose grease if possible!

Thanks.
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Old 21 October 2012, 19:17   #7
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Force 4 sell the steering saver nuts, but I can't remember what they call them.
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Old 21 October 2012, 21:24   #8
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For grease I just run the bluish marine grease and have been for years. The marine grease you mention above should be just fine.

When it comes to grease guns, I prefer a gun that can be used single handed. The funky handle you show would require two hands. Sometimes you have to hold the zerk fitting on so single handed is nice to have. The flexible tube allows you to get into hard to reach areas. They do not seem to be as common in Europe as they are here in the USA.

In order of cost which probably relates to quality.
DRAPER PROFESSIONAL HEAVY DUTY PISTOL-TYPE GREASE GUN | eBay
Pro Air Grease Gun - Lever Or Pistol Grip - Extendable - Aluminium Head | eBay
Sealey Die Cast Pistol Type Grease Gun, 400g AK446 | eBay
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Old 22 October 2012, 02:18   #9
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Your welcome

If its a new rig I'd not change it yet, wait a season or two then fit the saver.

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Old 22 October 2012, 06:45   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nos4r2 View Post
Force 4 sell the steering saver nuts, but I can't remember what they call them.
I searched but no joy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter_C View Post
For grease I just run the bluish marine grease and have been for years. The marine grease you mention above should be just fine.

When it comes to grease guns, I prefer a gun that can be used single handed. The funky handle you show would require two hands. Sometimes you have to hold the zerk fitting on so single handed is nice to have. The flexible tube allows you to get into hard to reach areas. They do not seem to be as common in Europe as they are here in the USA.

In order of cost which probably relates to quality.
DRAPER PROFESSIONAL HEAVY DUTY PISTOL-TYPE GREASE GUN | eBay
Pro Air Grease Gun - Lever Or Pistol Grip - Extendable - Aluminium Head | eBay
Sealey Die Cast Pistol Type Grease Gun, 400g AK446 | eBay
Thanks good tip, will get a pistol grip type grease gun!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boats&Outboards View Post
Your welcome

If its a new rig I'd not change it yet, wait a season or two then fit the saver.

Peter @ Boatsandoutboards4sale ~ askboatsandoutboards4sale@sky.com ~ 07930 421007
Okie Dokie!
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Old 22 October 2012, 18:14   #11
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Look what I found... Steersman Steering Guard

I may have to get one sooner rather than later as it seems easy to fit. It says just remove the Tilt-Tube Locking Nut (Not necessary if at least three threads already exposed) and replace with the steersman nut! Though looking at my picture in the original post, I have a big dark nut fitted next to the silver nut, so which one do I replace with the steersman nut? I assume the silver one?!
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Old 22 October 2012, 18:25   #12
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cheaper on ebay for $37.55 (£23.44) delivered... 7/8 Inch Steering Guard Lube Fitting for Boats - Extends Steering Cable Life | eBay

whereas it is $46 direct from the steersman site to the UK.

Though the ebay item is called a "Steering Guard Lube fitting" and not a "Steersman® Steering Guard" so it is probably a copy, but the picture is identical to the website I think!

Also it says on the Steersman website...

Q. I bought something like this before and the rubber wiper quickly popped out, making a big greasy mess.
A. Unlike some imitations on the market, the Steersman uses a replaceable O-ring that is held securely in a groove. While properly installed, it simply cannot come out, but can easily be replaced when worn if the Steersman is removed from the outboard. (see question above).
.. (They will send a free O-ring if you need one)


Whether this is true or just scare tactics I don't know!

I guess it must be better to have the ebay one fitted than the normal original nut!!!
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Old 23 October 2012, 13:32   #13
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Just an update as it may help others!...

I also found a company called Davis who make the "cable buddy" and also the "lube II" (same as the "steersman steering guard") on sale on here... http://eastmarine.us/index.php?p=cat...rent=1288&pg=1 for $28 and $21 respectively. Also the Steersman one is available at $28 on that website too.

"Lube II" like the "Steersman steering guard" fits AFTER the tilt tube (where the steering rod comes out) http://www.davisnet.com/product_docu...LubeII_eng.PDF It is designed to seal and lubricate the steering rod.

The "cable buddy" fits where the steering cable/rod enters the tilt tube... http://www.davisnet.com/product_docu...420-151_IM.pdf Once you fit the "cable buddy" nut you then have to drill a 3mm hole through the tilt tube via the hole in the nut, which seams easy enough I would have thought. This will then allow you to lubricate the steering cable!

Though surely if the "Lube II" or "Steersman Steering Guard" seals the steering rod at the exposed end, then they seal the tilt tube/steering cable also and thus no need for the "cable buddy"?! After all the Steersman company only sell the one product!

Though that said I like the "cable buddy" as I can imagine it really will help prevent failure of the steering cable and keep that brand new steering feeling, i.e. nice and smooth even after years of use!

Also I guess by using both together you could save an old steering cable, thus saving a lot of time/money/hassle in replacing it for a new one! Though I am not in that boat as mine is new, but if I can be bothered I am sure fitting both lubricating nuts at each end of the tilt tube will add years onto a new cables life!
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Old 23 October 2012, 13:36   #14
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i made my own version a few years ago using the nut of an old cable. use thinner grease so that it makes its way up the cable..
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Old 23 October 2012, 18:50   #15
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Tbh I would rather buy one than make my own cos I would c0ck it up! lol

Which end of the tilt tube did you fit yours? I assume the steering cable end, as opposed to the steering rod end?
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