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DIY steering cable replacement, pump pulls & cone lube check

Seadeals

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Year
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SX
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My SX210 is now the big 10 and I enjoy doing inspections and routine maintenance to get things back in top shape. My starboard steering cable has been taking on water. Steering is still smooth and easy; but to prevent an unexpected failure on the water, I am replacing both steering cables. With the right tooling, there may be a way to do so without pulling the pumps; but as I like pulling, inspecting and cleaning the pumps in the off season anyway, it will make access easier and I will show the breakdown of the pump assemblies including a check of the grease for the impeller shaft bearing inside the cone. While I have not owned this boat her whole life, I believe no one has ever checked the cones.

I am pulling the entire pump assembly. Disconnect the steering and reverse gate linkages at the nozzle. Start pump removal with the small bolt near the intake passage.
PortPump1.jpg
Next remove the four bolts on each corner of the pump housing.
PortPump2.jpg
The housings have doweling pins. I use a soft rubber mallet to tap alternating sides of the pump to walk it out until the annular recess clears. You will also have friction from the impeller shaft spline as it backs out. Here it is just after it separates. Pull it out in-line until the impeller shaft clears.
PortPump3.jpg
Here is the mounting plate that remains with the reverse gate and steering cables. I put the bolts back in to keep track and in the same hole (however the main four are all the same).
PortPump4.jpg
Here is a photo of the intake and the impeller shaft tube. Note the black paint and some visible pitting starting to appear from underlying corrosion. I cleaned off most of the corrosion, treated and painted this three years ago.
PortPump5.jpg
Here is the starboard side, which I have yet to address other than a good cleaning. The Port side originally looked like this. The clean-out plug is removed, so you can see where it locks in. It was no surprise the prior owner has issues with stuck plugs. Installing the plug repair kit when I first bought the boat ended that trouble; but this could not have helped, especially when it was dirty.
StarboardPump1.jpg
Here are both pumps out and on the counter.
PumpsCounter.jpg
The starboard impeller has some rust spots; but is free of any damage.
StarboardImpeller.jpg
I had Impros refurb the port impeller when I cleaned up the intake. It is still looking very good after three years of decent use. Everything on the port pump is cleaner since I have given it attention before and it also came off and apart very easily compared to the starboard side. The small brown object on the shaft was actually a piece of leaf that got stuck in the space between the impeller shaft and impeller. It pulled right out.
PortImpeller.jpg
Nozzles are the same; but as the impellers are pitched differently, it is important to keep components together/matched, so label to help keep track.
PumpsCounter2.jpg
Separate the steering nozzles by removing one bolt on the top and one on the bottom. Separate the fixed nozzle by removing the four long bolts which attach all three sections. There are pry tabs built into the housing on each side. You need to slowly work them apart (back and forth side to side) until the sections clear the pins and mating surfaces. Most of the pins are usually snug in one side or the other; but one of mine was loose, so be sure to note them and keep track of them.

Once the nozzle is off, you can access the cone. I am pretty sure this is original grease from 2006; not as bad as I expected. Note the coverage on the ball bearings. I think the lighter color in the cone may be grease with water contamination. I think this would have lasted a lot longer though I always worried what they were like every time I heard the engines sound a little funny (mostly just a piece of debris in the pump).
PortCone.jpg
Here is the starboard side. I am sure this would have gone bad first. there is a lot less grease in the actual bearing. Note most is all the lighter color and the congealed grease around the cone flange where it was at the bearing. Now I get to look up the cone lube thread (no dirty thoughts on that one, please).
StarboardCone.jpg
Back to the boat and steering cables. I learned what a pass-through socket was researching the cable replacement. I bought a set that happened to go all the way up to 7/8 at Lowes for $35. I like them a lot, so this was a great excuse for more tools.
PumpsOff.jpg
Before I started removing the cable nut, I measured the threads to the linkage end as a reference for when the new cables go in.
PortDim.jpg
Then I removed the linkage end so the pass-through socket could pass down the cable end. Here is the 3/8 drive 7/8" Kobalt pass-through socket on the steering cable nut. I am glad the pump was out of the way.
PortSteer1.jpg
Here is the nut and washer removed. This is siliconed when it goes in so there is friction on the hardware and the cable through the hole in the hull until you break the silicone.
PortSteer2.jpg
Here is the other end of the steering cables where they come into the helm (looking up).
HelmArrival.jpg
Here is where they actually attach to the steering unit (now looking down).
HelmAttach.jpg
Once disconnected, you may want access to the right bow compartment area and beneath the floor (fuel tank access). The first time I removed the floor was a royal pain. I cleaned up bolts along with the gunk in the holes, and ordered some new bolts where needed (I had to cut the head off of one to get it out). I pull the floor at the end of every season to top off my tank as much as possible without getting gas in the filler tube. Some have posted on fuel expansion leaking gas out and ruining their decals. Note the bubble of fuel visible on the tank top. I also like to inspect for any leaks, check clamps and look for any other issues.
FloorUp.jpg
This is as far as I have gotten, so I will continue the post once cables arrive.
 
Last edited:

Julian

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buckbuck

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Great write up, Seadeals.
 

Julian

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Bruce

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Great write up! Thanks!
 

Seadeals

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Just an update. Parts have been media blasted with glass beads, washed and external surfaces painted with Duplicolor etching primer and wheel paint. First pic is sample part before/after blasting. image.jpeg This is a finished painted part. I did not want paint on mating surfaces, so they were either masked (when simple) or paint was removed with acetone after painting.
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
I am planning to have all of the simple aluminum parts (nozzle, steering nozzle and reverse buckets) anodized but am painting the external surfaces of the others (wear ring housing, impeller bearing vane assembly and the pump mount plate (in situ on the boat).

