Welcome Guest - Sign Up today
Welcome Guest - Sign Up today
Store Links Mobile - Shop Now

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Teleflex Xtreme Steering Replacement '73 Starcraft Mariner 21'

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
This is a sticky topic.
X
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Teleflex Xtreme Steering Replacement '73 Starcraft Mariner 21'

    As one of the 10 iboat forum members that were selected as field tester for the new Teleflex Xtreme Mechanical Steering system, I thought I would document the process for all here at iboats.

    I would like to first of all thank Teleflex for the opportunity and iboats for enabling this to happen. Very cool

    The boat is a mostly original 1973 Starcraft Mariner center console with a 1985 90hp V-4 Johnson.

    Having never worked on a "modern" steering system this will be a learning experience for me.

    Teleflex asked 3 questions, mailing address, length of cable and if there is a tilt helm.

    Address - easy
    Existing cable had a number on my cable -T 18 ft 0 Q, easy
    Tilt - no tilt helm again easy.

    I also included additional information; it is a rotary system with a straight bezel and a transom mounted clamp / support tube. I also sent a few pictures so Teleflex could see my existing system. The goal here was not to screw this up on my behalf.

    Here are the pics I sent to Teleflex

    Bezel and steering wheel, the wheel is very sloppy moves all around at least a 1/2" in any direction.



    The rotary steering, (hard pic to take)


    Steering cable out of rotary steering, 90 degrees down, behind all the wires and in to the floor, another
    90 degree turn. Looks like a good time to rewire.


    Back to the stern, another 90 out of the floor, comes up behind the battery box, runs behind the VRO tank and does a 180 up and out to the splash well. There is a crack in the cable case right next to the VRO fill tube.


    Hooks to the support tube and mount and to the motor.


    Piece of cake, or so I hope. My biggest concern is pulling the existing cable out and pulling the new one in. There are a lot of wires in the channel under the deck.
    Last edited by Bob_VT; August 19th, 2012, 08:50 PM.


    1973 Starcraft 21 Mariner ---------------- 1966 Lone Star Medallion II --------------- 1963 14' Lone Star Big Fisherman

    A Smart Phone is one that is Not in your hand when driving!

  • #2
    Re: Teleflex Xtreme Steering Replacement '73 Starcraft Mariner 21'

    Another reason why I am very fortunate to have received this great opportunity.



    Just a little crack in the casing.

    Next step is wait and see if they have any questions. Then wait for the New Teleflex Xtreme system to arrive. I really hope it's as easy to install as they say it is.
    Last edited by Bob_VT; August 19th, 2012, 08:51 PM.


    1973 Starcraft 21 Mariner ---------------- 1966 Lone Star Medallion II --------------- 1963 14' Lone Star Big Fisherman

    A Smart Phone is one that is Not in your hand when driving!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Teleflex Xtreme Steering Replacement '73 Starcraft Mariner 21'

      On Monday I started to wonder if there was an issue or problem, maybe Teleflex hadn't received my information. I sent another email just to confirm and they replied that all was good and I will see the package soon. My wife called me about a half hour later and asked what I ordered that would come in a huge box.

      Made it home from work and sure enough the big brown truck had left a big package. Pulled it inside and was feeling like a kid at Christmas time. In the big box there was another box.


      In that box were two more boxes.


      In the smaller box was this nice stash of goodies.


      Everything needed to replace the helm steering.

      In the other box a new cable.


      Very nice, well packaged. Great information on the product and how to install it.
      Last edited by Bob_VT; August 19th, 2012, 08:51 PM.


      1973 Starcraft 21 Mariner ---------------- 1966 Lone Star Medallion II --------------- 1963 14' Lone Star Big Fisherman

      A Smart Phone is one that is Not in your hand when driving!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Teleflex Extreme Steering Replacement '73 Starcraft Mariner 21'

        After checking all the product over, I started having a sinking feeling. Was the right length cable ordered?

        The current attachment to the boat looks like this.


        The existing cable case ends under the support tube swivel, which is about 14" away from the tilt tube on the motor. I'm still trying to figure out why the PO didn't use the tilt tube, the ends are capped and plugged.

        After triple measuring again, I felt that I was at least 1' short.

        Today I called Teleflex and spoke to Jim, their cable guru. We went over everything and he made a simple suggestion. Un-clamp my existing cable and see if it reaches the tilt tube. After work, made it in the driveway and stopped at the boat, loosened the fittings and was very relieved to find that the cable pulled even with the tilt tube. Everything seems good so far.

