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TOPIC: Panther T4 Saltwater Or....???

Panther T4 Saltwater Or....??? 21 Dec 2014 00:50 #1

  • Patrevan
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I think I'm going to add a remote steering system to my 9.9. From my research, it seems this one is as good as any of them. At present, I've been using my main as a rudder, but it really is a poor second choice. Adequate in calm conditions, but I'm ready for something better. There is not a whole lot of real life comments available on the T4. Anyone have some real-life experience with this system? Poco Marine near Vancouver has them for $600 Canadian, which is as good a price out there.
Thanks for any and all advice.

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Mike & Dixi
2006 265 5.0 MPI B3
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Panther T4 Saltwater Or....??? 21 Dec 2014 16:54 #2

  • Big Ben
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Well, I can't help much with practical experience but the boat I just bought in the fall has one.

When the bought the boat the T4 was seized and not working and this is the 2nd one the previous owner owned (in 7 years) and gave up fixing was using his main drive as the steering unit by the end I was told.

So here is my conclusion so far. The believe it is a decent little unit but with my set up the 9.9 kicker is mounted off the swim grid so when the boat gets throttled up and takes off or boat slows down fast off plane with the motor being so far back and boat pitched back and the remote steering unit mounted where it is, it can get a little swamped with water allowing some in and causing the issues

I took it all apart and cleaned out the salt water/residue inside and bought a new "rack" - the part that was seized. I think the water can come in with the wires as there are 2 wires in split loom coming through the housing and its very tough to seal around wires in split loom. I haven't reassembled yet but when I do I will be modifying it 1 of 2 ways.

1. Cut the wires back on the motor inside the T4 and solder on different wires so I can run them though a water tight connection through the side of the housing and fill in the old wire hole in the case with silicone.

2. Cut a little hole 1/2" or so in the housing and install a rubber plug. Then position the T4 on the 9.9 in such a way that the moving parts are up higher and the empty part of the housing is lower with my hole and plug and just remove the plug after each trip to let any water that may have gotten in out.

Obviously lots of good grease with be covering everything when its reassembled. And there is 1 grease zerk in the housing to grease the pinion gear. Like I said I don't know the whole story on this unit but this is my conclusion from what I see. The T4 seems good just my application where it may get hit with a wave of water might be not its fault but I would have liked to see a better way to seal around the power wires entering the unit.

Just my 2 cents
Dave

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Dave
Nanaimo, BC

2005 242
5.7/Bravo II
Last Edit: by Big Ben.

Panther T4 Saltwater Or....??? 21 Dec 2014 17:54 #3

  • Mike A
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I have a T4 system and used it for 3 seasons, I lime it and use it for fishing in Georgia Strait. It takes a bit if time to get used to it, the tendency is to over steer, it is best to use small pulses rather than hold the button down until it turns. I have had no corrosion issues, I do take the kicker off and store indoors all winter. I bought mine on sale for about $600.
Mike

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1997 2355
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Panther T4 Saltwater Or....??? 22 Dec 2014 01:38 #4

  • Patrevan
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Thanks guys. Those are some good tips Dave. I too have a 9.9 mounted off the swim step. I really don't get much in the way of water coming over the swim step, much less a bit higher, where this remote would be mounted. Maybe if I was backing into a 2-3 foot following wave....

Mike: Is that a 245? I'd be happy to hear that there is a tendency to oversteer. My current set-up (using the main as a rudder) requires huge inputs for minimal results. I boat out of the Comox area. Are you ever up this way?

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Mike & Dixi
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Panther T4 Saltwater Or....??? 22 Dec 2014 15:56 #5

  • skeeter3
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I bought one last year, used it one weekend and the motor went on it, I called the company and talked to Jerry Blew and he sent me a new motor the next at no cost after that I used it all summer and had no more problems.
Mine is mounted on my swim platform and the water was getting on it so I raised it 9" on a alum stand so now the water don't get over it very often and works just fine.
I bought mine from Sportsmans Guide and paid $365 and the remote was another $146.
Now I an a happy fisherman as the steering problem is much much easier. :)
Good Luck
Skeeter B)

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Panther T4 Saltwater Or....??? 22 Dec 2014 16:33 #6

  • Go Aweigh2452
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seal the plastic unit with caulk.... end of season take the rod out and clean the salt deposits off...

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Panther T4 Saltwater Or....??? 23 Dec 2014 03:42 #7

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Thanks guys. Some good tips here.

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Mike & Dixi
2006 265 5.0 MPI B3
Closed Cooling

Panther T4 Saltwater Or....??? 31 Dec 2014 00:59 #8

  • TenMile
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As an alternative, I use a unit from an outfit called Remote Troll. It is a kicker bracket and steering system combined. It has a 12v electric steering actuator that comes with either a wireless or wired remote. I have it mounted to my swimstep on my 288 attached to a 20Hp kicker. Have fished with it for 4 seasons and it works great. Website is remotetroll.com -- my model is the RT-95. Its a very simple system, completely waterproof. Only part that can go is the 12v actuator and it is changed in 5 minutes without having to remove the motor. Cost is slightly less than the Panther.

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Terry
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Panther T4 Saltwater Or....??? 31 Dec 2014 04:20 #9

  • Reel Power
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I have my 9.9 off the swim platform, factory mount, connected to the out drive with an EZ Steer spring loaded tie bar. Works fine, steer from the helm, a little tight without the power steering but not crazy tough.

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My boat shall rise like a wet phoenix (after I deplete all monetary resources).

Panther T4 Saltwater Or....??? 31 Dec 2014 09:18 #10

  • nottingham88
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Reel Power wrote: I have my 9.9 off the swim platform, factory mount, connected to the out drive with an EZ Steer spring loaded tie bar. Works fine, steer from the helm, a little tight without the power steering but not crazy tough.


+1
For our 2359 with bracket mounted EL9.9 Yam HT and 3/4 grid the EZ Steer works better than the SW T4 (mount the alpha bracket as the instructions say- appears to be upside down but provides extra clearance.) I find it's not too tight without power on the power steering if you steer slowly and resist the urge to over steer .
With any amount of wind I found the T4 did not work well for this model of boat. With the higher longer sides it needs that main 'rudder' planted deep as well as the kicker turning. If you opt for the T4 I would highly recommend that you use the seal that is available to protect the steering shaft. This fits where it enters the tube. Shaft then goes thru the tube into the T4. I think that aftermarket seal is made to fill a need. It was not mentioned in the T 4 instructions that I can recall.
A noteworthy point on the EZ is to be sure to have sufficient con rod length to avoid separation while kicker is tilted up and turned fully opposite to main- ie both are at extreme in opposite directions as well as being somewhat stretched from tilting. There's a fine line there so I use some para cord and always have the rod tethered loosely to the boat.

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2003 Trophy Pro 2359; Rebuilt 5.7L Vortec longblock (crate) using rest of the previous owners freeze destroyed 5.0L. Now fully FWC :) Alpha 1 Gen 2 drive.
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