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Old 02-06-2010, 07:03   #1
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Edson Idler Plate - A YIKES Moment

Two years ago when I was installing my electric propulsion system on my boat. I discovered a problem under the EDSON Pedestal that I had overlooked. Seems the older EDSON idler plate on my 1986 sailboat was made of steel and over the years had started to rust. At first I thought it was flakes of rust from the engine but after I pulled the diesel and the flakes were still there. I knew I still had a problem. You can see what I discovered here:
If you've got an older boat with an Edson pedestal better check under the deck and see if the idler plate is rusting. The idler's look great from the side because they were bronze it's the plate that holds them that is the problem.

Capt. Mike

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Old 02-06-2010, 13:29   #2
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Yeh that would have been a rather nasty surprise when the plate finally let go. Glad you caught it before it reached failure point.


SV Sabre Dance, Roberts Offshore 38
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Old 03-06-2010, 14:53   #3
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Had a similar experience with my Father in Law's 1980 Seidelman 37 with Edson cable steering. He never covered the steering pedistal and the compass leaked water into the tube.

One day the cable turning plate with two pulleys just "exploded" completely failing the steering. Made it home with the emergency tiller.

Had the same unit on my Yamaha 33, I maintained well, and never had a problem.
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Old 03-06-2010, 15:11   #4
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Yea, these are mild steel. I had the same issue. There is a non-steel replacement, but it will not fit all installations - like mine. I bought a new steel one and did a heavy duty paint job on it. And also re-bedded everything above.

Before and after photos:

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Old 03-06-2010, 20:29   #5
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After I replaced the assembly I also sealed the above deck pedestal with Life Chalk too. Though the new plate is aluminum and of a more robust construction I'll certainly be checking the area for leaks and corrosion from now on.
Also good to check the ends of the steering cables. Mine had Nicopressed fittings at each end and they would not fit through the cable eyes on the idler assembly so they had to be cut and replaced too.

Capt. Mike
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edson, steering, steering pedestal

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