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Looks like my 1989 Cajun has a broken steering cable and possible a rack and pinion. Has a 70 Johnson on it. Took it to the specialist here in town and said I'm looking about $325-$450 parts and labor and tax worst case scenario. He said the total job is about 1.5 hours. Is this something I can do in my garage? Or will I need special tools? I wasn't sure if I could get the parts cheaper that way too.

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Is it single cable or dual cable. I'm guessing from that quote, single. No special tools, if you know much at all about turning wrenches, should not be a problem. The helm and cable is probably a single unit. You should find a part number on the cable on the helm end that will identify what length it is. The hardest part is getting the cable through the gunwal without pulling a wire loose, and to get it into the motor. Depending on where it exits the rear, you may have to unbolt the motor so you can get the cables out and in.

When you pull the old cable out, tie a rope to it so you will have something to pull the new one in. Also to keep that big nut from hanging, build up both sides with paper towels and tape so there is a tapper, makes getting it through much easier. Just be carefull, sometimes they tie wrap it in and tie wires to it and wire can get wrapped around it over the years, so pull carefully. Also when pulling the new one through.

Then hope the gas tank leaves you the room to work on the side it's on.

If you do unbolt the motor, be very sure you put plenty of fresh silicon on them to reconnect it.

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Is it single cable or dual cable. I'm guessing from that quote, single. No special tools, if you know much at all about turning wrenches, should not be a problem. The helm and cable is probably a single unit. You should find a part number on the cable on the helm end that will identify what length it is. The hardest part is getting the cable through the gunwal without pulling a wire loose, and to get it into the motor. Depending on where it exits the rear, you may have to unbolt the motor so you can get the cables out and in.

When you pull the old cable out, tie a rope to it so you will have something to pull the new one in. Also to keep that big nut from hanging, build up both sides with paper towels and tape so there is a tapper, makes getting it through much easier. Just be carefull, sometimes they tie wrap it in and tie wires to it and wire can get wrapped around it over the years, so pull carefully. Also when pulling the new one through.

Then hope the gas tank leaves you the room to work on the side it's on.

If you do unbolt the motor, be very sure you put plenty of fresh silicon on them to reconnect it.

 

Great Information right there ~ This is what make this forum so good.

 

Also - though I've not done this repair before, after reading this - I'd be paying a professional.

 

Sounds like there are many little tricks of trade that I would not want to learn the hard way.

 

Good Luck

 

A-Jay

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Great Information right there ~ This is what make this forum so good.

 

Also - though I've not done this repair before, after reading this - I'd be paying a professional.

 

Sounds like there are many little tricks of trade that I would not want to learn the hard way.

 

Good Luck

 

A-Jay

I too would lean towards paying a professional for this.......and I do a lot of things myself.

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Not as bad as it sounds, if you just go slow and pay attention to what you are doing.

 

You need to see if you can find that part number, There are several different types and you need the cable length.  Once you have it identified, do a search online.  A number of places sell them, its just finding the best overall deal. shipping and cost, and if taxes are going to apply or not.

 

If all else fails, you can remove the old one, just don't forget the rope and be sure to leave it to pull the new one, measure the cable and go picture shopping for one like it.   You said it broke, it the cable itself broke, be careful on the measurement, the end may be pulled out some and make you measure it long.

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The guy at BPS said that it looked like the cable for sure but possible the gear box. They are a Merciry only place so I had the specialist give me a price that works on Johnson engines. He was the one that said worst case gear box and cable with labor is like $425. If it is just the cable it is about $300. If I can find the parts I may feel better after seeing what they look like. I wrenched on cars for years. This has been my first boat project. Just didn't know the on depth of this job. The guy I bought it from said it sounded like a "pop" then just free spinned.

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Did you check the woodruff key in helm shaft for the steering wheel?

It's also very likely, if something broke at the helm, it was because the cable is bad, causing you to use a lot more effort to turn it.

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I've replaced a steering cable setup before and it's really straightforward and simple. I would definitely NOT pay a professional.... let me break it down....

