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    Thinking about hydraulic steering upgrade

    I have a 2002 2052WA with a 4.3 Merc and power assisted steering. I just got the boat late this past summer and when we were out I noticed there was a lot of " wondering" at low speeds. I have looked at both ends and all seems tight. When I grab the out drive there is very little play in it. After some research I am beginning to think that the cable might be stretched.

    So now the dilemma. Do I change the cable or do I upgrade to hydraulic steering.

    Has anyone changed the cable? Is it a hard job? Cost of the cable?

    Has any one installed hydraulic steering on a similar boat? How big of a job? Cost? What kit did you buy?

    (Just a little background I do 98% of the repaires to my vehicles so I consider myself fairly mechanically inclined. Also my son is an auto mechanic.)

    Any suggestions or advice is welcome.
    2002 Trophy Pro 2052WA 4.3L Mercruiser
    Ontario, Canada

    #2
    Most if not all sterndrive boats will wonder at low speeds, its just the way it is. Because of the prop being behind the boat it tends to want to if you will push the stern around past the bow.
    I do not think switching to hydraulic steering would help.
    Don
    1995 Maxum 2400 SCR LUNA DE MIEL
    1988 Bayliner 2455 (sold)
    1976 Tahiti 16.5 I/O (sold)
    10 ft livingston (lost in fire )
    1987 18ft. Seaswirl cuddy (lost in fire)
    "Is it better to be on a boat thinking about God, or be in church thinking about boating?"

    Comment


      #3
      Agree with Don on the low speed wonder, they all do it.
      New cable ($300-400) is the most inexpensive way to go if you even need one. Hydraulic convertion will likely cost 4x or more. Does she steer easily? Steering cables usually get replaced because of stiff or hard steering issues.
      Dave
      Edmonds, WA
      "THE FIX"
      '93 2556 5.7 Bravo II 2.0:1 18 1/4x19 P
      (.030 over-Vortec top end-part closed cooled)
      The rebuild of my 2556 https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...76?view=thread
      Misc. projects thread
      https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...56-gctid789773

      Comment


        #4
        The wander something fierce even with counter rotation twins.
        P/C Pete
        Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
        1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
        Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
        1980 Encounter Sunbridge "Misty Blue" (Sold)
        MMSI 367770440
        1972 Chevrolet Nova Frame off Resto-mod in the garage
        Boating on the Salish Sea since 1948

        Comment


          #5
          I thought it was an abnormal thing as I found it was hard to control while idling out of the river to the lake. I also noticed that while turning the steering wheel It was almost a 1/4 to 1/3 of a turn from right to left before the "slack " was taken up.

          As for your question Dave I will say the force to steer the boat is normal.
          2002 Trophy Pro 2052WA 4.3L Mercruiser
          Ontario, Canada

          Comment


            #6
            If you think you have that much slack in the steering, which, IMO, is too much, some simple diagnosis is needed. It's a matter of confirming what you think you are feeling. Iiwm, I'd start, with a helper, by holding on to the drive and trying to rotate it, then have your helper turn the wheel while you try to keep the drive from moving. If everything is tight, what you are experiencing is reaction time of the boat. If there's slack, go to the tiller connection. This is part of the power steering servo and steering cable connection. The tiller the bar that goes to the drive, the cable is obvious. Checking these is done with the helper turning the wheel while you observe, then by moving, or trying to, from the outside with one of you observing. If you haven't found the slack by then, check the connections of the steering mechanism to the "rack" that all is tight. If it is, unbolt the rack and have the helper try to turn the drive while you watch the gears. The last spot is the pinion. Use screwdriver to jam the gear against the housing and make sure that there is no slack there. By this time you should have located any slack in the system.
            if I missed something guys, speaking in a non gender way, chime in.
            P/C Pete
            Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
            1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
            Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
            1980 Encounter Sunbridge "Misty Blue" (Sold)
            MMSI 367770440
            1972 Chevrolet Nova Frame off Resto-mod in the garage
            Boating on the Salish Sea since 1948

            Comment


              #7
              I’ve found with low speed wonder making slight adjustments to the helm wheel and giving the boat a chance to react to those adjustments saves a guy from “over steering” trying to keep the boat headed in a perfectly strait line. In other words, Let it wonder some port to starboard.
              Dave
              Edmonds, WA
              "THE FIX"
              '93 2556 5.7 Bravo II 2.0:1 18 1/4x19 P
              (.030 over-Vortec top end-part closed cooled)
              The rebuild of my 2556 https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...76?view=thread
              Misc. projects thread
              https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...56-gctid789773

              Comment


              • Nauti_Mike
                Nauti_Mike commented
                Editing a comment
                Agree, minor adjustment and wait for the boat to respond otherwise you'll be all over the place like a drunk sailor.

              #8
              Originally posted by captnunu View Post
              I have a 2002 2052WA with a 4.3 Merc and power assisted steering. I just got the boat late this past summer and when we were out I noticed there was a lot of " wondering" at low speeds. I have looked at both ends and all seems tight. When I grab the out drive there is very little play in it. After some research I am beginning to think that the cable might be stretched.

              So now the dilemma. Do I change the cable or do I upgrade to hydraulic steering.

              Has anyone changed the cable? Is it a hard job? Cost of the cable?

              Has any one installed hydraulic steering on a similar boat? How big of a job? Cost? What kit did you buy?

              (Just a little background I do 98% of the repaires to my vehicles so I consider myself fairly mechanically inclined. Also my son is an auto mechanic.)

              Any suggestions or advice is welcome.
              Look this item up: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Sea-Star-HH...p/382677440944
              Pat says: DO-IT-RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

              Bayliner 3870 "ALASKA33)
              Twin 350 GM power
              Located in Seward, AK
              Retired marine surveyor

              Comment


                #9
                I will go through the testing and see how it fairs. I did something similar in late summer and if memory serves me correct it was loose where the cable meets the tiller bar on the stern of the boat.


                Drunken sailor. Exactly what i looked like. LOL
                2002 Trophy Pro 2052WA 4.3L Mercruiser
                Ontario, Canada

                Comment


                  #10
                  I added smart tabs to my 2002 FF 2001 and the boat stopped wandering almost completely

                  Comment

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