Boat Hydraulic Steering

Boating Know How

Learn How to replace the Seals in a Boat Hydraulic Steering System by Teleflex (Video)

Video presentation by Frisco Jarretts on How to replace the seals in a Teleflex Marine Hydraulic Marine Steering system ... read more

Video Transcript

Hey guys we are back with another episode of repairing this big old boat. It’s just a little maintenance item that we have got to take care of. And the other day I was driving around and I notice the steering wheel was kind of clunky. Like you would turn a little bit and it would bump bump bump bump. And I noticed down here below the helm we had some drippy going on all the way across coming out from behind here. So we took apart the dashboard and discovered that the pump has a seal that has gone bad on the inside of it. With these Teleflex hydraulic pump systems it’s pretty common so I went ahead and bought myself a seal kit which is still over there, I’ll show it to you in a second.

This just has a couple of seals and we’re going to take this apart and see exactly where the problem is. So the first thing you’re going to do is get the steering wheel off. I’ve cheated; I have pulled the nuts off already and I went ahead and tapped the end here to be able to get it loose. What I did was I used an extension, you don’t want to damage the threads around here, you just want to put it on here and then you tap gently with a hammer to get this to pop off. Because it’s a tapered fit, so it’s going to be on their kind of tough. So once you pulled this thing off, you just start disassembling the little bits at a time by pulling that piece off. And my screw is broken off on here; this piece comes off really easily. This just pops off just like that.

That leads us to this, this is our tilt mechanism and the seal we’re trying to get to is back in here. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to take off these four little nuts right here. I opened my socket set wrong, oh well I’m fine. Now we’ve got to take off this little Allen screw back in here, it’s a 532 it looks like, this is what holds the universal joint onto the pump shaft. Okay and I have already taken off those four bolts. This thing should pull right off just like that. Awesome, so now you may well notice that now we have this thing torn completely apart. What I didn’t show you is how we got this out of the helm. But it turns out that we needed to do a lot more work. It turns out the leak was from the rear of the pump and I bought a whole kit, so we’re going to put all of the seals in here now. Just to do it right and make sure it’s 100%.

So what I did originally was this is the pump and how it fits together right here. You noticed I put two marks here to keep, so that way I know exactly where it is index wise. And then this is what goes on the inside. This is how the pump works. If you look inside, you will see that this bearing race right here is actually angled. And what it does is it attaches to this and pushes each one of these down. As you rotate, these things go down in succession and create the pumping action. What it’s doing is it’s actually pumping out on my hand. So that’s how you get your hydraulic flow. Well apparently the seals have gone bad and so what we’re going to do is we’re going to replace all of seals in this thing so that way we are 100%. And the main one is this rear seal which is right here and it’s just a nasty, gooey, gross shape. You can see that it’s no longer dry; it’s all wet so it’s leaking out. That’s going to go away, so we make sure we clean this very very good around the edge, so when we tighten it down it’s not going to leak.

Right now we’re doing the easiest one; I don’t know if it’s the easiest one are not. But putting in the front seal; just take these three little screws out, pop this up and you can see, here is your front shaft seal. This is actually the one that fails the most. And so what do we do is we go over here to our Teleflex kit (it actually feels kind of nasty) and I’m going to store these out of the way.

Make sure your items don’t blow away. Pop that down, I’m going to take a little bit of hydraulic fluid and put around inside here just so it will lubricate itself whenever you put it together. Pop it in there, wipe the mess off.

Okay that’s one seal down. Two more seals underneath this guy. Pull it up, see that they are right. There is a little spring in there guys you’ve got to be very careful it does not come out. So were going to take; I’m going to run ahead and get a little flathead screwdriver and we’re going to pry those off and replace them. Be back in a second.

Okay so take a little screwdriver like this and the slide it up and reach that O-ring. Pull it off, same thing with this one, this could be a teensy bit troublesome and fiddly. But if you persevere you’ll get up underneath there. One and two, throw this over here in our non-use pile. Reach back into our kit here and slide on the new O-rings. Here we go, on to the next one.

Try to be careful, these things have got little check balls and springs in there. Pull these things apart. And these were torn too. Make sure you use the right O-rings; when you pull off the old ones match them to the new ones just to make sure, because they are different diameters, these guys. And when you put it back in just make sure your ball’s in that socket down there. Sometimes easier said than done…here we go… that’s done.

