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  1. #16
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    Are the "boat steering rebuilders" still working on hydraulic steering systems? There was a very nice, knowledgeable man there a few years ago when I had mine done but I have since heard that unfortunately, he passed away. Has someone else taken it over? If so, hopefully they are as knowledgeable as he was on these systems.

  2. #17
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    My 2 cents worth from years of experience....;-)
    Make sure that your helm and cylinder are compatible. I had a 2.0 helm and a K6 ram on my Talon 18. WAY too many turns lock to lock. Also if you have access to the SeaStar power bleeder it is the truth. Cost about $1100 if I remember right but it takes the frustration out of bleeding the steering.
    18 Talon/2.4 carb SOLD
    26 Deck Boat/250 Merc

  3. #18
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    The issue I'm having is I must constantly turn counter clockwise the wheel to keep going forward otherwise boat drifts to the right. I have checked the fluid, bleed several times and only have at most 1/4 play at ram. From what sea star sent me engine will fall to the left or right within 1 hour time, but the steering wheel stays centered. They did suggest if I do replace the cylinder to use part number HC5375 which will keep my steering wheel centered because the cylinder has very little internal leakage between the piston. Not sure yet on what to do. Here's what they sent.


    Please perform the tests below in the order listed.

    System Pressure Test:
    The test noted below is to assist with locating a leak within the steering system, any leak that is found within the steering system MUST be corrected prior to use. Even the smallest leak may lead to loss of steering control

    · Clean and wipe dry ALL connections.
    · Ensure helm is filled with fluid
    · Turn steering hard-over to the port side.
    · After the wheel stops, force it 1-turn past the stop point
    · Leave wheel in this position for at least 5-minutes.
    · Inspect ALL areas for signs of leak
    · Repeat to starboard direction

    Checking for Air in the steering system:

    Air in a steering system is the leading cause for faults. Air MUST be ruled out in most cases to prevent costly replacement of good parts. There are several ways to check for air remaining in the steering system.
    Below are the quickest and easiest ways to determine if you have air in the system.

    Engine push test:
    · Center engine
    · Using your hands, push engine back and fourth
    · While pushing, watch the steering cylinder body move

    Results:
    - if the cylinder body moves more than ¼” you have air remaining in the system and further bleeding is required

    Wheel turn test:
    · note your helm pump and steering cylinder part number
    · count your steering wheel(s) turns from hard-over to hard-over
    · consult with “Quick Reference Turns Chart”, attached

    Results:
    · Wheel turns should be very close to the wheel turn chart numbers. If you are well over these numbers, further bleeding is required.

    Cylinder/Helm pump check:
    · Center engine
    · Trim engine UP
    · Turn steering wheel 1-turn to the starboard side
    · Let go of wheel
    · Let engine fall over to the side
    · While the engine is falling, watch the steering wheel (place a piece of tape on the wheel)
    · Repeat the above turning to the port side

    Results:
    - if at any time the steering wheel turns “on its own” then the helm pump is at fault and will have to be replaced/ repaired
    - if the engine falls to both directions quickly, then the cylinder is at fault and will need to be replaced/ repaired
    - if the engine falls to “one side only”, then the helm pump is at fault and will need to be replaced/ repaired
    http://www.stvowners.com

    2003 Cougar 22MTR w/300xs x 3
    90 21Skater w/300xs - sold
    98 STV Euroski w/280 - sold


    2006 Trailblazer SS 6.0l 395hp

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by 99fxst99 View Post
    My 2 cents worth from years of experience....;-)
    Make sure that your helm and cylinder are compatible. I had a 2.0 helm and a K6 ram on my Talon 18. WAY too many turns lock to lock. Also if you have access to the SeaStar power bleeder it is the truth. Cost about $1100 if I remember right but it takes the frustration out of bleeding the steering.
    it took me and ghost all of 5 min to fill and bleed the system
    21 Tuff, Mercury 300X

  5. #20
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    I also use a Seastar helm and a 5345 cylinder and it works awesome. When I bought the kit, the cylinder was completely re-honed with 2000 grit and new o-rings installed. There is no leaks and I can let go the steering at 80 mph without worries.
    Next spring, I will install the new type of brakes lines ( copper inside and steel outside ), they are good for 2000 psi so fully suitable for this installation.

    I agree that it looks '' weird ', that the steering wheel never get back to the right position and even though it needs 3,75 turns from side to side and there is NO air in the system, it seems that is has an attitude of it's own.

