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Steering froze

2809 Views 14 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Get'n Wade
What tricks do you guys have to unstick the steering? I've tried everything I know and it will not come loose. I was able to beat the shaft back into the cylinder with a rubber mallet, but it will not break loose. I've tried forcing the motor to turn while someone worked the steering wheel and still no luck. I'm running out of options and patience:banghead. It's non-hydraulic.
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Mike, I have the same problem on my boat. I usually beat the hell out of it and try to move the motor around it usually beaks free after a while. When I finally do get it free I lube the crap out of it and turn the wheel both ways for a few minutes. Then when I come back in from using the boat I rinse the steering area really well while turning the motor in both directions then lube it some more. I use to have that problem alot when I kept the boat at a marina but since I brought it home I usually just go out there once or twice a week and turn the motor a few times and it keeps it free. I had a guy tell me once that if you keep your motor turned to one side it makes it easier to get it unstuck if it does happen. I would think that would help some????
I dont have any hints on getting a steering system unstuck but my steering worries me. No matter how much I lube the zerk fittings on the front of the lugs the grease always looks real rusty/black when it sticks to the steering shaft. Do those zerk fittings even lube the steering shaft or just keep the engine moving freely up and down?
On most outboards the zerks on the tilt just lube the tilt shaft.

Dangerous, but I have used this technique many times. Get a concrete type nail gun, the type that uses special .22 blank cartridges, get face and eye protection plus heavy gloves, then with NO NAILS IN THE GUN, place the end of the gun on the end of the steering shaft, BAM, The sudden shock has always freed them up for me. BE CAREFUL!

Now pull the shaft out and clean it and run a big bore cleaning brush and swab through the bore, ( I use one from my muzzle loaders). No go to West Marine and buy a new nut for the end with the zerk fitting and repace the old nut. Give this a shot of good waterproof grease regularly while some one is turning the steering wheel. I use "Corrosion Block" brand grease.

Be careful!

Now a few words for the stupid alpha hotels who call themselves engineers and design a stainless steel shaft to operate a critical steering system through an aluminum housing while soaking in salt water:moon

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You could always bring it to me and let me take care of it for you,,, depending on the boat the engine will have to come off... call me for prices... thanks.

The only real cure is to take it off and apart and lube the system. Like what has been said before, a lot of boats do not have zerk fittings on the steering cable itself and has to be taken off to lube/replace etc....
Yep and like Kenny said, there are some boat's [usually smaller ones] that the motor has to be removed to get the cable out.

This is due to not having enough room in the STB transom corner for the straight section of the cable to come out.

The VERY worse thing you can do is try and force it with the steering wheel. You will be putting a complete new steering box and cable in then, as it will break the gut's in the steering box.

I usually remove the drag link and put a pipe wrench on the flat section of the end of the cable and turn it back and forth. There are other tricks to it also.
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Mine froze up a year or so ago and I pumped grease into the fittings on either side of the motor on the bar assembly - here's a post about the same problem from the old forum. Based on the above posts, sounds like it depends on the severity and the size.
I had one freeze up on me and I tried everything. Even an air hammer. I ended up having to cut the stearing cable and replace the "motor tube" or whatever its called. It really wasn't that expensive, cost me about 150 bucks which I thought was cheap when dealing with marine parts. The most expensive thing was hte yamaha paint as the tube came un-painted.

When I put it back together I put a grease fitting on the cable itself.
The grease fittings on the front of the motor have nothing to do with the steering. They are for the tilt tube only. There ARE grease fittings on the pivot shaft down on the motor midsection on some motors. The only partial solution for the frozen steering cable is after you get it fixed install the cable nut with the grease fitting and hit it with one or two shots of grease every couple of months. Do NOT overgrease this as you will blow out the seal and it will be worse than if you had never put the nut on. If you do notlube itregularly it will come back to haunt you.
I have a 2006 mako with a mercury optimax and cannot find a grease fitting in order to grease the steering. I have had it freeze up once and had to take it to a dealer. I have been told that the steering system is "sealed" and therefore cannot be greased periodically by the owner. Little irritating as it was not cheap when I got to the dealer. Certainly a tube of grease would be much cheaper.

Any thoughts?
Mine froze up two years ago, but I was able with some elbow grease to get it working. This past spring she was froze up tighter then a high school girl on prom night. Took it in and had the cable replaced. Mechanic said that every fall I should loosen it at the motor grease the heck out of the cable and shoot as much grease as possible into the tube. After putting it back together turn the motor so the cable is retracted as far as possible into the cable cover. I hope this works as it was rather expensive to replace.
Been away from the computer a couple of days. Just now getting back to the forum. This is the second time this has happened.I turned it every other week to try and prevent it from happening again and I also was told that if you turn the motor with the shaft out it would prevent it from freezing (not true) so here I am again with a frozen steering. first time we beat the shaft back in and worked the motor back and forth until it came loose. I was able to beat it back in and tryed to work the motor, but it will not budge. How much am I looking at to have this fixed?
If it is encased,you can stand it up and use a penetrating oil but if it is more than about 4 years oldI would order a new one because the are pre lubricated and you cant get them re-lubricated . Using themis the only thing that keeps them freed up. I replaced one on a bass boat that was 125.00 ,you will mess your steering wheel and steering box up if you continue to force it. Oncemoisture gets into that vinyl sleeve it rust, grabs and will not allow the cable to slide.
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