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Joe D

2003 235SSI loose steering

9 posts in this topic

I recently purchased a used 235 SSI with 220 hours on the 496 Magnum Bravo III I/O.  The steering is slightly loose and the marina mechanic stated this issue is common due the high torque of the motor causing more than usual wear on the steering cable and it's components.

My question is has anyone done the steering cable replacement on a 235 SSI?  It seems access to the helm is not so straight forward, and how difficult is it to replace the cable?

Thanks

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You may want to also to check the gimble ring where it connects to the steering pin. They are known to loosen and wear if not properly re torqued every season. A commonly overlooked maintenance issue.

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Thanks I will have that checked as well, but the mechanic had his head way deep in the bilge while I shook the steering and he saw the play in the cable and cable end 'teeth'.

I see that your post shows that your running 24 pitch props.  Was that they way the boat was set up new, or did you make a prop change?  I have 26 pitch props and run up to 4900 RPM.

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I've replaced both cable and helm unit on my 230ssi because of a broken cable. A little play is normal. I would try to compare the amount of play with another boat so you don't spend money or time and end up with the same result. That being said it's safety first so check everything thoroughly. You don't want to have cable break at speed while turning in a narrow channel. Don't ask me how I know. 

On my 230 it wasn't that hard to do. I removed the screwed in cooler mount which helped a lot and the bottom of the helm station was open. Don't think you have that luxury. I also needed a large but short length open end wrench for the nut on the steering rack.  Somewhere between 1" to 1-1/2" as I recall.

If you're gonna replace the cable change out the helm unit also. The helm unit pulls the cable internally through itself and it's not serviceable and you can't see if it's worn. At least mine wasn't. 

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Adding to the post with a slight twist.  I was asking my mechanic, (whom I trust, experienced and NOT trying to rip me off) about the -in my opinion- abrupt shifting possibly due to slightly high RPM (showing 800 at the tach) at idle and idle in gear.  I went with him on a bay test after he recommended changing the 26 Pitch props, which needed recon anyway, to 22 pitch.   The scanner confirmed a proper 650 RPM at idle, and the 22 pitch props made the abruptness of the shift a little smoother.  At WOT we hit the rev limiter at 4975 RPM.  Didn't really get a full MPH reading with the GPS but it was around 53 MPH.  (i did 58 MPH on the lake at about 4800 RPM with the dinged up 26 pitch props at time of purchase)

The next step after consulting Mercruiser (mechanic did research said the 496 rev limiter should kick in at 5100) and the Prop shop is to cup the 22 pitch props to back off the rev limiter kicking in, and gain a few MPH above the 53 MPH.  

The boat has no Bottom Paint currently, and the mechanic ran the boat with 24 pitch props and he said it ran like #$%@!.

Any thoughts??? I see that Mi3sons is happy with the 24s, and that makes me curious about why the 24s didn't work with my set up.

Mi3sons what is you WOT MPH with the 24s???

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7 hours ago, Joe D said:

Adding to the post with a slight twist.  I was asking my mechanic, (whom I trust, experienced and NOT trying to rip me off) about the -in my opinion- abrupt shifting possibly due to slightly high RPM (showing 800 at the tach) at idle and idle in gear.  I went with him on a bay test after he recommended changing the 26 Pitch props, which needed recon anyway, to 22 pitch.   The scanner confirmed a proper 650 RPM at idle, and the 22 pitch props made the abruptness of the shift a little smoother.  At WOT we hit the rev limiter at 4975 RPM.  Didn't really get a full MPH reading with the GPS but it was around 53 MPH.  (i did 58 MPH on the lake at about 4800 RPM with the dinged up 26 pitch props at time of purchase)

The next step after consulting Mercruiser (mechanic did research said the 496 rev limiter should kick in at 5100) and the Prop shop is to cup the 22 pitch props to back off the rev limiter kicking in, and gain a few MPH above the 53 MPH.  

The boat has no Bottom Paint currently, and the mechanic ran the boat with 24 pitch props and he said it ran like #$%@!.

Any thoughts??? I see that Mi3sons is happy with the 24s, and that makes me curious about why the 24s didn't work with my set up.

Mi3sons what is you WOT MPH with the 24s???

Mine revs to 4900 with the 24's. What is your drive ratio?

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Tired engine . Needs some parts to run strong again.  Have your tach & rev limiter accuracy checked by your good mechanic only. Use a newer GPS unit for speed accuracy.

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I'm having the 26 pitch props reconditioned and maybe I will squeeze a bay test in before it gets too cold with the 26's.  Having the steering system including the cable, tilt and helm mechanism replaced for peace of mind, and hopefully an improvement.  I have the OEM drive ratio, its 1:81-1?  

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