Monday, June 8, 2015

Vintage Mercury Quick Silver Ride Guide Steering

One of the other issues we sorted out this winter was the steering system. Due to the combination of age and salt water the steering was becoming tougher to operate. In fact one time last summer I put the boat in the water after sitting unused for about 10 days and I could not turn the steering wheel. After a little gentle persuasion and some WD40 on the steering ram tube we were back in business. But it kept getting a little worse ever week. Then finally after sitting the boat for 6 months this winter... the steering was frozen.

This original marine steering system was manufactured by Kiekhaefer Corporation out of Beaver Dam WI. Better known as Mercury, Kiekhaefer manufactured these steering systems designed for dealers to install them into new boats.

My issue was the back of the steering cable where it attaches to the motor. The steering rod was rusted into the steering tube. Trying to salvage the cable proved fruitless. After liberating the cable from the boat I cut the steel tube off but made a critical error and cut through the outer sleeve of the steering cable. I took the cable and had the tube rewelded at the cut but the welding flash was blocking the cable from going past the weld.


Going back to the drawing board I dug out a NOS Quick Silver steering attachment kit I bought off of Ebay. Most of the parts were the same as my setup but the steering tube was a larger diameter than my steering cable so I never used it. So I went in search of a 13' steering cable to match the mounting kit.

I was lucky to find a 13'6" Mercury 76043A13 "Super Ride Guide"cable (dated 11-28-90) from Precision Marine in Rancho Cordova, CA. This cable was a take off and is a heavier cable than my original (with a larger diameter steering rod and tube) but the under dash connection is identical to my Ride Guide steering ram under the dash.

The install was simple bolt in but you do need to completely disassemble the steering ram to install the cable but its a simple R&R and went back together very easy with no special tools. Now my "power steering" is working great!

The dealer who setup our boat matched the Scott Motor Gauges and and Quick Silver steering system into a very nice dash layout. When I was repainting the motor I stripped the gauges and steering wheel and gave them a coat of Wake White to match the motor. Then I added the red lower accent to the steering wheel to match the two tone motor cowl.

The final touch was the OEM Ride Guide emblem from http://www.marineengine.com.

Now I need an upper emblem for the steering wheel. I've seen these where they have Quicksilver and/or Dorsett lettering on the top. I've never seen any for sale so I may need to have it made.
'60 Dorsett Belmont with DORSETT label on the Quicksilver steering wheel.

'60 Dorsett Belmont with QUICKSILVER label on the Quicksilver steering wheel.

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