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Bravo 1 loose steering

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Bravo 1 loose steering

Old 02-13-2020, 02:58 PM
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Default Bravo 1 loose steering

So I have a 98' bravo 1 on a commander boat. If I grab the drive I can swing it side to side about three inches. There is basically no play if I move it up and down. It has the jr marine cover on it so I'm assuming the previous owner did the swivel pin and ring.

The u bolt is at 55lbs where it should be and if I look up at the swivel pin at the bottom of the ring the pin is moving with the ring when I move the drive side to side so I dont think it's the gimbal ring.

If I have someone move the drive side to side and watch the tiller arm inside the boat, it does not move. However, if I have someone turn the steering wheel while I watch, two things happen. The Initial slack in the steering wheel, before the tiller arm moves, is caused by the steering cable housing sliding about 1" in the actuator and then the tiller arm moves. As soon as the tiller arm moves, the drive moves. I dont get it.

To recap: the tiller arm does not move if you wiggle the drive side to side and watch it but if you wiggle the steering wheel as soon as the tiller arm starts to move so does the drive. What gives? Is it play in the pin where the arm connects to it? But why would the drive move as soon as the arm does using the steering wheel but not if you wiggle the drive? Please help and sorry for the long post!

Last edited by rspillman88; 02-13-2020 at 03:04 PM.
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Old 02-13-2020, 03:13 PM
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To recap: the tiller arm does not move if you wiggle the drive side to side and watch it but if you wiggle the steering wheel as soon as the tiller arm starts to move so does the drive.
That's a head scratcher

Remove the tiller arm pin, and try to move tiller arm by hand
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Old 02-13-2020, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by AllDodge View Post
That's a head scratcher

Remove the tiller arm pin, and try to move tiller arm by hand
i installed 2 of them updated swivel pins on my drives. Your issue sounds like the tiller arm “square” that goes over the new swivel pin was not replaced and is worn. So when you move drive back and forth it does not move because it is held in place by the tension of steering system.

Like said above, disconnect the steering pin directly from the tiller arm and then you will most likely feel that slip in the tiller arm.
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Old 02-13-2020, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by MyIsland View Post
i installed 2 of them updated swivel pins on my drives. Your issue sounds like the tiller arm “square” that goes over the new swivel pin was not replaced and is worn. So when you move drive back and forth it does not move because it is held in place by the tension of steering system.

Like said above, disconnect the steering pin directly from the tiller arm and then you will most likely feel that slip in the tiller arm.
Okay I will disconnect it and report back my findings! Thanks everyone!
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Old 02-13-2020, 06:50 PM
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Worn tiller arm
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Old 02-13-2020, 08:54 PM
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Yep I disconnected the steering to tiller arm and I can wiggle it, time to replace the tiller arm or more?
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:56 PM
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By the time you get the tiller arm off, you will know if anything else is toast.....
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by rspillman88 View Post
Yep I disconnected the steering to tiller arm and I can wiggle it, time to replace the tiller arm or more?
when you get that arm off, you will want to make sure the “square” end of the swivel pin is still square. With the worn pin, it’s possible it could have worn the edges off the swivel pin, if that is the case, new swivel pin is required.

I beleive you will be at the very least dropping that pin through the gimbal ring to get the tiller arm out. In doing so you may as well inspect that gimbal ring “ square” socket at top and make sure it’s not worn. It is my understanding as well that you will be loosen the u bolt you see on top of gimbal ring to do all this, so you should replace that ubolt as well to get the proper torque. It is sad that someone went through all this work once and sounds like they did not replace that tiller arm. That JR marine pin and the rework they do on the gimbal is a solid better than OEM repair.
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Old 02-16-2020, 01:21 AM
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So being that the gimbal ring appears to be tight because the swivel shaft moves with it as I move the drive by hand and the tiller arm wiggles when disconnected, would this be a good time to do a single ram hydraulic add on? I would eventually switch to a full hydro just dont have the funds for that at the momen. Just curious because instead of spending the money on replacing the tiller arm I could just do an imco add on. The boat runs 64-66mph
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Old 02-16-2020, 07:32 AM
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The Imco add on works fine , Ive done several . Its a good addition to boats in your speed range .
Make sure the tiller arm cross bolt is tight and that the swivel pin nut is snugged down on the tiller arm.
Ive seen the bolt through the tiller broken , it lets the tiller square spread and makes it flop.
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