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  • Steering Cable Replacement

    • Year: 1998 Brand: Centurion Model / Trim: Elite Bowrider Device Type : Suction Cup Gate Style Surf Device Material: Other Control: Manual or Fixed (No Actuators) Cost: $0-$249 Ballast Modifications: Other DIY or Professional Install: I installed it / created it Manufacturer(s) of primary products: Teleflex Sound Project Components: Other Platform Type: Teak Engine Type: Mercruiser 5.7 Material used: Other

    Steering cable replacement on a direct drive boat. V-Drive should be similar but more difficult.

    Steering was stiff from day one of purchasing the boat. I didn't know any better as this is our first inboard. Wasn't until my wife drove it and complained that she could barely steer that I started looking into it more.

    So I read and my first attempt at fixing was greasing the rudder box. A tiny bit better but still not like I read it should be.

    Ordered up a cable from Discount Inboard Marine. Guys were great. Wouldn't even sell me a cable until I could give them a part number or measurement off the old one because apparently '98 was about the time Centurion was changing styles of helms. But super helpful once I had the length and part number (Part number required a lot of cross referencing) and super quick shipping.

    The changing of the cable is not difficult especially after seeing some of the other projects on this site but someone, somewhere will be googling and hopefully will find this and it will help them out.

    I don't have a ton of pictures and the ones I do have didn't turn out super good but here it goes.


    Before disconnecting everything turn rudder all the way to the left, so the cable is retracted all the way in. Will make things easier.

    Get a helper. My 9 year old daughter was perfect. Small enough to fit in the ski locker but strong enough to be useful.

    Tools needed: 3/8" wrench (x2), 7/16" wrench, pair of pliers, about 25' of small diameter rope or paracord.

    1. Disconnect cable from rudder arm. Pin with a cotter key. 


    2. I tied a rope to the end of the cable that I disconnected from the rudder so it would pull with the cable as I extracted it.




    3. Next is to loosen/separate the clamp box's 4 bolts. These require a 3/8" or 10 mm wrench.



    4. Remove rack from helm. 7/16" or 11 mm wrench needed here. Warning: rack may be greasy so watch it when laying on your carpet.



    5. Once everything is unbolted, slowly pull the cable out of the boat. Pull from the steering wheel end.

    6. After you get the cable pulled out, remove rope from old cable and attach to new cable.

    6.5 I do not know if it is the case with all replacement cables or not, but I had to swap the outer sleeve that the clamp box clamps on. Used adjustable wrench and pipe wrench (strap wrench may work but didn't in my case). I put a layer of grease on the portion of the cable that becomes exposed when in use prior to installing the sleeve. 

    7. This is best done if you have a helper, but slowly pull the rope back through the boat from the stern. One person pulls the rope and other feeds it through.

    8. Once cable is to the rudder, start reconnecting things in the reverse order.


    I amazed at how easy the steering is after the replacement. Even my two year old can steer the boat (out of the water) with ease.


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    How did you access the rudder box? I have a 2002 xti and I think it's under the floor between the 2 rear seating areasbut I don't see a way to get there other than prying the panel up.. I don't know if your boat is the same but they're both direct drive so I'm hoping. Thanks for any help you can give. 

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    My rudder box sits under the edge of the fuel tank. I can access it fairly easy especially if I pull the panel that covers the bottom of the ski locker. I don't have any good pictures to show you right now. I can get some in another week when I'm by the boat next.

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