Stus-List wheel squeak

Chuck Gilchrest csgilchrest at
Thu Aug 24 12:25:36 EDT 2017

If the steering chain isn’t centered, the chain to wire joint can contact the sheave wheel at full steering lock, but generally not in both directions.  That isn’t a good sound to hear.  If you pull the sheave axles and they are brass or bronze, don’t ask, just replace. They will go bad..


Also, inside the pedestal on most C&C boats with radial drive wheels rather than quadrants, the chain and wire needs to cross to allow the boat to steer in the proper direction.  As such, the idler assemblies are different (offset) than a standard idler that doesn’t require the cables to cross.  On a crossed wire idler, one of the sheave assemblies will sit forward of the other allowing the wires to cross inside the pedestal without grinding on each other.  If you set this up the wrong way when changing a steering cable assembly, the result will be an ugly grinding sound.


Most of the steering components don’t require much in the way of lubrication.  A squirt of Superlube Teflon grease in the wheel shaft bearing lubrication holes, a light application of 30 weight oil on a rag over the chain and wire rope, and a drop or two of 30 weight oil on the plain bushings of the idler wheels or turning sheaves.  Resist the urge to glob on tons of bearing grease on the chain and cables.  It isn’t moving fast so it doesn’t need something overly sticky (which will make a huge mess and contaminate the brake material in your wheel brake assembly to say nothing of your hands and clothing when installing or replacing).


From: CnC-List [mailto:cnc-list-bounces at] On Behalf Of bwhitmore via CnC-List
Sent: Thursday, August 24, 2017 10:36 AM
To: cnc-list at
Cc: bwhitmore <bwhitmore at>
Subject: Re: Stus-List wheel squeak


Interestingly, I was just about to place a post about a clunking/crunching sound that seems to come put I'd the idler pulley as the wheel is turned either port or starboard from straight ahead.   Is this the same issue, either lubrication  (which I have tried, but perhaps not properly) or replacement of the idler wheels or axles?




Bruce Whitmore 

1994 C&C 37/40+




Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone


-------- Original message --------

From: Chuck Gilchrest via CnC-List <cnc-list at <mailto:cnc-list at> > 

Date: 8/24/17 10:08 AM (GMT-05:00) 

To: cnc-list at <mailto:cnc-list at>  

Cc: Chuck Gilchrest <csgilchrest at <mailto:csgilchrest at> > 

Subject: Re: Stus-List wheel squeak 



Make sure to use a non-petroleum based lubricant for the bearings that support the wheel shaft (such as Superlube or other Teflon based grease).  Don’t squirt WD-40 or any light weight spray  lubricant into the grease holes as it will tend to flush any lube out of the nylon caged bearings.  You can also check to see if the bearings are worn if you can move the wheel shaft up and down, or side to side.  There should be no play in the shaft at all..


Edson does sell a “pedestal rebuild kit” that includes bearings, circlips and all the other thrust washers and replacement components for the wheel shaft.  If you go down that road, I’d also take the time to replace the brake shoes if everything else is apart.


The other possibility for your squeaky noise is the sheave pins (axles) for the bronze idler wheels.  They ride on plain bushings and in the “old days” the axles were also bronze, which will wear out eventually and allow the sheaves to go flying into the bilge under tension at the worst possible time.  If those have never been checked, replaced with stainless pins, or lubricated as described in Edson’s steering maintenance instructions, I would certainly do so.  Once the sheave pins wear, the sheaves go out of alignment and the squeaking you hear may be the axles getting ready to let go.  


Finally, the Edson Idler plate at the base of the pedestal is generally made of mild steel below the deck.  Not terribly subjected to the elements, but they can and will eventually start to rust.  Once that happens, sheaves, cable alignments and other critical steering components can be affected, so check for a rusty idler plate as well as wobbly sheave uprights.


Whatever you do, don’t wait for it to fail to fix it..  Boats without steering are not safe by any stretch of the imagination.  The folks at Edson are very good at walking you through what you need and they have data sheets on most every C&C Steering system they sold for our boats.


Chuck Gilchrest

S/V Half Magic

1983 35 Landfall

Padanaram, MA


From: CnC-List [mailto:cnc-list-bounces at] On Behalf Of Joel Aronson via CnC-List
Sent: Thursday, August 24, 2017 9:42 AM
To: cnc-list at <mailto:cnc-list at> 
Cc: Joel Aronson <joel.aronson at <mailto:joel.aronson at> >
Subject: Re: Stus-List wheel squeak


Is it an Edson pedestal?  If so, there are two places to squeeze in grease under the compass.  If you look on YouTube there are Edson videos on replacing the bearings and they show the grease points.  


I just did the bearing replacement on my current boat.




On Thu, Aug 24, 2017 at 9:34 AM, Richard Walter via CnC-List <cnc-list at <mailto:cnc-list at> > wrote:



The wheel on our 1978 36-footer has always squeaked to varying degrees. Anyone found a solution to squeaky wheels? When it comes to getting grease, I cannot locate a grease fitting (Zerc). Anyone added one? 


Thank you,




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