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Old 26-04-2015, 00:51   #1
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Pull Pull Steering Issue

The other day I got caught with too much sail up. As I worked the helm (prior to reefing) against the tendency to round up, I felt the wheel slip with a solid "thunk". This happened a couple of times and I'm trying to imagine what is going on inside the pedestal to create such a disturbing action. This is a chain and wire rope pull pull system. It felt like I broke a tooth on the gear but that seems unlikely because when I previously inspected the gear and chain I was surprised at how heavy duty it all seemed to be.
Any suggestions on what to look for?



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Old 26-04-2015, 02:22   #2
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Re: Pull Pull Steering Issue

Maybe a grub screw or lock nut on a gear or pulley has loosened and allowed the pulley/gear to slip around the shaft. These can be held by a key, a grub screw onto a flat surface or just a grub screw tightened onto the shaft or nut tightened onto the pulley/gear. For the first two, you might need to tighten the screw/nut and that might solve it. for a screw or nut that is simply tightened onto a shaft then you might need to do a little work. Grind a flat face on the shaft for the screw to engage onto. For a nut onto a face, mmm.

Loctite can help all cases

The thud might have been a wire riding up onto the side of a pulley and then slipping back. Things are wearing a little and they don't line up perfectly. Check for play in bushes. A rebush is possible, but not a simple task. The system will probably work OK for quite a while before a repait is critical.
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Old 26-04-2015, 04:08   #3
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Re: Pull Pull Steering Issue

Have you checked to see if your wheel is still in correct alignment with the rudder? IE: Is the king spoke still vertical when the rudder is truly centered? As I can't help but to wonder if perhaps the quadrant might have slipped a bit on the rudder shaft. It's worth checking anyway.


And not to give you nightmares, but when was the last time your rudder had a good inspection? It's possible that the inner blade structure could have moved in relation to the rudder's shell, also.


That, & as long as you're going over (inspecting things), make sure that the sheaves are bolted down tightly to their mountings.
If one, or both are a touch loose, that too could account for some play, or slippage in the steering system, that you could feel through the wheel.
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Old 27-04-2015, 06:10   #4
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Re: Pull Pull Steering Issue

Thank you both. I plan on replacing the wires over winter. It looks as though the whole pedestal will need to be removed to achieve that, so a full top to bottom inspection and service can be conducted at the same time. My boat is 30ft and doesn't have a steering quadrant below deck but rather has flexible conduits exit from below the pedestal and aft to a quadrant, easy access style under the helmsman's seat, all of which looks good and I suspect a slipping grub screw will prove to be the culprit. (Hopefully) thanks again


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