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Thread: Steering bars

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    Exclamation Steering bars

    I would like to ask the experts??? Solid steering bars from back in the day (50's & 60's) some were bent up slightly, and some were flat. What was the difference? Was the bent one for runabouts or hydros specifically??

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    Default bars

    Quote Originally Posted by hemij View Post
    I would like to ask the experts??? Solid steering bars from back in the day (50's & 60's) some were bent up slightly, and some were flat. What was the difference? Was the bent one for runabouts or hydros specifically??
    Well, it depends on what is in the way that it has to miss and/or how everything else is set up in relation. My B-Mod has bent bars sort of like Texas longhorn shapes. But I made them that way to get the height where I wanted the rings to be in relation to where they mount on the motor.

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    No one else has an answer for me??

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    BoatRacingFacts VIP John Schubert T*A*R*T's Avatar
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    They were bent up so that the angle from the forward coaming pulley especially on hydros was a straight line & no bind on the pulley sheave. Some also did it for the aesthetic view

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    Team Member smittythewelder's Avatar
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    Mine were all flat, but I think maybe some people bent theirs up for extra tensioning of the steering cables. With the steering bar bolted to the engine (talking old stock Mercs now), you would tilt the engine far forward and hook the steering cables to the ends of the bar. As you tilted the motor back to running position, the steering cables tightened up. You went forward, turned the steering wheel left/right a few times to see if everything felt right, then you went to the back and tied some strong cord around the lower part of the towerhousing so that the engine would not tilt up if you got off the throttle at speed.

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    Team Member Gene East's Avatar
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    At Quincy Welding we ran every class except C Service, and sometimes 2 boats in a class, so it was not uncommon to have 6 or 8 boats set up in the pits at one time. Plus we often had motors in the trailer at race sites with bars mounted to aid in carrying the motor down the bank to the boat.

    All our bars were flat regardless of whether they were used on a hydro or runabout. There didn't seem to be much difference flat or bent, plus flat bars took up less room in the trailer!

    After Mercury discontinued making the bars, Quincy Welding made them for a while. We sold them for $23.00 chrome plated. Don't you wish you could find one for that price today??

    We had to carry enough bars for our own boats plus a supply for potential customers, so space was a consideration.

    I don't think anyone could describe the process of rigging the steering better than Smitty's prior post, except he should have specified NYLON tie-down rope. Bad things happen when hemp breaks as you're going through a turn full bore. It goes without saying, tie-downs & cable clamps were checked before every heat!

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    On OPC boats you had steering and trim geometry to contend with. A line from the holes at the ends of the bars where the pulleys attached had to intersect the swivel shaft center in order for the steering cables not to loosen or tighten in a turn. The bend was to get the same holes on the same plane as the tilt tube, to minimize loosening or tightening when trimming (see smitty's post above).
    I never understood whey the Mercury racing SST/Champ bars were flat bars that had the holes way out of line with the swivel shaft. We recut several sets to get the steering part right. The trim part didn't seem to be as critical.

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