Broken steering assembly

lobstercraven

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hey lobstercraven. I was specifically referring to the taper. I understand the greasing thing, but any taper shouldn't have grease on it. I'm not familiar with the setup, so I can't say for sure....But, it does look like a taper fitting and the three bolts also kinda reinforce this.
Ok I’m not sure but I definitely will look into it. Maybe I got carried away with the grease. Either way I want to figure out what went wrong so that it doesnt happen again.
 

Genius

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see the black grease on the bronze taper. That shouldn't be there IMO. It should be wicked clean, with brakeclean on assembly. The bolts shouldn't be taking any of the steering force it appears. The bolts are there to suck the quadrant onto that tapered sleeve that sits on the rudder post and engages the keyway. The force of the taper should be taking/transmitting the the load. like I said though, I haven't had one of these apart, so I'm only going by the pictures you sent.
 

Old Mud

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Brooksie

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Better bolts, stainless isn't known for its strength compared to grade 5 or 8 plain steel.
You might consider putting it back together with the taper small end up, and reversing the arm. That way the arm can't drop off like it did if the bolts faii. But, you say, then the bolts with their heads down can drop out if they loosen. Loctite.
 

lobstercraven

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Better bolts, stainless isn't known for its strength compared to grade 5 or 8 plain steel.
You might consider putting it back together with the taper small end up, and reversing the arm. That way the arm can't drop off like it did if the bolts faii. But, you say, then the bolts with their heads down can drop out if they loosen. Loctite.
I had steel for 20 years then I changed everything out 3 years ago including the bolts to ss.
 

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Some years ago I backed into a neighbor's mooring stem and tore the far end of the cylinder off it's mount. In hindsight I was glad to have somthing let go that kept the rudder intact and didn't hole the hull (like a fuse). So those bolts were your shear pins.
 

lobstercraven

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No grease in the taper lock. The taper wasnt locked properly, and was relying on the bolts to steer. These bolts should come out easy, as they are not bottomed out in the holes. Clean the grease off the taper lock. Keep going around tightening the bolts, until they are all tight.
I just added a photo above. As you can see I removed the top part of the bolts . They’re 5/16’s . Is the top piece where you insert the bolts down through supposed to be a larger hole then the bolt size ? - then it threads into the bottom piece . I’m just wondering if the top piece doesn’t match the bottom .
 

lobstercraven

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Yes, The bolts pull the lower piece up into the taper which locks it in place. Also advised torque on an S.S. 5/16 bolt assuming its 18-8 is 15 ft-lb. Grade 8 steel is 25 ft-lb
I was thinking about switching out the ss for good steel bolts and putting the never seize to it.
 

Genius

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I was thinking about switching out the ss for good steel bolts and putting the never seize to it.
I like grease better than never seize. Metalube water proof grease is really good. Once the taper is set, theoretically the bolts don’t add anything to the strength.
 

lobstercraven

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I’m also wondering if I could back the top piece off if I had long enough bolts to reach the bottom piece or maybe put something under it to push the bolts against . Will tapping down on the key loosen or tighten?
 
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lobstercraven

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I like grease better than never seize. Metalube water proof grease is really good. Once the taper is set, theoretically the bolts don’t add anything to the strength.

are the top holes that the bolts go through meant to just slide through and then catch the threads below? I can understand a sleeve but I was surprised how much bigger the holes were then the bolts . Lots of play . Would‘nt surprise me at all if a 3/8 bolt fit
 

Brooksie

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You will be fine. Get the broken bolts out, Loctite the new grade 8's in, don't put anything on the taper, torque it up, make sure it isn't keybound, and if you will stop backing in mud, I'll stop backing into moorings...
The Loctite will prevent the new bolts from rusting in just as well as Never-seize or grease and the bronze part isn't going to rust anyway.
 

lobstercraven

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You will be fine. Get the broken bolts out, Loctite the new grade 8's in, don't put anything on the taper, torque it up, make sure it isn't keybound, and if you will stop backing in mud, I'll stop backing into moorings...
The Loctite will prevent the new bolts from rusting in just as well as Never-seize or grease and the bronze part isn't going to rust anyway.
so Are you saying not to remove the top piece first ? Just get the sheared bolts out , clean it and then put new bolts in and be done . I was going to try and remove the top piece so that I could bring the bottom piece to my vice and remove the sheared off bolts
 

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No reason not to pull it and work on it on a bench. I like the grease on the outside once you are done putting her back together. I didn't after I did this job this past spring and it is looking ugly now. Good luck. They can be a pain in the neck, but the tapered bushings are usually pretty nice to work with.
 

Brooksie

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so Are you saying not to remove the top piece first ? Just get the sheared bolts out , clean it and then put new bolts in and be done . I was going to try and remove the top piece so that I could bring the bottom piece to my vice and remove the sheared off bolts
Well you may have to do that but usually, when the heads break off like that, and there is no rust, the threaded portion of the bolt backs right out when there is no tension on it, I would try a pick and small hammer to see if you can coax them around.
 

lobstercraven

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I ended up having to file the key down a little . It was a little proud .not much but maybe just enough. It Might not have seated properly and that’s why it sheared the bolts . Thanks for all the advice
 
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