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Old 06-30-2019, 02:32 AM   #1
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Default 3rd noob question - difficult steering??

Hey y'all, another noob question. The steering on my 1996 Maxum 1700R is HORRIBLE, I'm, not kidding, its like trying to churn a 50gal drum of peanutbutter with a plastic spoon . At low speeds, it's easy, and out of the water, even easier (so no obvious mechanical problems), but even at 20mph+ (not towing) full turns take full muscle, and after a while I'm exhausted.

What the hell could this be?? Is this just shear physics 101, or could there be a legitimate steering issue here? Any ideas?

Thanks in advance for all the input gang.
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Old 06-30-2019, 03:15 AM   #2
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Does the boat have power assist. Either way the steering cable may be bad. Have you greased the guide tube where the cable attaches to the steering arm? See Mercruiser manual under Documents for your engine. You can try disconnecting the cable to see if the drive moves freely and the wheel is still hard to turn which indicates a bad cable.
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Old 06-30-2019, 06:21 AM   #3
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No power assist on this engine. I'll crawl up under the dash in the morning and have a look at that cable again, but the manual for this boat in the documents section is practically useless, unfortunately...

I did see that my Drive Oil reservoir is was low, but that shouldn't cause a steering issue, right?
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Old 06-30-2019, 11:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stalefish View Post
No power assist on this engine. I'll crawl up under the dash in the morning and have a look at that cable again, but the manual for this boat in the documents section is practically useless, unfortunately...

I did see that my Drive Oil reservoir is was low, but that shouldn't cause a steering issue, right?
Yes gear lube lever has no impact on steering. The manual you want under Documents is the Mercruiser Alpha manual, very detailed and covers the steering at the inner transom plate connection. Under the helm you either have a rack and pinion or rotator style steering.
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Old 06-30-2019, 12:32 PM   #5
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Your steering is likely sheer physics 101, but there are some things you can do and check.
First do the check that Mike suggested.
Look around your steering column to see if you have a steering friction knob or bolt. Back it off a little if there is one and see if it changes the friction. There are many different types of friction setup so I can't tell you exactly what to look for.
I found that smart tabs made steering easier on my 18 ft. Smart Tabs lift the stern of the boat slightly.
Left turns are easier than right turns with a right-hand rotating prop. Plan to do left hand racetracks when towing tubers and skiers.
When looking for manuals on this site, make sure you go to the mercruiser service manual vice Maxum owners manual section. The service manual is exceptionally helpful.
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Old 06-30-2019, 10:15 PM   #6
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Sounds like something in the outdrive is binding under torque....
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Old 07-01-2019, 03:26 PM   #7
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I downloaded the correct manual now - going to go through it tonight. The Smart Tabs look pretty slick. For those reading this thread, here's a video for them.
According to their site, I'll need SX9510-60 - 9.5"x10" Plates / 60lb. Actuators for my 17ft.
jrsick, were they easy to install, and do you have any recommendations/suggestions for them?

Thank you for all of the suggestions fellas.
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Old 07-01-2019, 04:51 PM   #8
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The smart tabs are easy enough to install. Just make sure they don't get in the way of your tie down straps when you are trailering.
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Old 07-01-2019, 05:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
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The smart tabs are easy enough to install. Just make sure they don't get in the way of your tie down straps when you are trailering.
Right. I also assume they come with detailed installation instructions?
Reading all the reviews on Amazon, they are worth their weight in gold. Well worth the $126 investment. Just bought a set! Thank you!
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Old 07-03-2019, 02:11 AM   #10
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So I got the Smart Tabs, but have a problem. The starboard side has the ladder so the shock absorber of that tab will be attached to the transom wall. The port side tab has the deck above too low (no gap in the transom deck for a ladder) so the shock absorber will be attached to the underside of the deck, as opposed to the transom wall. Which means one shock will be attached to the boat 90 different than the other.

The $50,000 question is: DOES THAT MATTER?
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Old 07-03-2019, 02:13 AM   #11
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https://m.imgur.com/gallery/sij6FY2
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Old 07-05-2019, 06:45 PM   #12
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You'll probably need to contact Nauticus customer support to get the answer to your question.
It seems to me like you need the same amount of downward force on each tab, or you might create a list. I am not certain however.
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