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  1. #1
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    Cool SeaStar Helm Mods, Rebuild or Upgrades

    Forgive me if this is just "How they work" but I have two SeaStar systems, one on my Flats Boat and the other on the Eliminator Daytona 21... that to me simply are sub par when it comes to control systems.

    On the Flats boat, I have bled this system repeatedly using the prescribed methods and it simply will not hold a true heading at speed. I constantly have to add anti-torque inputs to the steering to keep the boat straight and turning takes multiple revolutions.

    On the Daytona, it has a side wing-plate hydraulic ram steering and while it will hold a "hands-free" heading once pointed, takes multiple turns of the wheel once the boat is flying to turn with the bends of the river. I understand having something that is hypersensitive at high speeds is not wanted but seriously, is this the best it can be or is there a fix with the $1000+ Capilano helm? Is there a way to increase the flow of the valves, replace the seals or make some sort of an adjustment to make these helms work better?

    I am open to any suggestions.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    We have added verado steering pumps to the system and it makes it much easier and smoother. If the ram or the helm is leaking by it won't help you.
    Quartershot T-3R 15" E-Tec 1.62 sportmaster


  3. #3
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    Most times the problems you describe are due to air in the lines. Air will make the system spongy feeling. Any loops or hi-low spots will hold air. When I install hoses, I will pre fill them before install just to be sure that no air is present. Same with the cylinder, fill before hook-up. Helm will be the highest spot and will fill good and be air free on it's own.

  4. #4
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    The system is bled on the Flats... held tension on the motors while turning the wheel to open the bleeder til fresh fluid came out with zero bubbles or signs of air. I think the helm is bypassing internally which is why I wonder if there is a way to rebuild the helm and/or increase its volume. There are many different models listed on the site with all the same external dimensions. I see the different listing for the Verado helm having a high output which leads me to believe it should be capable of modifications.

    Who here leaves something... unmodified?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by baja200merk View Post
    We have added verado steering pumps to the system and it makes it much easier and smoother. If the ram or the helm is leaking by it won't help you.
    No leaks on the ram. The Ram itself is new.

  6. #6
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    I have the pro 2.0 helms and teleflex 5345 cyls, Kevlar hoses, on 3 of my boats. No slip or sponginess at all. One is over 10 yrs old. one 6, newest is about 4 yrs old. Rare for them to fail for no reason, except fluid loss at the seals. Have replaced the cyl seals and fluid on the oldest one.

  7. #7
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    On the Seastar cylinders the end seals are a non loaded type, these need hydraulic pressure to insure a good seal. Not an issue with a young system and are more prone to let air in than fluid out. But can let fluid leak out when not in use.
    I replace these seals with a loaded seal, Pn/ 9505K19 from Mcmaster Carr.

    The helm's output volume is set by cylinder size and stroke that is determined by a wobble plate. The piston to cylinder has no specific seal, just close tolerances. Some I expect weep more than others. In the output section there are a few spring loaded valves that are the steering locks allowing hands free driving.
    I like the Capilano helm for it's robustness and adjustability. It is not void of having the wheel creep any more than the other helms. I run mine without the output check valves, I like to feel the steering.
    I also have a centering valve so I can reposition the wheel to where it is aesthetically proper. Just something I like.
    The Capilano helm with a front mount allows for around 3 turn lock to lock or much slower lighter load steering should you choose.

    Back to the Seastar helm, if it is leaking internally this would be the weeping past the pistons. There is no home remedy to cure this. I expect the cylinders can be honed and pistons coated should you have the resources to do so.
    Last edited by CharlieN; 10-17-2015 at 05:11 AM.
    Regards,
    Charlie North
    If it ain't broke, modify it.
    87 Glastron CVX20 with Yamaha ProV 150 power
    80 21' Superboat to be powered with a turbocharged 4 stroke OB

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  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieN View Post
    On the Seastar cylinders the end seals are a non loaded type, these need hydraulic pressure to insure a good seal. Not an issue with a young system and are more prone to let air in than fluid out. But can let fluid leak out when not in use.
    I replace these seals with a loaded seal, Pn/ 9505K19 from Mcmaster Carr.

    The helm's output volume is set by cylinder size and stroke that is determined by a wobble plate. The piston to cylinder has no specific seal, just close tolerances. Some I expect weep more than others. In the output section there are a few spring loaded valves that are the steering locks allowing hands free driving.
    I like the Capilano helm for it's robustness and adjustability. It is not void of having the wheel creep any more than the other helms. I run mine without the output check valves, I like to feel the steering.
    I also have a centering valve so I can reposition the wheel to where it is aesthetically proper. Just something I like.
    The Capilano helm with a front mount allows for around 3 turn lock to lock or much slower lighter load steering should you choose.

    Back to the Seastar helm, if it is leaking internally this would be the weeping past the pistons. There is no home remedy to cure this. I expect the cylinders can be honed and pistons coated should you have the resources to do so.
    This really caught my attention! I have a SeaStar Pro hyd steering on my boat and I hate that the wheel isn't 'straight' like my automobile wheels are. Are you saying that with the centering valve, the wheel will automatically stay centered like my truck/car ?
    Hire the handicapped, we're fun to watch

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by baja200merk View Post
    We have added verado steering pumps to the system and it makes it much easier and smoother. If the ram or the helm is leaking by it won't help you.
    Would you mind sharing how it's done?

  11. #10
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    Im just going through the same thing with the Tuff, that consent pulling on the wheel to keep it straight, it has a pro helm with an HC5345 ram, I just changed it to an HC 6345-3, they are different, I will test it and see, also the hoses are important they must be 1500 psi HO57, this will be the last test if it dosent work Im going side mount
    21 Tuff, Mercury 300X

  12. #11
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    Anything but Marine Machine/MayFair/Latham, etc., steering components...I just send it all to this place, and be done with it...www.BoatSteeringRebuilders.com
    Last edited by FUJIMO; 10-18-2015 at 01:49 PM.

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  14. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by FUJIMO View Post
    Anything but Marine Machine/MayFair/Latham, etc., steering components...I just send it all to this place, and be done with it...www.MarineSteeringRebuilders.com
    That link doesn't load iPad says URL not found


    03 j17 skiff 40hp
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  15. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimmDaddy View Post
    This really caught my attention! I have a SeaStar Pro hyd steering on my boat and I hate that the wheel isn't 'straight' like my automobile wheels are. Are you saying that with the centering valve, the wheel will automatically stay centered like my truck/car ?
    The centering valve allows for manually centering the wheel. The way these are done is to Tee off between the two lines going back to the cylinder and install a turn valve. When you open the valve you can move the wheel without moving the engine. It is nowhere as good as a solid connected steering as a car has but does allow repositioning of the wheel as desired.
    Regards,
    Charlie North
    If it ain't broke, modify it.
    87 Glastron CVX20 with Yamaha ProV 150 power
    80 21' Superboat to be powered with a turbocharged 4 stroke OB

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  17. #14
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    Are these the rebuilders you mean? http://www.boatsteeringrebuilders.com/
    Regards,
    Charlie North
    If it ain't broke, modify it.
    87 Glastron CVX20 with Yamaha ProV 150 power
    80 21' Superboat to be powered with a turbocharged 4 stroke OB

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    correctamoondo

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