Wednesday, May 21, 2014

How to Replace a Tiller Universal

Sailing season is back in full swing, and it’s that time again to replace old, worn out parts.  Too often I see a race or pleasure cruise ruined when a universal joint fails. 

Don’t let this happen to you: examine often and replace early! 

Watch the video and learn how to remove the old universal, drill out the new one, and install the pin for a sleek and secure fit.

Tools you will need:

Things to Note:  Not all universals are as “universal” as the name implies.  The main difference is the receiver, which lives on the tiller, and the shape of the cap that locks it into it.  Try to match a manufacturer’s label on the tiller extension to find the right universal joint replacement.

That being said, getting the wrong brand is not the end of the world.  Most are made to fit a standard 5/8 inch diameter tube with an ID of .55 inches.

Every replacement comes with a new receiver (the part on the tiller) so installing a different brand universal only means you have to also switch to the new receiver.  Simply remove the 2 fasteners and replace for a proper fit.

*As seen in this example, the partner on the tiller has rounded sides.  The new universal I installed has a squarer, boxy cover.  Worry not, I simply back out the two screws and replace it with the new receiver to match.

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