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Do steering cables become "unstiff" if worked with?

Messages
24
Ratings
9
Points
3
Boat Make
Yamaha
Year
2014
Boat Model
SX
Boat Length
24
#1
I just bought a 2014 sx240 June 30th on Long Island. The boat just came out of storage. It has been in saltwater but been never left in. Only trailered. At first the steering was VERY stiff, almost like trying to use power steering with the engine off.

As we took our "sea trial", it loosened up a bit, to the point of steering like the cars in the 60's that didn't have power steering.

After several days in 95 degree days, the wheel is turning as easily as on my old Bayliner stern drive.

I have been reading different posts. They all seem to suggest if the steering is tight it will only get worse!

I live in Pa. and will be taking the boat to Parry Sound Ontario in a couple of weeks. I called the local dealer, and no openings for a month. Same with the dealer in Ontario.

I have a marine mechanic who I am pleased with. If the posts I have read are accurate, could this guy easily do the work?

Now that it is turning easily (hot environment), is it reasonable to expect it to be OK?
 

GoVols01

Jet Boat Lover
Messages
332
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205 10
Points
78
Location
College Grove, TN
Boat Make
Yamaha
Year
2017
Boat Model
X
Boat Length
21
#2
My steering on my ‘17 was very stiff and required both arms to muscle it into turning the first run this season. My boat is stored in my insulated garage, so I don’t understand what happened here. Dealer looked at it and simply greased the cables near the jet jet nozzles to improve this issue, which has helped, but not as good as new. I told my wife we’ll keep an eye on it this season and take the boat to a different dealer in the fall to have the cables replaced, if necessary.

In short, smear some bearing grease on the cables where they connect to the nozzles to see if that helps you out.
 
Messages
24
Ratings
9
Points
3
Boat Make
Yamaha
Year
2014
Boat Model
SX
Boat Length
24
#3
Thanks GoVols01! Exactly the info I was hoping for. I will do as you say! GoPitt77! LOL!
 
Messages
9
Ratings
2
Points
43
Boat Make
Yamaha
Year
2013
Boat Model
Limited S
Boat Length
24
#4
Glade it worked out for you with a little grease. I have a 242 limited s. The port side cable is very tight. Tried soaking with liquid wrench n working it back n forth for a half hour( made very minor improvement ) I
Than put marine bearing greas on and did the same thing ( not much of a difference).
I ordered a new port side cable n it should arrive today.
Have not seen any detail
Info or video on changing this out. ( called dealer n they want $803 plus tax to for part n labor).

Any pdf file of the replacement available?
Anyway going to tackle it this weekend.
Thanks
 

CraigAR

Jet Boat Junkie
Messages
491
Ratings
623 7
Points
128
Location
Cape coral, Fl
Boat Make
Yamaha
Year
2017
Boat Model
AR
Boat Length
24
#5
Following. Was out yesterday for the 4th in my 17' ar240 (80hrs) and had my steering go stiff. I don't get it. I always wash and lube everything! Really pissed. I only got a one year warranty with the boat when I bought it and that expired a month ago. Guess I'll be replacing the cables myself.
 

ThatJeepGirl

Well-Known Member
Messages
77
Ratings
195
Points
63
Location
Weeki Wachee, Fl
Boat Make
Yamaha
Year
2017
Boat Model
AR
Boat Length
24
#7
We had this happen to ours...2017 AR240. Apparently the cables were faulty and rusted. Warranty replaced them.
 

Julian

Jetboaters Fleet Admiral
Staff member
Administrator
Messages
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Location
Raleigh, NC 27614
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Yamaha
Year
2016
Boat Model
242X E-Series
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24
#8
Typically they will slowly get stiffer. That said @Geoff Cooper has a method he's been using to lube his cables and its worked for years. Check out this post below:

https://jetboaters.net/faq/how-to-lubricate-shift-bucket-cables.126/

Lubing the cables at the ends is something you should do as often as you can, but at least once a year. I pull back the rubber boots, grease the shaft (when extended fully) and push the rubber boots back on.
 
