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Old 05-03-2012, 00:10   #1
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Why is My Hydraulic Steering Very Stiff and ' Knotty '?

hello i am overhauling my wagner B2 manual helm pump, i stripped it cleaned it and have reconnected it -and started refilling it with ATF 3 . to a ram which connects to a fitting on the rudder stock. but after initially turning th helm 4 full turns one way and 4 ft s the other, it became very 'stiff and knotty', and doestnt exercise the ram at all. there are 2 bleeding keys (no I'm not swearing -yet) on the ram, which gave out a little air. the yacht was in a heavy beaching last year, and i noticed the threaded bit where the piston joins to the rudder stock is bent at 45deg - is this likely from the accident , or are they sometimes made like this?! I'm taking the ram off now, but it doesn't seem to be bent/non-functional. ~ what re the pitfalls of hydraulic airlocks etc ~ ?
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Old 05-03-2012, 04:18   #2
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Re: Why is My Hydraulic Steering Very Stiff and ' Knotty '?

The pump is the "swash-plate" type, and may need purging of all air before reconnecting to a previously purged ram.
Try immersing the ram-end hoses in 2 containers of fluid, and continuously rotating the pump until all air is removed.
I had to do this on a similar type of installation on a large Herreshoff ketch, fitted with a short-throw, large diameter ram.
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:41   #3
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If the piston ram is bent, even if not visibly, it would create the sensation you are describing as well. You will quickly see shiny spots on the ram piston if it is. You may also have issues with the ram seals. You can very easily and cheaply take the ram in to have the seals replaced and the piston inspected to remove this issues.

Of course you want to ensure as the above poster stated that first there is no air in the system whatsoever...
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:45   #4
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Re: Why is My Hydraulic Steering Very Stiff and ' Knotty '?

Yeah,,,bent ram,,or a seal in backward would cause this,,,also,,have you confirmed the rudder is freely moving through its arc?
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:48   #5
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Re: Why is My Hydraulic Steering Very Stiff and ' Knotty '?

Your Wagner b1 pump is supposed to use ISO 32.
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Old 05-03-2012, 14:40   #6
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Re: Why is My Hydraulic Steering Very Stiff and ' Knotty '?

thanks to all - Nemo, what does 'seal in backwards' mean? i replaced the seal on the wheel shaft, the flat side faces out, to the wheel...
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