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Mechanical FAQs (Cont.)

170
®
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
My steering cable is stiff/stuck and won't move properly when I turn the wheel.
What should I do?
a. Is the steering cable in fact “stiff/frozen”?
b.
Is the helm “stiff/frozen”?
c.
Does the engine/drive/rudder pivot freely through its entire arc from port to
starboard?
The first step is to isolate the problem component(s) of the steering system. Several factors can lead
to what feels like a “stiff” or “frozen” steering cable. If you do not have installation instructions for the
system’s cable and helm, contact SeaStar Solutions (or other manufacturer, if appropriate) to obtain them.
Also, have your engine and boat owner’s manuals handy.
The following troubleshooting sequence is suggested, during which the steering wheel should remain on
the helm.
Carefully disconnect the steering cable from the link arm, tiller arm or rudder post arm. (Refer to
installation instructions for that steering system and boat/engine owner's manual.) From the helm,
attempt to turn the steering wheel in both directions by hand to ensure that it moves freely through its
prescribed steering arc. Also, check the hardware that connected the cable to the engine/drive/rudder for
signs of binding, excessive free play, corrosion, deterioration and/or incorrect assembly.
If everything does move freely and is in good working order, go to step c.
If the steering is still hard, continue to step b.
Steering cables cannot be repaired. If the steering cable is deteriorated, does not move or operates in any
manner other than correctly, replace it with the correct one for the helm. If the cable for your helm is no
longer available, replace the helm, bezel and cable with an appropriate SeaStar Solutions steering kit.
If any cable connection part is deteriorated, too stiff or too loose, replace it with the correct type of
component. SeaStar Solutions offers most types of cable connection hardware, except link arms which
should be obtained from the engine manufacturer. Note that locking fasteners are used on connection
components. Do not substitute non-locking fasteners as this may lead to steering failure.
Measure the cable’s plastic jacket (casing) in inches. If rotary, add 18” and round up to the next foot. If
rack & pinion, add 30” and round up to the next foot.
Order that length cable.
With the steering cable disconnected from the link arm, tiller arm or rudder post arm, disconnect the cable
from the helm. (Refer to installation instructions for that steering system at www.seastarsolutions.com.)
From the helm, attempt to turn the steering wheel in both directions by hand to ensure that it moves
freely through its prescribed steering arc.
If everything does move freely and is in good working order, go to step c.
If the wheel does not move, replace the helm and bezel kit. If the helm and bezel are no longer available,
replace helm, bezel and cable with an appropriate SeaStar Solutions steering kit.
With the steering cable disconnected from the link arm, tiller arm or rudder post arm, move the engine/
drive/rudder back and forth by hand to ensure that it moves freely through its prescribed steering arc. If it
does not move or is extremely stiff, have proper maintenance or repairs done. If it does move freely, then
check for obstructions that may have been limiting engine movement and/or revisit steps a-b.
NOTE: To ensure maximum performance and service life for your mechanical steering system, please read
and follow the procedures outlined in the next FAQ.
STEERING - FAQ (Mechanical)