Messages
9
Ratings
2
Points
43
Boat Make
Yamaha
Year
2013
Boat Model
Limited S
Boat Length
24
#9
Typically they will slowly get stiffer. That said @Geoff Cooper has a method he's been using to lube his cables and its worked for years. Check out this post below:

https://jetboaters.net/faq/how-to-lubricate-shift-bucket-cables.126/

Lubing the cables at the ends is something you should do as often as you can, but at least once a year. I pull back the rubber boots, grease the shaft (when extended fully) and push the rubber boots back on.
I agree ; followed that procedure at beginning n end of season. I also sprayed all linkage with marine lube after every wash down. Since one of the cables rusted up : it just might have been a faulty cable.
 
Messages
24
Ratings
9
Points
3
Boat Make
Yamaha
Year
2014
Boat Model
SX
Boat Length
24
#10
I am as confused as hell! Just what are these cables made of? I would have thought that this problem would have been corrected by reengineering the cable a long time ago! I have a lot of faith in stuff labeled "Yamaha". I just don't get it!

The previous owner said he sprayed WD-40 all over the jet drives. As a potential solvent on teflon, could this be the problem?

I will do as GoVols01 suggested and put gear lube at the end of the cables, but am thinking that I would like to get some lubricant up into the sheathed part of the cable.

Vegetable oil? I guess your worried about any solvent properties of stuff like WD-40? Won't the vegetable oil break down quickly and turn into a gooey mess, and create problems on it's own?

What further frustrates me, is that I have had a 21 foot Bayliner 2150 for 15 years, and have had ZERO mechanical issues. The fit and finish items are crap on the boat, but I have been able to fix those reasonably easy, with acceptable results. I just thought Yamaha would have been at least up to Bayliner quality standards, LOL!

Are these cable issues related to salt water only? My Bayliner has been in fresh water its whole life, as will my "new" 2012 SX240.

I will be interested in how do-it-yourselfer steering cable replacements go.
 

swatski

Jetboaters Fleet Admiral
Messages
8,576
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9,222 137
Points
493
Location
Saint Louis, MO
Boat Make
Yamaha
Year
2016
Boat Model
AR
Boat Length
24
#11
I have a lot of faith in stuff labeled "Yamaha".
They use generics relabeled to inflate the price.
Just like everyone else.

To be honest, your symptoms make me a bit nervous. The first thing I would check is if you still have BOTH cables working/attached. If one of them were to break - you could get this easy steering feel all of a sudden, would not want to go on like that.
I'm probably wrong, but you want to rule this out.

--
 
Last edited:

Cambo

Jet Boat Lover
Messages
194
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Points
68
Location
Long Island
Boat Make
Yamaha
Year
2017
Boat Model
242X E-Series
Boat Length
24
#13
Hey Wade If you disconnect both ends you could try putting a drill on and slowly twist the cable have someone at the other end to make sure it spins go slow and it will loosen it up not as good as new . But when you get to that point with both ends disconnected it is very close to all the things you have to do to replace it
 

Geoff Cooper

Jetboaters Captain
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Location
Thailand
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Yamaha
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2006
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AR
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23
#14
I always lube from the helm and with a little air pressure and gravity you can see the results the next morning if there is oil coming out at the jet pump end then reconnect and work the wheel from side to side to see if it feels better, If not do the same again it's not rocket science only takes a few minutes to set it up and leave it to work, If they are really stiff you can use some releasing oil to start with, It's only an inner and outer cable nothing technical.
 

Geoff Cooper

Jetboaters Captain
Messages
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Points
213
Location
Thailand
Boat Make
Yamaha
Year
2006
Boat Model
AR
Boat Length
23
#15
They use generics relabeled to inflate the price.
Just like everyone else.

To be honest, your symptoms make me a bit nervous. The first thing I would check is if you still have BOTH cables working/attached. If one of them were to break - you could get this easy steering feel all of a sudden, would not want to go on like that.
I'm probably wrong, but you want to rule this out.