        I'm still trying to figure out what my current set up was supposed to be. It has an internal thread on the support tube where the cable attaches. Jim from Teleflex said it shouldn't be like that? The other end of the support tube is threaded on the outside of the tube, it is also stripped after about 3/4" in.


        At this time I guess I don't really care much about the old system. Time for the new.

        The one thing I still need is a Steering link #173700, trying to swing a good deal on line as this is being typed.

        Once the steering link comes it's time to dig in and replace the whole system. Just hope it's not 96 degrees like it is today and the the new cable does actually fit.


        1973 Starcraft 21 Mariner ---------------- 1966 Lone Star Medallion II --------------- 1963 14' Lone Star Big Fisherman

        A Smart Phone is one that is Not in your hand when driving!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Teleflex Xtreme Steering Replacement '73 Starcraft Mariner 21'

          Changing the steering at the motor from a steering tube to the motors tilt tube required getting a steering link arm. Found a good deal on line for the one that is specific to my motor.

          The information provided by Teleflex calls for installing the helm, bezel and steering wheel first. So it was time to start removing the existing system.

          The steering wheel popped of with a light tap on the shaft after removing the nut and placing a shim behind the wheel.

          The woodruff key was a different story. It would not come out. After 15 or 20 minutes of banging on it (high tech stuff) I decided that cracking the old plastic retaining plate would allow the helm to be removed. In the course of hammering on the woodruff key, a screw on the interior face of the tach worked loose and fell into the gauge. I was able to get the screw back in the gauge, but ended up cracking the plastic face when trying to reassemble it. I am lucky that I have some salvaged gauges with a matching plastic face that will replace the cracked one.

          Next the existing cable needed to be removed from the old helm. Disconnecting my old cable from the helm was not a simple task. After removing all the connections to the motor and steering tubes and releasing the large cable attachment nut, the cable would not release from the mechanism. The old helm had to be disassembled to free the cable. Be prepared for a greasy mess if you have to do this.

          At this point the boat was ready for the new steering system. The helm was first on the list. The Teleflex Xtreme Rotary helm installation instructions state it requires a 3 ¼” hole for installation of the mounting bracket.

          Since this is a replacement there is a hole at the center point of the helm location. This makes drilling with a hole saw difficult. A scrap piece of wood was cut and screwed to the console over the existing hole and the center point was marked.


          You can also see where the screw fell out of the tach in the picture.

          I have over 10 holes saws but not a 3 ¼”. I opted to use a 3” that I had. After drilling the 3” hole, the four points where the mounting bracket contacted the edge of the hole were marked, a ¼” bit was used to edge out those points and allow a good clean fit of the mounting bracket.

          The mounting bracket attaches with 3 bolts, 3/8ths holes were marked and drilled. Teleflex does provide a mounting template with the owner’s manual, but I did not use it, I used the bracket to mark the mounting holes. The bracket was installed and tightened to spec.

          The rotary helm is attached to the mounting bracket with 3 bolts. The bracket is inset in the console and takes some nimble fingers to get the screws started while holding the helm from the back side. The bolts were tightened to spec.


          The 90 degree bezel easily installs with 2 screws. The woodruff key was a very tight fit and had to be tapped in with a hammer. A newer steering wheel was installed and the lock nut tightened to spec.


          Teleflex provided all the required materials and the installation instructions were very simple and easy to understand. This took 1.5 hours to complete. About 15 minutes was spent gathering tools. The removal of the existing helm, disconnecting the helm from the cable and fixing the screw in the tach took about 50 minutes. Installing the new Teleflex Xtreme Rotary helm took about 25 minutes.

          Last edited by Bob_VT; August 19th, 2012, 08:52 PM.


          1973 Starcraft 21 Mariner ---------------- 1966 Lone Star Medallion II --------------- 1963 14' Lone Star Big Fisherman

          A Smart Phone is one that is Not in your hand when driving!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Teleflex Xtreme Steering Replacement '73 Starcraft Mariner 21'

            The helm was done; removing the old cable was the next step.

            I opted to pull the cable out from console to the transom. Cable removal also provided a challenge on this boat. This is a center console and the cable runs under the floor and back up under the splash well. There are two access points for cables and wires; the steering cable was located in the bilge hole against the transom, behind the battery box.

            The 40 year old cable was very stiff and came up 90 degrees from the floor turned 90 degrees to the left, then had a 180 degree turn up and out to the splash well. The red line in the pic sort of shows the cable path. The cable is under the floor from the behind the battery box forward and above the floor behind the VRO tank.



