Mechanical FAQs (Cont.)
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The steering cable is stuck in the engine's tilt tube. Now what should I do?
1. Sometimes a cable cannot be removed from an outboard engine tilt tube because the tube has rusted
on the inside. The following method is suggested for those cases in which “gentle persuasion” won’t
a. Fully loosen the large hex nut on the starboard side of the engine that secures the steering cable
to the engine tilt tube.
b. Cut the cable’s output ram close to the tilt tube.
c. Drive the cable out of the engine tilt tube. You may not want to hammer or heat the tilt tube in order
to remove the jammed cable end. Heating and hammering may damage the engine mounting or
pivot areas. You may have to replace the engine tilt tube. If so, consult your engine manufacturer’s
2. When installing the new cable and tilt tube (if necessary), be sure the inside of the tilt tube is clean
and well lubricated. Lubricate the external parts of the steering cable’s telescopic (output) ram as well.
Use a good quality, water resistant grease.
3. Be certain that all steering components are correctly assembled and in good working order. These
items cannot be repaired; if any are not in good working order, replace them.
4. Note that locking fasteners are used to secure the steering wheel, helm, steering cable and link
arm (drag link). Do not substitute non-locking hardware; engine vibration can loosen non-locking
fasteners, causing loss of steering and personal injury and/or property damage.
5. Always remember: GREASE, GREASE, GREASE!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I have a [model/year] boat and [model/year] engine. How do I hook up my steering
cable to the engine?
I would like to upgrade the steering in my boat to Tilt Steering. What steps do I need
There are many ways to connect a steering cable to an engine, drive unit or rudder. For outboards, the
most common connection method is fastening the steering cable to the engine tilt tube and attaching a
link arm from the engine’s “tiller arm” to the cross-hole in the steering cable’s “telescopic ram”. Generally,
it is best to replace what was originally installed with similar components whenever possible. When that is
not feasible in a mechanical steering installation, consider upgrading to SeaStar.
NOTE: For an overview of the basic types of steering connections and available components from SeaStar
Solutions, please see Steering Connection Kits Overview and SeaStar Solutions Steering Connection Kits in the
First determine the brand of steering in your boat, then whether it is mechanical or hydraulic.
If you do not have SeaStar Solutions steering, either:
a. Replace the helm and cable (or hoses and cylinder) with a SeaStar Solutions system or
b. Contact the steering maker for options. Tilt steering is not available for all systems.
If you have SeaStar Solutions rotary steering that was made after 1991 or rack steering made after 1996,
you probably only need to purchase a Tilt helm and Tilt mechanism.
Determine which kind of SeaStar Solutions steering you have, then refer to the appropriate section of this
catalog for Tilt Dash Module or Tilt Helm part number.
Tilt helms are offered for these SeaStar Solutions systems:
• Safe-T “QC” (1991-present)
• “The Rack” Rack & Pinion NFB Rack (1996-present)
• Big-T (no longer offered in tilt version)
• NFB Rotary (1991-present)
• HPS (2000-present)
• SeaStar & SeaStar PRO (1991-present)
• BayStar (2001-present)
NOTE: Some pre-1991 Hydraulic, pre-1991 Rotary and pre-1996 Rack systems may require purchase of
additional items and/or modiﬁcation of the dash. Please see The Tilt Steering product pages, earlier in this
catalog or contact Tech Support for assistance.
(Tilt helms have a special shaft to engage the Tilt mechanism; a non-Tilt helm cannot be used.)
STEERING - FAQ (Mechanical)