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    Questions from new Owner - HELP :)

    Recently bought a new to us 1999 Ciera 2355 - 5.0L with Alpha 1 ... One thing I noticed today was there seems to be a little "slop" in the steering wheel. In addition to this, the steering wheel is no where near centered when outdrive is facing straight ahead. This is driving me mad, especially when I'm trying to back into our slip. I can't tell where the rudder is cause I can't see it, and the steering wheel isn't aligned.

    SO ...

    When I searched the forum I found this reply in another thread "If it’s rack and pinion, you should be able to back off the four bolts holding the rack assembly, the long rectangular box, to the steering wheel and pinion assembly. Back the bolts off, which may mean removal, straighten the wheel, reassemble" I do have a rack and pinion system, so possibly this is another way to center the wheel? Could I also adjust it here to take the "slop" out of the steering?

    One other question, (from my wife), when we use the sink where does the water go? Into the black water tank??

    Thank you for helping a newbie, I love the forum so far!!
    Thousand Islands, NY
    "The Compromise"

    1999 Ciera 2355
    Mercruiser 5.0
    Alpha One Gen II

    #2
    Sink drains overboard. You likely have rack & pinion
    Dave
    Edmonds, WA
    "THE FIX"
    '93 2556
    Carbureted 383 Vortec-Bravo II 2.0:1 18 1/4x19 P

    The rebuild of my 2556 https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...76?view=thread
    Misc. projects thread
    https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...56-gctid789773

    Comment


    • MarbleCitySunchaser
      MarbleCitySunchaser commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes it is rack & pinion - I should have added that.

      I haven't seen the sink drain overboard, we've looked. I was just making sure it wasn't filling the black water tank!

    #3
    I had this issue with my smaller boat and you most likely have some loose bolts holding the rack and pinion system together. Back off the bolts, adjust the location of the steering, lube everything with a healthy amount of grease and then tighten things back up... should be 15 minutes from start to finish if you have someone looking at the outdrive for you.
    Ships n Giggles
    1993 Bayliner 4388
    MMSI# 367412710
    Day Island Yacht Club
    Vice Commodore

    Comment


      #4
      As far as play ck this out:

      http://www.clubsearay.com/index.php?...teering.95057/

      As far as outdrive centering this might help you:

      https://www.anchorexpress.com/Davis-...iABEgL4FvD_BwE
      Jim Gandee
      1989 3888
      Hino 175's
      Fire Escape
      [email protected]
      Alamitos Bay, SoCal

      Comment


        #5
        I have seen slop due to the rack bolts coming loose or worn swivel shaft. Can you move the drive side to side much without seeing the steering wheel move?
        1997 Maxum 2400 SCR 5.7LX Bravo II

        Mike

        Comment


          #6
          Originally posted by Nauti_Mike View Post
          I have seen slop due to the rack bolts coming loose or worn swivel shaft. Can you move the drive side to side much without seeing the steering wheel move?
          I remember when the boat was out of the water that I couldn't move the outdrive side to side when pushing it.
          Thousand Islands, NY
          "The Compromise"

          1999 Ciera 2355
          Mercruiser 5.0
          Alpha One Gen II

          Comment


            #7
            Originally posted by MarbleCitySunchaser View Post

            I remember when the boat was out of the water that I couldn't move the outdrive side to side when pushing it.
            Yes but did the steering wheel respond right away or did the drive be pushed to the side >10* or more before the wheel started to move?
            1997 Maxum 2400 SCR 5.7LX Bravo II

            Mike

            Comment


              #8
              could be worn swivel shaft pain in the butt to fix. You might want to try and tighten the gimble ring nuts two of them to recommended torque however u rish breaking them > Im debating on tighting mine as well

              Comment


                #9
                Originally posted by Jim_Gandee View Post
                As far as play ck this out:

                http://www.clubsearay.com/index.php?...teering.95057/

                As far as outdrive centering this might help you:

                https://www.anchorexpress.com/Davis-...iABEgL4FvD_BwE
                Thanks Jim, I actually bought one of those Davis rudder indicators yesterday!
                Thousand Islands, NY
                "The Compromise"

                1999 Ciera 2355
                Mercruiser 5.0
                Alpha One Gen II

                Comment


                  #10
                  Originally posted by Shipsngiggles View Post
                  I had this issue with my smaller boat and you most likely have some loose bolts holding the rack and pinion system together. Back off the bolts, adjust the location of the steering, lube everything with a healthy amount of grease and then tighten things back up... should be 15 minutes from start to finish if you have someone looking at the outdrive for you.
                  This sounds like a good place to start. Where exactly am I looking, in the engine bay on top? I do have the service manual but sometimes pictures of what I should be looking at help a lot!
                  Thousand Islands, NY
                  "The Compromise"

                  1999 Ciera 2355
                  Mercruiser 5.0
                  Alpha One Gen II

                  Comment


                  • Shipsngiggles
                    Shipsngiggles commented
                    Editing a comment
                    No, it will be under your helm, where the steering wheel is. Just get on your back with a few smaller sockets and a wrench. I believe my bolts were 1/2 or 9/16 in size but I am not sure 100%. It's been a while since I've been on the small boat. Just look under the steering and you'll see where your rack and pinion gears are.

