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Jason
Jason, Marine Mechanic
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 14292
Experience:  Degree in Marine Technology. Gas and diesel marine mechanic.
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I have a Volvo penta 2009. my steering is loose. There is a

Customer Question

I have a Volvo penta 2009. my steering is loose. There is a lot of travel in the steering actuator prior to any actual movement of the lower unit. Curious if there is any adjustment required.
JA: Sometimes things that you think will be really complicated end up being easy to fix. The Marine Mechanic I'm going to connect you with knows all the tricks and shortcuts. Tell me a bit more about what's going on so the Marine Mechanic can help you best.
Customer: not sure what other details you need. Let me know
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Marine Mechanic should know?
Customer: The additional movement in the steering is seen at the actuator
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Boat
Expert:  Jason replied 4 months ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** am I speaking with?

Which model sterndrive do you have?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Bruce
Its a DPS, duo prop
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
DPS-a 1.78
Expert:  Jason replied 4 months ago.

Hi Bruce,

Got it. What you would do next is disconnect the steering cable from the power steering actuator. Have a helper hold the wheel tight, and then you grab the cable and try to move it in and out. Is that something you can do?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I had tried to do that yesterday, I believe.
I unscrewed the "threaded cap". I could not pull this out. I had my helper turn the steering wheel, and also turned the lower unit manually. It would always have a steel rod attached, about 3/8" dia, The only way to make it move in or out was to turn the wheel or the lower unit. I couldn't do anything from at the actuator. Is this any help?
Expert:  Jason replied 4 months ago.

Hmmm... How much play is there in the wheel? Approximately how many degrees does the wheel turn before the steering starts to turn? Do this for me. Start with the wheel centered. Turn the wheel 1 turn to the left. Slowly turn the wheel to the right, how many degrees does the wheel move before the cable moves?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
about 60 deg
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
wait. The cable moves immediately. The actuator starts moving the lower unit at about 60 deg play
Expert:  Jason replied 4 months ago.

Is this with the engine running or with it off?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
off
Expert:  Jason replied 4 months ago.

Can you double check it wit the engine running?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I can. I'll need to wait until this evening to do that. There is a lot of play in the wheel while I am going down the lake. This is why I started looking at it. I thought the steering cable needed to be adjusted (???), like on an old outboard (haha). I noticed there is consistent solid movement from the wheel to the actuator. Just this extra movement at the actuator prior to the lower unit turning.
Expert:  Jason replied 4 months ago.

There isn't any adjustment on the cable. If the steering is sloppy there are some worn parts, i'm just trying to figure out which parts are worn. Let me know how you make out when you get home.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
in this video on youtube. the view of the part at the end of the video......the larger diameter piece at the lower left moves back and forth about 3/4", then engages the steering and moves the lower unit. Then when you turn the other direction, this blue cylinder moves independent, then again engages to move the lower unit the other way.I'll see if I can get back on here this evening. Someone will be able to pick this up?
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dy9LkUIDdhA
Expert:  Jason replied 4 months ago.

Okay that is normal. The way the power steering works is the cable moves a control valve inside the actuator, this is the 3/4 inch movement you see. Once the control valve opens up the power steering starts providing an assist. So if your's is doing that, that is normal.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
You're wanting me to start the motor, then rotate the wheel to see what is moving and when while turning the wheel?
Expert:  Jason replied 4 months ago.

Let do this another way.

Straddle the sterndrive and lock it between your legs. Have a helper turn the wheel back and forth. Does it take more or less than 1/4 turn of the wheel before the sterndrive wants to move?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
got it. It'll be a few hours, but I'll get back to you
Expert:  Jason replied 4 months ago.

Okay no problem, just post back when you are ready

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Good Morning.
The wheel can be turned nearly 1/4 turn either direction without moving the lower unit.
Expert:  Jason replied 4 months ago.

Okay the steering cable and helm are worn out. The helm unit is the steering box behind the wheel. The helm has gears in it, and those teeth engage a spiral winding on the end of the steering cable. Over time, the gears wear out, and do not engage the cable properly. Replacing the cable and helm will get you your steering back.

I don't know how you want to leave this but that is where you stand on your end and what needs to be done. I think that should do it. But I work for tips so I do want to make sure you are happy with my service before you go. If you had a further question on the issue by all means feel free to ask. If not, Just in case you do not understand the way the website works (and some folks do not). You do have to put forth a positive rating in order for it to credit me for helping you. When ratings are not done, the website simply keeps your deposit and they will not credit me. The ratings box is located at the top of the screen. To rate, you must select the star you wish and also confirm it. Please let me know if you run into any problems or errors when trying to do it. If you do have a problem, or if you can not see the ratings box which is at the top of the screen. Please reply back "I rate Jason's service _______" and fill in the blank.

Questions do not close out, so if you have to come back later on with follow up questions to the issue you still can even after doing a rating.

Thank you
Jason

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
if the cable and helm are worn out, why does the actuator have movement immediately from the steering wheel? There is not play between the wheel and the actuator.
Expert:  Jason replied 4 months ago.

I thought you said before there was 60 degrees of movement, did I not understand you correctly?

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