 

 

You literally unscrew a nut/bolt to separate the cable setup from the linkage arm. Then you unscrew the little cap holding the setup in place and slide the sucker out. Tie a long rope to it then pull it out carefully from the helm. Untie. Take the NEW pre-assembled, all in one steering cable setup, tie the rope to it, and finagle it back through the length of the boat. Slide the setup back through the motor, screw a locking cap back down, then re-attach the linkage arm. It will take MAYBE 30 minutes, a 1/4in socket, an adjustable wrench, and about 10 feet of rope.

 

It's probably just the steering cable is broken. Common issue.  

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http://www.ebay.com/itm/Teleflex-SSC13415-15-Backmount-Rack-Single-Cable-/291262163352?pt=Boat_Parts_Accessories_Gear&hash=item43d093e998&vxp=mtr

 

 

That's similar to the part you'll need. Maybe a little bit shorter than 15 feet. But see, it's just a pre-assembled package. Super simple. I know, it's the first job you'll be doing on the boat, but you're lucky it's an easy one. Wait till you get to change the lower unit oil!!! hahaha

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I would try it yourself first. Even if you get into it and find that you're in to deep, anything you get done is money saved. Most marine places are $80 to $100 an hour for labor so it adds up pretty quickly. Even if you can get the old one out and the rope pulled through, you'll be saving a decent amount of money. 

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Did you check the woodruff key in helm shaft for the steering wheel?

It's also very likely, if something broke at the helm, it was because the cable is bad, causing you to use a lot more effort to turn it.

I will take a look at it Sunday also.  Doesn't look too bad to do.  

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Yes. the steering wheel needs to come off.  Take the center button out and take the nut off.  IF it sheared the woodruff key, getting the nut off might be a problem without an impact wrench.

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I was able to remove the cable without taking the steering wheel off. Apparently the internal cable was frozen with rust and the guy forced the steering wheel and broke the aluminum rail inside of the cable in half. I could not find a part number. I was only able to find T083 on the aluminum long rectangle piece under the steering wheel which is part of the cable.

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http://www.ebay.com/itm/Teleflex-SSC13415-15-Backmount-Rack-Single-Cable-/291262163352?pt=Boat_Parts_Accessories_Gear&hash=item43d093e998&vxp=mtr

 

 

That's similar to the part you'll need. Maybe a little bit shorter than 15 feet. But see, it's just a pre-assembled package. Super simple. I know, it's the first job you'll be doing on the boat, but you're lucky it's an easy one. Wait till you get to change the lower unit oil!!! hahaha

I just took it off.  Took me about 10 minutes to remove the thing.  :-)

 

How do I find the part if the cable did not have a number on it?

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That eBay link you showed me is the EXACT look alike to what I took off.  At least I am on the right track.

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So according to the registration the boat came with a Johnson 50. The engine on it now is a Johnson 70. So when I am looking for the rack/pinion/cable kit, do I get the part for a "Johnson 70" or a "1989 Cajun"? Kinda like a car. Do I need the steering part for the male/model of the boat or the engine specifics?

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Size motor 50 vs 70 has no bearing on the cable, they are the. The thing is it has to be the cable for that helm and the proper length. Teleflex is on of the more popular units and they usually have the part number within a foot or two, of the helm, but it's very easy to overlook. I looked at that link since you said it looks just like your cable. It should have the numbers where I said. They are very small and my be fairly faint so look closely.

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Ok I'll check again. If not, would I just go by the length of the cable I have now and the existing motor?

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The helm is what they all that whole piece mounted in the dash the steering wheel and cable is mounted to.

If you knew for sure that was a telefflex SSC cable, you could just measure it. If I remeber right, the length is the last two digits of the PN. Probably a 12' or 13'

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Glad to hear you got it. Hope we were more help than confusion. Hopefully you saved a few dollars and the boat didn't have to sit forever in someone's shop. I think you were smart to replace the helm also if he cranked on it hard enough to break the rack in the cable.

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