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Old 29-06-2008, 09:07   #1
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play in the steering gearbox

I've got a gearbox, sort of a rack and pinion type steering setup, with a fair bit of play in it. Enough play that it's really making the autopilot work, and before I start tearing into it I was wondering if anyone else on the forum has messed with this sort of thing, are there any tricks for getting the play out of this gearbox, or is it likely worn teeth and the box needs to be replaced? Where would I find something like this if I needed to replace it? Thanks!
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Old 29-06-2008, 11:58   #2
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Just a guess but it's probably from the same company that made your wheel and pedestal.
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Old 29-06-2008, 12:09   #3
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Are you sure that the play is in the steering box itself or is it possible that the U-joints are wore out. Either way you are going to have to take it apart from the U-joints to get it out, it doesn't look like too much trouble. You may be able to have that steering box rebuilt, find another one like it or find one similar that would work. Maybe when you get it out, there may be a name and part number on it. Greasing the grease fittings on the gear box and U-joints is pretty important. If you get a new one, I would still keep the old one on the boat for a spare, you never know. Good luck.
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Old 29-06-2008, 12:12   #4
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You can also get play from the cables on the quadrant. Slack in the cable feels like loose steering too. Start with the cables and work toward the box. I had that problem on the last boat and once the cables were adjusted it was quite solid.
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Old 29-06-2008, 13:52   #5
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There should be an adjustable nut/shaft at the end of the worm. The worm is the shaft the connected from the wheel, so the adjustment will be on the bottom of the box out of view. This allows you to take up slack.
If it doesn't have one, it will have to come apart and be adjusted with shims.
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Old 02-10-2008, 14:25   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Wheeler View Post
There should be an adjustable nut/shaft at the end of the worm. The worm is the shaft the connected from the wheel, so the adjustment will be on the bottom of the box out of view. This allows you to take up slack.
If it doesn't have one, it will have to come apart and be adjusted with shims.
Spot on. I finally gave this project a second try today after a frustrating first attempt at removing the box. I got the gear box out and was able to tighten up the gears by using a thinner shim on the bottom cover. Thanks Alan.
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Old 02-10-2008, 16:48   #7
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That Wheels feller is pretty darned smart! Good call and good repair!
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Old 03-05-2009, 09:34   #8
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Looks like a Whitlock steering gearbox

The gearbox in the picture looks like a Whitlock 90 degree gearbox. I can see the output shaft on the right. If you have play between the output and input shafts it will have to come out for a refurb. Unfortunately these gearboxes have seals to keep grease in but don't have seals to keep water out so you may have corroded bearings internally. You don't show the rest of the steering gear but typically you will have a second big round gearbox with an arm on it and the output sahft from the 90 degree gearbox will be connected to it. There could be play in the bigger round gearbox rather than in the 90 degree one.

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