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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    yorktown , ny, us
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    69

    Default Hydraulic steering question.

    My steering recently got harder to turn on my boat so is it just filling the cap with fluid at the helm by the wheel or I noticed two grease fittings in the back where the outboard turns on that slide rack type of thing. Sorry I donít know the actual part names

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Hague, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    4,832

    Default Re: Hydraulic steering question.

    What you are describing are probably the bleed valves on the ram for getting air out of the hydraulics. See attached...

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Helm diagram.jpg 
Views:	10 
Size:	45.8 KB 
ID:	20943

    However, air in the system will not cause harder steering - it just gets really sloppy. That is, it doesn't respond well when you are turning the wheel.

    How old is the helm? These things do wear out.
    CHawk 25 DLX

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Hague, Virginia, USA
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    4,832

    Default Re: Hydraulic steering question.

    Furthermore, they are darned expensive. If you are mechanically inclined, you can buy rebuild kits for a lot less than a new helm..
    CHawk 25 DLX

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    yorktown , ny, us
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Hydraulic steering question.

    Quote Originally Posted by chawk_man View Post
    What you are describing are probably the bleed valves on the ram for getting air out of the hydraulics. See attached...

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Helm diagram.jpg 
Views:	10 
Size:	45.8 KB 
ID:	20943

    However, air in the system will not cause harder steering - it just gets really sloppy. That is, it doesn't respond well when you are turning the wheel.

    How old is the helm? These things do wear out.
    Chawk, I am assuming a 2003 . I bought the boat last year . Thanks for the diagram that explains those two valves to me. There are grease fittings behind there somewhere I noticed, should I grease those up and see if that makes it better? I haven’t done that since I owned the boat.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    yorktown , ny, us
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Hydraulic steering question.

    There is a filler cap at the helm that I attempted to open to check the fluid . As soon as I unscrewed the cap oil leaked out so I closed it back up.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Hague, Virginia, USA
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    4,832

    Default Re: Hydraulic steering question.

    Yes, definitely get grease in the Zerk fittings. If they haven't been greased for a while, then the "ball" opening may be stuck. You can usually get them moving by gently using a pick. If not, simply replace them. They can be a bugger to get to - you will need to move your steering cylinder left and right to get the right angle.

    How much hydraulic fluid came out of the opening in the helm? If a lot, you should top it off. Fluid should be just at the tip of the threads for the filler cap. The helm should initially be in the 'centered" position. Make sure that the little rubber O ring around the filler cap is in good shape. If in doubt, replace it. You can find a match at most good hardware stores.
    CHawk 25 DLX

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    yorktown , ny, us
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Hydraulic steering question.

    Quote Originally Posted by chawk_man View Post
    Yes, definitely get grease in the Zerk fittings. If they haven't been greased for a while, then the "ball" opening may be stuck. You can usually get them moving by gently using a pick. If not, simply replace them. They can be a bugger to get to - you will need to move your steering cylinder left and right to get the right angle.

    How much hydraulic fluid came out of the opening in the helm? If a lot, you should top it off. Fluid should be just at the tip of the threads for the filler cap. The helm should initially be in the 'centered" position. Make sure that the little rubber O ring around the filler cap is in good shape. If in doubt, replace it. You can find a match at most good hardware stores.
    thanks for sharing, much appreciated. I ordered a new flexible hose for my grease gun Via amazon , it’s supposed to come today. I got a small hand 3oz gun from harbor freight but it only came with the metal filler tube. I can’t get to zero fittings with it. Not much fluid came out of helm filler cap, I am almost scared to open it and depressurize the system. I don’t want to get air in and have to bleed it. I am not the most mechanically inclined fellow if you haven’t guessed��

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Hague, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    4,832

    Default Re: Hydraulic steering question.

    If those Zerk fittings give you a lot of trouble, replace them with the angled kind. They're usually simple to replace. Just get the right wrench size for the base and make sure you have the proper threads on the new ones. You can purchase them at most auto parts stores.
    CHawk 25 DLX

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