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  1. #1

    Default 1977 Mercruiser steering problem

    Just bought a 1977 SeaRay SRV220 in pretty decent shape. Has a Chevy 305 engine 228 HP and a Alpha 1 Gen 1 outdrive. In active use until late last summer.
    Manual cable steering, no power steering.
    Guy was selling because he didn't want to pay someone to fix the steering problem. He said it only turns one way.
    I was hoping for an easy fix. I know next to nothing about sterndrives but figured I could learn and it might not be too expensive of a DIY fix. Seller is mailing me the shop manual.
    There's an A1Gen1 outdrive for sale nearby for $400 which I thought I could swap if needed.
    But now I am not so sure where the problem is. No much luck googling- lots on bad cables, outboards, power steering, hydraulic steering, etc.
    Wheel turns easily to left but not right.
    I disconnected the cable from the linkage arm and cable runs in and out smoothly when wheel is turned.
    With the cable disconnected the outdrive turns easily from one side to the other.

    Is there a common cause for this problem? Solutions/suggestions please.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    DC Burbs/Maryland Eastern Shore
    Posts
    2,391

    Default Re: 1977 Mercruiser steering problem

    I hate to be a downer but a 45 year old boat is going to be one problem after another. I doubt that the steering will be the end of it nor the least expensive of what will be a series of challenges. You're probably going to have to replace the helm and cable. Those old helms aren't readily serviceable and getting cables for them can be problematic.
    I once had a Carver with a Teleflex helm and the replacement cable was something like $350. Good luck.
    Practicing the ancient art of ren-ching

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Maryland - USA
    Posts
    9,143

    Default Re: 1977 Mercruiser steering problem

    There's really nothing in the outdrive assembly that would allow turning in one direction but not the other.

    2X on the age of the boat...that said, its likely the cable is worn out. try loading the cable while it is disconnected from the drive...and then turn the wheel...

  4. #4

    Default Re: 1977 Mercruiser steering problem

    I did some minor disassembly of the furniture and have a better idea of the problem. Cable works, linkage rod is connected to the “steering arm” of the outdrive, but moving the arm does not move the outdrive. When he said it turned one way, it must have been from prop torque. There is no steering at all.

    sterndrive remains centered in pics.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    DC Burbs/Maryland Eastern Shore
    Posts
    2,391

    Default Re: 1977 Mercruiser steering problem

    100 percent no bueno. You might want to get that spare drive as the one you have must be busted. The steering arm is connected to a shaft with splined ends. It is possible that the gimbal ring could be stripped out.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Practicing the ancient art of ren-ching

  6. #6

    Default Re: 1977 Mercruiser steering problem

    Quote Originally Posted by o2batsea View Post
    100 percent no bueno. You might want to get that spare drive as the one you have must be busted. The steering arm is connected to a shaft with splined ends. It is possible that the gimbal ring could be stripped out.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thanks for the info.
    Did some more homework, watched some youtube, looked at parts manual.
    I am starting to understand how these things work.
    You are correct, this is an ancient splined shaft rather than square, and the gimble ring is stripped out. Parts obsolete of course.
    And I think the whole deal will have to come off for replacement.
    Going to look at the other unit tomorrow.
    Looks like this old boat is gonna teach me a lot.

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