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LoweStinger

Steering difficult at at speed ?

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He guys, I have a very clean and well kept 2003 Lowe Stinger 170w that has always seemed very hard to steer and becomes notchy when @ full throttle, and the faster you go the harder it steers, but steers ok when going slow ? I can steer it ok when on the trailer but if I grab the motor by hand I cant move it. All my past boats I was able to move the motor side to side by hand easily.

 

Thanks for any input.

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Do you have a little screw knob under your steering wheel?  Many do that adjusts steering tension, but they also seem to gain tension at speed...  at least mine have. 

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Thanks, I will check that out. Any idea on the location of that ?

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Look on the underside of the steering column just behind the wheel's hub.  Look on the link at the little know (shown on top) but most are under.

 

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 Motor too low on transom.

Motor is not trimmed out enough when up to speed.

Trim tab needs to be adjusted more to help counteract torque.

Could be a combination of all three of theses.

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I would recommend having a dealer look at it. Have them disconnect the steering cables at the engine. See if the steering wheel moves freely. It could be a problem with the steering hub, the cables or an issue with the bar going thru the tube at the engine.

If the steering is tight, even with the cable disconnected then there is a cable or hub issue.

I run a Stinger 170 and have had a 25 Merc ( used to fish a hp limited lake) and now a Merc 75 hp outboard.  I have never had an issue with tight steering.  By the way there is a grease fitting on that tube ( In the picture you can see a big nut right at the side of the motor bracket and the steering assembly there, it is located in that area)

DSCN0018_zpsdhsmw0na.jpg

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Oh! excuse me.

I guess with 55 years of experience racing and running outboards I don't know what I'm talking about so paying a dealer $100 per hour to make a few simple checks would be smart.

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Way2slow   I was not suggesting you were wrong.

One of my old bass club members had an older Lowe and he in fact had an issue with the steering hub. It was seizing up and had to be replaced just last fall.

 

Most people do not have the ability to service an outboard as you do. Not every boater has you experience or is tooled up to remove an engine if needed. I suggested a dealer look at it just in case the op was not a mechanic.  I would feel terrible if he disconnected the steering and did not tighten it back up correctly causing a failure later. The recent video of the two college anglers being ejected from their boat, while competing in a tournament, was pretty frightening.

 

 As we both know, most boaters do not grease the fittings on the steering system or perform normal engine maintenance as often as the manufacturers suggest.

 

I live minutes from and regularly fish tidal water.   So corrosion is a major issue, something that most fresh water boats hardly ever deal with. Around here grease can be your best friend, no matter if we are talking engines or trailers.

Because of the harshness of our environment, it is necessary to service a water pump at least every other year or the impeller will get hard and take a set, leading to loss of water pressure and then things go downhill fast. When I fished only freshwater in PA, I might not need to do that more than once every 5 years. I even had to replace the zinc on the engine, something else no fresh water boater needs to do.

 

The OP could be having trouble with the trim tab being mis adjusted, or not be familiar with how to properly trim his engine while operating it.  Lowe does in fact mount the engines basically flush on the transom on this model.  He could in fact be having a mechanical issue with any of the steering components as well. The fact that he said it would not move much by hand while sitting on the trailer made me think perhaps it was an issue where the steering cable goes thru the pipe ( where you can add grease)  I could be totally wrong.  It is just that my engine is a 2002 Merc 75 and it is mounted on a 2010 Lowe Stinger 170. If I grab ahold of my engine I can turn it side to side a bit as he related about his previous engines did.

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Thanks for the replies guys !!

 

I am very mechanically inclined and have always done my own maintenance and repair on all my boats/ outboards. I have everything greased properly and I am basically a maintenance nut lol. When I got this boat a few years ago it was like this, I just dealt with it. I was thinking since I cant move the motor by hand freely, that the problem is already narrowed down to the steering system. @fishnkamp We basically have the same setup as I also have the same motor.   As suggested I will start by disconnecting the steering cable to the motor and see if I can move the motor freely by hand, Then I will see if there is a tension adjustment on the steering hub. 

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Check the depth of the prop shaft centerline verses the hulls bottom planning surface, neutral trim should be 3 1/2". Steering shouldn't be binding setting on the trailer, simple to check. Way2Slow gave you good advice!

Tom

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Ok will do !! Thanks.

 

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So I checked the steering box and I don't have any adjustment visible anywhere. I can feel the stiffness in the box along with a sound of something rubbing if I move the wheel slightly, it makes a noise also... It seems to be narrowed down to inside the steering box.  Any Ideas what could cause the resistance in the box ??  

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