I have a 1974 Bayliner Nisqually flybridge that has steering problems. At an idle the steering from the upper station feels normal but the lower one is a bit stiffer. The system is a power steering Mercruiser and is oem looking. When you are underway the steering alternates between tight and loose. The boat also wanders and is hard to keep on a heading.I have checked fluid level in the pump which is ok and replaced the belt but made no difference. What I have found is that when you move the outdrive by hand, the steering ram and control valve move up and down about 3-4 inches at the end . You also can get about 30-45 degrees of movement at the outdrive with no movement at the helm. This happens with the engine on or off.
My question is, is there repairs to be made to this system or am I better off replacing the entire thing? Any help is greatly appreciated!