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Author Topic: HELP with Steering Control of a 1994 Champion 186 DC with 150 HP Faststrike  (Read 2227 times)


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New to the forum and I need a little help.

I recently got a new-to-me 1994 Champion boat with a 150 hp Johnson Fast Strike on it. The boat comes with two separate rack-and-pinion steering cables with two push tubes in parallel (steering and tilt tube).  The steering wheel was really sticking, so we cleaned and greased the push rods with white lithium grease.  We then took apart the rack and pinion (helm) setup and was able to isolate the sticking problem to the rack gears controlling the tilt tube push rod. So, my first question is, what is the purpose for having two steering cables? I assume it has to do with the larger engine. Second, is there a way to test and/or clean the gearing system of the rack?, and if I need to get a new rack, which one do I need to get and where should I get it?

Also, I am pretty new to bass boat owning, so please be prepared for some more naive questions in the future.


Mike Cork

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First, no problem on the questions. Keep up the great thread titles and you'll get answers much faster.

The dual rack and pinion is because of motor size and driver comfort. A larger motor has a ton of torque to overcome.

I personally haven't been inside a system like yours. Most everything is hydraulic now and if replacing needs to be accomplished I'd highly recommend hydraulic steering.

We do have a couple members that have played with their rack systems and should be along shortly with advise.

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Bud Kennedy

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It appears you have the same configuration as my 1991 Ranger.  Recently I had the steering cables replaced and as far as I know the old ones might have been original equipment.  The cables are not difficult to replace IF you can get them out of the cable tray.  In my case that was not possible so I had a dealer replace them.  They had to actually unmount the motor from the jackplate to get the clearance to pull out the old ones.  The dealer accomplished this work in a little more than an hour according to their work sheet.

The key would be to buy the correct cable length.  You might actually be able to find this printed on the cable itself.  If I had to do it again, I would have it done by the dealer.  The result was great and now I can steer the boat with one finger.  Before it was a two handed struggle just to turn it.  For a 150hp motor I would not go to hydraulic steering due to the expense but definitely on a bigger motor.  Hydraulic steering is the better part of $2K where regular cable replacement cost me about #$600.00

It just becomes a matter of how handy you are with this kind of stuff.  I am a senior citizen and it was more than I wanted to deal with although it would have been nice to save money by doing it myself.

Welcome to Ultimate Bass, Since you have an older boat I am sure you will run into other things and there are a lot of resources and experts that can offer you the help you may need.  Also,  My motor is also a fast strike 150
« Last Edit: April 25, 2016, 12:32:00 PM by Bud Kennedy »


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Just for an update.... I took the old steering cable and helm out and installed a new one. The hardest part was trying to figure out how to get the 150 HP Fast Strike Outboard off and out of the way so I can have access to the push bars. Thanks for the help.
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