Edson Pedestal Shaft Wheel Attachment

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Wheel Attachment

By Bob Kuba, Quiet Island #1291 (1994)

Pedestal Steering Inspection

The snap-ring on my steering shaft failed and fell out unnoticed. I did notice that the Edson nut holding the wheel on was loose, so I tightened it up. Then I started having problems with a sluggish autohelm and noticeable binding sounds coming from the steering mechanism.

The problem was that when I tightened the Edson nut, I forced the wheel farther onto the shaft than it was designed to go. The snap-ring is there to stop it from going too far. As a result, the stationary pin that inserts into the autohelm ring was binding up the entire unit.

Snap ring installed
Missing Snap ring

The photo on the left shows how the snap-ring should look.

When the snap ring fails, it allows the nut to push the wheel too far onto the shaft.
In the image on the right, the wheel has been partially removed. Notice how far the wheel had been pushed onto the shaft by tightening the nut.

The snap ring size fits a 1 inch shaft.