Okay, now we got this thing back together. I just basically slid this in and it has a bearing race in there and it takes like eight hands to do it so we didn’t video it. But you put those little things that has the pistons right here, you just hold it sideways and slide it in here and it goes through that seal. See it’s kind of spring-loaded here, that’s how it works. So what we’re going to do now is, we’re going to take this guy and put it on to here with this bearing race. You see here is our new seal and so we’re going to take this and put it over here. But the thing is I do believe it’s going to take more than just me to do this.

Okay maybe not, the seal came loose.

You know they probably have a special tool for this. My hands are killing me. Alright that’s better, you look around here and make sure we have no extra parts hanging out. It looks like we’re good to go. I’m going to put this down and get dad to help me hold this thing and we’ll tighten all of these screws up really good and we throw it back into the boat.

So here we have our fully assembled rebuilt pump or at least with new seals. And I took a picture earlier of how this went together, so that’s the reason why I’m kind of tearing into it here. Put both of these on here. Alright it’s going to take more than one hands or two hands, so were going to put both of these on here and getting mounted back into our helm. And we’ll be back in a second to get it all filled up and make sure it doesn’t leak.

So we got the pump back in and to kind of show you how this thing came out. It just takes these three little screws right here. They are half inch and I’m going to just tighten them back up. All of the holes are the pump in this helm. We have a pump right here. That pretty much it. You notice the fill reservoir. Don’t buy cheap tools, the Northern tools they don’t work very well.

Alright so now you take your tilt mechanism which is right here and we’re going to clean it up a little bit because it was full of cobwebs and everything else here.

You just line it up with the shaft there… and you tilt it down because you need to put this little screw in here, which is that Allen wrench we took out a few minutes ago. It goes right down in that little hole right there. What it does is it goes through the shaft that we just put the seal on. So that way you can’t; now even if those bolts were not in here I can’t pull this off. So now we just reversed all of our installation procedure by putting these washers back on…tighten it up.

One thing you have to remember; whenever you put this thing all back together, you need to refill it with power steering fluid. This is actually pretty easy to do. Because I didn’t drain the whole system, I don’t really need to bleed it from the back. Actually you go back to the rudders which are way back underneath their and there is a little bleeder screw that you’re able to do. But since we just took it out of here, what I did is it actually have a little top that goes on here and you take a little thumbtack and you pierce this bottom. And you hold it upside down and you squeeze it as you turn the steering wheel back and forth. You go all the way back and forth and what that’s going to do is it will work the bubbles into here and that going to come out that thumbtack hole. You don’t want to turn it back upside down with putting the thumbtack back in it because you will make a mess. Been there done that. And all it does is go in this little spot right here. You unthread that, it goes in, real simple turn it back and forth five or six times or however many it takes until you get a nice firm feel and it’s not bumping all the way across. You want it to be smooth like this and you can turn it all the way one way and it will stop, that means you have hit the full lock. Let’s see if we can go back this other way. I know it’s a lot of turns but there you go. And I have had it out already and it works perfectly.

So definitely remember to put the power steering fluid back in it otherwise it isn’t going to turn. Well as you can see we got it all back together. I took it out for a test drive and everything was perfect again. We had no leaking whatsoever on the bottom, so obviously it was just a seal. So guys this just goes to show you its pretty easy. About 2 to 3 hours of work, replaced a complete helm seal kit in a Teleflex hydraulic steering cylinder. See you next time.
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Learn How to Install a Hydraulic Steering System- FS Boat Maintenance Seminar (Video)

A video presentation on how to install a hydraulic steering system in a boat presented by Florida Sportsman ... read more

Video Transcript

[Blair] Hi I’m Blair Wiskstrom with Florida Sportsman. On today’s boating seminar where going to go over converting your mechanical steering to hydraulic steering. We are at Palm City Yachts with Jay Warrick and he’s going to go through the process of switching out your boat from mechanical to hydraulic steering, the easy button.

[Jay] Today more and more people are switching out there mechanical steering to the new hydraulic steering for their outboards. Today we have a Bay Star kit which includes your helm, your dash, your hoses that go to the helm to the steering ram, which attaches to your outboard. We also have steering fluid, fill hoses and your manual which shows you how to do every step.

Your first step is to remove the old steering system completely. Unhook the cable from the helm and remove the steering wheel and helm from the console.

Move to the stern of the boat and unhook the cable from the engine. Start by removing the steering arm, then unscrew the actual cable from the engine. Next move to the front of the console and tape a strong line onto the end of the steering cable. Make sure you use plenty of tape. Go back to the stern of the boat and pull the old cable out, which in turn pulls the lines through the trap, which will be used later to pull the new steering hoses back to the helm.

