Hi - my cable systm is original and intact - the more I mess with it, the less I like it, so there must be something I'm missing.
Cable is evenly centered and wrapped arount the steering column - nothing funny there runs down the sides to the stern with no obstructions. Runs into the original pulleys to meet at the motor's quick disconnect fitting. Has springs on the loose ends to adjust a load tension.
Either it is loose and feels a bit dangerous (steers much too easily with no resistance), or it is tight and the pulleys start twisting and the cable starts twisting and locking up.
Looking for some guidance on what proper feel should be: whether it is supposed to be really loose and easy turning, or it is supposed to have a decent amount of tension/preload.... fwiw it's the original vinyl coated steel cable.
I have the same on my '60 Wagemaker and it's fairly easy to turn. It's not going to be real tight. The tension, as you may already know, is taken up by the ends by the engine. There should be some chrome pieces that hve a big screw in the midle pinching the the cable going through the eye on the engine mount and loioping back through to the other side of the chrome peice pinched by the two pieces and a screw going through the middle to bring the two pieces together. Sorry my boat isn[t close right now to take a pic but I think you know what I'm taling about. That's not a high tension system per se but works fine. I replaced me springs and cable back in 20011 and they've been going great ever since.
btw I did find the previous thread on Pros & cons: cable/pully steering VS Rack & Pinion.
Still trying to figure out how much cable tension/pre-load I should have (or alternately, how the steering should feel/how much resistance).
Sorry, cabling should be tight enough so the springs are not dropping but not compressed. The feel should be that any turn of the wheel gives a turn of the motor. Turn the wheel the motor should move, no slack or delay.
When I set mine up, I compressed the spring with a tie strap, adjusted the cable so it was snug, then cut the tie strap. The wheel moves with next to no resistance, but also no slack in the cable. Should be a comfortable, positive feel.
Thanks for the input. That sense of what it should feel like is helpful. I probably have mine tighter than needed. There is also very little vertical "spread" between the transom pulley mount point and the transom spring mount point on each side... less than the pulley diameter at the motor... so the force is causing the pulleys at the motor to want to twist. If I increase the spread mentioned, the force should keep the pulleys from twisting.
Then again, since the locations have survived from the original construction, I'm wondering whether this behavior is exaccerbated by the INCREASED tension/pre-load. I'll release the tension first and see if that resolves itself.