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Happy Husker

Repairing the slop in the steering

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"05 chap 220ssi 350 mag/ B3. After 800 hrs the slop in the steering has reached its and my limits. Question is do I have to pull the engine to repair or can it be done by pulling the lower unit ?

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Not sure if you are talking about leaking power steering or sloppy steering. If the later, then how about checking/replacing the steering wheel mechanism and steering cable first?

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B3 are typically have issues with the Gimbal ring getting loose on the steering pin. To test, pull boat out of water, then have someone hold steering wheel firmly. Go to drive and try moving it left and right. While doing so look at the square steering pin and Gimbal ring and look for give between the two. If you can move the drive and see the steering pin stay still but see the Gimbal ring moving, then you will need a new Gimbal Ring. The correct way to replace it is by removing the motor, and that's what most mechanics will insist on.

When I had mine done it cost around 3 large herds.

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Your gimbal might be bad, or it might be the steering pin thats located on the arm that goes into your upper drive. I would check all your steering cables all the way back to ensure they are set correctly and tight.

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If your transom assy. is good shape, you do not have to pull the engine to fix the problem. If the problem is in the gimble ring, pivot pin or pivot arm, there is a kit from Mercury available to install access holes on sides the transom assy. This allow you to get to the pinch bolt and pivot pin nut. You can tighten the pivot arm if that is the cause of the slop, or, if there is not much corrosion, the access holes will allow you to remove the entire gimble ring and replace the u-bolt, pivot pin, and or gimble ring. There is also a kit available from jrmarine.com to get even better access to those parts to do the repairs without pulling the motors.

I just did the jrmarine mods on both of my bravo 3's and it worked out great. The process was a PITA but very straightforward. Corrosion on my pivot arms and pivot pins were causing the slop in my steering. I was also getting water leaks through the pivot pin seals caused by the corroding OEM steel pivot pins, a common B3 issue.

The detailed videos at jrmarine .com are excellent in showing what is involved.

Tom

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