Rudder Linkage 101

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carl
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Rudder Linkage 101

Postby carl » Sat Mar 04, 2017 6:25 am

Here are some photos of the Rudder Linkage out of my 1990 32' FBS, not much to it, a carbon steel tube with a triangular tab welded to it and tapped at both ends to accept 1/2"-13 clevis jaw turnbuckles. When I removed the aft deck for restoration I also removed the fuel tanks and fuel lines, Hynautics hydraulic steering, the Bennett trim tab system and with much difficulty this rudder linkage, all of which was intended to go to the bench top to be cleaned, inspected and serviced as needed. Just a very good opportunity as you have full uninhibited access to these components with the deck removed so you take advantage of this. Everything came out easy with the exception of the rudder linkage. If you look at the pictures you will see one clevis pin knocked almost all the way out with just its end still in one side of the clevis jaw, this is the Port side link on the vessel and it was the difficult one to remove. The jaw, clevis pin and jam nut are all galvanized carbon steel, nothing special, they can be purchased from Grainger. The pin was rusted and it took a lot of effort and some penetrating oil to drive that clevis pin upward enough to release the jaw from the rudder arm and this was standing up with free access to it. If I had to do this on my stomach with the deck installed it truly would have been a major struggle. The other side is fully assembled with the jaw, the clevis pin and the cotter pin, this side was no problem as it came apart easily. What I'm driving at here is preventive maintenance 101. If the previous owners had simply visited this mechanical joint with a little grease it would have been a good cheap investment in the future. Remember "The Well Oiled Machine" in a marine environment is a good practice to follow, there was no grease on any of these components.

The carbon steel rudder linkage rod has been dropped off at the powder coat shop for sandblasting and powder coating, I asked them to coat it in a bright color, to include it in one of their upcoming batches whichever bright color comes next (we will see, I hope it ain't Hot Pink). Additionally I asked them to bead blast the two clevis jaws, pins and jam nuts which I will spray with several coats of Galvanized spray paint in a can. At reassembly I will apply a never-seize compound to the threaded section of the the galvanized clevis jaws, adjust the length per the measurements I took prior to disassembly, use a good quality marine grade waterproof grease for the joints, coat everything thoroughly and install new cotter pins. If this linkage ever needs to come out again it will do so with ease.
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Last edited by carl on Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:49 am, edited 2 times in total.
1990 Marinette 32' Sedan Fly Bridge "IKOI"
Twin Crusader 350's (Closed Loop Cooling)
Bow to Stern Full On Restoration in Progress
Chickamauga Lake, Tennessee
A boat is always safe at shore, but that's not what its built for...

EWRice
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Re: Rudder Linkage 101

Postby EWRice » Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:08 am

If your boat is anything like my 72, then there was almost no access to any of that. When I pulled my deck last year, I went through the same thing. Rusted and broken parts. My rudders were seized into the packing glands so bad, I had to cut them off above the blade and drive the rudder stock and gland up through the hull with a bottle jack. Of coarse I made new SS rudders. While the floor was out I had to do everything I could. We must all be gluttons for punishment.
Muskegon Lake
1972 32' Express flybridge
Twin 318s
On board air & prime 920
1963 Thompson Super Sea Lancer
Graymarine 327
1961 Alumacraft 12'
'55 10hp Johnson

javalin390
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Re: Rudder Linkage 101

