The chronicle of a Sea Ray 340 Sundancer restoration
Sunday, January 23, 2011
I took a picture of the steering linkage as soon as I pulled it from the boat:
As you can see, it was quite corroded and rusted. The factory connects the tiller arms to the tie bar with short, 1/2" hex head cap screws. This system works well enough, at first, and allows for a quick assembly at the factory. However, over time, the threads of the bolt slowly wear into the bronze forks, and play develops in the steering linkage. In order to eliminate any clearance, I bored both tiller arms, and both forks, to 9/16". Next, I fabricated two new pivot pins from stainless steel bar stock, as shown below:
These new pins are .001" smaller in diameter than the bored holes in the tiller arms and forks, resulting in a freely rotating joint with no play, and just enough clearance around the pins for lubricant. Close-ups of the finished fork, and the finished steering linkage, are below:
The tie bar was sandblasted, primed, and painted gray. The tiller arms and forks were blasted, then clear coated.
I have quite a few new pictures, so there should be a couple more updates later this week.