70% Steering solution for Mac26x

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windypatrick
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Location: Mesa, Arizona -- 1998 Mac 26x - 'DRAGONFLY' , 50HP Johnson 2 Stroke

70% Steering solution for Mac26x

Post by windypatrick » Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:30 pm

I haven't figured out how to put pics in this listing yet :( but I also put this in the Mods section under 'Motor' and 'Exterior' with pictures. :D

Our 1998 26x :macx: is new to us this year, the steering is execrable. Perhaps mine is a particularly bad example. Terrible. :evil: There is so much slop that one could move the wheel 90 degrees with no change in steering behavior. This created a condition where you are sawing the wheel back and forth in large arcs to get any kind of steering control. :cry:

A friend of mine and I decided to look it over and arrive at a 70% solution so we could quickly continue to motor/sail. Many of the problems with the steering system (dare I say it), are designed in. In all places, bare threads are mating with bare drilled holes or tube, all of these mating surfaces are sloppy. Moreover, this condition generates fretting - or aggressive mutual wear of the surfaces. There was a huge amount of slop at every bearing point in this system, creating a "slop stackup" of amazing proportions. I wonder how many 26x boats are like this? :?

Life is short, the admiral has asked when we are heading out again, so basically we decided to tighten up the existing system (drop the pencil!, step away from the drawing board!). :wink:

Starting at the steering output flex shaft where it exits the starboard side we drilled out the bolt in the hull mounted pivot, and went next size up. Then we added a Polyethylene (PE) pivot face washer and fitted the pivoting arm with an Oillite bronze bushing. In all cases throughout this small project we spec'd SS bolts with shanks long enough that all mating surfaces were not touching bare thread. this required cutting down the excess thread length in most cases. All bushings are oil impregnated bronze bushings, for all pivoting faces contact we fabricated PE washers from flat polyethylene sheet of varying thicknesses. Most materials purchased through McMaster-Carr.

At the connection to the Boomerang yoke we ground off the original fastener (it was all thread-no shank) and drilled and bushed on both sides of the yoke tube - and installed a new shanked bolt.

At the boomerang yoke ends MacGregor welded in a thin walled through-tube for the pivot bolt to pass through. You can't bush it. the hole was soooo sloppy and one of the big slop culprits. We had to cut off the ends. We then turned and welded in a 1" SS plug with a press fitted bolt and attached SS Heim joints.

At the outboard pushrod the threads were tired and a very short nut was used, so an extended piece was welded in with surer purchase on this rotating portion

New bolts through the rudder pivot ends and large PE washers at the pivoting rudder faces (stole that idea from a poster on this site). Bushed both ends of the engine steering gear. Left the gudgeon pivot pins for later (forgot to source them).

The difference after taking it out was amazing! Smoooooth, with very limited slop. A "night and day", "order of magnitude fix", says one reviewer. While there is a bit of slop left (from the rack and pinion mostly) it is not noticeable under power, this boat is now a pleasure to steer.

Material cost for everything including a special .368" reamer for the press fitted through-bolt about $200. Special tools: metal lathe, tig welder, standard reamers (1/2"). Admiral's willingness to now steer the boat- priceless. 8)

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Catigale
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Re: 70% Steering solution for Mac26x

Post by Catigale » Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:52 pm

Material cost for everything including a special .368" reamer for the press fitted through-bolt about $200. Special tools: metal lathe, tig welder, standard reamers (1/2"). Admiral's willingness to now steer the boat- priceless.
Priceless indeed....... :D :D :D :D :D

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tlgibson97
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Re: 70% Steering solution for Mac26x

Post by tlgibson97 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:52 am

My '96 :macx: is in the same condition. Sloppy is an understatement. I will likely be doing a similar project to tighten up the system over the winter months. The rudders themselves are sloppy too so I am thinking about putting bushings in them too so they raise and lower easily but elimnate the wobble they have.

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dlandersson
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Re: 70% Steering solution for Mac26x

Post by dlandersson » Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:34 am

My 97 :macx: 26X steers fairly nicely, but I'd like the picture/specs on your fixes when available. Something to work on this winter. 8)

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windypatrick
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Re: 70% Steering solution for Mac26x

Post by windypatrick » Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:33 pm

dlandersson wrote:My 97 :macx: 26X steers fairly nicely, but I'd like the picture/specs on your fixes when available. Something to work on this winter. 8)
Be glad to, As soon as I get a chance I will leave a McMaster part list in the mod spec. I motored the other day with subtle fingertip control. It is that much better! you are just taking up all the system slack. If you have questions, message me and we'll exchange #'s and I'll give you a heads-up. :)

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2BonC
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Re: 70% Steering solution for Mac26x

Post by 2BonC » Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:12 pm

If to much play in the steering is encountered this nut can be the source as well. Image
The steering piston should not have any longitudenal play in the tubing.
Especeally this can happen after exchange of the steering cable. (As it happened to me :| )
After ending up multiple times with "Autolearn fail 1" during the auto steering sea trials
I became aware of this. :o
windypatrick I hope You don´t mind me steeling Your picture :wink:
rainer

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Catigale
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Re: 70% Steering solution for Mac26x

Post by Catigale » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:15 am

...Im sure Sum doesnt mind that you stole one of his yellow arrows,,,,, :D

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windypatrick
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Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Mesa, Arizona -- 1998 Mac 26x - 'DRAGONFLY' , 50HP Johnson 2 Stroke

Re: 70% Steering solution for Mac26x

Post by windypatrick » Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:10 am

2BonC wrote:If to much play in the steering is encountered this nut can be the source as well.
windypatrick I hope You don´t mind me steeling Your picture :wink:
rainer
LOL! Just check on Sumner's yellow arrow! :D , you are right, this is an overlooked area, cable movement thrust has to have a reaction surface. 8)

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