How to install an outboard steering tube

Written by alexis rohlin
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How to install an outboard steering tube
Steering tubes are located near the bottom of the engine housing. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Outboard motors can be tilted up when a boat is going through shallow waters. This elevates the propeller and lower part of the motor and steering tube, keeping it out of the way of rocks, seaweed and other debris that could damage it. Outboard motors consist of an engine, a tiller lever, a midsection exhaust housing and a propeller. The steering or tilt tube holds the steering cable. Occasionally it needs to be replaced during seasonal maintenance when it has rusted or become damaged during use.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Wrench
  • Marine grade lubricant

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Disconnect the steering cable from the outboard engine. Remove the cable from the steering tube.

  2. 2

    Examine the link arm and note how the connection from the arm to the steering cable is made so that you can reinstall it correctly. Disconnect the steering cable from the link arm while taking care not to bend the cable.

  3. 3

    Turn the steering wheel or lever to retract or pull back the output end of the steering cable.

  4. 4

    Remove the large nut that secures the cable to the steering tube. Remove the output end of the cable from the steering tube.

  5. 5

    Wipe off the new steering tube with a cloth to remove any debris or dust that may be on it. Apply a layer of marine grade lubricant to the inside of the steering tube.

  6. 6

    Turn the steering wheel or lever to extend the steering cable. Apply a layer of marine grade grease onto the fully extended cable so that both the inner and outer tubes that cover the cable's end are covered.

  7. 7

    Turn the steering wheel or lever to retract or pull the steering cable back in. Insert the cable's end into the steering tube. Install the steering tube. Replace the steering tube's securing nut and tighten it. Reinstall the steering tube and steering cable assembly into the link arm.

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