Loose steering helmet/steering arm on 1989 dp-a volvo penta drive

boating maniac

Petty Officer 2nd Class
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Jun 12, 2011
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So I have 1/2'' or so of side to side movement on my dp-a duo prop outdrive. The mechanic says it's the bushings that are worn out in that steering helmet assembly. Is it really that simple? Seems like a lot of play for just a few worn out bushings that aren't even that thick. I would think if you keep running it with worn out bushings, it will start wallowing out the metal also. Hopefully the mechanic will see what's wrong with it today. I've heard this is a common issue with these drives, but honestly I never really researched it further other and moving my outdrive back and forth and looking for what could be the problem. I kind of wonder if I should just look for a whole new transom shield assembly that's been rebuilt, since the outdrive leg is being changed out for a rebuilt unit.
 

cptbill

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Oct 6, 2012
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For some reason Volvo-Penta seems to have more play in the steering than the other stuff, I don't know if there is a bushing you can replace or not but I spent 7 years trying to tighten up the steering on my Larson with little or no success, it was always around 1/2 to ether side or maybe a little less if you put your finger on top of the wheel and moved it back and forth
 

boating maniac

Petty Officer 2nd Class
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Jun 12, 2011
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103
There are a couple plastic bushings, but if that's the nature of the beast then itnisnwhat it is. It doesnt cause a any steering issues, but the drive does wobble back and forth in the water while in gear.
 

QBhoy

Rear Admiral
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Mar 10, 2016
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They are known to wear exactly as you likely have. Quite a common thing to happen on late 80’s and early 90’s models here. Here in the U.K. they were fitted in their thousands and thousands on boats of that age. Occasionally the bolt on the helmet can be compromised when it gets that bad. Only heard of it once...but presumed it was because of total failure of the bush. Or it wasn’t tightened last time on, haha.
that said. Even with a new bush. There is still play.
 

Scott Danforth

Grumpy old guy who plays with boats
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Jul 23, 2011
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Replace the helmet bushings

Install a 12mm bushing with a 3/8" id in the end of the steering cable

Make sure your pins on the tiller link are not damaged
 

Scott Danforth

Grumpy old guy who plays with boats
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Jul 23, 2011
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If the play is in the spline, someone did not tighten th clamp bolt on the tiller
 

Scott Danforth

Grumpy old guy who plays with boats
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Jul 23, 2011
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however a half inch of play at the prop end of the drive is normal. that is simply the slop in the helmet and pin
 

Scott Danforth

Grumpy old guy who plays with boats
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Jul 23, 2011
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no, you should investigate if there is additional play and what needs to be addressed

the helmet bushings get replaced about every 5 to 10 years. also replace the seal, and the trim sensor drive sector at that time as well.

there should be no play in the tiller arm to helmet shaft

there will be play where the steering cable goes into the pilot portion of the actuator. the cable gets tightened in the tube, and the tube will move back and forth (side to side) a bit when the pump isnt running. that movement is what controls the power steering when the pump is spinning
 

jerryjerry05

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May 7, 2008
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16,603
You ever lube the steering components?
Top of the yoke should have been a grease zerk.
No grease = excess wear and slop.
You might end up replacing to get rid of the 1/2"

I rigged a few hundred new Bayliners and installed a few hundred Volvo drives and none came with any slop.

Replace all the plastic bits and bushings.
If the slop continues? you might have to cut a slot for a key.
 
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