How stiff should the steering be?

Discussion in 'Sport Boats' started by Slimcobra, Oct 19, 2017.

  1. Slimcobra

    Slimcobra Member

    87
    Aug 14, 2017
    Port St. John, FL
    2000 Sea Ray 210 SunDeck
    Mercruiser 5.0 w/ Alpha 1 Gen 2
    On my 2000 210 SunDeck the steering seems to be fairly stiff. So stiff that at slower speeds like when docking I have to use 2 hands. Is that normal? With having power steering I thought it would have been much easier to turn. Thoughts?
     
  2. Little Ducky

    Little Ducky Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2017
    Chattanooga TN/Dickson TN
    1998 SeaRay 290 Sundancer
    Twin EFI 5.0L w/Alpha 1 drives
    I would check your fluid level 1st then go from there.

    There's plenty of components in the system that could be worn that might need serviced.

    By chance is there excessive play in the outdrive when pushed from side to side by hand?
     
  3. Slimcobra

    Slimcobra Member

    87
    Aug 14, 2017
    Port St. John, FL
    2000 Sea Ray 210 SunDeck
    Mercruiser 5.0 w/ Alpha 1 Gen 2
    I'll check that tonight but I don't remember there being when I put the muffs on it to flush it. If I recall it was pretty tight.
     
  4. Slimcobra

    Slimcobra Member

    87
    Aug 14, 2017
    Port St. John, FL
    2000 Sea Ray 210 SunDeck
    Mercruiser 5.0 w/ Alpha 1 Gen 2
    I tried pushing the outdrive by hand and it was very stiff. The fluid level was down about a quarter of an inch. I think when I change the oil I'll pull as much power steering fluid out as possible and fill it back up to see if it makes a difference.
     
  5. BillK2632

    BillK2632 Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jun 25, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    1999 185 Bowrider,
    Mercruiser 4.3, Alpha I
    So on that boat there is a rack at the helm (rack and pinion) with a cable that runs to the steering system at the rear and just like on a car a PS pump provides the power assist. The cable does the steering, and the unit at the back of the boat provides a power assist. There is not much maintenance to do except maintain the fluid in the PS pump and grease the steering arm at the steering unit. Verify the PS pump is working and grease what you can on the steering unit (it's the grey thing with hoses going into it and connects to the outdrive steering arm - grease the SS arm - don't over do it). Your boat is 18yrs old now, so it's possible (likely) you have some wear and corrosion in the steering cable - it might be time to replace the steering rack and cable, which is not that big of a deal.

    My steering is very easy to turn with one hand.
     
  6. Leardriver

    Leardriver Member

    136
    May 24, 2016
    Denver, CO
    2004 270 Sundeck 8.1 Bravo III
    5.0, 5.7, 6.2 8.1 Bravo III over the years
    I had to change the steering cable on my Sundeck this year. The premium fancy upgraded cable was something like $135. I went from gorilla two handed steering to one finger effort. It was pretty easy, took an hour or so on a 270 Sundeck. Very glad that I did it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017
  7. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Apr 21, 2009
    PA
    Various
    Various
    Steering should not be stiff in any way, shape or form.

    The drive SHOULD be hard to push by hand. Sometimes you can catch it just right and push it, but usually it kinda "locks" in place. The most likely culprit is a bad cable. It should even be easy to steer with the engine off. But, you can disconnect things at the steering cylinder and diagnose from there, if you want. But if it's the original cable, it's past it's due date, anyways - especially in Florida.
     
  8. Slimcobra

    Slimcobra Member

    87
    Aug 14, 2017
    Port St. John, FL
    2000 Sea Ray 210 SunDeck
    Mercruiser 5.0 w/ Alpha 1 Gen 2
    So the next big question is how hard it it to run the cable down the starboard side. Do I need to remove the vinyl wrapped trim piece and if so how do I remove it?
     
  9. Leardriver

    Leardriver Member

    136
    May 24, 2016
    Denver, CO
    2004 270 Sundeck 8.1 Bravo III
    5.0, 5.7, 6.2 8.1 Bravo III over the years
    I disconnected the old cable at the rear, tied a stout nylon cord to it, and pulled the old cable out towards the front. The cord serves as a fish tape, and you connect the new cable to it and pull it back towards the rear. It helped me to have another set of hands to gently wiggle and tug it through. I had to cut a glob of silicone around the middle of the cable channel with a razor knife. Not complex at all.
     
    Slimcobra likes this.
  10. Slimcobra

    Slimcobra Member

    87
    Aug 14, 2017
    Port St. John, FL
    2000 Sea Ray 210 SunDeck
    Mercruiser 5.0 w/ Alpha 1 Gen 2
    That's a great idea but what do you mean by, "I had to cut a glob of silicone around the middle of the cable channel with a razor knife."
     
