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TOPIC: Helm Questions

Helm Questions 22 Feb 2020 02:31 #102273

  • Zippo25
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Sloth, I would absolutely love to see what you've got, I'd love to connect in general. So many questions lol.

Pictures would be great, but focus on that surgery first, I'm in no rush. Hope it all goes smoothly.
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Last edit: by Zippo25.

Helm Questions 21 Feb 2020 18:17 #102263

Jordan, I didn’t realize you wet in Ontario. I have a few full set ups that I’ve restored and one I haven’t got to yet. All from the correct era or older. I’m sure I might be able to sell one if you are still in need in a month or two. I’m heading for a big leg surgery Monday but once I’m back up could help arrange something. Or work a cash plus your setup for one that’s done and ready. I’ll try to get some pictures for you at some point.
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Helm Questions 21 Feb 2020 17:21 #102261

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They, aren't particularly rare, but when you find a decent one, the seller is usually really proud of it. Either that, or the bidding gets silly. They are on Ebay pretty regularly, though there's not much on there at the moment. Keep looking. I'd agree with Jeff that the the aluminum type would be better.
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Helm Questions 21 Feb 2020 07:06 #102257

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Not shallow or naive at all, I wasn't the clearest with the original question. Thank you for the reply though there's some great info there already.

Ok, so I know the wheels themselves are interchangeable and I'm not super worried about those. I've been able to find a bunch on buy/sell sites and am quite confident that I can restore at least this black one quite easily.

I'm wondering more about the actual mounting mechanism(s) and steering shaft assemblies. I think part of my issue is that I'm not sure exactly what to call everything - making searching for them more difficult, and aside from these I've not handled or come across anything else from the same vintage to even know what the other options would be.

Coming from other restoration projects , I now always just assume there is some hierarchy of desirable setups or parts that range from being worthy of going out of your way to restore, to not being special - and aside from their functional nature - essentially "worthless". I'm super new to these boats so I'm just trying to gather information on if/where these pieces I have may land.

Now as I understand, these boats were sent to dealers and the accessories were added there, correct? There's no specific "official" helm setups per year/model?

The black wheel and mount were the ones that came on the boat originally. I've seen at least one other fleet ranger 3 with the exact same, so I assume they were from the same dealer or that possibly fleet had done differently and equipped from factory. It is indeed a painted steel bracket and is not exceptionally aesthetically pleasing :-p.

But that's really my question. Is there any pressing reason to restore this helm to keep everything original? I picked the other up because I thought the ornamental nature of the mount was nicer than the steel one and the price was negligible, but its been proving to be a pain, and if I can find something better I'll happily do so.

I've had my eyes open for quite a while for a drum steering setup and haven't seen anything at all, which just had me believing that they were more rare than I had hoped. I've got a few swap meets this summer in my calendar that I'm hoping may turn something up and I've been watching eBay, although shipping to Ontario on such an item sometimes ends up being prohibitively expensive.

I hope that clears up what I was asking, sorry for the confusion but thank you again for the answer.

-Jordan

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Last edit: by Zippo25.

Helm Questions 21 Feb 2020 02:24 #102251

Zippo, please forgive me if I'm being too shallow or naïve, but it's not clear to me what you're asking about. There are two aspects to your two wheels: (1) The wheels themselves, and (2) the cosmetic and functional aspects of the steering mount and mechanism.

It appears to me that one of your mounts (attached to the black wheel) is made of rusting painted steel, and the other is cast pot metal. Most of the steering mounts I see on these boats are made of cast aluminum. I believe most use a steel steering shaft between a cast aluminum dash mount and an aluminum pulley. Personally, I would rather attach an aluminum steering mount to my aluminum dash.

I was lucky: my boat came with such an aluminum steering system already installed, and it was functional out of the gate. Mine did not have a steering wheel attached, and I chose to buy a new one - which makes me a bit of an outlier. I also chose to put a new motor on my boat - which is not the usual path. Others here have done various levels of restoration and replacement on their steering systems and vintage steering wheels.

