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Old 29-01-2022, 04:48   #61
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Re: OK to Mount Hydraulic Steering Rams on Deck?

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Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
So the moral of the story is probably to leave the rudders hard over when not in use to put the chrome inside the ram?
It will just leave the other end of the rod exposed.

Chrome rods are easier to polish (read cheaper) but as noted can flake, ss is more difficult to polish and higher grade ss is much more expensive but can be repolished if necessary and do not flake.

Manufacturers selling cheap chromed rods get to sell you new ones regularly and are less inclined to sell more expensive ss from a competition point of view. Remember most rams are not exposed so chrome rods would be fine.

It is true that ss, however well polished, will result in faster seal wear, but seals are cheap compared to rods.

I was getting through chrome rods at roughly 3-5 year intervals, ss rods have been in for 8 years so far with no deterioration.
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Old 29-01-2022, 06:51   #62
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Re: OK to Mount Hydraulic Steering Rams on Deck?

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So the moral of the story is probably to leave the rudders hard over when not in use to put the chrome inside the ram?

It will help to keep rams in their unextended position when not in use.
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Old 29-01-2022, 07:00   #63
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Re: OK to Mount Hydraulic Steering Rams on Deck?

Duh. LOL.

I forgot the rams were that kind. My pre-dawn mind was picturing the heavy equipment type of rams, even though I have the kind you are describing on the boat.

I suppose there is no defense at all aside from making sure they are clean and lightly oiled.


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Originally Posted by Tupaia View Post
It will just leave the other end of the rod exposed.

Chrome rods are easier to polish (read cheaper) but as noted can flake, ss is more difficult to polish and higher grade ss is much more expensive but can be repolished if necessary and do not flake.

Manufacturers selling cheap chromed rods get to sell you new ones regularly and are less inclined to sell more expensive ss from a competition point of view. Remember most rams are not exposed so chrome rods would be fine.

It is true that ss, however well polished, will result in faster seal wear, but seals are cheap compared to rods.

I was getting through chrome rods at roughly 3-5 year intervals, ss rods have been in for 8 years so far with no deterioration.
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Old 29-01-2022, 09:40   #64
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Re: OK to Mount Hydraulic Steering Rams on Deck?

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Yes, you are right about the properties of chrome. But I have seen a lot of pitted chrome on such things as deck crane rams. In some cases it is due to abuse. But chrome exposed to sea water can flake and pit. A well chromed ram rod can last a long time outdoors in sea spray. But pitting can happen too. A pitted ram will eventually damage the seal.
Not saying that the chrome is indestructible. The marine environment is one of the toughest. But another thing about chrome rods is, they can be reconditioned. They grind off the original coating and replate the rod to the diameter spec. I'd guess that for a steering system, with small cylinders, this isn't cost effective; it's cheaper just to replace the entire cylinder. In fact I wouldn't be surprised it the cylinders aren't rebuildable.
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Old 29-01-2022, 09:54   #65
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Re: OK to Mount Hydraulic Steering Rams on Deck?

No doubt it's life will be limited. You just have to live with that. Pitting on the ram, seal failure. An expanding "accordian" ram cover would probably help. But "if it ain't leaking, it ain't hydraulic" applies. The oil helps protect things.
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Old 29-01-2022, 09:56   #66
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Re: OK to Mount Hydraulic Steering Rams on Deck?

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Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
So the moral of the story is probably to leave the rudders hard over when not in use to put the chrome inside the ram?
I think I mentioned that before (too lazy this morning to go back and check ). The question is: if it is a two cylinder system can you do it? Double cylinder systems are usually designed (if possible) in a 'push-pull' arrangement to balance the force. What this means is, when one cylinder is retracted, the other is extended; so one rod is exposed while the other isn't.


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I suppose there is no defense at all aside from making sure they are clean and lightly oiled.
DO NOT 'OIL' THE RODS! They have enough residual oil on them from going in and out of the cylinder.

As to cleaning? Be careful there too. If the rods been exposed for a protracted period you can wipe it down with a micro-fiber cloth sprayed with something like WD-40, and wipe away from the cylinder towards the linkage end. That way any dirt will be less likely to be pulled in through the seal.

I understand wanting to take the best care of your equipment, but don't over think. The system is (should be) designed with the environment in mind; cylinders - hydraulic systems in general - are not delicate.
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Old 29-01-2022, 09:58   #67
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Re: OK to Mount Hydraulic Steering Rams on Deck?

