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  #1  
Old 09-14-2004
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wheel steering repair

Anyone out there had experience with maintenance/repair to the wheel steering system on a Pacific Seacraft Orion 27? I need to access the quadrant and rudder post to check on excessive play in the system. Reaching it is a bear, even crawling through the cockpit engine opening. I have yet to get back there. Can the pedestal be removed for better access? How might that be done? Any advice sincerely appreciated.
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Old 09-18-2004
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wheel steering repair

This may be your opportunity to go on that diet you''ve always been meaning to start. If it''s a standard style pedestal with a chain drive leading to wire steering cables, you do NOT want to remove the pedestal. Doing that will keep you from being able to figure out what''s loose, because the whole assembly will be loose. Getting the pedestal back together with a watertight base (the way it was originally) is also not easy. The problem is probably a turnbuckle back by the quadrant that''s had the cotter pin wear or fall out, and simply needs tightening. Another possibility is a sheave that''s out of place. You may be able to see this by using a mirror on a stick, and following the cable. If it''s not that, it could be play between the rudderstock and the quadrant. This latter problem isn''t likely, since the rudderstock is probably stainless, and the quadrant is probably aluminum, and the two are probably quite corroded together by now. (Ours was - we ended up having to cut it off with a sawzall to fix our rudderstock stuffing box. It is tight back there in most boats -- that''s just part of sailing.
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Old 09-22-2004
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wheel steering repair

The tension on the steering cables on a PS 27 Orion utilizes two stainless steel take up eyes that attach to a 10" bronze Quadrant. The take up eyes have a tensioning and locking nut threaded onto them. Since the rudder post is located far aft in the boat, access to the take up eyes may require that you employ a smaller person to slither down to adjust the cable tension while you check the wheel for free play. Ideally, if your wheel brake is engaged, you should not be able to move the quadrant back and forth. Another good guage to determine proper cable tension is 1" maximum cable deflection for every 3 foot run of cable. Make sure to check the condition of the sheave and idler pulleys and their axles while you are down below deck. Worn sheave axles can let go at the worst possible time and can cause steering failure. If you have any questions feel free to email me offline.
Chuck Gilchrest
Edson International
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