--
Like most thing's they are built to a price, I recently change my fuel breather as it looked a bit pickled on the outer hull and when it was removed there was the words cast into it MADE IN TAIWAN loads of parts on these boats and other boats are made in China and other Asian countries just badge manufactured the same as TVs and many household goods, Yamaha couldn't make these parts for the price the boats would be far to expensive.
 
Messages
24
Ratings
9
Points
3
Boat Make
Yamaha
Year
2014
Boat Model
SX
Boat Length
24
#16
Cambo, (Keith),
Thanks for joining in! You provide "comfort"!

Truly the steering is working rather smoothly now after adding bearing grease at the jet drive end. My fear is that it will get worse in Canada. I can't get it fixed before taking the boat to Canada, so it's either do it myself in Canada, or pay to have it done in Canada.

Time is my most limited asset. However I want to use the boat. That may mean me fixing it myself. I have thought of buying cables in the US and taking them to Canada with me, "just in case".

My cottage is on an island. Tough to get any kind of repair people out there in a timely fashion. I often repair my own appliances for that reason. What I find interesting is that when ordering parts for the appliance repair, the same part goes into a wide variety of manufacturer's appliances. It is interesting that people on this post claim that the "Yamaha cables" are just relabled generic ones. I believe it!

Does changing the cables require pulling off the steering wheel and or column? That doesn't intimidate me as much as fishing the cables through the boat back to where they belong. I would imagine you attach the old cable to the new cable, and pull it through. However, I can see where that may lead to me getting arrested for neighborhood disruption for loud profane outbursts, or being worked up for Tourette's syndrome.

In summary:

1. Where do I buy steering cables?
How about this?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/YAMAHA-Boat-2-PACK-Steering-Cable-LS-2000-002-201-002-200-F0R-U1470-00-00/162560460743?_trkparms=aid=222007&algo=SIM.MBE&ao=2&asc=52861&meid=19b9fa468e3d497d9ee560322278eeb7&pid=100005&rk=3&rkt=12&sd=201863170595&itm=162560460743&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851

2. Are there port and starboard cables?

3. How much of a pain in the ass is changing the cables?
 
Last edited:

swatski

Jetboaters Fleet Admiral
Messages
8,576
Ratings
9,222 137
Points
493
Location
Saint Louis, MO
Boat Make
Yamaha
Year
2016
Boat Model
AR
Boat Length
24
#17
Cambo, (Keith),
Thanks for joining in! You provide "comfort"!

Truly the steering is working rather smoothly now after adding bearing grease at the jet drive end. My fear is that it will get worse in Canada. I can't get it fixed before taking the boat to Canada, so it's either do it myself in Canada, or pay to have it done in Canada.

Time is my most limited asset. However I want to use the boat. That may mean me fixing it myself. I have thought of buying cables in the US and taking them to Canada with me, "just in case".

My cottage is on an island. Tough to get any kind of repair people out there in a timely fashion. I often repair my own appliances for that reason. What I find interesting is that when ordering parts for the appliance repair, the same part goes into a wide variety of manufacturer's appliances. It is interesting that people on this post claim that the "Yamaha cables" are just relabled generic ones. I believe it!

Does changing the cables require pulling off the steering wheel and or column? That doesn't intimidate me as much as fishing the cables through the boat back to where they belong. I would imagine you attach the old cable to the new cable, and pull it through. However, I can see where that may lead to me getting arrested for neighborhood disruption for loud profane outbursts, or being worked up for Tourette's syndrome.

In summary:

1. Where do I buy steering cables?
How about this?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/YAMAHA-Boat-2-PACK-Steering-Cable-LS-2000-002-201-002-200-F0R-U1470-00-00/162560460743?_trkparms=aid=222007&algo=SIM.MBE&ao=2&asc=52861&meid=19b9fa468e3d497d9ee560322278eeb7&pid=100005&rk=3&rkt=12&sd=201863170595&itm=162560460743&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851

2. Are there port and starboard cables?

3. How much of a pain in the ass is changing the cables?
I have extremely limited internet access right now, on a remote lake in AR, but there should be good writeups on that in the FAQ section. I would think purchasing generic cables is a no brainer - sooner or later it will need to be done and if you are taking the boat across the border it's not a bad DIY project if you have the parts, and the generic cables are not super expensive. When I do mine, I would do both at the same time, regardless.

