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Time for major steering overhaul.

It's time for a major steering overhaul. The bore that the steering shaft goes through is worn. The housing is aluminum and the bearings are stainless, so the bearings are fine, but the housing us toast.

I spoke at length with edson. The short verdict is that the 335 housing is not meant for the ocean, or more importantly windvane steering. The sideloading of the control line on the steering shaft is more than the design can handle. They suggest an upgrade to a 400 series pedestal, which has stainless steel sleeves for the bearings. Its also larger, so lots needs to be replaced with it.

Not having the budget, they said they can sell me the sleeves from a 400 series pedestal, and a local machine shop should be able to bore the housing and install them. The bearings are the same part.

I expect to have a much better than new pedestal when done.

The sheeves and plate underneath need attention as well. Edson can install bushings in the sheeves cheaper then buying new, and i hope the rest can be cleaned up and powder coated.

14FEEC52-92A1-4B7E-B8A7-66EB2035EB21.jpeg14FEEC52-92A1-4B7E-B8A7-66EB2035EB21.jpeg
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
Curious. I just reworked my old pedestal and rebuild the guts. I had the pedestal soda blasted, then powder coated with epoxy undercoat, then finally painted with AwlCraft. After 10,000 ocean miles with a Monitor steering most of the way, I saw no problems with the bearing locations. But you went double that. When I rebuilt it before sailing off in 2016, Edson did not tell me not to venture into the ocean. If I go again, I may have to do what you did--and it is a pain to remove the pedestal. What is wrong with the sheaves? Worn on the pin they turn on? Are they wobbly? Years ago Edson recommended replacing the bronze pin with stainless, if I recall. Are you just sending the sheaves back to Edson for sleeves? What will they be made of?
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
I wish I was in a position to buy you a new Idler, too, Warren, as a contribution to your voyage. I replaced ours last year when it totally disintegrated. The new ones are beefier.

Here is the old and the new.

1594577728442.png

Boy, is it a pain in the butt to work under there where the Idler is? It must be the most difficult place to reach in the boat.
You probably saw the thread, but here is the thread I made after I did all the work.

Interesting to hear that the Monitor wind vane might have contributed to the wear. I've been trying to decide on Monitor vs Hydrovane, and I guess that's one of the pros for Hydrovane is that it doesn't use the ship's steering system.
 
I wish I was in a position to buy you a new Idler, too, Warren, as a contribution to your voyage. I replaced ours last year when it totally disintegrated. The new ones are beefier.

Here is the old and the new.

View attachment 8200

Boy, is it a pain in the butt to work under there where the Idler is? It must be the most difficult place to reach in the boat.
You probably saw the thread, but here is the thread I made after I did all the work.

Interesting to hear that the Monitor wind vane might have contributed to the wear. I've been trying to decide on Monitor vs Hydrovane, and I guess that's one of the pros for Hydrovane is that it doesn't use the ship's steering system.
When I was shopping, the Hydrovane rep at the show mentioned steering wear. But all the sailors I talked to that have actually used both felt the monitor's performance was far superior. And (once you learn the art of how it works) the monitor is amazing. The boat can actually be fairly far out of balance with significant weather helm, and it will still work. And It will work (again, once the fine art is applied) with as little as 4-5 kts of apparent wind. But it is a finicky machine.

On Eliana there are butt connectors for the stern navigation light at the hull deck joint, under the forward most pull pit post on the starboard side. I was 100% completely in the locker, on my back twisted in a really messed up way. THAT was the hardest think I have had to access. And very hard to get out of the locker afterwards. The idle assembly was comparatively easy.
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
Warren, I struggled with my Monitor, altho I like it. Perhaps I never learned the magic. The boat is a little squirrely down wind, and I found I had to reef the main, thus slowing the boat, quite often. Many days we sailed with a triple reefed main and a full 135% genoa for balance. HydroVane was used by many in the recent single handed round the world race, but I too had heard stories of people having to use auto pilots to "help" the HydroVane. The old fashioned auxiliary rudder Autohelm, which Scanmar may sell, is sort of clunky and big, but an acquaintance with a 382 loved it. With the auxiliary rudder 18" behind the boat, he said she balanced, finally, perfectly.
 
Curious. I just reworked my old pedestal and rebuild the guts. I had the pedestal soda blasted, then powder coated with epoxy undercoat, then finally painted with AwlCraft. After 10,000 ocean miles with a Monitor steering most of the way, I saw no problems with the bearing locations. But you went double that. When I rebuilt it before sailing off in 2016, Edson did not tell me not to venture into the ocean. If I go again, I may have to do what you did--and it is a pain to remove the pedestal. What is wrong with the sheaves? Worn on the pin they turn on? Are they wobbly? Years ago Edson recommended replacing the bronze pin with stainless, if I recall. Are you just sending the sheaves back to Edson for sleeves? What will they be made of?
I noted the wear at the bearing around the 15,000-20,000 mile mark, after crossing the Indian Ocean. It's now worse at about 30,000 miles. I think the Indian Ocean did it. 20 days of fairly violent and constant rolling, and the cyclic rudder loads that produces. Also, one of my complaints of the monitor is that it doesn't like that motion, as both the vane and the pendulum roll with it, and the steering would spin almost all the way in both directions. I tried disabling the monitor and just using the steering break, and that almost worked, but the boat won't balance sailing deep downwind.

Anyway, I think it was those 20 days of misery that did it.

The sheaves are wobbly. Edson says that they can bore out the hole, and press in a new bronze bushing, and that is cheaper than a new bronze sheave and preferred over an aluminum sheave. The plate is rusty. I need to clean the rust to know for sure if it is sound, and if I can blast it and powder coat it. I'd like to avoid the cost of all new, which I think is over $1000 for the bronze version. Less than half that for the aluminum version.
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
It is nor clear to me how the bottom plate is attached to the boat. Mark or
Warren,can you explain that? Mine is in ok shape, only minor surface rust, but perhaps I should replace it.
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
Terry - by "bottom plate", are you referring to the Idler? It's what I put the pictures of above. It's bolted through the bottom of the pedestal and the nut is on the bottom. My Idler was of some kind of mild steel and looked "ok", but when something hit our rudder one night in a marina up in Washington, it pretty much shattered. The wheel lock was on and it must have created a lot of force. Knowing what I know now, I would have replaced it right away. Warren's looks better in his picture than ours did prior to shatter. I think Zia had some leakage at the base of the pedestal that caused ours to be quite corroded.
 
If you have rust, you probably should at least take if off and try to coat/paint it. The stands for the sheaves are pressed in, so you might not be able to remove them.

It's a lot of work to get it off. You need to disconnect the engine control cables. and the compass light, as those wires go through it. And of course, you need to remove the steering cables from the radial drive. It's held in place by the 4 large bolts that hold the pedestal.
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
Perhaps I should have replaced it when the pedestal was off. Even with the bolts out, it seemed solid onto the bottom of the deck. Another winter project. Warren, one other thing. When you have taken your pedestal to a machinist and he/she bores out the bearing races, please let us know the results. I am just worried about whether it leaves enough aluminum meet for strength. It may depend on how thick the stainless inserts are. Thanks.
 
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