To prep the impeller assembly for blasting, I used electrical tape to seal the gap between the base of the impeller and fixed vane housing to keep the glass out. I also covered the impeller and shaft.
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
There is not much I can do about the fixed vane corrosion other than removal of the surface corrosion by hand with scotchbrite. I don't want to use paint inside. Trying to coat it evenly and the force of water through there after the fact make it a bad idea to me. Aside from a little corrosion starting on the starboard impeller, it is dimensionally in great shape. I may have it refurbished next season.

I also connected the new steering cables at the helm last night. I am not installing through the transom until everything else is refinished.
 

Seadeals

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Here is the mount plate and intake cleaning, prime and paint work. Areas of corrosion where the paint was gone with white powder were cleaned up using an abrasive wheel in a drill.
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
 

Seadeals

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The anodized finish was wearing off in a lot of places, so for refinishing the fixed nozzle, steering nozzle and reverse gate, I considered paint/powder coat but did not want to go that route expecting it would never stay put on the inner surfaces with the jet blast. While I could get good adhesion on the outer surfaces with primer/paint like on the pump housing and vane ring, I did not want to leave raw aluminum on the inner surfaces as it corrodes easier. My final decision was to have all six parts anodized in clear. I was advised by the anodizing shop that colors will not look good on the raw castings. Note how much darker they are once anodized compared with the blasted aluminum the earlier picture. They look like new less some small remaining corrosion pits in a few areas.
image.jpeg
Here is the torque table I used for pump reassembly. I found the Loctite 567 on Amazon.
image.jpeg
 

robert843

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Is this really that simple remove some bolts and pull the whole thing out drive shaft and all? I want to clean mine up as well but I have been intimidated by this project worried about how hard it would be to get the shaft out and back in.
 

veedubtek

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Super easy @robert843 . Probably took me 15 minutes to pull both of mine. I was disappointed I didn't have more beer drinking time.
 

Seadeals

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I agree. It is very easy. The first time I pulled the port pump it was a bit stubborn. I had to walk it out with a little prying side to side (and gentle rubber mallet taps) until the mating surfaces cleared; but ever since I cleaned it up and lubed the drive shaft splines, it slides right out. What I am doing in this thread is easily overkill; but I enjoy the process and like the clean and shiny results. If I let the corrosion continue I would end up having to replace parts much sooner or risk a failure of some kind.
 

swatski

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Is this really that simple remove some bolts and pull the whole thing out drive shaft and all? I want to clean mine up as well but I have been intimidated by this project worried about how hard it would be to get the shaft out and back in.
Yep, just what @Seadeals and @veedubtek said.
Not to brag, but I have done it a couple of times now in complete darkness with a flashlight.
 

Seadeals

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I get the pumps to this point to reinstall. The reverse gate goes on after mounting. It is much easier that way with thrust vectors.
image.jpeg
Molybdenum Disulfide paste on shaft splines.
image.jpeg
Reverse gate and thrust vectors installed.
image.jpeg
Inboard side showing new steering cable. I used fast cure 4200 through the hull applied from both sides. I used the dimensions from removal for the steering yoke install and then measured the steering nozzle angles on each side to confirm they are matched.
image.jpeg
Here are the lubricants and sealants used.
image.jpeg
Now all that is left is installation of the clean out tray and test on the water with leak check. Oh darn. I hate that part.
 

Chillypilot

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@Seadeals whats the ratio of oil to grease in your slurry.
 

Seadeals

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The best I can do is tell you the oil bottle pictured now weighs 710 grams and the grease tube weighs 245 grams. I don't know what they weighed full. I mixed more slurry than I needed and played with the ratio until is was pretty much like maple syrup. It gave me the second or two I needed to press the cone on. I filled the cone to about 2/3 -3/4 full vertical to get the recommended volume as the top is wider than the bottom. I also poured it over the bearing surface first.
 

Chillypilot

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Well I pulled my pumps today and was dreading pulling the cones. Sure enough, one of my cones was full of water and it had significantly less grease than the other. My first sign of trouble was that there was grease residue on the outside the the cone.

Contaminated.
image.jpeg

Not contaminated.
image.jpg

The bearing seams to run smooth, so I think I'll clean it up, replace the grease and install a new O ring. I'll inspect it again at the end of the season to make sure it's not leaking.

Does anyone think I need to replace the bearing or other parts?
 

Wayloncle

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Well I pulled my pumps today and was dreading pulling the cones. Sure enough, one of my cones was full of water and it had significantly less grease than the other. My first sign of trouble was that there was grease residue on the outside the the cone.

Contaminated.
View attachment 36186

Not contaminated.
View attachment 36187

The bearing seams to run smooth, so I think I'll clean it up, replace the grease and install a new O ring. I'll inspect it again at the end of the season to make sure it's not leaking.

Does anyone think I need to replace the bearing or other parts?
If it is spinning smooth and doesn't have corrosion on it I wouldn't change the bearing.
 

buckbuck

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I am with Wayloncle. Don't change it.
 

Chillypilot

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My concern is how did water get in in the first place. Besides the o ring on the cone it looks like there are two oil seals inside the pump. Could they be the culprit?
For now I'm just considering clean out the contaminated grease and replacing it with a slurry, installing a new O ring and inspecting it half way through the season.
 
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