Saturday, April 25, 2009

Reseating the steering pedestal

Hit a milestone with the reassembly of my steering system yesterday with the reseating of the steering pedestal. When first removed, I found that it had been seated with butyl rubber using a thin seal around the edge and a thick bulge just inside to prevent water intrusion even if something got past the lip. I decided it worked well for 20 years so I might as well stick with it. After drilling otu the bolt holes through the epoxy I began to put it all together.

The first thing was to clean all the corrosion of the SS bolts. The aluminum pedstal and SS bolts creates the problem. I saw the Edson now tries to sell aluminum bolts to solve this, and wants a crazy price for them when all it takes is a little Lanacote to solve the problem. I cleaned out the pedestal holes, lubed them up with Lanacote, put a bead of butyl rubber around the bolts and pressed them into the holes. Even though the lanacote will prevent the butyl rubber from sealing tightly against the pedestal bolt hole, it is all hydrophobic and will more than do the job. I couldn't be sure the butyl rubber would protect the bolt in all places from further corrosion and so took this step.

When pressed in, the butyl rubber squirted out nicely from around the bolt head. From under the cockpit, I could also reach up through the larger hole and press down the butyl rubber lip to the cockpit and get a good seal. Now I just need to reassemble all the pulleys and cables under the cockpit and check their adjustment. You can also see the upgrade to the far better pedestal guard feet. The original ones were plastic crap.

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