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Chine lock / rudder stall Malibu Sunsetter

GaryBGaryB Posts: 13 Baller
We have a 1997 Malibu Sunsetter, new to us last season. At planing speed, the rudder is unresponsive through many degrees of steering wheel input, maybe 45 degrees estimated. At displacement speeds this is not true.

The rudder appears straight and undamaged, no signs of contact with anything, same is true of the tracking fins, all three look straight and undamaged.

The propeller is a new Acme 515, installed by me, alignment checked good, no vibrations.

The steering cable is new, installed by me.

There is no play in the steering system, I had my ski partner hold the rudder firmly in place while I tried to turn the wheel, solid, with zero play.

There is no play in the rudder port.

I'm stumped, need some ideas.

Thanks.
Gary

Comments

  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,070 Mega Baller
    Tracking fins fell off?
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • skihackerskihacker Posts: 233 Baller
    Are you absolutely sure the key is still clamped into the rudder shaft/ tiller arm? I had a malibu that the key worked itself out, it wasn't obvious at first check, the tiller was still clamped onto the rudder shaft and it took a fair amount of force to see the play, caused about 45 degrees of play at speed but nearly none at idle.
  • GaryBGaryB Posts: 13 Baller
    I will check the tiller arm, however it seems extremely unlikely, as the rudder was being held still and I was trying to turn the wheel with both hands, zero play in either direction.
  • WayneWayne Posts: 420 Baller
    When you replaced the steering cable did you route it the same as the old one and is it clamped properly by the tiller arm? The whole cable and cable housing can get flexed. Depending on the angle of the rudder/tiller in relation to the cable when you did the land tests I could see the behavior changing.
  • Jody_SealJody_Seal Posts: 2,413 Mega Baller
    Can of worms!
    Hobby Boats can be expensive when the hobbyist is limited on their own skill and expertise.


  • DWDW Posts: 1,834 Crazy Baller
    @GaryB : Have you checked the play in the rudder itself, checking to see if the rudder bushings are worn?
  • GaryBGaryB Posts: 13 Baller
    The cable is routed the same, it is properly clamped by the tiller, the cable does not seem to flex. We checked for play in several different rudder positions, i.e. he was holding the rudder still in several different positions and I tried to turn the wheel, no play. We also tried the reverse, I would hold the wheel still while he tried to move the rudder, no play.

    Can of worms is right.

    There is not any slop in the rudder side to side, front to back, or up and down.

    I may try putting the stock prop back on it.

    I need some expert set up advice.

    Any chance I am introducing air into the prop wash? The prop does not cavitate, has lots of bite, boat runs 44 with it.
  • GaryBGaryB Posts: 13 Baller
    The cable is routed the same, it is properly clamped by the tiller, the cable does not seem to flex. We checked for play in several different rudder positions, i.e. he was holding the rudder still in several different positions and I tried to turn the wheel, no play. We also tried the reverse, I would hold the wheel still while he tried to move the rudder, no play.

    Can of worms is right.

    There is not any slop in the rudder side to side, front to back, or up and down.

    I may try putting the stock prop back on it.

    I need some expert set up advice.

    Any chance I am introducing air into the prop wash? The prop does not cavitate, has lots of bite, boat runs 44 with it.
  • WayneWayne Posts: 420 Baller
    Thinking about this more. Was the boat demonstrating this behavior from the first time you used it after purchasing it? Did it do this prior to changing the steering cable? Does the boat have any fiberglass repair work done around the rudder or strut?

    Just trying to start the diagnosis from the beginning, sorry if you have been down this road already. Strange behavior for sure and I'm thinking "what changed that could cause this" or "it's always done it since I got it" type scenarios.
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,452 Mega Baller
    You still have the old prop. Try putting it back on and see what happens.
  • GaryBGaryB Posts: 13 Baller
    I can't really say if there was play the first time I drove it, the steering was quite stiff, I replaced the steering cable and propeller at the same time.
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