Steering froze up due to cold weather?

Discussion in 'Bubba's Outboards' started by Bobpaul, Dec 11, 2006.

  1. Bobpaul

    Bobpaul New Member

    Messages:
    3,039
    State:
    Supply NC
    I was asked about that in a PM, so I thought I'd post the answer here.

    If it's just due to water in the steering tube, a hand held propane torch would thaw it out.

    I suspect it's more than that though. I encounter siezed up steering alot in salt water use boats.

    To free them up and do a complete maintenance on it, I remove the steering cable from the tube. In most boats it requires the removal of the engine to get the steering cable all the way out without bending it.

    If it's siezed up in the tube, I first disconnect the steering link, then I grip the very end of the cable, where it has the crimp marks, with vice grips. I then twist it back and forth while someone else puts pressure on the steering wheel to turn it right and left. It usually breaks free and starts to go in and out.

    I continue this using a spray lube until it's moveing fairly free. I remove the vice grips, then remove the cable.

    I reem out the tube with a bore brush designed for this at the same time using a spray penetrating oil. A 12 gauge bore brush works well also.

    I also work the cable in and out using the steering wheel and a spray penetrating oil. Keep wiping off the crud as it apears on the steering cable.

    Before reinstalling the steering cable, I coat just the largest part of it with a heavy grease, like Kendall blue grease. No grease is put on the smallest shaft of the steering cable.

    If you've got cracks in the steering cable housing, it needs replaced. Water will keep getting in there.

    If you have trouble getting your steering cable removed from the tube, you can tap it on through using a steel shaft that's smaller than the tube and won't scratch the inside of the tube. Do not beat on the end of the cable to the point that you distort the end the steering link attaches to.

    You might even file down the marks from the vise grips before you start removing it.
     
  2. primitivefrn

    primitivefrn Member

    Messages:
    777
    State:
    collins mo
    I have a jet boat and in winter the cables will, freeze, I have found by stopping on ramp or steep incline and working the steering back and forth and also the reverse bucket it works the water out, not a 100 percent fix,but helps, less water, less to freeze.
    Jim
     

  3. 710split

    710split New Member

    Messages:
    31
    State:
    iowa
    I don't remember where this came from and I haven't had this problem yet, but someone was saying that when a boat sits all winter, it is common for the steering cable to "stick". The person said if you turn the steering wheel all the way back and forth a couple of times every month that it greatly increases the life of the steering system. Since I don't know any better and it certainly can't hurt anything, I'm doing it.
     
  4. Bobpaul

    Bobpaul New Member

    Messages:
    3,039
    State:
    Supply NC
    Of all the aluminum and stainless steel in your motor, you'd think the motor guru's would've made the steering tube stainless, but no it's plain ol' rustable steel.

    Squirting some penetrating oil in there helps too.
     
  5. tufffish

    tufffish New Member

    Messages:
    1,196
    State:
    Texas
    i just put in a new steering cable and it is still to tight. i did not ream out the tube before i put the new one in. i am gonna take out the cable and clean out the tube with a brush and try again. i wish i had read this about cleaning out the tube before i put the new one in. i am gonna try the 12 ga bore brush 1st. if it doesn't work i am gonna try a 3/4 inch fitting brush for copper pipe on a drill bit extension. i will post back later as to which one is best.