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86SKI

Important note regarding helm replacement

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86SKI    12

So, I thought I'd share an important lesson I learned yesterday when taking the boat out for the first time after replacing the helm and steering cable on my 86 TruTrac. You can actually find my write-up I did on the replacement in The Official TruTrac-I-II-III and Falcon Thread or in This thread, which included pictures.

Anyway, I decided to take the boat out for a quick run yesterday after I finally got the boat back together completely. During the installation process, I made sure to align my steering wheel and rudder for a "straight ahead" position. What I failed to check was the fact that when I turned the steering wheel right, the rudder would indeed turn to the right. Now I'm sure that it is stated somewhere in the manual for the helm that the direction that you feed the cable into the helm will dictate what direction the rudder will turn. Apparently I fed the cable in through the wrong side of the helm and, in essence, reversed the steering without my knowing. Right was left, left was right.

Fast forward to me trying to get the boat off the trailer... I immediately knew that something wasn't right but I couldn't tell what it was. I get the boat off the trailer and proceed to try to pull the boat forward and toward the dock at the boat launch while the girlfriend parks the truck and trailer. I turn the wheel left, boat goes right. Took me about 15 seconds of pure confusion to finally realize what the problem was and about another 45 seconds of the most difficult boat maneuvering I had ever experienced. I got the boat next to the dock, backed the trailer back into the water, winched it up, then got it back home and thought about what just happened. I figured out how to fix the problem pretty quickly but I'm glad that nothing bad happened to the boat. 

Yes, this may be common knowledge to some, and it was definitely a mistake on my part not checking this before going on the water but it never occurred to me that this could happen! Thought I'd share this in hopes that it helps someone down the road, or makes some of you chuckle a bit. 

Rotech Helm.jpg

  • Haha 1

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Timr71    24

I am familiar with this issue.  We did a new cable and helm on my Falcon restore and it was put in reversed to start out too.  Of course, I didn't realize this until after I had backed the boat off the trailer.  With opposite steering I was able to get to the dock so we could switch it out.  

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rhino89523    33

Not to one up you....and this is probably more like a one down, I am so dumb sometimes.

I had a 67 ford pickup, I wanted power steering and disc brakes so I scrounged a bunch of parts that looked like they would work. I put the front end out of a 78 Bronco under it...bolted right up. I used the steering box out of the bronco as well, had to modify the frame a little bit with some tubing to support the bolts between the section of the frame I boxed Bla Bla. The whole swap took me like 6 hours with all the welding and swapping, mind you I am doing all this after work at our shop. I get all done, go to pull it out of the shop, I turn right it goes left...F!!!!

had to swap to a different box out of a van (I think it was like 20 years ago) to make it all work and re-modify all my welding, I think it took me longer to fix it than it did to do it originally.

Thanks for the story I had almost put that blunder out of my head...now it's fresh like yesterday. 

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86SKI    12
45 minutes ago, Timr71 said:

I am familiar with this issue.  We did a new cable and helm on my Falcon restore and it was put in reversed to start out too.  Of course, I didn't realize this until after I had backed the boat off the trailer.  With opposite steering I was able to get to the dock so we could switch it out.  

Its a very weird feeling isn't it? If I had my tools with me, like I normally do, I would have been able to switch it on the water but I live down the road from the launch so I figured I might as well just take it home since it was late anyways.

35 minutes ago, rhino89523 said:

Not to one up you....and this is probably more like a one down, I am so dumb sometimes.

I had a 67 ford pickup, I wanted power steering and disc brakes so I scrounged a bunch of parts that looked like they would work. I put the front end out of a 78 Bronco under it...bolted right up. I used the steering box out of the bronco as well, had to modify the frame a little bit with some tubing to support the bolts between the section of the frame I boxed Bla Bla. The whole swap took me like 6 hours with all the welding and swapping, mind you I am doing all this after work at our shop. I get all done, go to pull it out of the shop, I turn right it goes left...F!!!!

had to swap to a different box out of a van (I think it was like 20 years ago) to make it all work and re-modify all my welding, I think it took me longer to fix it than it did to do it originally.

Thanks for the story I had almost put that blunder out of my head...now it's fresh like yesterday. 

One up, one down, its all the same haha. Making mistakes like these is the best way to learn, because I'll definitely never forget it. Glad I could keep that memory alive for you :lol:

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DrNate    426

Next time get video :lol:

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