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Old 27-07-2020, 03:10   #1
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steering system - chain and wire

Hello all. Apparently the steering system's chain and wire should be replaced every 10 years, but I've not had a boat that long. My chain definitely needs replacing (don't you think!), but the wires look OK. Anyone know if its possible to replace just the chain? And how?
Thanks
David
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Old 27-07-2020, 03:27   #2
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Re: steering system - chain and wire

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Originally Posted by DavidMRea View Post
Hello all. Apparently the steering system's chain and wire should be replaced every 10 years, but I've not had a boat that long. My chain definitely needs replacing (don't you think!), but the wires look OK. Anyone know if its possible to replace just the chain? And how?
Thanks
David
Where did you get 10 years?

Inspect them carefully every year and replace them when you see signs of wear. Might be less than 10 years, or a lot more. I would say that gear will TYPICALLY go for 20 or 25 years, if it's kept lubricated and clean, as it should be.
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Old 27-07-2020, 05:03   #3
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Re: steering system - chain and wire

I watched: and about 7 minutes in, he says replace the chain every 7-10 years. Mine clearly has not been lubricated/cleaned as much as recommended.
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Old 27-07-2020, 05:17   #4
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Re: steering system - chain and wire

I replaced mine,it looked fine but Edson suggests 10 years. Yours looks scary so why even think of cheaping out and not changing the wire. Imagine what happens when it breaks!!
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Old 27-07-2020, 05:50   #5
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Re: steering system - chain and wire

I agree with Dockhead.

I'd have a good hard look at the chain, clean it up and lubricate it.

Yes it is possible to just replace the chain but you'll have to unbolt the pedestal and separate it from there.

There'll be a "split link" in the chain which you will have to undo (Pliers and screwdriver should do that) and the cable is separated from the chain






The Edson set-up is slightly different







A motor cycle enthusiast would undo the split link in around 10 second but you and I would be cursing for a couple of minutes until we got it undone
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Old 27-07-2020, 06:04   #6
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Re: steering system - chain and wire

Hi. There is a lot of rust...this will be an issue for the shaft bearings which might fail.
Is the rust traveling to the wire turning wheels below?
Edson components should be clean and lubricated...something is amiss here.
Can you photo the underside of the pedestal? Where is the water coming from.
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Old 27-07-2020, 06:20   #7
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Re: steering system - chain and wire

Thanks for your responses. I haven't taken the pedestal completely apart (yet). I'd need to get under the deck and that's inaccessible. I don't have the Edson system, but have a Plastimo pedestal. I assumed the water is just moisture in the air - the damp British climate - but I'll investigate if its coming through the compass assembly.
I was thinking of taking the suggested method in his other video, and removing the wire from the quadrant and leading it through and up out of the top of the pedestal. Thanks - I'm now sure that's the best method!
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Old 27-07-2020, 06:31   #8
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Re: steering system - chain and wire

Another tip, check all the pulley axles,I found mine were 50% worn through,it was not evident until I removed them.
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Old 27-07-2020, 06:32   #9
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Re: steering system - chain and wire

You really should replace both the chain and wire. That chain is not safe, and I'm sure the wire is not either. The test is to take a clean rag, and run it along the wire. If you feel any snags or burs, it should be replaced. This should be done along the whole length, especially where it passes over the sheaves. When you remove the wire, just remove the wire from the quadrant, and attach string to the end of the wire so you can pull the new wire through. Note that in many systems the wire will cross somewhere, so the string helps to get that part correct, don't mix up the two ends of the string, or when it goes back together your steering will be reversed.

Even though you don't have an edson pedestal, call them, they probably have the correct chain and wire spliced together already.

You also should remove the shaft, clean and lubricate the bearings.

Consider looking at ebay at used edson pedestals. You might be able to swtich to an edson for about the same price as refurbishing that one.
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Old 27-07-2020, 07:15   #10
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Re: steering system - chain and wire

Thanks Wholybee,
I've begun to explore that option, but Edson Marine don't seem to operate in the UK. There are bits and pieces on eBay, but I'll need compatibility. I'm really looking for the simplest solution and would rather not get under the deck to replace the whole pedestal.
I'm guessing I can inspect the bearings after I've removed the chain.
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Old 27-07-2020, 08:50   #11
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Re: steering system - chain and wire

As you can see, this is a slippery slope. Considering what you CAN see, you really should check/lubricate the pulley axles, etc. And ensure that no water is coming in around the pedestal base. I speak from personal experience (including replacing the fuel tank due to leaks around the pedestal) and also the loss of a friend due to steering failure.
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Old 27-07-2020, 08:59   #12
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Re: steering system - chain and wire

Inspect and lubricant

I think helm is a highly neglected area on most boats.

Look for anything loose, and frayed cables, lube and check tension.

Edson has all the manuals and specs on their site.

https://edsonmarine.com/product-tech...enance-sheets/


As a rule of thumb, I’d not recommend working on anything without the manual in front of you, when possible.
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Old 27-07-2020, 09:17   #13
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Re: steering system - chain and wire

Thanks for all this.
Godshalk - All I can see looks fine except the chain... But you've convinced me I need to remove the panelling and covers to see under the pedestal and check those pulleys underneath the pedestal too.
IslandInfedel - thanks. Really helpful, tho' my pedestal is Plastimo and I can't find an equivalent set videos/manuals. But, similar in principle. The Plastimo bearing can't be lubricated as simply as the Edson (there's no obvious lube point). Wonder if Plastimo use plastic bearings...?
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Old 27-07-2020, 09:19   #14
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Re: steering system - chain and wire

I too watchedd those videos and called Edson. My cat has 2 rudders and one of them is not centered. The cable is already at the max adjustment. Edson, by phone, said it needed to be replaced. Get the new cable (wire) which is prestretched. Looking through their website I ran across in a troubleshooting section to simply cut the wire several inches or whatever and put it back together. Hmm, exactly the same advice as above but slightly different lol.

I will take apart and lube everything, inspect everything and if the cable is fine, no burrs, put it back together. If it snapped that wouldn't be great but with a Hydrovane windvane I have an external rudder and with 2 engines...
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Old 27-07-2020, 09:20   #15
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Re: steering system - chain and wire

I have Edson and I called Edson. Very informative. I'd don't know how old my Edson gear is (I bought the boat 5 years ago) and since a steering failure could scuttle the boat I am replacing the replacable parts which is much more than the chain.


But You have Plastimo. Why not call Plastimo?
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