FAQ on Steering system
||How do I know which type of control cable I need?
||In order to determine that, you need to know what brand(s)
of engine and control head are on the boat. Mercury/Mariner/Force and
OMC/Johnson/Evinrude engines usually require an "OEM type" cable when using
those engine makers' control heads. OEM type cables have special end
fittings designed to connect to the control and engine with minimal
hardware. Generally, all other engines and controls use a "universal"
3300/33 type control cable. Universal cables have 10-32 threaded ends and
often require extra hardware to connect to the engine and control. Contact
the engine manufacturer if you need details on the hookup. Diesels and twin
station vessels may use larger diameter (4300 or 6400 type) universal
cables; 4300/43 type cables have 1/4-28 threaded ends and 6400/64 cables
have 5/16-24 threaded ends. Refer to the "Control Cables" section of the
catalog for more information.
||How do I know what length control cable I need?
||This depends on two things: a. Are you doing a first-time
control cable installation? Outboards: Measure from control along
unobstructed cable routing to center of outboard. Add two feet to allow for
loop which provides unrestricted engine movement. Round up to next whole
foot and order than length cable(s). Stern Drives and Inboards: Measure from
control along unobstructed cable routing to shift and/or throttle
connection. Round this dimension off to the next whole foot and order that
length cable(s). b. Are you replacing an existing cable? Measure the
existing cable as follows: Measure the cable from tip to tip in inches, and
round up to next even foot. Order that length cable
||My control used to work fine, but now one lever is hard
to move. What should I do to fix this?
||First determine where the problem lies. There are three
possible trouble areas: the control, the cable, and the throttle or
transmission connection. By isolating these one at a time, you will find the
problem. Engine(s) must be OFF when performing these checks: a. Disconnect
the cable at the throttle or transmission attachment point. Move the
throttle or transmission arm through its arc to be certain there is no
restriction or binding. If the arm is stiff or binding, clean and lubricate
moving parts. If this does not solve the problem, make the appropriate
repairs. Generally, the force required to move a throttle or shift arm
should be no more than 5-10 pounds. b. With the cable disconnected at the
engine end, try to move the control lever. If it moves freely, the problem
was the throttle/transmission arm. If the control handle is still to hard to
operate, disconnect the cable from the control. If the lever operates
smoothly, the control cable needs replacement. If the lever is still hard to
move, lubricate the lever pivot point in the control with penetrating oil
and a light grease. c. If the problem is with a throttle lever, you may have
a cable brake installed to limit cable feedback to the handle. If this is
the case, loosen or remove the brake. If throttle lever creep back is a
problem on the boat, you should consider installing a Teleflex CH5600 SLT
control. This unit will stop cable creep without sacrificing a smooth feel.
See the "Engine Controls" section of the catalog for details on the CH5600.
||I want to install an autopilot on a boat with cable
steering. What parts do I need?
||Teleflex does not make adapters or interface parts to
connect an autopilot to mechanical cable steering. This is left to the
autopilot manufacturers. We do however strongly recommend that if you are
installing an autopilot, upgrade your mechanical steering to a SeaStar®
hydraulic system. SeaStar® is designed to interface with most autopilots and
will give you superior all around performance.
||I need to replace the steering system on my boat, but
I looked at the back of the helm and saw it was not made by Teleflex. I
want to install a Teleflex system, but how do I know which one I should
||Generally, replace rotary with rotary and rack & pinion
with rack & pinion. Rotary helm gearboxes are round in shape. Rack &
pinion helms are tubular and connect to a long, thin metal rack housing.
The following is a brief cross reference: Morse Command 290 Rotary: use
Teleflex Safe-T QC for power-assisted or NFBTM 4.2 Rotary for
non-power-assisted. Morse Command 200 Rack: use Teleflex Back Mount Rack
for power-assisted or NFBTM Rack for non-power-assisted. Morse Command
200 Rotary: use Teleflex Big-T for power-assisted or NFBTM 4.2 for
||I would like to upgrade the steering in my boat to Tilt
Steering. What steps do I need to take?
||First determine the brand of steering in your boat, then
whether it is mechanical or hydraulic. If you do not have Teleflex steering,
your options are: a. Replace the helm and cable (or hoses and cylinder) with
a Teleflex System or b. Contact the steering maker for options. Tilt
steering is not available from all steering makers. If you have Teleflex
steering that was made after 1991, you probably only need to purchase a Tilt
helm and Tilt mechanism. (Tilt helms have a special shaft to engage the Tilt
mechanism.) The existing cable or hoses and cylinder are likely compatible
with the new helm. Determine what kind of Teleflex steering you have, then
refer to the appropriate section of this catalog for the Tilt Steering helm
part number. Tilt helms are available for the following Teleflex systems: -
Safe-T "QC" and "TS" Helms (1968-present) - Rack & Pinion Single & Twin
Cable Helms (1984-present) - Big-T Helms - NFBTM Safe-T II, 4.2 & Rack Helms
(1991-present) - SeaStar® 1.7 (I) & 2.4 (II) Helms (1991-present) - SeaStar®
PRO Helms (1993-present) Some pre-1991 systems may require purchase of
additional items and/or dash modification. Call Teleflex Tech Support if you
||I need a link arm to connect the steering cable
output ram to the tiller of my outboard. Can I get the link arm from
||No. You should obtain this link arm from the engine
maker. Link arms vary by engine, and the engine maker offers the correct
link arm for your particular brand and model.
||How do I measure steering cables for a vessel with two
||The only cable steering system available for twin station
boats is the Teleflex Big-T. One cable with two outer jacket (casing)
sections is used to make the run from the engine/rudder to the lower station
helm and then to the upper station helm. The cable required is Part No.
SSC81AxxBxx, where XX = the lengths of the two cable sections in feet. The
letter "A" in the part number represents the cable routing path distance
between steering stations. The letter "B" represents the cable routing path
distance from the lower station to the engine/rudder area. These
measurements are in even foot increments. (For example, if the cable routing
from engine to lower station is 18 feet and the path from station to station
measures 16 feet, order an SSC81A16B18.)
||I'm replacing a Teleflex rack and pinion cable in a 1985
boat. I ordered an SSC124
||Note the old cable's rack housing color. It is probably
green, meaning the old cable is a "TR188" model. This is a Teleflex system,
but the helm will not bolt up to the new SSC124 cable. Replace the helm and
bezel kit with "The Rack" versions.