Thursday, June 03, 2010


As I mentioned in the previous post I had a "Yikes" moment while lying on my back and finding an old rusted Edson Idler Plate assembly located below the Edson Pedestal.

Edson's replacement is a much improved more robust cast aluminum assembly much thicker than the thin rusted steel plate. Below is a comparison is the two plates.

Below is a side photo showing the difference in the thickness between the two plates

So it looked like at first it might not be that hard of a job. All I would have to do is disconnect the steering cable, drop the old plate, run the steering cables through the new plate and reconnect the cables.  But of course it was NOT that easy or just a matter of ordering a new idler assembly. 

The above shows the problem that appeared. When the steering system was installed at the Hinterhoeller factory they used Nicopress sleeves on both the eye ends of the steering cable. These fittings would not allow the cables to fit through the feed-through holes of the idler plate. Soooo that means one end of the cable would need to be cut and also require that new steering cables be installed too. Well, I guess after twenty plus years new cables might not be such a bad idea anyway.

Capt Mike's tip: When installing a new steering cable it's a good idea to place a little heat shrink over the cable ends to prevent fraying of the cable. As shown below.

On my Edson Pedestal the cables are required to be crossed inside the pedestal. To accomplish this easily I used two of the fiberglass poles in the wire running kit I carry on board to run the wires through the idler plate easily.

Below is one of the steering cables taped to one of the wire fishpoles

So let this be a reminder to check that steering idler assembly on your boat. If it is an older steel plate one and is starting to rust it might be a good time to think about replacing it. Also check the fittings on the steering cables if they are Nicopress swaged you'll need to replace them too.

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