            At the start the cable would move about 1” to 2” per pull, then I would feed that out the splash well. As the cable continued to move a little more would feed out of the trough maybe 3” to 4” inches per pull. The kicker tank was removed and the and the bilge pump hose was pulled to make access easier.

            It took about 1.25 hours to remove the cable. Did I mention that it was 94 in the shade.

            In hindsight I wonder if cutting the cable might have been an easier solution to removing the the old cable. Cutting at the bilge and pulling toward the console seems pretty easy in my mind. I will never know but maybe someone else has tried it or will.

            The existing cable was 18’ and that was the length cable that was ordered. The length concerned me as this was being converted from a steering tube to the tilt tube on the motor.

            I had spoken with Teleflex and they told me to just pull the old cable over to the motor to see if it fit. This was done and it looked like it would fit.

            Another tip I had seen in Teleflex’s information was to use a garden hose to check the length of your cable run. I did the garden hose method (keeping it above the floor) and it appeared that the cable would fit by matching the old route, but it was very close.

            Another item that I hadn’t considered was the old cable attached to the bottom fitting of the old helm. The Xtreme cable attaches to the top fitting on the new helm. This would require a few more inches of cable.

            Under the splash well there are two access points to the wire cable chase. I opted to change the cable routing to the front hole, not the back (bilge) as previously installed. To me this had a couple advantages; the route was more direct requiring less cable with less bends in the cable.

            One of the factors that plagues replacing a cable is the motor has to be removed or moved down the transom to allow enough room to slip the cable in the tilt tube (on some boats). Prior to installing the cable I slid it in the tilt tube to ensure it would fit without moving the motor.

            The tilt tube on this motor had the factory caps still installed and the tube was packed with grease. The end of the cable was now covered in grease, it was removed and covered with a bag and taped to try and prevent the grease from picking up dirt in the driveway.

            A fish tape was run from the console trough access hole back to the front access hole at the stern, out the splash well and about 3 feet past the end of the boat. The fish tape was attached to the cable; I bent the end of the fish to wrap around the metal part of the cable and also taped the fish to the cable’s removable protective sleeve. About 2 feet of the cable was wrapped to hold it in place as it was pulled. I used packaging tape because I couldn’t find my electrical tape, it worked great.

            I had my 11 year old son feed the new cable to the splash well as I pulled the wire fish and fed the cable into the access hole at the stern at the same time. The cable was very easy to pull up to the console.

            The cable comes out of the trough, behind the kicker fuel tank, over the top of the VRO tank and out the splash well. There are no hard 90 degree turns like the old cable had.


            The bag on the cable output ram did its job keeping it clean and it was slipped into the tilt tube, extra Marine grease was added to the output ram on the cable.

            Running the new cable took about 1/2 hour.
            Last edited by Bob_VT; August 19th, 2012, 08:52 PM.


            1973 Starcraft 21 Mariner ---------------- 1966 Lone Star Medallion II --------------- 1963 14' Lone Star Big Fisherman

            A Smart Phone is one that is Not in your hand when driving!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Teleflex Xtreme Steering Replacement '73 Starcraft Mariner 21'

              It was now time to connect the cable to the helm.

              At the console I attempted to run the cable in front of the shelf like the old cable had been run. Because the cable installs to the top mount of the rotary helm the cable interfered with the wires on the back of the console face. The cable was then routed up the same grommet hole that had been recently installed and the wires had been moved to. The cable fed nicely towards the back of the console away from the wires and to the helm.

              At this time the protective sleeve is removed from the cable end and the cable is fed into the helm. The steering wheel is turned counter clockwise pulling the cable in until the metal end of the cable sleeve clicks into the helm, locking it in place. No big nut to try and turn. The cable is then cycled by turning the wheel as far as it will go in each direction.

              The cable is set in place with a pin which locks the locking mechanism. The wheel is cycled again and if all is good the feed spent travel tube is fed over the exposed cable and locked onto the helm. Another pin is inserted locking it in place. You can see part of the pin in the pic below. It is below the point where the spent travel tube connects to the helm, it's circular and silver


              Then a test of the switches at the helm was done. Several small issues were found and corrected. A couple plugs had pulled off and one wire had a broken connection from when the cable was first run to the front of the shelf. These were quickly addressed.

              I then turned to the motor end of the cable. The output ram was already in the motor tilt tube. It was very simple to thread and tighten the coupler nut. The nut has an internal plastic locking ring to hold it in place.


              The steering link arm was attached to the output ram and then to the motor.


