I am considering replacing the orion system with a Edson set up. I can picture the idler pulleys below the pedestal. Where are the next set of sheaves attached? To the rudder bulkhead or the underside of the deck? Anyone have a picture handy?
David, make sure when installing the new system or replacing chain/cables to cross the cables in the pedestal then down through the holes in the base that lead to the sheaves. Failure to cross the cables will have you for eg. turning the wheel to the right and the boat going left.
I have changed mine many years ago from Orion to add Edson and fittings in order to make this easier. It is a bitch it can be done but you’re gonna live down there changing things out for a long time. I probably did this about 20 years ago. It has worked fine ever since.
We still have an Orion system on our 1978 382 too. It seems to work OK but there has been no maintenance performed since there seems to be none required. I have a level of doubt in the back of my mind. What should I be looking at for maintenance problems? Everyone else who has mentioned steering seems to have the Edson systems, whihc I have had before and seems to be well understood. Should I consider a proactive change out to Edson next winter, or just keep going?
The Orion doesn't have the exposed cables and sheaves like Edson. It has two push-pull cables in plastic sheaths similar or maybe identical to throttle or shift cables. Inside the pedestal it has a gear sprocket on the steering wheel shaft with a chain going over it to transmit the push pull to the ends of those cable units.
I asked the boatyard to look it over when the rudder was out a few years ago. They adjusted the play in the sprocket and shaft but I am not sure they did much else. The only thing I can see to do is replace the cable assemblies, and maybe I should carry spares of those.
Wondered what everyone else has done?
Even being in sheaths, the cable/rod inside it bends. And that is the issue, it will fail eventually due to the bending. And if not bending, the Sheath traps moisture and will cause even stainless to rust. Carrying spares is an option, and if you ever cross an ocean, mandatory.
One plus of the Edson is how easy it is to rig a repair with dyneema. My cable failed after 4-5 years(but a lot of miles) It took a few hours to change it out for dyneema in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. I have about 5000 miles on the dyneema, and won't likely change back to stainless.
FWIW, I have had 2 failures of push/pull engine control cables and only one failure of steering cables since I have owned Eliana.