Attach a new steering ram to the steering arm of the engine. Next, apply grease to the steering bar and insert it into the engine mouth. Now attach the steering bar to the steering ram. This next step can be tricky; apply numerous wraps of tape to the line coming from the stern and of the cable tube. Keep wrapping and attach the two steering hoses. Make sure to use plenty of tape because of those hoses come off it’s going to create obstacles to get the hoses through the tube.

Have a buddy up at the helm to pull on the lines as you feed the hoses into the tube. Usually most tubes are a bit crowded and this step may involve a lot of jiggling, shaking, pointing and cursing. Now attach the steering hoses to the ram one on each side.

Next attach the brass hose fittings on the underside of the new helm. At the helm tape the provided template to the console and drill the holes. Place the helm in the spot and bolt it in from the inside. Attach the hoses to the helm, be sure to attach the red or green in the appropriate sides marked S for starboard and P for port.

Screw the old steering wheel back on tight. And finally rig up a system to add hydraulic fluid into the helm. Poor fluid in the top container and some of it will go into the helm. Once your top container is full, start turning the wheel back and forth, from end to end. This will draw fluid into the helm and you keep turning until you no longer see any bubbles in the catch reservoir in the back. Use the hose provided and attach it to the ram. Open the valves up.

Once finished start turning the wheel back and forth, from lock to lock.
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Outboard hydraulic steering

Learn About Outboard Marine Hydraulic Steering by Seastar Solutions (Video)

SeaStar Solutions presents their Outboard Hydraulic Steering system. ... read more

Video Transcript

The basic components of hydraulic steering include helm pumps, steering cylinder and steering lines. Hydraulic steering is ideally fitted to many types of steering applications including outboard engines, inboard/outboard engines, inboard gas and diesel engines for boats up to 100 feet in length.

Sea Star Solutions is the steering leader worldwide with the following brand names. These are Bay Star, Sea Star, Sea Star Pro, Sea Star Tournament, Hynautic and Capilano. While the systems can vary in sizes and capacities, one aspect remains consistent. It's our dedication to deliver you the safest most comfortable steering performance for any vessel no matter the engine type or application.

The Sea Star Helm Pump is a manually operated rotary helm and is the heart of the hydraulic steering system. Sea Star helm pumps are the product of many years of research and experience by the world's foremost builders of manually hydraulic steering systems. It features the following components. These are a helm rotor supported by three roller bearings, a ball bearing piston race, a field replaceable shaft seal, a quarter inch NPT ports, a built-in lock valve for positive rudder lock, patented bleed tubes, an internal oil packet that eliminates oil expansion overflow and an integral relief valve.

How much fluid pump through revolution is directly related to wheel turns and effort? Low displacement equals easy steering and more wheel turns. Five is ideal. High displacement equals heavier steering and less wheel turns. Get power resists. It's all about leverage. You'll find the helm displacement stamped under the tip of the wheel shaft.

Sea Star Solutions makes three types of outboard steering cylinders. These are Sea Star, Bay Star and Hynautic. The cylinder is a key component at any hydraulic steering system as it ultimately carries the load of the engine. Each cylinder is designed to meet or exceed the engine manufacturer's horsepower rating and specify for specific horsepower range. It is critically important to ensure that the cylinder is the correct one for your engine application. Please refer to the application guides listed in our literature on our website. You will find the application guide in the attachment tab to the left of your screen.

Bay Star and Sea Star assemblies are specifically match to the steering systems' application and corresponding workloads. Steering lines or hoses may seem like a small part of the system however it is critical to match the proper hose with the system requirements. Mismatch or inferior quality hoses will compromise the overall system performance, increasing the steering effort and affecting the user's overall steering.

We will discuss the proper hoses with each system covered in this module. If you have any further questions on hose specifications, please refer to our application guides that could be found on our website. You will find the application guide in the attachment tab to the left of your screen.

Proper installation and bleeding of the hydraulic system is critical to the system's performance so that the system is completely purged. Hydraulic systems that are not fully purged can seem soft and mushy, experience no hard stop to the wheel or may feel jerky and/or bumpy. Please refer to Sea Star Installation Manual for proper bleeding instructions.

