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Old 04 October 2009, 13:36   #1
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Still having Big Steering Problems

Hi,
after much head scratching, internet surfing and asking many questions, I am still FLUMMOXED !!!
I have fitted Teleflex steering to a small rib, and am trying to connect it at the engine end.
I have an old Mercury 20HP blueband engine that originally had a tiller. I have fitted a triangular steering bracket to the centre of the underside of the front cowl, passed the steering rod through the tiller tube, and connected the drag link arm.
I can get full lock one way, but only 3/4 lock the other.
Does anyone know where I am going wrong?
I have been told all drag link arms are the same length, so the only reason it is not working, is because I have installed it wrong.
Please help if you can, I have enclosed a couple of pictures.
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Old 04 October 2009, 14:59   #2
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Ok, you can get a port entry and a starboard entry drag link (the bar). So you could have the wrong one. Also i cant see from the pictures is the drag link straight or has it got a bend in it? Do you have a serial number on the engine? i will have a look for you. Also im not sure with this engine but usually at the engine end of the bar there should be a rose joint to allow the thing to move about in a turn.
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Old 04 October 2009, 15:03   #3
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Hi, thanks for the reply,
do you mean I may have to put the steering cable in from the other side ? That doesn't seem to make much sense to me as the distance Has to be the same doesn't it ?

The engine serial number is : 9018324

I have added another picture which maybe shows the drag link better

Thankyou,
Andy
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Old 04 October 2009, 15:09   #4
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Sorry to but in, but aren't boats a pain in the backside?
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Old 04 October 2009, 15:20   #5
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Where the helm unit is under the console cable will go in one side and out the other. Is the other side clear, ie the cable isn't catching and restricting movement?
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Old 04 October 2009, 15:31   #6
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Wierdly i cant see any drag links listed that fit that engine!. The one in the photo looks like one from a 75hp. I think you might need a drag link that has a crank in it.
Also i cant see a listing for the part number for the bracket that the bar bolts onto!, but im sure they are available, i just cant see one at the min!
Anyway have a look a a few pictures, the 75hp one looks like yours, were as the other is a cranked one. Just to give you an example!
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Old 04 October 2009, 15:32   #7
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Red

Sorry to see you are still having problems.

Some thoughts.

There is only a certain amount of movement either way at the helm end.
It may be worth double checking that end first, as if it isn't right you are chasing your tail.

Longer and shorter drag links are available I believe.
If not, a local engineer will shorten or lengthen one for you so that when your helm unit is in the centre of its travel the engine is also central.
If it was me I'd cut it in the middle and weld a sleeve over the top when it's the right length.

I'm sure the Steering attachment bracket I had on my 55HP Suzuki was offset to one side, not central.

By sorting out the length of the drag link and attachment bracket you will just even up the current range you have. You will probably not achive the full arc lock to lock that you had with a tiller.

As has been mentioned, cranked drag links are available if the current one is restricting movement by contacting the engine.


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Old 04 October 2009, 15:33   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chewy View Post
Where the helm unit is under the console cable will go in one side and out the other. Is the other side clear, ie the cable isn't catching and restricting movement?
Yeah good point!!!. That would be an easier solution!!!
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Old 04 October 2009, 15:41   #9
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Yeah good point!!!. That would be an easier solution!!!
Lol, I don't do complicated.
I just remember when I fitted mine that the instructions said the helm unit must be fitted so the cables exit on the starboard side if they were to enter the starboard side of the engine. It it is fitted like this the cable will exit and rub the inside of the console.
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Old 04 October 2009, 16:17   #10
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Yes, I've checked the helm end.
This helm end was originally for a zodiac and was mounted on an aluminium crossbar. I demounted it and built it into my home - made console, the cable doesn't foul at all.
I like the idea of cutting and welding a sleeve, but I am not sure how to work out the correct length - would it be by :
a) checking the travel at the steering end and marking a centre point.
b) setting engine in central position and measure the length of drag bar needed.

I have a mig welder,and have access to an arc welder. I have very little welding experience, but is there anything different with welding stainless ?

Yes, my drag bar does have a crank in it, which gives it the height to miss the top of the transom tube.
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Old 04 October 2009, 17:11   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redxpuser View Post
Yes, I've checked the helm end.
This helm end was originally for a zodiac and was mounted on an aluminium crossbar. I demounted it and built it into my home - made console, the cable doesn't foul at all.
I like the idea of cutting and welding a sleeve, but I am not sure how to work out the correct length - would it be by :
a) checking the travel at the steering end and marking a centre point.
b) setting engine in central position and measure the length of drag bar needed.

I have a mig welder,and have access to an arc welder. I have very little welding experience, but is there anything different with welding stainless ?

Yes, my drag bar does have a crank in it, which gives it the height to miss the top of the transom tube.
If you've never welded stainless before, don't make your 1st try on something critical like the drag bar.

It'll probably be cheaper to pay someone to weld it up after you do the fabrication than it'll be to buy a 1/2 kilo reel of stainless wire plus a bottle of Argoshield or pure Argon anyway.
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Old 04 October 2009, 17:13   #12
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Yep, count the number of turns of the helm unit lock to lock, then go back half that amount to set in the middle.
Then set the engine straight ahead by hand and measure what length drag link you need.

To weld stainless with a Mig you need a reel of stainless wire and a bottle of argon or argon/Co2.
However if you are not confident with your welding then steering isn't really the thing to practice on.

(Edit - Nos beat me to it. Must learn to type faster.)

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Old 05 October 2009, 06:57   #13
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Quote:
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You will probably not achive the full arc lock to lock that you had with a tiller.
I'll second that.

Suz 25, Johnson 25, Yam 55, Merc 60 - none of them move as far in eiother direction when attached than they did when "loose".
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Old 05 October 2009, 13:39   #14
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Well, I took everyones' advice and went off in search of someone to weld stainless.

I found, through a friend, a chap called Justin Williams, who owns a company called
NORTON STAINLESS ENGINEERING in Somerset (07545555200).

He took a solid piece of stainless steel, cut it to length, welded it in and polished it up , absolutely Brilliant!!
He did it while I waited, and charged me £10.00. (pictures below - Before and After )

I came back and fitted it - perfect, full lock both ways - SUCCESS.

Hope his number is useful to others - feel free, just tell him Andy gave you his number.

Thanks to everyone...........watch this space though !
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Old 05 October 2009, 14:50   #15
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Glad it worked out

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Old 05 October 2009, 16:04   #16
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What is actually stopping the steering from going further, is the cable at the end of travel ?
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