View Full Version : Steering cable on outback

08-01-2005, 01:28 PM
I have just recently purchased a 2003 Outback. My previous boats have been outboards and I/O's. I understand that driving an Inboard is a totally different drive and I am trying to master that. I have a couple of questions...anyone else with my make and model...can you tell me what the steering wheel..lock to lock is? Mine is 3 1/2 turns from lock left to lock right. My friend has an older boomerang and his is only 2 1/2. I feel I have too much play in the wheel. We have tried adjusting the cable at the back where the rudder is and both adjustsments whether it be pulling it towards us or the other way still results with a 3 1/2 turn radius. Pehaps some adjustments need to be done under the wheel?

Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated.


08-04-2005, 05:44 AM
My outback is about 3 1/2 turns lock to lock.

If it doesn't feel right, you might check the stationary mount ball/socket set-up just in front of the rudder. They wear. The socket is part of the cable assembly and the thus the cable might need to be replaced in order to get a new socket.

Also, check the ball assembly that has a fixed-mount to the boat. If it has loosened, it will result in a lot of slop / play in the steering. Not another 1/4 turn, but enough that you know something is wrong... A real degradation of rudder control, for sure.

I was able to delay the cable replacement by cleaning the ball and socket, then wrapping the ball in several winds of teflon tape, then reassembling. Mine looked like it had one more season in it before the ball would pop-out of the socket.

The wear pattern and material of construction of the ball and socket points to "designed obsolescence" by teleflex... there is no easy lubrication point, plus, the metals flake and wear rough, so wear escalates and failure occurs.

08-04-2005, 05:47 AM
I can't edit for some reason, so here's a bit more qualification on the above.

Mine is a 99 outback, different model than your's, but I think yours will be similar.

08-05-2005, 03:31 PM
thanks for the response catdog, Well the wearing of any of the parts I can rule out as one of my friends took my boat over some rocks and everything has been replaced new. Rudder, strut, shaft and of course the prop. The boat only has 40 hours on it. But I guess I should check it out anyway. Where is the ball assembly? Is that what you were referring to as the ball and socket?

08-05-2005, 03:35 PM
Thanks Catdog1. I don't think the wear and tear would be the issue as I have just had the rudder, strut, rod and prop recently replaced due to a friend taking my boat over a rock. On top of that the boat only has 40 hours on it. I will check the ball assembly though, where exactly is that located...back where the rudder is too?

Please advise.


08-06-2005, 08:38 AM
Its about 8 inches or so in front of the rudder under the floor.

I don't think the steering box mechanism under the steering wheel is serviceable, but am not really sure.

08-06-2005, 02:21 PM
My '03 Outback has exactly 3 1/2 turns lock to lock. Everything is smooth and working exactly like the day she was made.

Quincy, you may be looking at a totally normal situation. As long as there isn't delay in response to turning the wheel and it's smooth and effortless, I'd vote for normal conditions.