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Jefa Steering Issue

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kipwrite View Drop Down
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Joined: 14 October 2015
Location: New York
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Points: 141
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    Posted: 03 July 2017 at 00:53
Departing from the dock this morning I loosened the locking hubs on the port and starboard helms and immediately noticed substantial stiffness in the steering.

No issues prior to today. Boat has travelled several thousand miles since new a year ago. Steering and autopilot have been perfect until today.

We anchored in the harbor and I checked the quadrant and pulleys and the cable tension and all looked ok. The cables were snug but not too tight. (I had snugged them up a bit earlier this year before an offshore passage back to NY from South Carolina.)

The stiffness seemed to be coming from the port helm, along with grinding kind of noise from right behind the wheel, so I removed the outer chrome locking hub, the black plastic pieces, and also removed the brass nut and the wheel, and then the six hex head screws which hold the bulkhead steerer to the pedastal.

As soon as the bulkhead steerer was unattached from the pedastal, everything loosened up and ran smoothly and silently. I returned to the dock with the bulkhead steerer unattached to the pedestal so I could move the rudder easily. The bulkhead steerer spins like the steering wheel along the pedastal in this configuration). Not pretty but it worked.

With the bulkhead steerer attached it is very difficult, almost impossible to steer. And noisy right behind the hub.

It appears as if when I loosened the lock nut, the hub somehow remained in the locked position. It is incredibly stiff and hard to turn.

Maybe the locking mechanism jammed? Or the bearing in the bulkhead steerer has jammed stuck?

I did hit the bulkhead steerer (where I though the bearing might be) with a squirt of penetrating oil. This made no difference other than changing the sound of the grinding noise coming from what I believe is the bearing in the bulkhead steerer.

No other sounds coming from anywhere in the system, which leads me to believe the issue is in the bulkhead steerer bearing or locking mechanism.

I'm reluctant to use the boat in this condition as the steering is essentially locked when the bulkhead steerer is affixed to the pedestal, and there's some free play in the system when the bulkhead steerer is loosened from the pedestal, and of course, I'm missing the port wheel (though the steering and autopilot work perfectly when configured this way).

Have reached out to Jefa and will report back how this is resolved.

Anyone have this issue previously?
Kipwrite
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kipwrite View Drop Down
Commander
Commander


Joined: 14 October 2015
Location: New York
Status: Offline
Points: 141
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kipwrite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 July 2017 at 10:53
Jefa identified the problem immediately.
The lock head spinner pin is stuck in the bulkhead steerer (it is held onto the hub by locktite, which apparently broke loose).
They note this happens on occasion. 
On their site you can find a schematic of the spinner unit under maintenance and installation, "Brakespinners.pdf."
Excellent customer service, by the way. 
Kipwrite
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