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Old 16-03-2017, 07:30   #1
rom
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Steering wheel bearing

Hello there, the steering wheel is very heavy on my boat. I was told this comes from the bearing, see attached picture (taken from the galley).

anyone could give me the bearing spec and procedure before I start dismantle the whole thing ?

thanks !
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Old 16-03-2017, 14:42   #2
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Re: Steering wheel bearing

looking visually, your bearing appears to have smaller diamater. Maybe not original ? I do 2 full wheel turns to move rudders from one extreme positions to the other.
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Old 16-03-2017, 15:40   #3
rom
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Re: Steering wheel bearing

Quote:
Originally Posted by arsenelupiga View Post
looking visually, your bearing appears to have smaller diamater. Maybe not original ? I do 2 full wheel turns to move rudders from one extreme positions to the other.
looks pretty much the same to me, do you know your bearing spec by any chance ? thanks !
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Old 17-03-2017, 13:37   #4
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Re: Steering wheel bearing

Rom,
I do not know the specifics of the bearing, however, I can share some thoughts.
If your steering is "heavy" at the dock you may have a real problem. If it feels free and easy, but becomes heavy when underway, perhaps not. The steering on my 440 is, in my view, very heavy when under way, more so as speed builds. More specifically, the heaviness builds most significantly as one applies weather helm at 8+kts. There is no offset on the rudder post and the rudder arms although sturdy have a relatively short length/moment. The long cable run including two 90 degree deviations diminishes feel.

If you find the steering is heavy when unloaded, say at the dock, then inspect the entire cable run. On my boat, I found that the pulley block located forward, under the floor of the the locker where some mount a genset, had been dislodged and pulled out of alignment. In my case it was because of some water ingress (from the flybridge instrument mounding finding its way down to this area which has no specific drainage) which in turn had penetrated the heavy plywood and weakened it. This is very easy to inspect if you don't have a genset, much, much harder is you do....As for the pulley block at the centre of the transom, its a challenge. In any case, I'm just suggesting you consider other possibilities. I'd also think that if the wheel feels reasonably free with small movements where the cable is somewhat slack, the problem won't be with the bearing.
Good luck.
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Old 17-03-2017, 19:58   #5
rom
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Re: Steering wheel bearing

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Wind View Post
Rom,
I do not know the specifics of the bearing, however, I can share some thoughts.
If your steering is "heavy" at the dock you may have a real problem. If it feels free and easy, but becomes heavy when underway, perhaps not. The steering on my 440 is, in my view, very heavy when under way, more so as speed builds. More specifically, the heaviness builds most significantly as one applies weather helm at 8+kts. There is no offset on the rudder post and the rudder arms although sturdy have a relatively short length/moment. The long cable run including two 90 degree deviations diminishes feel.

If you find the steering is heavy when unloaded, say at the dock, then inspect the entire cable run. On my boat, I found that the pulley block located forward, under the floor of the the locker where some mount a genset, had been dislodged and pulled out of alignment. In my case it was because of some water ingress (from the flybridge instrument mounding finding its way down to this area which has no specific drainage) which in turn had penetrated the heavy plywood and weakened it. This is very easy to inspect if you don't have a genset, much, much harder is you do....As for the pulley block at the centre of the transom, its a challenge. In any case, I'm just suggesting you consider other possibilities. I'd also think that if the wheel feels reasonably free with small movements where the cable is somewhat slack, the problem won't be with the bearing.
Good luck.
Thanks 2Wind, those are pretty good hints for debugging the problem ! Yes, steering is heavy at the dock. I was (am) convinced it comes from the bearing because a friend of mine who owns a L440 had the bearing changed and told me I had the same problem. Also, I have sailed a new L450 and the wheel is so light it is incredible ! And though this 450 is brand new, the owner had the bearing problem and had it changed !

Actually I did not realize I had a problem until I sailed the 450...
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