Postby javalin390 » Sat Mar 04, 2017 12:24 pm

I did the same on mine last winter, while in dry dock. Also did the stainless steel rudders as well. A great guy in Dayton Ohio has a machine shop that did my rudders for $300.00. And yes, with the deck in place, it's physically painful !! Mine is a 3 line Hynautics. Put in the new rudders, with new stuffing boxes and Cutlass bearings/bushings (procedures which were learned from posts on this site ! ), sandblasted all the linkage, repainted and coated all the joints with Anti-seize. Had to re-build the leaking cylinder as well. Mine being a 1975, Hynautics, now owned by SeaStar ( I think), no longer has a cylinder to replace it with, so I was forced to re-build it, as the original o-rings were wasted. Went to a local cylinder supplier in Twinsburg Ohio and replaced all the regular o-rings with the newer X style "Quad-rings". The quadrings seal much better, as they don't "roll" in their recess, like an o-ring, which is much preferred in a cylinder environment. With the "new" cylinder I also had to replace the bearing that mounts the cylinder at the fixed end, which was easily accessed from a supplier found online. Fresh fluid, followed the proper Hynautics bleeding procedure for my application ( the manual for which I also found online), and now I can steer it with one finger. As one can see from some of the previous posts on here, a rotted set of rudders can cause a great deal of headaches, as this part of out M's doesn't get any attention until she quits steering, or the rudders leak ( as was the case with mine). Mine leaked so bad, the bilge pump ran every half hour. Now repaired, my bilge is also DRY !! As a side note, she almost sank the first year of ownership, as the over-taxed bilge pump quit working. Luckily I caught & fixed THAT before water reached the oil pans ! Yes, it was difficult and painful on my 50 year old body to do the work, but doing it myself, I saved hundreds, if not thousands in repair work, and don't forget the peace of mind. If anyone needs the parts list, as well as part numbers I used, just ask.
Jim Elias
1974 37' SedanFlybridge
Twin 360 Chryslers.
Marblehead, Ohio

EWRice
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Re: Rudder Linkage 101

Postby EWRice » Sat Mar 04, 2017 3:01 pm

I ran into a unique problem on my steering linkage (other than the rudders) that frustrated me for a while. Because my boat has cable steering, the cable where it connected to the stbd rudder ran fore and aft. This meant that this rudder had a bell crank on it, or L shaped tiller, that had broken between the two arms due to the seized rudder stocks. It had a very cobbled repair done years ago that I was not putting back in. I could not find a replacement anywhere. Luckily the break was clean. I blasted it, machined the top of both arms for a brace, and had it TIG welded. Worked perfectly.

I was able to make rudders using my old prop shafts and some .250" SS plate. Turned out awesome. In the bottom right corner of the picture you can see the broken bell crank before repair.
Attachments
2017-03-04 15.58.17.jpg
Muskegon Lake
1972 32' Express flybridge
Twin 318s
On board air & prime 920
1963 Thompson Super Sea Lancer
Graymarine 327
1961 Alumacraft 12'
'55 10hp Johnson

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shade2u2
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Re: Rudder Linkage 101

Postby shade2u2 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:15 pm

Regarding rudder linkage, what should it be lubed with - if at all?
John
1984 28 Express Hardtop w/single 360 1.5:1 reduction drive

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carl
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Re: Rudder Linkage 101

Postby carl » Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:30 pm

The turnbuckle threads can be lubricated with a never-seize compound, just stay away from the copper based ones. The jaws and clevis pins can be lubricated with a water proof marine grade grease out of the can. The best way to accomplish this is to take it all apart, clean everything then reassemble with the lubricants.
1990 Marinette 32' Sedan Fly Bridge "IKOI"
Twin Crusader 350's (Closed Loop Cooling)
Bow to Stern Full On Restoration in Progress
Chickamauga Lake, Tennessee
A boat is always safe at shore, but that's not what its built for...

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carl
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Re: Rudder Linkage 101

Postby carl » Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:34 pm

Rudder linkage is back from the powder coater. The carbon steel main link is now red. The carbon steel turnbuckle jaws and jam nuts have been bead blasted then galvanized. Found an appropriate aluminum anti seize compound. And chanced upon two stainless steel clevis pins while shopping the local ACE hardware store. It will all go together with anti seize on the threads of the turnbuckles and marine grade grease on the clevis pins, turnbuckle jaws and tiller arms. This is good preventive maintenance 101. Good looking ahead. The next time this linkage will have to be removed or adjusted it will do so with ease.
Attachments
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P1080020.JPG
1990 Marinette 32' Sedan Fly Bridge "IKOI"
Twin Crusader 350's (Closed Loop Cooling)
Bow to Stern Full On Restoration in Progress
Chickamauga Lake, Tennessee
A boat is always safe at shore, but that's not what its built for...

MetalHead
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Re: Rudder Linkage 101

Postby MetalHead » Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:19 am

That is good anti seize compound. I use it on my Buick motor bolts.
1959 Family Cruiser - Sold - Gary Dick - 12/05/14
1963 Express 31x10 - Sold - Joe & Ginger Tabor - 01/21/2017
1963 Express 31x8.5 - In Dry Dock - Restore Underway
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