                  #11
                  Originally posted by MarbleCitySunchaser View Post

                  This sounds like a good place to start. Where exactly am I looking, in the engine bay on top? I do have the service manual but sometimes pictures of what I should be looking at help a lot!
                  Very cool, I will check this out this weekend!
                  Thousand Islands, NY
                  "The Compromise"

                  1999 Ciera 2355
                  Mercruiser 5.0
                  Alpha One Gen II

                  Comment


                    #12
                    I replaced the steering rack and cable last season on a small outboard boat I had at the time with a u UFlex replacement system but I bought on Amazon and also got great customer service from the company. When the 40 year old, original cable failed which, fortunately, did not result in any unfortunate tale of Woe.

                    The four bolts are on the corners of the helm pinion and hold the rack to the Cog.

                    if you have access to it behind the dashboard it's pretty easy to check.

                    Comment


                      #13
                      Originally posted by Dregsz View Post
                      I replaced the steering rack and cable last season on a small outboard boat I had at the time with a u UFlex replacement system but I bought on Amazon and also got great customer service from the company. When the 40 year old, original cable failed which, fortunately, did not result in any unfortunate tale of Woe.

                      The four bolts are on the corners of the helm pinion and hold the rack to the Cog.

                      if you have access to it behind the dashboard it's pretty easy to check.
                      I did this today, I centered the out drive, loosened the four bolts, centered the wheel and tightened. I was surprised that when I rotate the wheel to the right I only get about 1 1/4 turns to lock, and when I recenter and then rotate all the way left I get about 2 3/4 turns! Is there any way to get the rack and pinion centered WITHOUT pulling the boat out of the water?
                      Thousand Islands, NY
                      "The Compromise"

                      1999 Ciera 2355
                      Mercruiser 5.0
                      Alpha One Gen II

                      Comment


                        #14
                        Originally posted by MarbleCitySunchaser View Post

                        I did this today, I centered the out drive, loosened the four bolts, centered the wheel and tightened. I was surprised that when I rotate the wheel to the right I only get about 1 1/4 turns to lock, and when I recenter and then rotate all the way left I get about 2 3/4 turns! Is there any way to get the rack and pinion centered WITHOUT pulling the boat out of the water?
                        Yes, but remember you’ll likely never get the wheel centered in all running conditions due to the torque steer created by the prop and the trim angle. Personally I put the boat in gear and adjust the steering wheel to point the boat in the direction I want it to go.

                        Dave
                        Edmonds, WA
                        "THE FIX"
                        '93 2556
                        Carbureted 383 Vortec-Bravo II 2.0:1 18 1/4x19 P

                        The rebuild of my 2556 https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...76?view=thread
                        Misc. projects thread
                        https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...56-gctid789773

                        Comment


                          #15
                          Originally posted by MarbleCitySunchaser View Post
                          Is there any way to get the rack and pinion centered WITHOUT pulling the boat out of the water?
                          Yes...
                          ​​re-center the outdrive and then remove the steering wheel so it can be rotated on the steering shaft...

                          OR... loosen the bolts on the rack again, but LOOSER so the pinion shaft/wheel can be turned WITHOUT moving the rack/cable... turn the wheel to where its as close to center as possible.... and retighten the bolts.

                          Centering the mechanical steering system/wheel in a boat takes patience and time... and sometimes so much frusteration that you realize the un-centered steering wheel is no longer a priority...
                          Getting it centered can be a combination of adjusting the wheel on the shaft, the pinion gear on the rack and adjusting the cable a little bit at the aft end... which sometimes needs a modification.

                          BUT.. before all this, you have to make sure the trim tab on the lower unit is correct, the drive unit trimmed properly for the speed and loading of the boat, and you know exactly where the wheel is when the boat is running at the speed where you want it centered... BECAUSE the lower unit trim tab and the up/down trim of the outdrive at speed has a very noticeable effect on where the wheel centers at......

                          At slow speed, not so much effect unless you are extremely out of trim..

                          Before attempting to adjust it, If all the trim is correct and you have the wheel marked so you know where center is, you can the the outdrive down with rachet straps so it will stay in perfect alignment, so then you can adjust whatever you need to, to get the wheel straight without getting the rack and pinion "out of time"....
                          some rack and pinion systems allow you to pull the shaft up out of tje pinion gear and turn it a tooth or two as needed..., which the bolt or nut at the very bottom of the shaft where it goes into the rack is the one that retains the shaft... the wheel may have to be removed to get the bolt loose and the steering shaft pulled up...


                          NU LIBERTE'
                          Salem, OR

                          1989 Bayliner 2556 Convertible
                          5.7 OMC Cobra - 15.5x11 prop
                          N2K equipped throughout..
                          2014 Ram 3500 crew cab, 6.7 Cummins
                          2007 M-3705 SLC weekend warrior, 5th wheel
                          '04 Polaris Sportsman 700 -- '05 Polaris Sportsman 500 HO
                          Heavy Equipment Repair and Specialty Welding

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