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.I was getting through chrome rods at roughly 3-5 year intervals, ss rods have been in for 8 years so far with no deterioration.
Do you know the manufacturer of the cylinders/where are you getting SS rods for them?
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Old 29-01-2022, 12:12   #68
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Re: OK to Mount Hydraulic Steering Rams on Deck?

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Do you know the manufacturer of the cylinders/where are you getting SS rods for them?

Had them custom made.
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Old 29-01-2022, 12:15   #69
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Re: OK to Mount Hydraulic Steering Rams on Deck?

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Had them custom made.
By whom?
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Old 29-01-2022, 13:11   #70
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Re: OK to Mount Hydraulic Steering Rams on Deck?

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By whom?
Guy called Steve machine shop in Port Louis Mauritius. Integrity.mu
One of my ram rods shed a flake of chrome plate and ruined a seal. He made them up in day and I fitted them with new seals the following been there ever since. Best thing I ever did.
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Old 29-01-2022, 13:26   #71
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Re: OK to Mount Hydraulic Steering Rams on Deck?

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Originally Posted by garyfdl View Post
I think I mentioned that before (too lazy this morning to go back and check ). The question is: if it is a two cylinder system can you do it? Double cylinder systems are usually designed (if possible) in a 'push-pull' arrangement to balance the force. What this means is, when one cylinder is retracted, the other is extended; so one rod is exposed while the other isn't.




DO NOT 'OIL' THE RODS! They have enough residual oil on them from going in and out of the cylinder.

As to cleaning? Be careful there too. If the rods been exposed for a protracted period you can wipe it down with a micro-fiber cloth sprayed with something like WD-40, and wipe away from the cylinder towards the linkage end. That way any dirt will be less likely to be pulled in through the seal.

I understand wanting to take the best care of your equipment, but don't over think. The system is (should be) designed with the environment in mind; cylinders - hydraulic systems in general - are not delicate.
Boy, am I glad to have you on here to save me from stupid mistakes.

So maybe making sure you do a full lock to lock before storage is best for them.
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Old 29-01-2022, 13:46   #72
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Re: OK to Mount Hydraulic Steering Rams on Deck?

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Do you know the manufacturer of the cylinders/where are you getting SS rods for them?
Not sure there is an advantage there, possibly a deficit? Rods are normally chromed, chrome is what is in SS to keep the rust and corrosion down. Hard chroming has more chrome content in it than SS does! hmmmm.... Maybe the problem with chromed rods starts at the chrome/steel interface at the exposed end?
You can get SS hydraulic cylinders last I heard. Although I doubt the end fittings are.
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Old 29-01-2022, 14:26   #73
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Re: OK to Mount Hydraulic Steering Rams on Deck?

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Not sure there is an advantage there, possibly a deficit? Rods are normally chromed, chrome is what is in SS to keep the rust and corrosion down. Hard chroming has more chrome content in it than SS does! hmmmm.... Maybe the problem with chromed rods starts at the chrome/steel interface at the exposed end?
You can get SS hydraulic cylinders last I heard. Although I doubt the end fittings are.



All stainless steel rams do exist, though the selection of various sizes may be smaller than for steel rams. Of course they are much more costly. It just comes down to cost vs. benefit. Any discontinuity in a chrome plated surface can cause deterioration, whether it is the edge, accidental impact damage, abrasion. etc. Any chromed surface exposed to sea water and rough treatment will likely suffer some damage that will lead to loss of portions of the plating. This is just the nature of the material and environment. When laying up for storage, exposed chrome can be covered with grease infused fabric tape. A common trade name is "Denso" tape. It is very effective, though over a long time the grease does leach out.
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Old 29-01-2022, 18:57   #74
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Re: OK to Mount Hydraulic Steering Rams on Deck?

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Originally Posted by Tupaia View Post
Guy called Steve machine shop in Port Louis Mauritius. Integrity.mu
One of my ram rods shed a flake of chrome plate and ruined a seal. He made them up in day and I fitted them with new seals the following been there ever since. Best thing I ever did.
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Old 29-01-2022, 20:00   #75
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Re: OK to Mount Hydraulic Steering Rams on Deck?

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Yup, unfortunately, most chromed ram rods that are subject to outdoors marine conditions and hard knocks will eventually pit or flake. Might take years, but will happen. Good plating is quite resilient, but it has its limits. Thermal stress, mechanical stress, surface imperfections, mechanical damage, etc. eventually take its toll and you have areas of chrome gone which damages seals. It's just maintenance to overhaul or replace when the damage appears.
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