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Old    screws            07-06-2006, 12:07 PM Reply   
I have a '93 Sport Nautique that I want to convert to hydraulic steering. Mostly to make it easier for my wife to drive. Has anyone done this before and what system did you use?
Old    Adam Curtis (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       07-06-2006, 1:36 PM Reply   

your stock rack/pinion should be easy enough. How old is your cable?
Old    C.I.E..... Evan (guido)      Join Date: Jul 2002       07-06-2006, 4:54 PM Reply   
yeah, I'd consider a new rack/cable first. Shouldn't take any effort to turn.
Old    Luciano Grimblat (luchog)      Join Date: Jun 2002       07-06-2006, 5:05 PM Reply   
in any case, the real improvemet would be to ad a servo assisted hidraulic steering, otherwise keep the cable

just my two cents.
Old    Wakejunky (wakejunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       07-06-2006, 5:08 PM Reply   
More than likely the cable. They need to be replaced every few years anyway. Especially if they have been subjected to water, ie water in bilge.

Get the Grip you Deserve
Old    TR (biz)      Join Date: Mar 2004       07-06-2006, 5:49 PM Reply   
Check the cable and also check the rudder packing.
Old    screws            07-07-2006, 9:39 AM Reply   
It's only a problem at approx. wakeboarding speed and making a turn. It is very hard to straighten out again especially if it has hit the stop all the way right or left. And it gets worse when I add sacks. Just idleing around it turns very easily. It seems to be a problem when the rudder has a load on it.
Old    Rod McInnis (rodmcinnis)      Join Date: Sep 2002       07-07-2006, 11:44 AM Reply   

First off, lay off the power turns!

Second, on all the inboard ski boats I have owned (three total) I could put a finger in one of the holes in the steering wheel spokes and spin the wheel lock to lock at any speed.

At full throttle (hitting it) there was enough back force to make that trick difficult but not so much that anyone would object. That force, however, attempted to center the wheel and if I just let go of the wheel it would spin back to center on its own, a trick I utilize when I "hit it" when the wheel isn't straight.

If your boat is hard to turn then I would bet the steering cable needs to be replaced.

I have had hydraulic steering on my crusier and houseboat. When you have dual helm stations and a 50 foot boat hydraulic is the only way to go. I wouldn't want it on my ski boat, however.
Old    screws            07-07-2006, 12:00 PM Reply   
Thanks for the input. If I replace the cable, is it just the cable or both cable and sheath. And right now I have a single cable would a dual cable be better?
Old    Adam Curtis (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       07-07-2006, 12:07 PM Reply   
cable and the sheath it's are sold as one piece.
Old    PM (jetskiprosx)      Join Date: Aug 2004       07-07-2006, 1:16 PM Reply   
I could be wrong, but it doesn't sound like his cable is bad because at idle speeds it should be worse, not better. At least thats how it was when my cable "went out" last summer.
Old    Phatboypimp (phatboypimp)      Join Date: Apr 2005       07-07-2006, 1:53 PM Reply   
I could be wrong, but this sounds like a power turning problem not a cable problem.
Old    screws            07-07-2006, 2:38 PM Reply   
Yes, out of the water or idling or going fast my steering if very easy. It's just when I have to make all those left hand turns on a manmade lake and I have to turn fairly sharp at 22Mph it is very hard to get the rudder staight again.
Old    TR (biz)      Join Date: Mar 2004       07-07-2006, 4:00 PM Reply   
Steve a couple of things you should check... the cable which will be relatively easy. Just unbolt the cable where it attaches to your rudder. If the movement is "free" (moves back and forth easily) then check the packing at the rudder. It is a pain... a huge pain to do however this may be your problem. If the packing is old, worn out, etc. this may cause the steering to be harder than normal. Understand that there is water being pushed over/through the rudder area at high velocity and this can cause the packing to dislodge or wear out prematurely if the rudder is a little loose for any reason. The boat is a 93 and i do not believe they had grease/zerk fittings on that boat. My 95 Sport experiences the same symptoms as your boat and i can assure you i do not power turn and i have also replaced the steering cable... i checked the packing... it was pretty wore out. The rudder moved back and forth easily however i can see how there would be excess pressure on one side of the rudder shaft to cause a binding situation under load.
Old    screws            07-07-2006, 4:18 PM Reply   
TR... I will check the packing as you said. But are you saying your Sport had the same symptoms even after replacing the cable then got better after replacing your rudder packing?
Old    TR (biz)      Join Date: Mar 2004       07-07-2006, 4:52 PM Reply   
Sorry, i did not elaborate on the packing. I will be changing the packing this weekend. I isnspected the packing a couple of weeks ago.I did replace the steering cable two years ago and the steering was better.
Old    screws            07-11-2006, 3:13 PM Reply   
So, if I am to replace my steering why not pay a little extra and go hydraulic? Has anyone done this before? Advantages vs. Disadvantages?
Old    Nacho (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004       07-11-2006, 3:27 PM Reply   
first, you would be replacing the steering cable or the packing. not "replacing the steering"

never heard of it. obvious cons:
it would be just another complex system that can fail. spinning the pump with your existing belts, maintaining fluid and filters, etc. i would try to service the system you have before you scrap what works for 99% of us.
Old    screws            07-11-2006, 4:47 PM Reply   
It's not power steering... it is just hydraulic. You turn the wheel and manually it pumps hydraulic fluid to turn the rudder. And I have read in different reviews that hydraulic steering is smoother and a little easier. I just wanted to know if someone has had first hand experience.
Old    Luciano Grimblat (luchog)      Join Date: Jun 2002       07-11-2006, 10:56 PM Reply   
keep the cable! or go power!, not really much difference between a new cable and hidraulic, and cable is cheaper and easier to care for.
Old    Mikeski (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       07-12-2006, 12:05 AM Reply   
Hydraulic and power systems are designed for outboards or big I/Os (too long for a cable or mulitple helms). The cable steering works well for inboards like ours, just fix what you have. I have used both hydraulic and power steering systems on outboards and they are not worth the effort for our inboards, no advantage in my opinion.
Old    Rod McInnis (rodmcinnis)      Join Date: Sep 2002       07-12-2006, 1:12 PM Reply   
I have operated a houseboat that had cable steering with dual outboards. The friggin cable was probably 60 feet long after it made all the bends. What a joke that was! Took two hands on the wheel and a lot of effort to turn.

I have had hydraulic steering on a 36' flybridge cruiser and a 55' houseboat (dual helm). The wheel turns easy but it doesn't have a nice "feel". The wheel won't "spin", and the tiniest air bubble will result in a bit of backlash. Not a problem on a houseboat but I would hate to be trying to hold course for a wakeboard run with that.

The cable steering on my wakeboard boat will "spin" to some degree. Turns easier than the hydraulic sustem. I like the feedback (small amount of torque on the wheel when the rudder isn't straight). A tiny movement of the wheel results in a tiny movement of the rudder.

I suspect that there is a problem in your steering that is making it objectionable to your and/or your wife. Don't take the Tim Allen approach and go for more power, fix the problem.
Old    TR (biz)      Join Date: Mar 2004       07-12-2006, 2:11 PM Reply   
I did a little digging... this will give you some insight I am not too keen on the idea of installing a zerk like this guy did but if you clean and repack the rudder box you may solve your dilemma. And I say do NOT put in a Hydraulic unit... you simply do not need it. Like Rod and others have said... fix the problem.


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