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Old 26-10-2008, 17:46   #1
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Replacing seals on Teleflex hydraulic cylinders

Anyone have any hints before I tackle replacing the seals in the actuator cylinders for my hydraulic steering system? The unit is a Capilano system from Teleflex, and the cylinders are model BA-175-7. I found a copy of the installation manual online from Teleflex, but it's just for installation and general maintenance of the system - no details on replacing the seals.

FWIW, the port cylinder is leaking from the seal around the ram. The starboard one has a very slow leak - only a drop or two since I put some "bilge diapers" under both units a week ago. I ordered a few sets of replacement seals for my cylinders, so I just want to know if anyone here has prior experience - such as, are any special tools required?
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Old 26-10-2008, 18:10   #2
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Getting the old ones out are not a problem but when installing the new ones do not use any instrument that has sharp edges.

I have a special set of tools just for hyd work. Some are bent screwdrivers with the corners rounded and smoothed off. And some are picks with a twist tip.

Also, use a petroleum jelly for lubing the seals for installation. Just remember, don't pinch or cut any of the seals during installation. Clean all seal surfaces of dirt and rust. Scotch-brite and WD-40 work real well.

If you have trouble getting the shaft seal in, soaking it in hot water will soften it up a bit, and it can be doubled up, twisted bent or what ever to get into place. Just don't scratch/cut it.

And, if you find any dirt in the system or the oil is dark, it would be best to drain out the old oil and add new. A 10W is recommended for non-powered unites, if that's what you have.

Oh yeah! Be sure the lips are facing the right direction. a common mistake.
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Old 27-10-2008, 02:40   #3
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Teleflex Support for Hydraulic Steering: Tel. 604-248-3858

Or goto, & look around:
Teleflex Marine Teleflex Marine -

or
http://ww2.seastarsteering.com/INBOARD/inboard.htm
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Old 27-10-2008, 06:42   #4
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Thanks, guys! I'll give it a whack and report back. I'll also give them a call at the support #, but I'll have to wait to 10EDT since Teleflex is on Pacific time...
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Old 28-10-2008, 11:05   #5
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A quick update:

It turns out that a pin spanner wrench is required in order to remove and to replace a retaining ring which limits the travel of the ram. It's really a spring-steel band that's wrapped around a groove in the ram/shaft. The spanner is required to turn the shaft to pull the band/ring in through a access hole in the cylinder. I had to have a spanner FedEx'd overnight from McMaster-Carr, as I couldn't find any in stock at any tool dealer here in Stamford, CT. I just received it, so I'm off into the aft cabin to tackle it!!!
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Old 28-10-2008, 11:55   #6
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Beau

Once you get your spanner rotate ther cyl. head around until you see the end of the keeper. Take a pointy object and get under the keeper then rotate the head in the direction where the keeper will feed out the hole.

Some cyl. will have a little taper for the keeper to feed out. The end of the keeper will have a 90 degree bend to fit into the cyl head.

Once the keeper is out the head will slip out of the cyl. Be sure to deburr any sharp edged before re-installing the new o-ring/head.

Use lots of potroleum jelly for re-assembly.
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Old 28-10-2008, 15:36   #7
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Beausoleil how do like your vessel.
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Old 29-10-2008, 21:27   #8
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Well, that was fun!

Actually, it was extremely simple. Turns out that since I have a very old version of the Teleflex Capilano cylinder, there was no need for the spanner as there is no internal retaining ring - the unit's 4 longitudinal brass retaining bolts perform the same function. While a bit more work, the newer style units are certainly cheaper to build and are lighter while having the same capacity.

The attached picture shows the dis-assembled cylinder before I replaced the seals and put it back together. While I was at it, I replaced the old 1/2 SAE flare to 3/8 MPT elbows on each unit with a similar tee with a bleeder nipple to simplify bleeding and purging the system.

Mike D - Beausoleil's been a great boat for us. Motion's great in heavy weather, and she handles like a breeze when the winds are howling. We don't yet have the staysail rigged, so that will be fun when we do. We haven't had the chance to really sail her in light air. Once we get a mast track installed for a whisker pole and get a new asymmetrical spinakker, she'll be fine downwind in the light stuff.
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Old 29-10-2008, 23:16   #9
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Awe yes! The good ole days.

Actually, they are not less expensive. They took more man hours, materials plus the castings, which are rare these days in the US of A. Foundries have virtuality shut down here in the US. CNC machines can produce the head and eye ends and with one end welded on that can't be rebuilt cheaply. Oh, and the clevis is welded on the rods now too.

If you have to replace a tube or rod then it better be an expensive unit like on a man-lift or crane truck.

And with the tight spaces they put these new cylinders in an old unite might get hung up on internal weldments. Like the thumb cylinder on a back-hoe.

I'm glad you got a break in the rebuild. My old navtec's have a screw on head with a nitrogen return. An ignorant person could get hurt.
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Old 08-11-2008, 17:26   #10
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Hi Beausoleil! I am currently rebuilding the same Capilano cylinders on my pilothouse motorsailer. Where did ya find those bleeder fittings you replaced your connections with? I have seen them listed from teleflex, and they cost an arm and a leg! Also, do you have flexible lines on your pump side, as well as your cylinders? My boat came rigged that way, but I doubt it needs 'em. My boat came plumbed with 5/8" copper tubing using the 1250 helms, but Teleflex says 1/2". This hydraulic steering stuff is more complicated then it looks! Only way to go with twin steering stations though...
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