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-   -   Tensioning my steering cables. (https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f55/tensioning-my-steering-cables-259717.html)

capt.rob 11-01-2022 06:41

Re: Tensioning my steering cables.
 
in photos it looks like a cable has jumped out of the top groove in quadrant and riding with the bottom cable. 1 cable is ran higher than the other and run acrost back of quadrent to the adjusters 1 cable in each groove upper and lower. If 1 jumps steering can bind and cables get loose I just fixed a 1986 Grand Banks trawler a couple days ago with same problem but his were so loose 1 cable would come off when he backed into a mudbank. after reruning cables into there proper groove I had plenty of adjustment to tighten them up.

OldManMirage 12-01-2022 04:52

Re: Tensioning my steering cables.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by marcjsmith (Post 3552943)
op has a nut on either side of the quadrant attachment point which is contrary to what edson diagram shows with two nuts jammed against each other taking up tension and locking against each other



which means there is thread all the way to the inside nut nearest the hook. move the inside nut to the outside, so it can act like a jam nut against the other outside nut, as indicated in the drawing. Voila you've got at least an inch more thread to play with to tighten the cable.




the way the OP has it now, with the inner nut at the end of the thread, trying to add a washer between the outer nut and quadrant would not net you any extra tension. since the inner nut cant be loosened any more.(no more thread)


if there is too much slack, then you'd need a hook with more thread closer to the hook end or a shorter cable.



Personally, i'd look for a new hook with more thread, new nuts and washers before I started playing with new cables


cheaper easier, faster

Ah, you are correct. :facepalm: Not sure what I was thinking. Yes, move the nut to the tension side (inside), 2 nuts together act as locknuts, makes much more sense and would probably give the small amount of tension needed to tighten things up.

Good call !!

:thumb:

Jubilee39 12-01-2022 05:26

Re: Tensioning my steering cables.
 
Just a note on the stainless chain. Mine broke while sailing into anchorage. Caused a little excitement but no damage. I replaced with motorcycle chain which is carbon steel vs stainless. Its well greased so corrosion is not a problem and less suceptible to stress corrosion

stormalong 12-01-2022 09:55

Re: Tensioning my steering cables.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jubilee39 (Post 3553455)
Just a note on the stainless chain. Mine broke while sailing into anchorage. Caused a little excitement but no damage. I replaced with motorcycle chain which is carbon steel vs stainless. Its well greased so corrosion is not a problem and less suceptible to stress corrosion

Do you have a compass on the pedestal? What affect did tht chain have on the compass?

Jubilee39 12-01-2022 10:14

Re: Tensioning my steering cables.
 
No noticeable effect.the compass is about 8 inches above the sprocket. I don't know what the magnetic field is of the stainless but I have circumnavigated with the steel chain

stormalong 12-01-2022 10:36

Re: Tensioning my steering cables.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jubilee39 (Post 3553601)
No noticeable effect.the compass is about 8 inches above the sprocket. I don't know what the magnetic field is of the stainless but I have circumnavigated with the steel chain

Most compass mounts are right above the chain so some experimentation would be needed.

FWIW you can buy stainless steel chain from sources other than Edson for far less money.

GILow 12-01-2022 14:25

Re: Tensioning my steering cables.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by marcjsmith (Post 3552943)

Personally, i'd look for a new hook with more thread, new nuts and washers before I started playing with new cables


cheaper easier, faster


Personally, Iíd look for the CAUSE of the problem before kludging such a ďcheap easy and fastĒ solution.

Anything else is an invitation to steering failure. If I was looking at a boat with that kind of maintenance Iíd stay well clear.

marcjsmith 12-01-2022 15:33

Re: Tensioning my steering cables.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by GILow (Post 3553732)
Personally, Iíd look for the CAUSE of the problem before kludging such a ďcheap easy and fastĒ

Op said he put new cables on ten years ago.
Possible that there is nothing wrong with the system other than the inability to tune out some slop

Cables stretch over time.

Itís possible that when the new cables were installed they were cut a smidge too long, or the hooks were not returned to their full loose position When the new cables were made or a combination of the two.

Looks like the op has done due diligence at least in looking for possible areas that could create the slop and found none.

Cables look clean, hooks look old and grungy, quadrant could use a scrub,

Meh.... new hooks washers and nuts and a good cleaning. Snug it all back up, cast off the lines and go sailing.

Itís rare on a boat, but sometimes, the easiest and cheapest fix, much to the chagrin of chandlers and boatyards, is the right fix.

wholybee 12-01-2022 16:54

Re: Tensioning my steering cables.
 
Imho, 10 years is a long time. The cables need replaced, regardless of grease or appearance. The steel will fatigue and fail without warning or signs of wear. Likely other stuff needs replacement as well. Edson has a guide to inspection and rebuilding, and drawings of factory installs with parts lists.

Do not attempt to remove a link from the chain. You could try removing the crimped loop on the end of the cable and replace with clamps. A new cable from Edson will use clamps.

