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Old 07-07-2013, 12:38   #31
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Re: Hydraulic Steering Question

Thanx...I'm dreading having to replace the system. I know I'm probably looking at $800-$1000. Probably stuff like this should always be bought new. If it wasn't for the ST 4000 autopilot on the wheel, I'd toss the thing away and use the tiller system. But to hassle with getting a new tiller pilot, changing the throttle and shifter to a cockpit mount and repairing a hole in the cockpit is not worth it. Plus if I ever sell the boat...well you know...everyone wants to stand behind a wheel and pretend they're a captain...
I'm going to take a few days off from the boat and come back early in the week and find a hydraulic shop...thanx again.
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Old 07-07-2013, 13:25   #32
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Re: Hydraulic Steering Question

Wish I could help you out more but I left my hyd test bench at my last job. And it'll be another month and a half before I get down there.
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Old 07-07-2013, 13:35   #33
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Re: Hydraulic Steering Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
Wish I could help you out more but I left my hyd test bench at my last job. And it'll be another month and a half before I get down there.
Ha...You should be just in time to see either the repair job or new system. I guess it's only money...right?
I'll find a shop here that can help. The problem I run into businesses here is that it is difficult to get past the sales/counter jockey to the old guy in the back that has years of knowledge...
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Old 21-07-2013, 16:39   #34
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Re: Hydraulic Steering Question

Here's a follow-up and what I found and did about the situation...
As you can see from the first photo, the pump (helm) is bolted to the back of the Pedestal, meaning the back of the pedestal points to the bow. All newer pumps bolts in from the front. Below is the ram. Although is shows signs of surface corrosion on the ground shaft, it performs well and does not leak. I cannot say that for the hoses though. They were in terrible shape.
I could rotate the shaft and feel the same play. Ah ha! it must be the pump. I opened the back of it up and there was nothing loose, so I concluded it was needing a rebuild. It is a Vetus unit and no one on this side of the pond could help me. So I had to buy a new one. The old pump and ram had zero part numbers let alone capacity specs., so i had to wing is with physical dimensions and hope for the best. I stuck with Vetus because I felt, that's what the boat came with and to stick with it. The prices were about the same as Telflex, so what the hell. To my elation, the offered a conversion "pot" that the new helm bolted to and in turn could be front mounted with major modifications to the front of the helm. The front of the helm has a 1/2" teak plate, approximately 13" X 6"s. In my opinion, too weak to take any over stresses. So I laminated 3 layers of X-mat and epoxy. Since all the force is in sheer, I felt this would be sufficient to handle the loads. The lamination built up well over 1/8".
Next was to run all new copper from the helm to new hoses at the old ram. This gave me a good scare. The ram was an odd-ball metric size. After 4 hydraulic shops, I found Pirtek USA. Out of the other hydraulic shops, he was the only one who spent time with me trying to help and didn't act like a "dick" to me. So I highly recommend them. They are nation wide. They have my business. Today, July 21st. a dockmate and I bleed the lines and then the moment of truth...1) will the symptoms go away and 2) will it be approximately the same amount of turns from lock to lock. The symptoms did go away. Now approximately 5 degree port to starboard to engage the steering. That little play may even be the micro slop of the clevis pin mating the fork of the ram to the lever arm on the rudder shaft. The helm is now 5 turns lock to lock. It seems less than before but I also felt it was way too many turns before, so we are going to go with the idea that we are successful. Below is the finished unit. I hadn't anticipated this project and I got off for around $700 with pump, Hydraulic hoses and 30 ft. of 5/16" copper. Hopefully the last big ticket item.
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Old 21-07-2013, 17:06   #35
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Re: Hydraulic Steering Question

pirtek a1+, they are here in oz too and good guys. Glad you got a fix, quite a mysterious conundrum. 5 turns is quite a lot but mine has 4 so i reckon you're on spec there
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Old 21-07-2013, 18:18   #36
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Re: Hydraulic Steering Question

Well the old one was a little over 6 I think. My wheel is 22", say maybe a smaller wheel is why...Anyways...I'm happy...
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Old 21-07-2013, 22:38   #37
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Re: Hydraulic Steering Question

Mine is 5 turns also. But it's adjustable up to 6.5 for heavier loads or smaller rams. Even at 5 turns I can still spin the wheel lock to lock. It's a heavy wheel.

It good to hear a new unit solved your problem. Sometimes one just can not nurse something back to heath.
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Old 21-07-2013, 22:44   #38
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Re: Hydraulic Steering Question

Thanx Dell...I was sweating the fact that there were no capacities or part numbers on the old pump and ram, so everything had to be an educated guess. I had visions that the pump might be too big and 1 turn to port and 1 to starboard to lock. That would be a bummer or if it was 8 turns for that fact!
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Old 22-07-2013, 15:10   #39
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Re: Hydraulic Steering Question

Aloha Martin,
Glad to hear you "got er done." That was another good mystery.
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Old 13-10-2013, 11:13   #40
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Re: Hydraulic Steering Question

I've been able to get a good response from the guys at www.hydraulicsdirect.com, too. Their sales guys really know what they're talking about.
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