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  1. #1
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    Steering Cable Lube

    I noticed that my 3 year old dual cable steering seems to be getting a bit tight with age. I think I can make an adapter to go onto the end of the steering cable tubes on the motor so I could force a lube into it. I would drop the rack off at the helm and lube it till it came out there, clean up the mess and reassemble.
    The question is:

    What lubricant should I use?

    Thanks in advance.
    John
    To fish or not to fish? What a STUPID question.

  2. #2
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    Same problem last year. I was inspired by an article TREX posted here years ago and made my own steering cable luber. I put an air hose fitting on it and hooked it up to the compressor. I used tranny fluid. Figured with 120 PSI the tranny fluid would be spraying out the rack, it didn't. Took about a day for both cables at constant pressure. Worked like a charm. Year later the cables are just as free as when I did it.

    Glenn
    '88 CE Hydrostream Vision
    1978 Mercury 1750

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn View Post
    Same problem last year. I was inspired by an article TREX posted here years ago and made my own steering cable luber. I put an air hose fitting on it and hooked it up to the compressor. I used tranny fluid. Figured with 120 PSI the tranny fluid would be spraying out the rack, it didn't. Took about a day for both cables at constant pressure. Worked like a charm. Year later the cables are just as free as when I did it.

    Glenn
    I've been lubing the steering tubes with marine grease. Is that why the cables are stiffening up?

    Yer saying the lube should be tranny fluid, ie about 5 weight high quality oil?
    For the effort, I'd probably substitute alisyn 0 weight gear lube.

    John
    To fish or not to fish? What a STUPID question.

  4. #4
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    I was told not to use greese 'cause being as thick as grease is it could cause the system to hydaulic. It would also be real hard to push through the cables. I just used regular old Dexron/Mercon tranny fluid and nothing else. Worked good for me. You got to be patient, as I mentioned it takes a while to work it's way through all the way to the rack even at 120 PSI believe it or not. It was sort of a last ditch effort and I was prepared to buy new cables. However, it worked out great. If I recall TREX used some sort of weird mixture of eleven different herbs and spices in his mix

    Glenn
    '88 CE Hydrostream Vision
    1978 Mercury 1750

  5. #5
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    potion

    TREX used some sort of weird mixture of eleven different herbs and spices in his mix
    what do you expect... he's coonazz. bill mason did the same thing but he used seafoam. KROIL would work also. i would think that something that could penetrate easily and break up the grease would work best. i put grease in mine last year and the boat became almost undriveable. when the temps got down to 50 degrees i had enough. i replaced my whole steering system. if i ever have rideguide again i'll never put grease in another one
    Erik Kiser

  6. #6
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    '88 CE Hydrostream Vision
    1978 Mercury 1750

  7. #7
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    I think I can make a luber that would fit over the end of the tubes, but for the first time it looks like I'll have to pull the durned engine to clean out the generous 15 shots of grease I put in the tubes.

    John
    To fish or not to fish? What a STUPID question.

  8. #8
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    Damn....Thanks guys. I've been dealing with similar issues with my older cables tightening up. I was just gonna replace them. I guess I'll have to give the luber a shot before I do that though. Scream and Flyers always come through in the clutch.

  9. #9
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    I sent a support query to Teleflex, and got a FAQ on steering cable problems in reply.

    John the cables are life time lubricated from the factory inside the cable jacket below is the way to maintain your steering cables.

    If you do this and they are still stiff replace the cables

    Here's item 2 under "COMMON REASONS WHY STEERING CABLES ARE STIFF"

    Another common cause is the support tubes (at the engine) have a grease fitting on them and grease just gets pumped into it .This forces new grease in on top of old grease and possible gunk which in that tight space can cause a hydraulic locking situation which will make your steering real hard to turn. (Must replace the cable)

    So the grease fitting that I greased hosed the cable. Their only fix is replacement, and they won't tell me what lube to use.

    I guess I'm on my own.

    John
    To fish or not to fish? What a STUPID question.

  10. #10
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    I have a customer that had a system on it that Bass Pro sold, not any more. The stuff that they had was like 80-90 gear oil. His steering is like 8 years old and turns like new. I have taken the cablese off and put 80-90, after seeing his sytem, on them while someone turns them. It seems like it forces it in the cable. It frees them up. I could see where tranny fluid would break down the old grease. Just what I have seen.....
    James Perry

  11. #11
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    Tranny Fluid

    Tranny Fluid has a high detergent content and would be great for freeing up the cables. But, it is my understanding that Tranny Fluid is a VERY POOR lubricator. <--
    Look fear in the eyes and laugh!
    If you're here to have a good time, enjoy yourself.
    If you're here to be a grammar whore, troll, or arrogant nit picker then please leave now!


    79' Allison GT-20
    V4 OMC

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob View Post
    Tranny Fluid has a high detergent content and would be great for freeing up the cables. But, it is my understanding that Tranny Fluid is a VERY POOR lubricator. <--
    Tranny fluid is about a 5 weight oil base. They have different lubricities depending on the type. Type A or dexron is a pretty good lubricant. F or 4 is purposefully less lubricative.

    I think I'll clean it out with SeaFoam, then force in 10W30 synthetic motor oil.

    Then I think I'll put on Davis lube nuts and maintain it with Davis Max-Lube.

    Whatcha thinque.
    John
    To fish or not to fish? What a STUPID question.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by j_martin View Post
    Tranny fluid is about a 5 weight oil base. They have different lubricities depending on the type. Type A or dexron is a pretty good lubricant. F or 4 is purposefully less lubricative.

    I think I'll clean it out with SeaFoam, then force in 10W30 synthetic motor oil.

    Then I think I'll put on Davis lube nuts and maintain it with Davis Max-Lube.

    Whatcha thinque.
    John
    That sounds like a damn good combo to me John. I have a set on my Vector I will be freeing up here pretty soon, let me know how it works out???
    Look fear in the eyes and laugh!
    If you're here to have a good time, enjoy yourself.
    If you're here to be a grammar whore, troll, or arrogant nit picker then please leave now!


    79' Allison GT-20
    V4 OMC

  14. #14
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    If you are going to make one of those lube tools make sure you get all the galvanizing off the pipe before you go welding it. fumes kinda burn the eyes and nose. but looks like its a great idea. might just have to make one myself.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by outboards4life View Post
    If you are going to make one of those lube tools make sure you get all the galvanizing off the pipe before you go welding it. fumes kinda burn the eyes and nose. but looks like its a great idea. might just have to make one myself.
    bein a anginear wannabee, I'll probably get carried away. I picked up a tilt tube today, and some nuts to fit it. I'll make the extension and oil chamber screw onto that, so the extension could be used on cables still on an engine.

    That way I can get serious with a mess like I have now using the whole rig, or use just the extension for a maintainance flush.
    To fish or not to fish? What a STUPID question.

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