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Old 05-04-2014, 13:39   #1
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Hydraulic Steering Question

Wise and knowledgeable members,
Can anyone identify this device which is located just before each bypass valve in my hydraulic steering system.
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Old 05-04-2014, 13:47   #2
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Re: Hydraulic steering question

Looks like a mounting plate. I cannot guess what is mounted on the backside of the plate, so see if you can get a picture of what is there.
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Old 05-04-2014, 13:59   #3
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Re: Hydraulic steering question

It is not attached except to the hydraulic lines. It is a component of the steering system with some purpose that I need to know as part of diagnosing the problems I am having. On my last boat with hydraulic steering I did not have this devise. It has some sort of adjustment screw on top and bottom or the supply and return line for lack of knowing the proper terminology.
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Old 05-04-2014, 14:19   #4
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Re: Hydraulic steering question

the block is a pressure relief valve that stops over pressure,and potential burst pipes,or if it has a third set of pipes leading to it it is a non return valve for an auto pilot,

the valve with the handle recirculates the hydralic fluid to the ram,makes life easier when bleeding the cylinder,or for disengagings the steering if a wind vane is driving the rudder directly
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Old 05-04-2014, 14:25   #5
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Re: Hydraulic steering question

Dual cross line relief valve I think. I'll see if I can look it up but haven't worked in the field for over 20 years, might take a while...
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Old 05-04-2014, 14:27   #6
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Re: Hydraulic steering question

edit

the block on the left is a non return valve from the steering pump,and the auto pilot pump,it stops fluid flowing back from the auto pilot and turning the helm,so it just operates the ram to steer the boat.

the valve on the right is a recirculation valve,to disengage the rudder ram,makes life easier when bleeding the system
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Old 05-04-2014, 15:55   #7
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Re: Hydraulic steering question

I'n't t'internet brilliant!?

Steering Accessories - Phoenix Marine Solutions

You didn't say what problem your steering had?
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Old 05-04-2014, 16:46   #8
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Re: Hydraulic steering question

Thanks for the insight guys. The problem I am having is the rudders going out of alignment quickly. Like 3 hours running. I have rebuilt one of the rams and replaced the other. So now looking what else could be causing it. Could be one of the bypass valves not closing properly. Perhaps this device we are talking about can fail in such a way that the fluid could pass from one line to the other? I have two helms and of course the autopilot pump in the system.
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:32   #9
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Re: Hydraulic steering question

Two helms + autopilot + two rudders, fluid-linked without a tie rod = awkward system to troubleshoot.

Periodic adjustment of rudder alignment in their fluid-linked system is "normal and takes only seconds" according to HyDrive but I saw no time frame mentioned in anything I read. 3 hours would point to leaky rudder ram seals.
I did notice some wetness around the unions on the unknown device in your first photo - if there are impossible-to-reach joints they need checking too.

A hand pump, gauge and enough of the right adapters/blanking plugs helps to diagnose unfamiliar hydraulic systems. A system plan of the steering from your builder would be a big help too.

Sorry my geriatric rambling won't be much use to you - my experience was mostly limited to Hiab/Atlas type loading cranes and other big stuff.

For the prices of these big cats I'd have expected auto rudder alignment. And a butler, a maid and a gardener
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Old 06-04-2014, 10:28   #10
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Re: Hydraulic steering question

Dave has an Outremer. It is a performance catamaran. Nobody puts a gardener on those.

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Old 06-04-2014, 10:42   #11
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Re: Hydraulic steering question

I don't get it... who'll take care of the maid's garden?
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Old 06-04-2014, 17:31   #12
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Re: Hydraulic steering question

It's a dual pilot operated check valve used in multiple stations the only maintenance item would be cleaning the check cartridges if and only if it gives any trouble whick I doubt it ever would unless the system is contaminated.
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Old 06-04-2014, 17:35   #13
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Re: Hydraulic steering question

hhhmmmm but on second viewing it does appear to have an adjustable cartridge therefore I doubt it would be an overcentre valve so without closer picture of cartridge it could be a couple of things....sorry
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Old 06-04-2014, 18:04   #14
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Re: Hydraulic steering question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave852 View Post
It is not attached except to the hydraulic lines. It is a component of the steering system with some purpose that I need to know as part of diagnosing the problems I am having. On my last boat with hydraulic steering I did not have this devise. It has some sort of adjustment screw on top and bottom or the supply and return line for lack of knowing the proper terminology.
It is a relief valve. The screw on top is to adjust the pressure. If the pressure exceeds the adjustment, it bleeds over into the other line.

If it's your wheel that is getting out of alignment, then it's most likely the pump is wearing/bypassing. When my pump was brand new it bypassed slightly. One to test the pump is to turn the wheel to the rudders lock and hold the wheel snug. If the wheel creeps then it's the pump or a cylinder. Pull the pressure line from the cylinder and cap it and try again. If it still creeps then you know it's the pump. If not then the cylinder. You'll want to test both directions.

Or it could be the bypass valves but not likely. Just cap off the lines right from the pump and test again.
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Old 06-04-2014, 19:22   #15
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Re: Hydraulic steering question

Thanks for the ideas. I am going to do some tests tomorrow.
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