  11. Bt Doctur

    Bt Doctur Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2010
    New Jersey
    Ex SRV 240 Weekender twin
    in between
  12. Slimcobra

    Slimcobra Member

    87
    Aug 14, 2017
    Port St. John, FL
    2000 Sea Ray 210 SunDeck
    Mercruiser 5.0 w/ Alpha 1 Gen 2
    Great link Bt Doctur, but that didn't explained what Leardriver meant by "I had to cut a glob of silicone around the middle of the cable channel with a razor knife."
     
  13. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Apr 21, 2009
    PA
    Various
    Various
    Silicone... Nothing all to fancy or complicated - very easy to figure out once you physically look at things. It was just used to fill in a "gap" that the cable ran through.
     
  14. Leardriver

    Leardriver Member

    136
    May 24, 2016
    Denver, CO
    2004 270 Sundeck 8.1 Bravo III
    5.0, 5.7, 6.2 8.1 Bravo III over the years
    Exactly. In the 270, there is a sink and cabinet behind the drivers seat, and the cable runs through a void behind it. The factory seems to put a baseball-sized glob of goo there to locate the cable in position and give it some structural stability.
    You have to stab, cut, and whittle that glob of silicone enough to pull the cable through. Takes less than 5 minutes.
     
  15. Slimcobra

    Slimcobra Member

    87
    Aug 14, 2017
    Port St. John, FL
    2000 Sea Ray 210 SunDeck
    Mercruiser 5.0 w/ Alpha 1 Gen 2
    Got it, thanks!
     
  16. Slimcobra

    Slimcobra Member

    87
    Aug 14, 2017
    Port St. John, FL
    2000 Sea Ray 210 SunDeck
    Mercruiser 5.0 w/ Alpha 1 Gen 2
  17. Leardriver

    Leardriver Member

    136
    May 24, 2016
    Denver, CO
    2004 270 Sundeck 8.1 Bravo III
    5.0, 5.7, 6.2 8.1 Bravo III over the years
    The Extreme series is the higher end version. It has a fancier Teflon core, or something like that, and cost another few bucks, like $15. That's the one I used.
     
  18. GoFastr

    GoFastr Cool Runnings GOLD Sponsor

    148
    Jan 20, 2016
    Cayman Islands
    2003 Sea Ray 270 SunDeck MX 6.2L MPI w/Bravo III
    Tow: 2012 Ford F150 Raptor SVT
    Mercruiser MX 6.2L MPI w/Bravo III
    +1....

    I did this same fix a few months back on my 1998 210 Sundeck. I was dreading the fix and just fought with the stiff steering even after purchasing the new cable and rack and pinion and having it laying around for months.

    Like Leardriver says above, the trick is to tie some rope or something to the old cable before pulling it out so you can use it to fish the new cable back through the same route. Just remove the fastener for the cable on the end of the steering arm down behind the engine and then the rack behind the steering wheel and pull it all through from the front leaving the rope still tied to something by the engine so it doesn't pull all the way through. There is a small round access cover you can pull off on the side by the rear step so you can stick your hand in there and wiggle the cable around the corner and guide it back towards the back of the engine where it connects to the steering arm.

    All this only took about a half hour and should really be done with 2 people to help push and tug as and when needed to guide it along. It was way easier than I thought it was going to be since there is not sink or galley in the way like on a 270.

    Go for it. You'll love the results!
     
  19. Slimcobra

    Slimcobra Member

    87
    Aug 14, 2017
    Port St. John, FL
    2000 Sea Ray 210 SunDeck
    Mercruiser 5.0 w/ Alpha 1 Gen 2
    Thanks for the info guys. I think Thanksgiving weekend will be when I tackle this one.
     
  20. GoFastr

    GoFastr Cool Runnings GOLD Sponsor

    148
    Jan 20, 2016
    Cayman Islands
    2003 Sea Ray 270 SunDeck MX 6.2L MPI w/Bravo III
    Tow: 2012 Ford F150 Raptor SVT
    Mercruiser MX 6.2L MPI w/Bravo III
    Here are the parts and numbers that matched my 210's original stuff and worked with zero issues. Plug & Play.

    From BoatStore.com

    $177.53 Teleflex SHT91610 Dash Tilt Module Bkmt Rack 1-SHT91610

    $138.80 Teleflex SSC15415 HPS R&P Backmount TFXTREME 15' 1-SSC15415

    $316.33 Subtotal
     

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