              Installing the cable to the helm and to the motor took about .75 hours, aka 45 minutes.

              Clean up was done and the system was tested in the driveway.

              The total time was about 4.5 hours with much more time being spent removing the old versus installing the new.

              I would rate myself as being very mechanically inclined and found the new system very easy to install. There was no blood drawn.

              My old steering was 2.75 lock to lock. The Teleflex Xtreme is about 5.25 lock to lock. It will be interesting to see how the additional turns relate to steering the boat.

              The NFB should also be interesting and I look forward to seeing how the whole Xtreme steering works for me.

              Today I will be taking my kids out to have some fun and water testing the the new Teleflex Xtreme system.

              I took a video of steering the boat with the old system and will try and get one with the new system.
              Last edited by Bob_VT; August 19th, 2012, 08:53 PM.


              1973 Starcraft 21 Mariner ---------------- 1966 Lone Star Medallion II --------------- 1963 14' Lone Star Big Fisherman

              A Smart Phone is one that is Not in your hand when driving!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Teleflex Xtreme Steering Replacement '73 Starcraft Mariner 21'

                Here are some before and after pics.

                Before


                After


                The steering wheel was salvaged off a different boat for a nice little free upgrade.


                Before


                After rewiring


                Complete
                Last edited by Bob_VT; August 19th, 2012, 08:53 PM.


                1973 Starcraft 21 Mariner ---------------- 1966 Lone Star Medallion II --------------- 1963 14' Lone Star Big Fisherman

                A Smart Phone is one that is Not in your hand when driving!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Teleflex Xtreme Steering Replacement '73 Starcraft Mariner 21'

                  Helm before


                  After


                  Before


                  After
                  Last edited by Bob_VT; August 19th, 2012, 08:54 PM.


                  1973 Starcraft 21 Mariner ---------------- 1966 Lone Star Medallion II --------------- 1963 14' Lone Star Big Fisherman

                  A Smart Phone is one that is Not in your hand when driving!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Teleflex Xtreme Steering Replacement '73 Starcraft Mariner 21'

                    Here are before and after videos of the 21' Starcraft Mariner Steering system replacement.

                    The videos are a little long but do show operation from idle up to 30mph, I wasn't able to get up to wot due to lake size and traffic.

                    From what I can tell the original steering was a Teleflex system from 1973 or 74.
                    Click on the pic to see the video.
                    [IMG][/IMG]

                    After with the New Teleflex Xtreme System. Again click on pic to view

                    [IMG][/IMG]

                    Some general thoughts and observations are;

                    As stated at the beginning, prior to this exchange, the only steering I have worked on was a cable, pulley, spindle set up, 8 years owning that set up. I have owned this boat for just under one year. If you would really search through my posts you would see that I didn't even know what a tilt tube was until someone here informed me about 1 1/2 years ago. So in reality I am a true rookie when it comes to steering systems.

                    Obviously comparing what is most likely a 38 or 39 year old steering system to a new system is almost a mute point. The old system was worn out and probably should have been replaced years ago. It did function but it was very loose and the cable did have 2 cracks in it.

                    The old system had a tremendous amount of free play in the helm. Worn gears and stretched cable would be my guess. The old system seemed twice as hard to turn to port as it was to starboard. The wheel if left unmanned would spin clockwise, steering to starboard. I know from reading here at iboats that this is torque steer, which is caused by the prop forces pushing the motor. The torque steer was part of operating the boat as far as I was concerned.

                    The new NFB (no feed back) Xtreme system has eliminated or masked all obvious indications of torque steer. The wheel does not turn on it's own and the amount of pressure or force required to turn the wheel in either direction appears to be equal.

                    The old system was 2.75 turns lock to lock, the new is about 5.33 lock to lock.

                    With the old steering low speed turns required relatively small movements to enact a small turn, or a quick spin of the wheel provided a quick turn. When pulling the kids tubing at about 20mph, a half turn of the wheel would turn the boat and swing the kids and tube from one side of the wake to the other. At WOT the boat reacted quickly to small movements of the wheel.

                    The new Xtreme system requires the wheel to turn about twice as much to enact the same turn. At idle and low speed the maneuvering knob that was salvaged off my old boat is very useful. The knob allows quick wheel turns with one hand. The turns at 1/2 to 3/4 speed are easy and firm, as I said too many times in the video. It provides a feeling that I am truly controlling the boat, the wheel stays in position until it is moved.

                    I have not tested it at WOT yet.

