View Full Version : Steering issues, a lot questions

09-06-2015, 10:41 PM
Hello everyone haven't posted here in a long time, but I'm needing some help. I have a 98' 18C with 350 mag I/O. It has the stock steering.

a month ago I noticed a few weird things. At slow speeds it wanders more than it use to. Then I noticed more feedback in the wheel, and when the boat is on the trailer you can swing the out drive by grab in your hands and pushing it side to side ( the steering wheel turns with this) I don't remember any of these things a few months ago.

Today i I noticed the same issues, I checked the p/s pump and it was very low, no obvious leaks. I Added fluid and it was better. When I loaded the boat today the out drive was stiff for a few mins, but it was like the psi bleed off and limp to swing back and forth.

where should I look first, thanks in advance

09-07-2015, 07:49 AM
Is there play in the drive before the wheel starts to turn ? If so the steering pin and gimbal may need some attention .. Could be that the rack and steering cable is getting tired. You would be amazed in the difference of an old and new rack and cable ! I would start there. Of course funds permitting , hydraulic is really nice but it is pricey.

09-07-2015, 09:14 AM
Gimble is good, I believe it's either in the rack, or cooler.

Should I be able to swing the out drive side to side the full range of movement easily?

I don't remember it being as easy to do last year. I'm thinking the valve or cylinder is bad

09-07-2015, 04:23 PM
If you have a lot of play in the steering , it's the rack. You might have air in the line if you were low on fluid. Top it off , let it run , and turn the wheel lock to lock several times to bleed it out.

Pat McPherson
09-09-2015, 03:01 PM
I've had the issue of loosing oil without seeing a leak. Changed the cooler and all good.

09-09-2015, 06:31 PM
Well, I just pulled the cylinder, what a PITA. I felt fluid in that area. The cylinder or high psi must be leaking. As cheap as the cylinder unit is I'm going to start there. If that doesn't get it, I will look at cooler and high psi hose.


joseph m. hahnl
09-19-2015, 09:18 AM
If the cooler is leaking which is problematic to cold weather boats, you should see a sheen in the water coming from the cold water supply

09-22-2015, 08:33 AM
Take note! there is about 1-1/2" play at the wheel with all power steering units. It is not really play is is the movement of the shuttle valve, the valve has to move to direct the fluid from side to side. You can see this motion by letting someone move the wheel back and forth while you watch the valve body slide back and forth. I had clients insist on new cables that were only a few years old, Some would not give up. When the new cables were installed they ended up red faced and apologetic and had a bill in hand!

09-24-2015, 09:01 PM
Ok, I still need help

i just spent a misrible 2 hrs changing the steering cylinder and I still have issues.

FIRST and most important question, is it normal to be able to grab the out drive with the engine off and swing it from side to side, when the engine is off I get no "hydraulic hold" on the outdrive, it is almost like there is no cylinder attached

note: I'm almost sure gimbal and cable are in excellent shape

09-24-2015, 11:18 PM
You gotta leak or a LOT of air in those lines. The drive should be tough to move.

09-25-2015, 09:00 AM

That is kinda what I thought. With the engine running out of the water it is impossible to swing the drive by hand, but when the engine is off the hyd psi bleeds off and it gets pretty easy to swing. Im going to check the cooler next.

Thanks Reid