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Old 31-05-2015, 15:49   #1
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Hard steering without Auto Pilot on

I have mechanical steering on my Peterson Formosa 46. When I'm not on Auto the Helm is quit stiff . Any input or solutions?
It uses a B&G hydraulic ram

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Mike R
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Old 31-05-2015, 16:13   #2
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Re: Hard steering without Auto Pilot on

My first impulse would be to check the bypass valve. Our hydraulic autopilot has a ram attached to the steering quadrant. When in autopilot mode, moving the quadrant manually forces the ram to move.

On our system, if the bypass valve is in the 'autopilot' position, the steering quadrant will only move <1/2". With the bypass valve in the "manual" position, fluid flows freely and the ram moves back and forth with the steering quadrant.

It may be that your bypass valve is not opening all the way so that you have to force the hydraulic fluid through a very small orifice.

Other troubleshooting checks on my list would be the condition of the ram - unbolt it and see if it moves freely and steering cables - maybe the ram is strong enough to move the quadrant against a lot of friction in the cables.

Please post whatever you finally figure out. Since it sounds like we have similar systems, I'd like to learn from your experience.

Thanks!
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Old 31-05-2015, 19:43   #3
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Re: Hard steering without Auto Pilot on

The B&G ram is inherently stiff when in standby. The blue model very much so, and the black model a bit less. Make sure it is the ram by disconnecting it and seeing if the steering is looser.

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Old 01-06-2015, 00:22   #4
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Re: Hard steering without Auto Pilot on

I will check this coming Sat
Thank you
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