Others can correct me, but I don't think it should be very difficult to find an aluminum drum steering system e.g. on Ebay at a reasonable price. I did try searching for one when you originally posted, and I must admit I didn't find any on Ebay, but I think that's a bit unusual. I've done casual searches for cable/pulley steering systems in the 5-6 years I've had my Feathercraft, and it seems that there are normally 1, 2, or 3 for sale at any given time. If you've only just started looking, I suggest you continue looking on Ebay for a couple months, and I think you'll find something you like, hopefully at a reasonable price.

IMHO, the two steering wheels you've got are as good as any other "vintage" wheels and worthy of restoration if you're into that (which most folks are). But I wouldn't go for either of the steering mount/hub setups. Go aluminum (or stainless if you can find it) or go home...

You can search this forum for "steering" to see many examples of the drum systems being used on these boats. A recent example is shown in this thread:

www.feathercraft.net/forum/25-www-feathe...ring?start=10#102035

I believe this one was made by Wilcox Crittenden - a highly regarded manufacturer of boat parts. But much of the WC stuff is made of brass, and as a general rule you don't want to be attaching brass parts to your aluminum boat, because the two will corrode within a few years. Stick with aluminum or stainless parts to fasten to your aluminum boat.
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Helm Questions 20 Feb 2020 23:04 #102239

For me this is the best penetrating oil, expensive but works. My shop will always have a can of This. Plus the cheaper stuff too.

Oil, heat and some patience Should do the trick.

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Mercury Marc, 1958 Hawk II, Merc 400

Helm Questions 20 Feb 2020 19:12 #102238

The black set up looks like much better quality than the red. And I’m betting it is a shelter wheel with Bryson boy accessories. IMO I’d be fixing the black and painting it as you like. I’ve restored several and try to avoid the plastic stuff .

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Last edit: by Sloth.

Helm Questions 20 Feb 2020 18:43 #102237

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Theres no core to the red wheel. I'm not thinking the wheel itself is going to be usable but id like to save the dash mounting part of it if I can get the studs out.

I've tried the double nut to back them out but they either back both of the nuts off the threads or they're just twisting the top of the stud off. I've tried using heat and penetrating oil and still nothing.

I'll give the acetone and ATF a try but I'm thinking of welding a nut on and using an impact wrench. short of that I may just have to drill them out and tap them if its worth it.

The actual steering column pipe is just kept in place with a wedge of wood hammered in to a little notch in the dash plate.. IDK.. are there better options that are easier to find or should I keep at these?

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Helm Questions 20 Feb 2020 13:45 #102232

The crack in the red one looks like a mortal wound to me. Does it have a steel core? Is the core rusting and pushing the rubber wheel apart? Not sure Id be too comfortable using it just throwing some epoxy putty fill in there.

To get the studs out did you try and lock two nuts together and extract using the bottom one to turn against the top? Best cheap penetrant is 1:1 acetone and ATF. You have to use real automatic transmission fluid, not synthetic it doesn't work. This is better than all the commercial concoctions with fancy packaging and advertising budgets.
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1952 Deluxe Runabout 1956 Johnson 30hp

Helm Questions 18 Feb 2020 02:51 #102169

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Hey Guys,

Just trying to get suggestions on what to do regarding my steering setup. I've got a Fleet Ranger III that came with the black and white Brydon Boy steering setup which works fine but is stiff and needs a refresh, surface clean and some cracks filled etc. I'm not a huge fan of it tho as it's fairly understated, looks fine and all but there are nicer looking setups out there.

I came across this red Brydon Boy and picked it up cause the price was right. It needs some serious work though, heavily rusted, I can't get the studs out of the back to save my life and the dash mount finish has seen better days. Will need a total restore.

I can certainly fix either of these setups, but I'm curious if you guys know more about either of these. Is one "worth" using or saving over the other? I'm not about to throw either out but I'm trying to plan which direction to go before I start planning for the dash of the boat Are there better options or places to get these drum and cable helms? I've been keeping my eye out on all the normal buy and sell but there's not much out there that I can see.

Thoughts?

Thanks again as always

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