SX-MHP Steering Arm Removal--Stuck need help

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2005 Chaparral 256 SSi
Volvo 8.1 GXi
DuoProp
Transom Shield/Suspension Fork/Gimbal ring is the somewhat rare MHP version.
___________________________________________________________________________

Good afternoon,

My boat was leaking a small amount of water through the steering arm cavity. I read the following post and decided, along with a Volvo Mechanic by my side, to tackle the job.

For the life of us, we cannot get the suspension fork (gimbal ring) to come free of the steering arm. This version does not need the Volvo special tool. The service manual for the MHP states to hit the assemble with a rawhide hammer if it is tight.

We have hit with PB blaster, heat, hammer (protecting the surface) to no avail.

Any thoughts on how to get the steering arm free? If I cannot get it free, I am going to attempt to cut through the arm and the square peg on the gimbal ring and replace both parts which are about $750 each and I'd rather avoid...
 
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Re: MHP Steering Arm Removal--Stuck need help

Re: MHP Steering Arm Removal--Stuck need help

If no thoughts on removal, any thoughts on cutting through the arm and post on the gimbal ring with a dremel and cutting wheel?
 

alldodge

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Re: MHP Steering Arm Removal--Stuck need help

Re: MHP Steering Arm Removal--Stuck need help

Not a Volvo guru but have been looking around. You say yours doesn't require the special tool, but I'm having trouble picturing what you do have. Can you post a pic?

Edit: Forgot :welcome: to iboats
 
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Re: MHP Steering Arm Removal--Stuck need help

Re: MHP Steering Arm Removal--Stuck need help

Thanks for the welcome and the reply. I am fairly active on the Chaparral Forum but new here and plan to stay. The only photos I have at the moment are of the parts diagram which I have attached. You can't tell from the diagram but 23, the steering arm post, has a square to receive the top of the gimbal steering peg.

VPPartsMHPHousing.jpg

This is from the shop manual for the SX-MHP shield (which I have):
10.
Unscrew the steering arm bolt part way out of the gimbal support.
Push down on the gimbal ring assembly to remove it from the gimbal housing. If it does not come out easily, lightly tap on the assembly with a rawhide mallet. Finish removing the screw and remove the gimbal ring assembly from the gimbal housing.

serviceMHPsteeringarm.jpg

On the SX-M shield this is what the service manual says and the steering arm and steering post on the top of the gimbal ring are of a different design:

8.
Rest Tiller Arm Puller, Volvo Penta P/N 3854361, on top of the two alignment dowels inside the steering arm, and install the center bolt. Tighten the bolt to remove the steering arm. Be ready to catch the gimbal ring when the arm comes free.
 
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alldodge

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Re: SX-MHP Steering Arm Removal--Stuck need help

In my review it appears the square pin on top should come straight down. That is after the bottom pivot pin (or what ever holds the bottom) holding the bottom of the ring is removed. There are one bolt on each side of the top pin which can be removed after the ring comes down.

If my assumption is correct, can you fit a hydraulic jack between the top pin and underside of the swim deck or something? Don't know how much room you have. I have a port-a-power which has some small jack attachments.
 

Rusty S

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Re: SX-MHP Steering Arm Removal--Stuck need help

I assume you have the bottom support removed, and have the steering arm bolt loosened enough for the ring (Part #1 on right diagram) to drop down.
The first time I did mine it was a bear! I ended up using a large drift punch with good sized framing hammer. Place punch on either side of hole at bottom and whack away. Took about 20-30 mins of back and forth each side, but it did come. Didn't release with a single whack; it was stubborn all the way out.
Second time (last fall) was a little easier, but still stubborn. It will leave some marks on bottom, but I took mine apart to paint and re-shim so the leak goes away (again!).
This design sucks for water intrusion! Wish I could correct it once and for all....
Good luck Captscottchap!
 
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Re: SX-MHP Steering Arm Removal--Stuck need help

OK thanks to you both. Hydraulic ram is an interesting idea... don't have one but may be worth a shot. I do have clearance issues with the swim platform but a mini-ram could probably get in there.

Rusty S- Are you saying to hit the bottom of the gimbal ring with the punch and hammer? ALSO, I am concerned that yours leaked a second time after you did the Re&Re. Was there something you didn't replace or did incorrectly the first time? I DO NOT want to do this ever again.
 

Rusty S

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Re: SX-MHP Steering Arm Removal--Stuck need help

Yes, place punch on bottom of gimbal ring. Like I said; it is important to go from side-to-side. I was afraid of doing damage, but no other way I could figure to get it out. the swim platform does make it challenging, but I got mine removed in this manner.
I'm not for sure where your leak is coming from, but possibilities are many in this area. There is the 0-ring used on the cover, transom bolts, bearing in the transom housing, wear & tear, not enough pre-load at bottom with shims, etc.
When viewing mine up inside behind the motor (tight quarters) i could view water dripping down onto the "shelf" created by the transom housing. This tells me it is coming from where the assembly mates with the housing. Could be I didn't pre-load enough, or other wear on bearings, etc.
I intend to take my gimbal and go to shop with gauge and compare with a new unit. Once you get yours apart view to see if the polished area that inserts into the housing is tapered at the top; mine is. Not for sure if this is OE or wear....but I want to know!
The bearing inside housing requires special tool; will have to take boat to shop and have this replaced. But I'm not sure if these items have worn enough warranting this or not.
At end of the day I am inclined to re-assemble with an additional bottom shim "tightening things up" and see what happens. Last time I did this things were fine for half a season; then a slow leak re-appeared at this same area.
Let me know once yo get it removed if you have the tapered shape; or anyone else can reply regarding this. Not trying to hi-jack; only help!
 
