View Full Version : steering cable

03-22-2013, 04:04 PM
How do you know when to replace a steering cable? Is there any early signs of detection? I have an 05 LSV. Thanks.

03-25-2013, 08:36 AM
I cannot remember if there are any warning signs, but I can tell you that I had to change mine after putting the boat away for winter in October, then trying the steering wheel in March and it was solid seized......probably due to water in the cable and lack of movement.

Now I grease the cable every autumn, and regularly turn the wheel or rudder every few weeks when my boat is in storage.

03-25-2013, 09:03 AM
Can you explain how you grease the steering cable? Where?

My steering seems to be getting stiffer every year.

03-25-2013, 09:26 AM
At the rudder end, I completely cover the linkage in grease.

I also turn the wheel so the tube is fully extended, then grease all over,
and then turn the wheel the other way and grease again,
then return the wheel to central position.

Doing this seems to get the grease into the cable at the end, which hopefully will stop or at least limit the amount of water/moisture getting into the cable.

I also loosen the cable from the wheel end and pack some more grease in there.

I have the older worm helical rotary screw type cable, not the rack and pinion type.

Ian Brantford
03-25-2013, 09:28 AM
I tried unhooking it at the steering wheel and dumping oil into the cable's sheath. That didn't work. The cable was too far gone. I also tried the trick of drilling a tiny hole through the sheath near the rudder's end, but the thing was so tough that I ruined a couple of drill bits, one of them cobalt tipped, before giving up.

My mechanic explained that metal particles (mainly due to internal corrosion) break free and start to build up in one spot, causing stiffness and eventually a complete failure to move. This also explains why there will be a few weeks/months when you can free it up for a short time by wrenching the wheel; it temporarily redistributes the particles. However, once the process starts, the cable is toast and must be replaced.

04-01-2013, 01:37 PM
Just replace the cable. I tried all the same "defensive" things that you also have done but eventually the answer is to bite the bullet and replace the cable. I did this 1 season ago and the joy of going from having to drive with two hands and all my mite to one finger not only made my day more enjoyable, but also I didn't have to hear the complaints of everyone who drove my boat. It's a 1/2 day project that older boats require you to pull the floor, but well worth it. You can find the cables for 200-350 bucks on-line and removing the floor is well worth it because the old steering cable is often times zip tied to other cables and the ability to push pull the old with the new is hard as heck.

Take pictures of how the back is hooked up and at what position with the cable because you want to match that with the new cable. Lots of time can be saved by doing this rather than trial and error of where the cable ended and was attached to the holder.

Hope this helps.

04-01-2013, 02:22 PM
there is a how to thread on here somewhere of a hydraulic steering conversion...this would be ideal since it is likely to never wear out.

04-01-2013, 02:35 PM
yes it would be nice if someone would STICKY it in the service/repair section.

04-01-2013, 03:23 PM
Find it and post the link here and I'll sticky it up there.

Edit-- someone already found it-- it is now a sticky in the "HOW TO" section.