Why is my Steering Tight?

We've all dealt with tight steering due to corrosion, lack of maintenance, and old age.  But whats up when connecting a new steering system to a new motor and it binds in the tilt tube?  Check the boat's transom!

If the transom isn't flat, the tilt tube can be tweaked enough when tightening the mounting bolts to cause the steering cable or hydraulic steering cylinder support bar to bind inside the tube.  This issue is more likely to happen when working on an older boat with a soft transom.  Also, watch for boats that were designed with a curve in the transom.  These could be the source of an issue even if the transom core material is solid.

Mounting a motor on an uneven transom can also lead to abnormal wear of the transom bracket components and even cracked brackets.