The first system we will review is the Bay Star Hydraulic System. Bay Star meets the need for smaller boats with rating up to 150HP. Bay Star is perfect for RIB inflatable boats, small runabouts and weekend sport fishing boats. When specifying the Bay Star system, it is important to remember the following guidelines. Bay Star is not intended for high performance engines. Bay Star is not intended for boat engine applications above 55mph. Bay Star is designed to be used on boats with a maximum transom rating of 150HP. Do not exceed 150HP for transom rating at any time. Bay Star is not intended for use on commercial boats and pontoon boats.

Bay Star is available in a complete kit, which includes the steering cylinder, the helm pump and all the tubing. Before specifying a Bay Star system, always check the following. Does it fall under the application guideline in our manuals or online? Do you need a spacer kit or the right adapters for different OEM engine configurations? Will the cylinder fit the Splashwell? Will the Bay Star helm fit the space behind the dash? And, Does the system meet the right engine/steering application?

When specifying Sea Star systems for single and twin engine applications, you need to keep in mind that these systems are designed for a wide range of engine and steering applications. Sea Star is specifically engineered for engine horsepower applications with the following limits. These are engines and boats that do not exceed 55mph, engines and boats that do not exceed the total maximum horsepower rating, which is 350HP and finally Sea Star systems should not be installed in an aggressively driven boat.

The components of Sea Star Outboard Steering System include the following. These are one-steering cylinder, one helm pump and two each of Sea Star steering fluid. The ultimate steering for high speed single outboards' Sea Star Pro is designed for the high speed and performance of today's top end Bass boats. Recommended for single outboards up to 350HP even with jack blades and performance props, Sea Star Pro has steered the Bass Masters Classic since 1994 and it's the choice of high performance outboard boat builders.

In addition to single engine Bass boats, Sea Star Pro is ideally suited for boats that exceed 60mph, have flat bottom hulls and are currently being steered with a mechanical Dual Rack system. Patented steering helm valves allows for precise control because the better the control and the faster the speed, the more fish and the safer ride. Also included is higher pressure setting to handle high load and high torque engines. Sea Star Pro is available in a complete kit, the HK7400A and comes with the following. These are one titbit mount steering cylinder, one Sea Star Pro front-knot helm pump and two quartz of Sea Star oil.

When specifying Sea Star Pro's steering systems, you need to please keep the following in mind. Always specify Sea Star Pro hoses, which are Kevlar 1500 PSI Lines that will handle the higher steering pressures found on high speed applications. Never specify standard hoses or tubing. Never use an unbalance steering cylinder. It will lock up. And finally, never specify a Bay Star steering cylinder in this application.

Sea Star Tournament Series cylinders and tie bars are essential for high performance multi-engine boats and recommended by Blue Water Pros. These ragged high performance cylinders and tie bars are designed with professional fishermen in mind. These cylinders and tie bars are perfect for tournament fishing boats, boat speeds usually exceeding 60mph, centre console fishing boats and boats with high horsepower engine of 300+.

Incorrectly specified equipment will affect the performance and worst case, safety. The Sea Star Tournament cylinders feature the following unique features. It has a secondary end gland retention using plate bolts, stainless steel wear washer, bolt-on stainless steel tie bar plates that are reversible, robust barrel shaft support brackets, adjustable threaded design, maximum stroke indicator, anodized aluminium body, stainless steel rod ends, adjustable 90 degrees stainless steel ORB elbow fittings and robust wipers and seals.

The proven performance of Sea Star Power Assist makes it highly recommended on any outboard application 200HP and above to give your boat the same easy steering you are accustomed to in your car. It is also recommended for the following. It is for twin and triple engine applications, Bass boats, power catamarans, non-powered inboard/outboard engines, inboard powered cruisers without engine driven power assist and Pontoon and Tritoon boats.

The Sea Star Auto Pilot Pump is a fixed-flow reversible type set that uses an internal hydraulic gear pump producing very little vibration or noise. It is offered in 12 and 24 volt configurations as well as two different pump sizes, which are type one and type two. It can be used as a stand-alone pilot pump or can be mounted into a previously installed Sea Star Power Assist unit and can prevent the need to break into the hydraulic lines. Features include a long life DC motor, compact design, simplified installation, low power consumption, ABYC, CE and J1171 compliant, superior corrosion resistance, quiet operation and an included mounting bracket.

Tilt steering gives you the ultimate in tilt steering technology and delivers unsurpassed performance and flexibility making it the perfect system for all possible applications and boat types. Features include preloaded dual taper bearings that ensure minimal excess free play, smooth operation and feel, shaft seals that prevent water ingress, 48 degrees of tilt articulation, five positive lock positions, and a compact footprint that is maintenance free and tilt steering fits most styled and formed dashes.
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