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Re: SX-MHP Steering Arm Removal--Stuck need help

Ok this is helpful.

I had banged on the lower area of the gimbal ring with a 2x4 lying across the "legs" a few times but will focus my efforts on this approach you mention instead of the top down approach I have been primarily trying. I have a new gimbal ring on the way in case I have to cut it off so If i crack it beating on the bottom it wont be the end of the world.

I plan to replace the bearing if i can ever get to it.

Will let you know on the "taper" issue if I ever get this off...

thanks
 

Rusty S

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Re: SX-MHP Steering Arm Removal--Stuck need help

If you don't mind my asking, where did you purchase the new ring from, and how much?
Silly thing is the top part of ring does un-bolt from the main ring, but Volvo will not sell just this part; as you know the enitre assembly has to be purchased....lists for something like $600-$700 I think.
 
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Re: SX-MHP Steering Arm Removal--Stuck need help

I know that drives me NUTS that "the support" (as called in service manual) unbolts but is not sold as a part. The service manual states it should only be removed it it is to be replaced... tough to do when the part is not available.

I was tempted to get the MLT ring with the updated steering arm and attachment point as I am told it will bolt right up no problem but I don't have that from a reliable source and VP will not confirm.

I paid full freight for it around what you mention.... I can return with 10% restocking fee if I don't need it but after 5 days of banging on this thing I figured the likelihood was high. The steering arm costs almost as much although the updated one for the MLT is a fraction of the cost. Really grinds my gears that this is looking like it is going to cost thousands at the end of the day instead of a few hundred.
 
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Re: SX-MHP Steering Arm Removal--Stuck need help

Rusty S- by using a dead blow hammer and a punch on the lower portion of the ring, I was able to start some movement! After 20 min of beating on the damn thing it has moved 1/16 of an inch.

Previously I had no movement so I treat this as a success with cautious optimism! Will continue to bang on it although my hands are bloody and arms are tired.

Also, after I get mine all repaired I am happy to loan you the bearing remover and install tool. Not 100% sure it's needed but I didn't want to take any chances. Will update when I get it off one way or another.
 

Rusty S

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Re: SX-MHP Steering Arm Removal--Stuck need help

Keep it up Captscottchap; you will get it! Remember to keep switching sides or you will just make it bind up. Using this process and alot of PB Blaster was how I got mine removed...
I purchased a micrometer and measured the top part of gimbal ring which I thought was tapered.
It's an optical illusion thankfully. Maybe some very microscropic wear, but nothing like what I had thought. Still want to compare with a new unit to know for sure. With the bearings being brass, or softer material, I'm thinking these wear before the gimbal ring.
Update after your knuckles are healed!
 

Jammer864

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Re: SX-MHP Steering Arm Removal--Stuck need help

Why a punch? Why not just a deadblow hammer right to the bottom part of the gimbal ring?
 

mikwallace

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I bring this discussion back to the top. I also had the same problem of water entering through the transom to the bilge. My drive is the same as listed above; SX-MHP. I replaced the Gimbal Ring steering cover o-ring and through-transom bolt (expensive) felt seals. It stopped the leak coming through the through-transom bolts; however, when I put the boat back into the water, I still had water entering and determined it was through the Upper Steering pin O-ring. Following the guidance from the above thread comments it took me about 3 hours and beating the gimbal ring to separate the gimbal ring from the steering lever. I'll reassemble as directed by the Seloc/VP maintenance procedure. HOWEVER, I didn't have part number 24 (Thrust Washer) between the steering lever and gimbal ring upper steering pin. Did this missing thrust washer lead to the Upper steering PIn O-ring leak?

History: I purchased the boat NEW (2003) and have not had maintenance performed on the gimbal assembly. Could the thrust washer been left out during assembly?

Thanks for any input!!

Follow up: found thrust washer. Is it acceptable to file inner fitting on steering lever so not to be so tight on upper steering pin? The clearance is so small the steering lever won't even slide 1/16" down on pin.
 
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SJShip

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Having the same issue removing the steering arm from the suspension fork. Read the comment "I ended up using a large drift punch with good sized framing hammer. Place punch on either side of hole at bottom and whack away." Any chance you could provide a picture or diagram showing where you are placing the punch on either side of the hole at bottom?
 

GA_Boater

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Can't get a picture from a member who disappeared years ago.

Closed.
 
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