system for my 60,000# 44' steel trawler
is a Lecomble & Schmitt helm
pump, probably a 70 HB or predecessor, definitely with a lock valve, a full meter diameter destroyer wheel
, 1/2 inch copper tubing running about forty feet, and then a double acting balanced cylinder pivoting the rudder
bar 45 degrees each way. The only side attachment is the autopilot motor
just below the helm
I need some advice from people well versed in hydraulic steering
. I'm getting leaks
at the cylinder no matter how much I beef up the connectors from flare, 90 degree turn, and pipe threads. My suspicion is that I am over pressurizing the cylinder by the top stern tip of the rudder
hitting the plates used for removing the rudder at the end of travel to each side, and then still being able to add a bit more oil
given the large wheel
and springiness in the system.
Do these helm pumps have internal pressure release? Am I overpowering it with the large wheel? Should I stop the cylinder with chains from being able to take the rudder quite so far? Stop the cylinder by clamping angle on the rod ends? Install a relief valve (I own one, but have no idea how to install it)? Logic says I need to stop over pressurizing (if that's the problem) at the helm, so the entire rest of the system stays at lower pressure, rather than stopping it at the rudder, but I don't know how. Any words of wisdom or just ideas would be welcome.