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Old     (epicism)      Join Date: Oct 2009       11-04-2012, 10:06 AM Reply   
I have a 2007 Epic 23v and am wondering if anyone else has trouble steering their boat in comparison to other wake boarding boats. Mine has a few mods that could be playing a factor. I notice how easy it is to steer my friends Malibu and Axis A22, whereas my boat is always a chore especially at speeds over 25mph. Even at 5mph it takes more effort than the other two boats I listed above. I pretty mechanical and there is nothing wrong with the system from what I can tell. All parts move freely while not int he water, nothing is pinched, nothing is binding, and all fitting that have zerks have been greased.

So, some factors that might be affecting it are the HP and trust of the new Kodiak engine I had installed (425hp 496ci) and the prop I had to install to keep the RPM under 5k (4.5x32). Could the thrust make that much difference? I mean that engine and prop combo turned this boat into beast.

Do you think this is the problem or the fact that epic decided to put in a cheap manual pull push wire steering on a 23' boat. if this is a common problem, has anyone installed a hydraulic system in theirs? I think that is what I am going to do unless I'm Missing Something.

Thanks for your response.
Old     (501s)      Join Date: Feb 2010       11-04-2012, 10:17 AM Reply   
Didn't that boat come with an 8.1L motor? How come you had to replace it already?

I noticed the same thing going from my Moomba to a newer MC, the steering is so much more nimble, you can steer it with one finger. I would bet hull design comes into play at least a little.
Old     (epicism)      Join Date: Oct 2009       11-04-2012, 11:01 AM Reply   
Yep came with a 8.1L volvo I had a 8.1L kodiak (chevy vortec) replace it. Long story, oil starvation problem with the volvo at 300+hrs because of the angle the engine sits in the boat plus the angle when ballast is added. I didn't want to replace it with the same problem and the vortec and mercury were both easy swaps. Benefit of the vortec over the mercury was that the vortec, specifically the kodiak version was made for a jet boat. It was made for a tolerance in angles of 15 degrees in any direction consistently and boasted more power, torque, and had a closed cooling system. Oh, and I got a deal on it . They mercury was a little cheaper and looks cleaner though.
Old     (alexair)      Join Date: Oct 2008       11-04-2012, 12:33 PM Reply   
Have you problem in both side rotation? If you have problem with steering cable so it will be work out of water good but no easy under load.
Old     (Iceberg)      Join Date: Dec 2011       11-04-2012, 6:00 PM Reply   
I doubt the extra 50 hp would make any difference in steering. One nice trait is to be able to take your hands off the wheel under power and it tracks dead straight at nearly any speed. I wouldn't call it difficult to steer, but compared to some hydraulic systems, it is stiffer. Maybe it is the rudder balance point or the difference in turbulence by not having a propeller in-line. Hydraulic and power-steering would be sweet. It would be fairly easy to install and it would certainly give you one finger steering. I had thought about it, but it is not high on my list of things to do.

I would have expected the oil-pan recall in 2008 would have fixed the oil problem for you. The engine blocks are pretty much the same on the inside. If you looked on your new engine, did they modify the pick-up to suck from further back or add a tube?
Old     (Iceberg)      Join Date: Dec 2011       11-04-2012, 6:17 PM Reply   
Your prop numbers are confusing. Confirm your new prop is 14.5" x 13.2"? That is certainly a stump-puller. I went to a 14x15.5 and it works fine when compared to the standard 14.25x14. FWIW, Eric at OJ recommended a 14.75 x 15 as the best sized prop for the 23V when loaded with lots of ballast wakeboarding. With more HP, you could go to a longer pitch. I had tried a 20 pitch, it surfed fine, but it was too much prop for weighted wakeboarding. For cruising it was good as well, but the boat doesn't like going as fast as that prop could take it.
Old     (john211)      Join Date: Aug 2008       11-06-2012, 6:42 AM Reply   
Hydraulic power steering for an inboard would be sweet?

I don't mean to ridicule, but am just amazed/puzzled at how stiff Epic steering must be. When I take my boat out of the water on the trailer, I turn the rudder by hand to straight ... in some belief that the rudder should be straight.

Yes, I do this by hand, outside of the boat, just by grasping the rudder ... and just with one hand.

The steering is super easy. Power steering? There has got to be a problem with the cable system or how it is wound to operate twin rudders.
Old     (tuneman)      Join Date: Mar 2002       11-06-2012, 7:03 AM Reply   
Your steering issue has nothing to do with the motor. The cable is likely going bad. They typically only last about 5 years before needing replacement. Especially if you've had a lot of water in the bildge.

I've owned an Epic and you should be able to steer with one finger, both directions. If it's hard to turn, even at rest, the cable needs replacing. If it's hard to turn only under power, re-grease your zerk fittings. I know you said they've been greased, but it only takes a tiny amount to make a huge difference. Push in as much as you possibly can.
Old     (Iceberg)      Join Date: Dec 2011       11-06-2012, 3:47 PM Reply   
I believe it takes 4 revolutions to go lock to lock in the Epic. I assume this is pretty standard for most larger boats. As Tuneman said, you can turn it with a finger at lower speeds and at higher speeds when making a reasonable turn. If you really crank it at speed, you will need a few more fingers.