GILow 12-01-2022 18:39

Re: Tensioning my steering cables.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by marcjsmith (Post 3553768)
Op said he put new cables on ten years ago.

Possible that there is nothing wrong with the system other than the inability to tune out some slop



Cables stretch over time.



Itís possible that when the new cables were installed they were cut a smidge too long, or the hooks were not returned to their full loose position When the new cables were made or a combination of the two.



Looks like the op has done due diligence at least in looking for possible areas that could create the slop and found none.



Cables look clean, hooks look old and grungy, quadrant could use a scrub,



Meh.... new hooks washers and nuts and a good cleaning. Snug it all back up, cast off the lines and go sailing.



Itís rare on a boat, but sometimes, the easiest and cheapest fix, much to the chagrin of chandlers and boatyards, is the right fix.



Ten years is old, particularly for some of the rubbish wire on the market.

Whatever, the OP has a number of suggestions here, they can choose.

Myself, I think steering systems are too critical for shortcuts.

Pete the Cat 14-01-2022 08:21

Re: Tensioning my steering cables.
 
I have no experience with the push/pull system noted here (sounds like a nightmare idea of manufacturers to reduce their costs of production that will be a headache for future owners), but have worked numerous times on the traditional pulley/cable systems on the several boats I have personally refitted. I would urge caution with some of the advice in this thread. Chain breaking before the cable?? Really?? I suppose it is possible in the worst of all possible worlds but it is difficult to imagine that is basically a motorcycle chain that turns a very short arc. In the normal cable/pulley arrangement there is a great opportunity for failure of basic maintenance and sloppy steering as a result. The cables will stretch under normal use and this is what the bolt and nut arrangement at the cable ends on the quadrant are there for. Edson provides instructions for how to tension this, but it needs to be tight, but not bar tight. I suppose they will sell you a chain but the maintenance Kit I have bought from them a couple times is just the cable and that is all that is needed. I usually replace the brake pad at that same tiime (use a cloth so you do not lose the parts in the binnacle when servicing the brake--it is a pisser of a job the first time you do it).
Here are the failures of boatowners:
1. Failure to lubricate the pulleys and cable annually. The cable will stretch under normal usage, but it really is going to go fast if you do not put some oil on all the cable and turning blocks. Watch out for meat hooks on the cable. These are not necessarily indications of the need for immediate cable replacement, but meathooks should not be numerous or concentrated. The instructions for the cable replacement are clear and simple--read and follow them.
2. Failure to lock the steering with the brake when on the mooring or in the slip. The action of wave and current pressure on the rudder will be acting and moving the cable and pulleys even though you may not see it. Wear and shock on the system from this motion transfers loads to the cable and pulleys that stretches the cable prematurely and wears out the pulleys--even if they are all lubricated and attended properly, which my guess is rare from what I have seen in the boatyards where I have worked.

Seems to me that this is one of the greatest maintenance failures on most boats. Seems to me that folks spend way too much time putting the latest gee gaws on their boats and frightfully not enough attention to basic maintainence of systems like this (and the cooling/exhaust sytems).

Just one opinion. I am sure there are others.

MicHughV 14-01-2022 09:03

Re: Tensioning my steering cables.
 
it's not so unreal....I've had a chain break...never had a cable break...

sailor1026 14-01-2022 09:16

Re: Tensioning my steering cables.
 
I know of two Leopard catamarans who have had the chain break. It looked like a crevice started on one of the cheek plates on a link.
Our Leopard 40 cat has the Edson steering system that includes a length of conduit, which we found had corroded. We then found broken strands in the wire. We replaced both cable and conduit. The sheaves were fine. We were told that the lifetime of their systems is 15 years. The chain didn't show any cracks, but we replaced it anyway since the lifetime of such systems is based on the number of stress cycles.
Our system replacement is described here:
https://svlux.blogspot.com/2021/01/s...ng-system.html

Hoodsail 14-01-2022 09:16

Re: Tensioning my steering cables.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by GILow (Post 3552896)
I think Hoodsail may be referring to incidents of the pedestal mounting itself failing. I remember a thread a while back showing that the brackets under the cockpit sole had rusted away to almost nothing and the pedestal either detached and fell over or was perilously close to doing so.

Easily overlooked, I know it made me scramble to check mine. All ok but Iíd been focusing on cables and pulleys and hadnít considered how the pedestal was attached to the boat.

Yep, GIlow, you provided better detail...it is actually the brackets under the cockpit sole that secure the pedestal as you noted...rarely checked...I will be doing so this Spring. thnks

stormalong 14-01-2022 10:17

Re: Tensioning my steering cables.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MicHughV (Post 3554733)
it's not so unreal....I've had a chain break...never had a cable break...

Same here - more than once. The stainless steel chain is much weaker than bike chain. The first time it happened I fixed it with a master link and the same chain broke again in a different spot soon after. Never broke a cable.


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