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View Full Version : OUT OF ALIGNMENT (pulling to the left)



Stephen X20
06-03-10, 07:28 PM
I have a 2002 Sea-Doo (Challenger) X-20

In order to go straight, I need to turn the top of the wheel to at least 2 o'clock and hold it there. I can turn at high speeds, although it will cut sharper to the left than right. A mechanic at the local sea-doo shop recommended that I just adjust my steering wheel, but I do not think that will help. Even at idle speed it wants to turn left. Any ideas?

My local sea-doo shop was not any help at all. Everyone there seems scared of my boat since it has a Mercury engine in it. When I take it to the Mercury dealer, they "do not work on waverunners." I did not know this hybrid would be this difficult to get serviced so I am taking it upon myself to do my own service work.

Thank you,
STEPHEN

JoeZ
06-03-10, 08:20 PM
Moving this thread to the boat section...should help you get more replies.

igotone
06-03-10, 09:04 PM
I`ve been reading all kinds of posts here since joining this forum especially since I had considered buying one of these boats before getting the seadoo pwc I ended up with (a great place BTW) and I`m going to say I read a post here about how they always do turn sharper one way than the other because of the way the water is swirling out of the nozzle, (but) there are some straightening "vanes" that attempt to counter some of this swirl action, I`m saying all that to say this, maybe those "vanes" are missing? or Damaged? If I were you and since this is only speculation based on a sketchy memory, TRY to find that post. or wait a little bit to see if someone with more specific info jumps in.

WAJetboating
06-04-10, 12:40 AM
...there are some straightening "vanes" that attempt to counter some of this swirl action, I`m saying all that to say this, maybe those "vanes" are missing? or Damaged?

I answered in his other thread (he posted twice). Yes, this can be caused by severe damage to the stator vanes. They're there to recover some of the energy lost to swirl (one of the two major reasons jetdrives are more efficient than open props) but since they're designed to be part of the overall system, when they get badly damaged they can affect steering.

Stephen X20
06-04-10, 07:28 AM
Would you call this "severe damage?"

Thanks again for all the help,
Stephen

WAJetboating
06-04-10, 10:16 AM
Would you call this "severe damage?"

If it's as bad as that appears, a most definite YES.

It looks like a substantial portion of some stator vanes are completely gone. If the stator looks like that, what does the impeller look like?

Can you take some clearer, more illuminated photos of the stator? Also, remove the intake grate and take some photos of the impeller. Please post them here.

Stephen X20
06-04-10, 12:47 PM
This is the best I could do over my lunch hour and with a cell phone. Sorry for the quality but I hope it helps.

Thanks again,
Stephen

WAJetboating
06-04-10, 01:05 PM
You still need to do the steering wheel and steering nozzle alignment test that I mentioned earlier in the other thread. However....

That stator is badly damaged. It's beyond reasonable repair. You need a new one. You can replace it yourself with typical tools. The new one will cost about $450.

Your impeller's leading edges are nicked up pretty badly too, although less than I expected after seeing that stator. Your impeller can be refurbed for about $120 which will bring it to better-than-new condition. New ones are about the same price as the stator, so you'll be far better off refurbing the one you have. (I just did this and the results were perfect.)

I wonder if the trailing edges of the impeller show evidence of whatever passed through your jetdrive. Something serious went through it to cause the stator damage.

When you took that photo of the impeller, did you remove the intake grate? What kind do you have? Is it spring loaded and moveable? Most importantly, were any tines missing? This looks a lot like the typical damage caused by a failed HydroSurge intake grate. Those are spring loaded on the theory that they will be self-cleaning, but in reality their tines often break off and get sucked through the jetdrive - causing exactly the sort of damage you have here. Please tell us the type and condition of your intake grate.

Stephen X20
06-04-10, 05:56 PM
WAJetboating,
First, thank you for all your help and quick responses. On the steering adjustment, do I adjust it behind the steering wheel or at the rear of the boat? From your diagram I thought you were referring to behind the steering wheel but the Mercury Service Manual shows steering adjustment at the jet nozzle?
Next, I did remove the intake grate to take that picture. It seems to be in good shape, but I am afraid it is the spring loaded version you were referring to. Is there a recommended replacement? I do not want to spend money on the impeller and stator if this is just going to happen again.

Thanks again,
Stephen

Stephen X20
06-04-10, 09:16 PM
WAJetboating,
Just found your post from 2005 on the intake grate issue. I will be installing an 11-tine fixed stainless grate before I put it into the water again!

http://www.network54.com/Forum/143168/thread/1124704684/HYDRO+SURGE+PROBLEMS+(long+but+compelling)

Now if I can just fix the steering issue...

WAJetboating
06-04-10, 11:30 PM
...by moving the two nuts forward or backward, thus shifting the cable housing forward or backward. That's the coarse setting. Fine setting is done by turning the endpiece on the end of the cable so as to screw it more, or less, onto the cable's end.

Did you check alignment between the steering wheel and steering nozzle?

WAJetboating
06-04-10, 11:32 PM
If you found my writeup on the cross-sectional area of the various intake grates, you'll see that the 11 tine is the best standard grate available.

I went one step further and machined out six of the tines, creating a custom five tine grate with the least cross-sectional area of any grate I've seen.

You'll be happy with the 11 tine, and it should never fail on you.

dreadloxx
07-25-10, 11:27 PM
i understand this post is referring to a challenger but im assuming that the general steering is the same. Im also having a small issue with my ski wanting to turn left when the handle bar is straight. I dont notice it too much at fast speeds but when im in a no wake zone it really notice. i looked at the steering nozzle and it looks like its facing alittle left when the handlebar is straight. i dont have much thread left at the end of the cable for fine tuning so i need the course first lol.

dreadloxx
07-27-10, 12:51 AM
You still need to do the steering wheel and steering nozzle alignment test that I mentioned earlier in the other thread. However....

Wajetboating would you mind sending me a link to that post about the alignment test. Thank you

WAJetboating
07-28-10, 01:48 PM
Wajetboating would you mind sending me a link to that post about the alignment test. Thank you

I can't find it quickly, but it's not difficult.

Make certain the steering wheel is centered. Now check the steering nozzle in back. Is it straight?

Turn the steering wheel all the way to one side, noting how far it turns (degrees of rotation). Check the nozzle. Confirm it's all the way to that side but not mechanically interfering with anything, particularly the thrust reverser.

Now turn the steering wheel all the way to the other side. The degrees of rotation should match the other side. So should the angle of the nozzle. Confirm no mechanical interference.

If any of these things aren't right, fix them before using the boat again. Losing your steering while under way is a Very Bad Thing!