Just to clarify, I was thinking power-steering would be a great method to reduce the amount of wheel turn required to move the rudder. Obviously, if you use less wheel, there will be more force required to move the rudder. The downside to such a system could be the over-controlling driver. You could easily put your friends overboard with the flick of your wrist. My old jet-boat went lock to lock in one revolution and you could easily toss yourself out of the boat and or hurt yourself if you cranked on it at high-speed.
Old     (john211)      Join Date: Aug 2008       11-07-2012, 7:04 AM Reply   
Maybe the twin rudders are the reason it is hard to hold the steering in turns at high speed. One or both of the rudders are not going to be on the same radius as the tracking fins, and hence operating as a brake.
Old     (olmoomba)      Join Date: Apr 2010       11-19-2012, 12:08 PM Reply   
to the OP - yes chances are your cable is toast. Also check to see how smooth the bends are where it exits from under the gunnel to the bulk head pivot point. I had to change my cable 2 yrs ago and I have a rack system in my '07 and to my knowledge that's all they have used. I can also turn with one finger at idle and then drive 1 handed when on plane. I had the VP 8.1, did the oil pan recall and no problems or tapping in 300hrs.
Old     (olmoomba)      Join Date: Apr 2010       11-19-2012, 12:13 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by john211 View Post
Maybe the twin rudders are the reason it is hard to hold the steering in turns at high speed. One or both of the rudders are not going to be on the same radius as the tracking fins, and hence operating as a brake.
Actually the EPIC's lock into the turn and hold very well while on plane. For example, when approaching the no wake zone on our river, we have to key hole turn 180deg, I can do this in a pretty tight space with no issue getting into the turn or out of the turn. If there is a loss in speed, its a natural loss that every boat experiences with a high turn radius. 1 rudder cannot get "sideways" enough to act as a brake. They turn at the same angle to each other and I can't see how the tracking fins have anything to do with it.
Old     (epicism)      Join Date: Oct 2009       11-07-2012, 9:06 AM Reply   
Hey fellas sorry for the late reply, thanks for all of your posts. Definitely nice to hear that some epic boat owners have a been able to turn the wheel with one finger. I can do that while sitting still but it becomes hard to turn any time on plain and forget about turning with one hand at 30mph plus . Im thinking Tuneman probably nailed it. It is in the shop right now for hitting a submerged log on the delta which requires the steering to be checked as it now does a bat turn as soon as I take my hands off the wheel... As for the prop sizes from another post it is 14.5x32 which works perfect for the hp and torque of this particular engine.
Old    EPIC            11-15-2012, 9:42 PM Reply   
if your boat had a 14.5 x32 the top speed would be somewhere in the range of 80mph... i think you are thinking 13.2
Old     (Iceberg)      Join Date: Dec 2011       11-16-2012, 11:36 AM Reply   
+1

Last edited by Iceberg; 11-16-2012 at 11:40 AM. Reason: thred
Old     (epicism)      Join Date: Oct 2009       11-19-2012, 1:10 PM Reply   
Still having it looked at but i did notice some pretty tight bends in the steering cable that i didnt previously see... as for the prop third post is a charm, it is a 14.5x22 LC 1-1/8" 4 blade OJ I believe it had a 14.25x14.5 initially but it was causing the engine to hit the rev limit at full throttle. I had it re-pitched to 14.25x17 without much change. The above prop (14.5x22) fixed the problem, so Im not worried about it. It works great, has plenty of take off loaded down with people and ballast jumps up and out on plane and no longer hits the rev limit.
Old     (baitkiller)      Join Date: Jan 2010       11-20-2012, 6:09 PM Reply   
Ill try to explain this and make sense.
I am assuming the cable is attached to one tiller and a tie bar connects to the other tiller. If this correct read on,
Your issue sounds for the world like the two rudders are fighting each other.>. Incorrect toe setting. This will cause bad manners in nearly all water craft. OB or IO or IB. doesn't matter.
The best way to set a tow angle I have ever seen, used or heard of is as follows:
The rudder attached to the cable is the MASTER.
The rudder attached to the tie bar only is the SLAVE
Get on the water with a competent driver and remove the tie bar pin from the SLAVE tiller. Break loose the adjusting jam nut on the tie bar.
Run the boat at normal cruise RPM. Don't worry> You can turn, do figure eights whatever it wont matter. Just don't back up.
The SLAVE rudder is now loose and floppy, it will naturally find the path of least resistance and the most efficient toe angle for that particular boat. Have your drive do swerves and watch, the slave rudder will track with the master while disconnected.
While running, adjust the tie bar to the position in which the pin fits freely into the tiller hole.
Secure and test.
if that fails you have a buggered cable or bent stock/
But nevertheless, your tie bar will be adjusted correctly.
Good luck
It sounds scary but its not.

Disclaimer: This will not work on balanced flag rudders found on displacement hulls.

Last edited by baitkiller; 11-20-2012 at 6:15 PM. Reason: beer was empty.
Old     (epicism)      Join Date: Oct 2009       11-25-2012, 10:20 AM Reply   
Thanks baitkiller that makes sense.

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