Stiff steering 99cc

rodltg2rodltg2 Posts: 1,051 Crazy Baller
This Saturday I noticed that coming around the island the steering seemed a bit stiff. Yesterday it got a bit worse. Definately still manageable but stiff non the less. Steering seems smooth and easy while stopped. Seems fine going straight as well. Boat still tracks great. Only feel it when turning under load. Any thoughts ? I haven't torn into yet , is there a zirk fitting on the rudder shaft ?


  • WishWish Posts: 7,676 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    my 97 has a zirk fitting. Couple pumps of grease makes a world of difference. If the steering cable has not been changed out, you may want to look into that.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • ZogZog Posts: 11 Baller
    I had a 99 and went thru a couple of steering cables, they just wear out after a while. There aren't any zirks on that boat and my rudder shaft was never the problem. Good Luck.
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,012 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I had a double. Steering cable was bad and needed new grease in rudder packing. Now steers like butter.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • DWDW Posts: 1,951 Mega Baller
    Check which is the offender by disconnecting the steering cable from the rudder and checking stiffness of each. From your comments sounds like the rudder. Given the age of the boat, you might need to replace the rudder bushings as slop in them will create a stiff feeling, perhaps notchy as well in my experience.
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,305 Crazy Baller
    Wouldn't hurt to clean and grease the rudder port, but I betcha need a cable.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • rodltg2rodltg2 Posts: 1,051 Crazy Baller
    I'm such a dork. I removed the back seat and panel and began to pull the floor and engine box. Only to realize there is a zerk fitting in the engine compartment ! I shot some grease in but I won't be able to tell if it helps till I put in the lake and test with a load around the island. Steering is smooth while sitting.
  • rodltg2rodltg2 Posts: 1,051 Crazy Baller
    But while sitting the wheel turns and spins with the slightest one finger push. I've had steering cable go out before and it was always stiff. Not just under load.
  • GAJ0004GAJ0004 Posts: 1,066 Baller
    I usually end up replacing a steering cable every 800-900 hours. If your boat feels like you are driving a dump truck then you probably need a new steering cable. Don't let that go too long otherwise you can damage the steering head under the dash which is a very expensive repair.
    Gary Janzig Streetsboro Ohio, skis at Lake Latonka, Mercer Pennsylvania slalom,trick,kneeboard,barefoot
  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,048 Mega Baller
    edited June 2013
    My '99 had steering issues like you have outlined. Dropping the rudder and replacing the packing isn't a major deal, and I would do that first before a cable. You are probably due anyway, as there are no zerks on that year. It could be the water pressure causing the rudder to cock slightly in the thruhull fitting when under power. It's not very expensive to rule it out. Check where your trailer frame is under the prop, and you may need to not run it up all the way on the trailer so the rudder will drop out. Put some wood blocks under the rudder so it doesn't drop out. Mine was so tight I had to work it out. Others will drop right out.

    As @DW said above, when you disconnect the tiller arm, the wheel should easily turn with one finger both ways lock to lock.

    My rudder was very hard to turn by hand before I put new packing in, cleaned up the rudder shaft with fine sand paper and lubed it up, and it turned freely by hand afterward.
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