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  1. #1

    Default Hydraulic helm issue

    I have a sea star hydraulic helm purchased about 5 years ago that all of a sudden locked up once the steering was turned all the way to the right. could not turn back to left. Pulled helm down and everything was in great shape and check valves were clean, functioning and not binding. Replaced all o-rings and seals. refilled and bled off. Can turn steering both right and left while filling with oil having it pump either way by use of bleeders or hoses disconnected but when reconnecting to cylinder or closing off bleeder valves you can barely turn steering wheel. cylinder does move freely by pushing on motor and seals are good. seems as though helm is not letting oil return through to pump and dead locking and building pressure when the steering wheel is turned. Tried connecting a clear poly hose from bleeder port to other bleeder port and hose burst indicating a pressure build instead of fluid flowing through with both ports open. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated on what could possibly be the issue to look for. Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Maryland - USA

    Default Re: Hydraulic helm issue

    If the disconnected from the tubing when you were "pushing on motor", then it is likely ok.

    Sounds like the pressure relief valve didn't open when you turned it to the limit....

    the "clear poly hose" won't hold the working pressure of the system so you may want to retry the lookback test.

    Overall, except for corrosion induced failures, I haven't seen anybody with an issue on that system....they are pretty reliable.

    Worst case - maybe take the helm pump to a hydraulic shop nearby.....they should have everything needed to diagnose and fix it....probably much cheaper than a marine shop and without the wait....

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