Lubricating a new steering cable


Nov 15, 2020
Can anyone shed some light on 2024 recommendations for a new steering cable greasing (and maybe annual maintenance)? Mercruiser manual (alpha one gen 2) shows 24c in some places Special 101 in others and engine oil on the pivot point. Special 101 is no longer made (for many years now) and from what I can tell 24c is the substitute. My steering cable does not have a zerk as shown in one of the pictures in the mercruiser manual. Also the new cable I purchased (SSCX154XX) came with instructions that say that the cable is supplied lubricated but there’s no visible grease or lubrication visible on the ends so I’m assuming they mean it’s been internally lubricated. So, should any grease still be applied on the shaft end that connects to the alpha one gen 2 steering actuator?

Prior forum posts also seem to conflict each other, some saying grease, some saying not to, some say only white lithium and others saying never white lithium. Sea of confusion.


Supreme Mariner
Mar 25, 2004
Older steering cables had zerk fittings for lubricating the motor end of the cable. The problem was that the grease would be forced between the cable end cover and the cable end rod, which could lock it up. Those zerks were eliminated.

Steering cables are lubricated and then sealed pretty well. You only need to lube the rack and pinon, if you have a R&P system.

Special lube 101 was used on the steering rod to tilt tube for an OB or in the case of a sterndrive, the steering rod to support tube. It was a little thicker than std grease.

As for your issue. Lube the R&P and anything that moves with some marine grease and call it a draw. Revisit it periodically, as it is a PIA to clean up a stiff tilt tube or steering support tube.