Hard steering 2000 260DA

Discussion in 'General Maintenance/Repair Questions' started by FishOn, Oct 29, 2018.

  1. FishOn

    FishOn New Member

    15
    May 2, 2018
    2000 260 Sundancer
    5.7 Mercruiser w/ Bravo3
    Hey folks,
    I have a 'new to me' 2000 260DA. Finally got a Sundancer. I purchased it last Spring and noticed about mid Summer that the steering would be really stiff when I first start out. It gets a LOT easier (normal) once everything warms up. Any ideas on what would cause that? I think it'd free up even if I just let it run for 10 minutes or so at dock, but I haven't tried that. I usually just muscle out of the slip and let things free up while puttering out of the no wake zone (just a straight line). Obviously having to muscle things in tight quarters isn't all that safe and I want to get this corrected. Any help/experiences is appreciated.
     
  2. Bt Doctur

    Bt Doctur Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2010
    New Jersey
    Ex SRV 240 Weekender twin
    in between
    In most cases you need to lubricate the steering tube where the cable passes thru. extreme cases require the need for some heat and penetrating oil
     
    WV 320 Dancer likes this.
  3. JeffM

    JeffM Member SILVER Sponsor

    533
    Oct 6, 2006
    Magothy River, MD
    2000 Sea Ray 260 Sundancer
    5.7 EFI w/Bravo III
    Hi FishOn, I had the same thing happen on our 260. As Bt Doc says, when my mechanic lubricated the cable it moved much more easily. Has to be done every couple of years.

    Jeff
     
  4. FishOn

    FishOn New Member

    15
    May 2, 2018
    2000 260 Sundancer
    5.7 Mercruiser w/ Bravo3
    Ah thanks to you both! I'll take a look there. Weird how it seems to loosen up after it gets warm though. Maybe whatever lube is there becomes more fluid or something. Is the steering tube behind the motor? If it is too complicated to describe here, no worries. Thanks again!
     
  5. Korkie

    Korkie Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    250
    Feb 2, 2016
    Leonardtown, MD Potomac River / Chesapeake Bay
    340 Sundancer 2006, Garmin 7612, xHD Radome
    Merc 496 Mags, Bravo III Drives
    If lubricating the cable doesn't help then try this to troubleshoot. Pull the pin that connects the drive steering arm that comes through the transom to the steering system. Then do 2 things. 1 - start your motor and see how the steering is then. If still hard it is your steering system: cable, linkage, power steering assembly. If not, then do #2 - (boat will need to out of the water) with pin pulled, manually move drive (from outside the boat) to see if it is really hard. If it is, steering pin at top of transom assembly is probably corroded and causing the stiffness. Bravo 3s are famous for this. You can also look inside the slot in the transom that the arm comes through and see if that connection has any corrosion. If so, seal is trashed which confirms water has breached the assembly and will soon begin to leak. Theory is it dries out when setting (is usually just above the water line if you keep it in the water) or if on trailer, then once you start the motor up, water bubbles up and gets into pin assembly and acts as a lubricant, that is why it gets easier after running for several minutes. Hopefully it is as simple as the cable needs lubricating. If it is the steering pin assembly, it can be quite costly. I know this because I have done 3 of these. 1 on a previous boat and 2 on my 340 just this past month. My marina says they do about 12 or so a year and we are in a relative small community. The fix - new transom assembly, (requires pulling motor) or you can try a repair kit from JR Marine. Did the transom assembly on my Maxum, did the JR Marine kits on my 340. Do NOT use the kit that Mercury offers, it has bad track record and simply does not work. Hoping for the lube to be the fix. Good luck.
     
  6. FishOn

    FishOn New Member

    15
    May 2, 2018
    2000 260 Sundancer
    5.7 Mercruiser w/ Bravo3
    Thanks Korkie! Me too..

    I appreciate all the insight and experience!
     
  7. FishOn

    FishOn New Member

    15
    May 2, 2018
    2000 260 Sundancer
    5.7 Mercruiser w/ Bravo3
    OK, so the shop tells me that the steering "cooler" was leaking the fluid. So fluid was really low. Seems like that would've been tough steering all the time, but there you go. $157 for the part and $165 labor. Unfortunately I also have a bad gimbal and u joint.
     

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