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How to Install Teleflex

by Nicole Schmoll
Learn how to change out the steering cable on your boat to Teleflex cable.

Learn how to change out the steering cable on your boat to Teleflex cable.

Teleflex is a brand of boat cable created by the Teleflex Marine corporation. Teleflex steering cables are particularly common and are not that difficult to install. Often installed as an upgrade or replacement from mechanical or rotary steering cables on boats, Teleflex steering cables may provide greater tension in your boat's steering wheel, making tight turns easier to accomplish and less stressful on your hands and arms. Steering cables made by Teleflex are resistant to oil, chemical and abrasions, and they may help extend the life of your boat's steering system.

Measure the distance from the center of the steering wheel on your boat to your gunwale at the front of the boat with measuring tape and write this figure down on a piece of paper. Measure the distance from the dash directly behind the steering wheel to the transom at the rear of the boat and write this figure down. Take a measurement of the space between the gunwale and the center of your cable connection in the back middle of the boat. Add the three figures together and add 24 inches to the result. Round up to the next even foot and order that many feet of Teleflex steering cable.

Use a wrench to remove the two boats from the upper helm cable entry spigot beneath the wheel. Turn the steering wheel toward the port side of the boat until the cable falls out to the floor beneath the steering wheel (Ref. 1 provides video of all steps).

Use a socket wrench to unbolt the output ram from the tiller arm tie rod at the motor end of the cable. Unbolt the cable coupler nut from the support tube with a standard wrench. Check the cable to make sure that it is clear and free of other wires. Pull the cable from the cable tube until the old cable is completely freed from the entire steering tube run.

Tie a snake line to the new Teleflex cable with four secure knots. Wrap electrical tape around the snake line to secure it to the cable. Tie the other end of the snake line wire to the railing of the boat so that you do not lose the cable as you guide it through the long steering tubing. Gently feed the tube through the cable run until it emerges at the helm.

Turn the wheel toward the starboard side of the boat to draw the Teleflex cable into the steering wheel. Insert the two bolts you removed at the beginning of the process back onto the upper helm cable entry spigot to secure the new Teleflex cable within the steering wheel unit. Turn the wheel sharply to the right and left to ensure that you have tension and have properly inserted the cable through the run.

Apply a generous amount of Teflon-based water-displacing grease onto the output ram and insert it into the support tube near the steering wheel at the helm of the boat. Tighten the cable coupler nut with a wrench until it engages tightly with the locking rig. Ensuring a tight fit will preserve the life of your steering cable.

Spin the steering wheel three rotations to extend the ram. Bolt the output ram to the tiller arm tie rod. Tighten the tie rod output ram as tight as you can, then use a wrench to back off a half turn. Check the tension in your steering wheel a final time before taking your boat out for a drive.

Items you will need

  • Measuring tape
  • Pen and paper
  • Garden hose (optional)
  • Wrench
  • Socket wrench
  • Snake line
  • Electrical tape
  • New Teleflex tubing/cable

Tip

  • You can double check your steering cable measurements to ensure you have enough cable by running a garden hose along the length of the steering cable path and then measuring the amount of garden hose.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images