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Thread: Any ways to improve outboard jet steering in cold weather?

  1. #1

    Default Any ways to improve outboard jet steering in cold weather?

    Ok, not trying to rub it in that I was running rivers over the weekend (ok, maybe just a little bit) but anyway, is there any way to "lighten up" the steering on an outboard jet when the ambient temperature is between 20-30 degrees F? I'm really not sure what weight/type of grease is in my steering controls back on the motor, but I'm wondering if going synthetic may help. I was also pondering the merits of the Flo-Tec quick-steering controls that Glen Wooldridge mentioned in another thread. Anyway, any help or ideas will be appreciated.
    NRA Life Member, Prior F-16 crew chief.

  2. #2


    Howdee. How's life in Montana? Glad to hear your Wooldridge is still doing great. Thanks for the demo this spring. I think of your words of wisdom as I hunt for the right boat for us. I'm still trying to figure out how to afford one of Glen's new boats but keep looking at used ones that pop up. Take care and keep warm.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009


    The problem might not be at the motor, it might be in the steering system itself (behind the dash or in the steering cable). Usually the outboards will be very easy to steer with unless a tensioner is too tight or it hasn't been greased in a while. Check to make sure its greased and grease it anyways while your at it (zerts on the front of the motor as well as near the transom where the motor pivots). Synthetic grease vs regular multi purpose grease shouldn't make that much of a difference. You could have a old/worn out steering cable, or something in the steering box behind the dash is making it hard to steer. I doubt it has anything to do with the outboard itself unless there is no grease where it needs it.

    One way to check if it has to do with the outboard or the steering controls itself it so disconnect the motor from the steering cable and see if the motor rotates smoothly on the transom. Remove nut on the right side of the steering bar.... steering-arm.jpg

  4. #4


    Hey Leonard, hope all is well for you too. Going to school full time now, but got to take the boat out a few times over the summer and hunted out of it last weekend. I know what you mean about being able to afford a brand new Wooly because I've been drooling over some of the new creations too.

    gpaul99, thanks for the input. I'm pretty sure it has to do with the steering controls and grease because it steers fairly easily one direction and not so much the other direction. I don't think it's the cable or anything in the steering box because it worked well all summer. I think it was mostly a factor of cold grease, but I'm not totally sure.

    Maybe I'm just looking for a somewhat reasonable excuse to upgrade to the Flo-tec steering system so I can improve on steering ability.....
    NRA Life Member, Prior F-16 crew chief.

  5. #5
    Member Akgramps's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Worlds largest truck stop


    Maybe the jet needs a little "trim" adjustment? If you let go of the helm does the boat go straight?
    If the trim is out it will naturally turn that way when you let go & I suslect this is the same direction that you find it easier to turn.

    You can adjust this by bending the tab that is inside the oulet tube on the jet (top of tube), this will counteract the pressure on the helm. You will know when you got it right as the steering pressure will be equal in each direction and the boat will track when you let go.
    The tab is stainless and does require a little effort to tweak.
    I doubt its the type of grease, lack of grease maybe, but that would be noticeable in the summer as well.
    Hope thats it, as its a ez fix.......!
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”

  6. #6
    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008


    Steering easy one way and not the other has more times then not been due to the steering cable getting worn out.


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