                    I still have to figure out the wheel being 180 degrees off. The installation instructions were followed, they state to feed the cable in the helm with the wheel 180 off. This is supposed to provide an installed position that is correct. I have contacted Teleflex and they are discussing my experience. They stated that 8 other people they had talked with had no issues. Also the tech rep I spoke with said he had installed several systems as part of getting the system to market, he had no issues.

                    The concerns about the 18' cable length turned out not to be an issue because the routing of the cable was changed. If you happen to have a setup like mine and want to keep the routing like the original (out the bilge) and are trading from a support tube to the tilt tube a 19' or maybe even a 20' cable should be ordered.

                    At some point the cable will be removed and the wheel re-positioned. I would do it today but it is roasting outside, at one point the temp at the house was 104 degrees in the shade. That is why I'm writing this today and not out on the water or grilling out.

                    Happy 4th of July to all at iboats.
                    Last edited by Bob_VT; August 19th, 2012, 08:54 PM.


                    1973 Starcraft 21 Mariner ---------------- 1966 Lone Star Medallion II --------------- 1963 14' Lone Star Big Fisherman

                    A Smart Phone is one that is Not in your hand when driving!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Teleflex Xtreme Steering Replacement '73 Starcraft Mariner 21'

                      This morning the issue of the steering wheel being 180 degrees off was looked at.

                      I disconnected the steering link from the output ram. Pulled the locking pin from the cable input spigot of the helm.



                      The directions to complete the process are attached to the pin.

                      I pushed the pin in the hole, it took a fair amount of pressure to release the lock. Tried to pull on the cable but it wouldn't move. A simple clockwise turn of the wheel and the cable slid out of the helm. The work at the helm so far was done while sitting on the seat at the helm. I could feel the hole and did not have to look at it.

                      As the cable fed out I guided it with my hand so it would not kink. A plastic bag was placed over my hand to prevent grease from getting everywhere. This was done while laying on the floor (sole).

                      Feeling for the point where the cable disengaged from the mechanism, the orientation of the wheel was checked. It was upside down or 180 degrees off. Which is what the installation instructions stated as the correct position to start.

                      The wheel was rotated 180 degrees from what the directions called for and the cable was re-inserted into the helm. Using the hand with the bag over it, the cable was guided so not to kink. The steering wheel was turned counter clockwise, feeding the cable in until it again locked in place. The wheel was rotated several times from lock to lock and the locking pin was reinserted.

                      The steering arm was then attached to the output ram and the steering was tested again. This time the steering wheel and motor were properly aligned.


                      The whole process took about 15 minutes. At the helm the only tool that was used was the locking pin included with the system. At the output ram a pair of pliers were used to turn the cable so the steering link would align with the hole in the output ram and a 9/16" socket / ratchet was used to tighten it.

                      The ease of the correcting the steering wheel orientation was great. It tells me that when it comes time to grease the cable at the helm it will be very simple to release the cable and and put it back in.


                      I had previously called Teleflex and spoke with them about the steering wheel orientation being off 180. I left a message this morning informing them how it was resolved.

                      We will see how they respond.
                      Last edited by Bob_VT; August 19th, 2012, 08:54 PM.


                      1973 Starcraft 21 Mariner ---------------- 1966 Lone Star Medallion II --------------- 1963 14' Lone Star Big Fisherman

                      A Smart Phone is one that is Not in your hand when driving!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Sign up today
                        Re: Teleflex Xtreme Steering Replacement '73 Starcraft Mariner 21'

                        Had a call back from Teleflex today. The guy was very nice. We discussed the issue of the wheel being 180 off on the first install. His comment was
                        Don't believe everything you read.
                        He said the the engineers would be revisiting the installation, performing 6 tests to review the original findings they had determined. He seemed to indicate they do it on a test platform and not on a boat.

                        He also mentioned they might have used a 4 spoke wheel with equal spacing, something like this.
                        that may or may not have been 180 off when tested.

                        The 3 spoke wheel that was installed was certainly 180 off.

                        We had a long conversation and he was great. We laughed quite a bit during the call. I know he doesn't doubt my findings.

                        On a different note I did receive an email from Teleflex that contained an excel evaluation survey. I will fill this out as soon as I get back on the water and do a few WOT runs.
                        Last edited by Bob_VT; August 19th, 2012, 08:55 PM.


                        1973 Starcraft 21 Mariner ---------------- 1966 Lone Star Medallion II --------------- 1963 14' Lone Star Big Fisherman

                        A Smart Phone is one that is Not in your hand when driving!

                        Comment

                        Working...
                        X