Technical Reference Manual
Teleflex Marine Mechanical Steering
About Our Mechanical Steering Systems:
The following is a quick overview of our steering
systems and steering component terminology.
For details on a particular steering system
(features, applications, ordering information
and dimensions) noted below, refer to the
catalog pages describing that steering system.
Distinctions made below are generalizations
and should be used in conjunction with the
specific steering system sections of this catalog
when selecting a system, and water testing the
Mechanical cable steering is durable and
reliable. Cable systems can to some degree
be tailored to individual driving preferences.
Turning the steering wheel turns a geared
helm, which in turn moves a push-pull cable
to turn the engine or rudder. Rotary (cable
wraps around a gear) and Rack & Pinion (cable
attached to rack gear moved by a pinion)
versions are offered.
Various helms are available, each resulting in a
different number of lock-to-lock steering wheel
turns (specific to each steering system type,
determined by helm gearing.) More wheel turns
equals less effort to turn the wheel.
Features unique to their respective products
include QUICK CONNECT (SAFE-T systems),
Dual Station capability (BIG-T), Rack & Pinion
feel ("The Rack" systems), low-backlash (HPS)
and NO FEEDBACK (NFB systems.)
All our mechanical systems exceed A.B.Y.C.
safety standards and ISO/I.M.C.I./N.M.M.A.
certification requirements and feature stainless
steel cable output ends.
Typical Mechanical Steering System Components:
Helm: A dashboard-mounted gearbox to which
the steering wheel and cable are connected.
Turning the wheel turns gears in the helm and
moves the mechanical steering cable, which in
turn moves the engine through its steering arc,
by means of a steering connection kit.
BEZEL: A dashboard trim piece that covers
helm mounting hardware, takes up the space
between steering wheel hub and dash, and
provides additional steering shaft support. The
bezel kit is specific to the type of helm.
STEERING CABLE: A mechanical push-pull
cable assembly connected at one end to the
helm and the other end to the engine or rudder.
The cable transfers motion from the helm to
linear motion at the engine tiller arm or rudder.
CONNECTION KIT: Hardware that connects:
- the steering cable to the engine or tiller arm, and/or
- the steering cable to the splashwell or other mounting point, and/or
- connects one engine or rudder to the other in multiple engine/rudder applications.
Servicing Mechanical Steering Systems:
When servicing a steering system, thoroughly
diagnose the problem(s) first. Determine what
components of the steering system need to be
replaced. Replace components that show signs
of excessive physical wear, including slop,
chafing, corrosion, leakage, etc.
If there is excessive motion, binding or "rough
spots" in the steering, determine the cause and
replace the problem component.
Repair parts for mechanical steering helms,
cables and engine connection kits are not
available. Helms, cables and engine connection
kits must be replaced as units for safety and
convenience and, since the standardization of
engine interfacing in 1976, its easier than ever
to do so. Do not disassemble helms or cables
as they cannot be properly serviced in the field.
Disassembly or attempted repair will void the
warranty and may lead to unsafe operation,
warranty and may lead to unsafe operation,
When using Teleflex products to replace other
manufacturers' steering, the whole system must
For mechanical steering, Teleflex offers:
Teleflex does not supply link arms, which
connect the end of the steering cable to the
tiller arm on an outboard motor with a tilt tube.
Teleflex offers Engine Connection Kits, which
are usually required for engines that do not
have a tilt tube.
GENERAL RULE: Replace rotary with rotary,
rack with rack, hydraulic with hydraulic
whenever possible. Try to identify cable
from marking on jacket and helm from
lettering on cast/molded body.
- Helms (mechanical gearboxes, in rotary and rack & pinion types).
- Cables (rotary and rack & pinion types).
- Bezel Kits (trim cover for helm/mounting hardware).
- Engine Connection Kits (connect steering cable to engine or rudder).
- Steering Wheels.
- Tilt Steering option.