--
 

CraigAR

Jet Boat Junkie
Messages
491
Ratings
623 7
Points
128
Location
Cape coral, Fl
Boat Make
Yamaha
Year
2017
Boat Model
AR
Boat Length
24
#18
Ok so I followed @KXCam22 DIY cable luber and it seemed to work for me. I did notice that a lot of rusty water came out the other end. I cant steer with 1 finger but at least I don't need 2 hands now. The boat is a 17' ar240 with 80 hours. It gets used every weekend so it's not like it sits for long periods. I will keep an eye on it before I decide to replace the cables.
 
Messages
9
Ratings
2
Points
43
Boat Make
Yamaha
Year
2013
Boat Model
Limited S
Boat Length
24
#19
Cambo, (Keith),
Thanks for joining in! You provide "comfort"!

Truly the steering is working rather smoothly now after adding bearing grease at the jet drive end. My fear is that it will get worse in Canada. I can't get it fixed before taking the boat to Canada, so it's either do it myself in Canada, or pay to have it done in Canada.

Time is my most limited asset. However I want to use the boat. That may mean me fixing it myself. I have thought of buying cables in the US and taking them to Canada with me, "just in case".

My cottage is on an island. Tough to get any kind of repair people out there in a timely fashion. I often repair my own appliances for that reason. What I find interesting is that when ordering parts for the appliance repair, the same part goes into a wide variety of manufacturer's appliances. It is interesting that people on this post claim that the "Yamaha cables" are just relabled generic ones. I believe it!

Does changing the cables require pulling off the steering wheel and or column? That doesn't intimidate me as much as fishing the cables through the boat back to where they belong. I would imagine you attach the old cable to the new cable, and pull it through. However, I can see where that may lead to me getting arrested for neighborhood disruption for loud profane outbursts, or being worked up for Tourette's syndrome.

In summary:

1. Where do I buy steering cables?
How about this?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/YAMAHA-Boat-2-PACK-Steering-Cable-LS-2000-002-201-002-200-F0R-U1470-00-00/162560460743?_trkparms=aid=222007&algo=SIM.MBE&ao=2&asc=52861&meid=19b9fa468e3d497d9ee560322278eeb7&pid=100005&rk=3&rkt=12&sd=201863170595&itm=162560460743&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851

2. Are there port and starboard cables?

3. How much of a pain in the ass is changing the cables?[/QUOTE
Just changed the port side cable (242 limited s). Very easy n straight forward. Welded a 22
Mm
Socket in a 8 inch length of 22 mm pipe to get stern nut off. Took under 2 hours from start to
Finish. Cable was $134 dollars through amazon n $4 dollars for silicone sealer tube
 
Messages
24
Ratings
9
Points
3
Boat Make
Yamaha
Year
2014
Boat Model
SX
Boat Length
24
#20
I never welded anything in my life, so this wouldn't be straight forward for me! I do a great root canal though!

Did you have to remove the steering wheel and or column, or were you able to reach underneath the consul and disconnect the steering cable?
Do you then tie a rope to the old steering cable and pull it through, and then tie the rope to the new steering cable, and pull it through? Then hook things back up?
Why was the stern nut so difficult to remove? Corrosion?

Time is my limiting factor in life. SO I bought the steering cables and will take them along to Canada with me. Hopefully my good relationship with the head mechanic at the marina I deal with in Canada will be understanding about using my parts! (he was an apprentice at the marina 15 years ago when I was building my cottage (I'm a wood and sawdust guy, not a grease monkey). He stayed in one apartment at the marina, and I would stay in the other apartment at the marina the weeks I was working on my place. We played chess.
 
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