Mechanical FAQs (Cont.)

How do I install a steering wheel so it is centered when the engine is in the “straight-
ahead” position?
I've heard steering cables should be “maintained”. How exactly is this done?
There are several methods, depending on the type and model of steering:
For mechanical rack & pinion steering, attach the cable to the engine, then center the engine and center
your steering wheel. Then bolt the Rack to the helm (you may have to wiggle the steering wheel to get
the gears to mesh).
For mechanical rotary steering helms, the starting steering wheel position when you first feed the cable
into the helm determines where it will be when the steering cable is “centered”. To center the steering
wheel properly, we suggest orienting the wheel (depending on the rotary helm installed) in the positions
depicted below. These starting positions assume the helm is mounted for an ordinary starboard cable exit.
You won’t have to worry about centering a steering wheel when installing hydraulic steering. Due to a
small amount of “slip” or “drift” inherent in any hydraulic system, the steering wheel will not remain
centered. Use of a wheel with equidistant spokes is the best solution for hydraulic steering since that type
of wheel has no natural “up”, “down” or “sideways” position.
We suggest the following periodic maintenance at least twice a season:
1. Be certain the helm(s), cable(s), steering wheel and connection hardware are correctly assembled
and in proper working order. Check for signs of stiffness, binding, excessive free play and/or wear.
These items cannot be repaired; if any components are not in good working order, replace them.
Disassembly of these items will void the warranty and can lead to steering failure. Always replace
steering cables that are stiff in operation or have damage to the plastic jacket (outer casing).
2. Clean and lubricate the engine tilt tube or cable support tube and the steering cable telescopic output
ram as follows:
a. Remove the steering cable(s) telescoping ram from the tilt tube.
b. Clean the tilt tube inside diameter thoroughly.
c. Remove corrosion in the tilt tube with a wire brush. Wipe until all loose material is removed.
d. Lubricate the tilt tube with a good water resistant marine grease.
e. Scour the steering cable telescopic ram with a brass wire brush and wipe until clean.
f. Lubricate the sliding parts of the telescopic ram with a high-quality, water resistant marine grease.
g. Reassemble, making sure all (correct) fasteners are tight and there is no binding or excessive free
play in moving parts.
Note where locking fasteners are used. Do not use non-locking fasteners; vibration can loosen them,
causing steering failure.
NFB 4.2
STEERING - FAQ (Mechanical)