    Last, about the engine loosing it's position, I had this issue and one of the check valves in the output of the helm is leaking. Take it apart, replace the o-rings in it, put it back together and the way you go.
    Glastron GT 150 W OMC 140
    Glastron GT150 w OMC 235
    Hydrostream Vision with 2.0l 135
    Hydrostream HST w 3.0L 225


    I know two things that are infinite, the Universe and Human's Stupidity, although I am not sure about the first one.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk Pitt View Post
    it took me and ghost all of 5 min to fill and bleed the system
    Yeah, I have done them quickly also, but also had systems that had an air trap that were a pain. As for systems, I had a single front mounted ram with tie bar on a twin 200hp 2.4 set up on my 25' Seebold. SeaStar 2.4ci helm. Worked flawlessly for years. Set up is the key.
    18 Talon/2.4 carb SOLD
    26 Deck Boat/250 Merc

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  8. #22
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    You can also vacuum bleed like you do on disc brakes and can help.
    1990 Shadow bass boat w/ 2.4 200 Merc. Totally resto'd boat and love it!

  9. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by rgsauger View Post
    You can also vacuum bleed like you do on disc brakes and can help.
    I would love to bleed it like that but the Marine Machine ram does not have a bleeder port, only the hose fittings.

    I bled it as best as I could, but it still had skips and at one time a complete dead-spot that did nothing while turning the wheel for a moment that nearly had me hitting the dock at zero power load on the motor & ram.

  10. #24
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    all the originals fittings from Seastar are T shaped. I also had no T fittings and I could not bleed them. I called Seastar and according to the model of my RAM, there is a T fitting with the hose on one side and the bleeder valve on the other side.
    It finally worked very well afterward.

    Oh sorry, there is some RAM that have the bleeder ( almost brake lines shaped like) on each end of it. but my model had none except i needed the T shaped fitting ( 25$ a set )
    Last edited by dompie99; 10-27-2015 at 08:44 PM.
    Glastron GT 150 W OMC 140
    Glastron GT150 w OMC 235
    Hydrostream Vision with 2.0l 135
    Hydrostream HST w 3.0L 225


    I know two things that are infinite, the Universe and Human's Stupidity, although I am not sure about the first one.

  11. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by dompie99 View Post
    all the originals fittings from Seastar are T shaped. I also had no T fittings and I could not bleed them. I called Seastar and according to the model of my RAM, there is a T fitting with the hose on one side and the bleeder valve on the other side.
    It finally worked very well afterward.

    Oh sorry, there is some RAM that have the bleeder ( almost brake lines shaped like) on each end of it. but my model had none except i needed the T shaped fitting ( 25$ a set )
    I am starting to wonder if mechanical cable steering with a power assist helm might be the future
    or even electro/mechanical actuator at the motor

  12. #26
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    if the wheel is drifting under load you can try and remove and clean the center check valve, i had one that was doing the same thing, dissassembled and cleaned and problem solved. it's been awhile but if i remember correctly i didn't take the helm out of the boat, was able to do it in place, and it is one of the hex plugs behind the helm(facing forward with helm installed). something else that is helpful, after you bleed the system let it sit overnite with the bow high, helm higher then the ram, air will find its way forward to the helm. turn the wheel lock to lock several times with the bow high and you'll see the air come out of the helm with the fill hose connected. i have marine machine ram with a seastar helm, and it was a pita to bleed. i did the above plus filled everything with oil including bench bleeding the ram putting 2 hoses on the ram fittings into containers of steering oil while pulling the piston rod in and out. Incidentally, I run a 2.4 non pro helm, with an external reservoir I built with the marine machine ram, the stock helm doesn't have enough oil capacity for the unbalanced ram
    Last edited by mrcrsr; 10-28-2015 at 08:40 AM.
    action mobile marine, 772 528 0754, dealers for aces fuel products,wolf efi, pro marine,latham and gaffrig/livorsi. we build gearcases and modify them(3 litre) to ratchet, and powerheads as well. 21 skater/3 litre wolf efi 113 mph the engine build http://www.screamandfly.com/showthre...-3-litre-build

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  14. #27
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    Tango, which helm (capacity) are you using? the Marine Machine ram is larger (volume) that the standard SeaStar helm and is probably why the steering response is so sluggish (in addition to air in the system) You should be using a 2.4 helm, which is the highest capacity seastar helm.
    I have also noted that most people attempting to bleed these systems, do it incorrectly....including many "experts". I have three boats with seastar and each of them works great (except centering the wheel). I also do work on a 30 spectre with the Marine Machine (twin ram & Capilano helm) and it works great and is tight (bleeding using the hose fittings at the ram). Make sure you properly performing the procedure for bleeding....if you are, you most likely have a ram or helm with excessive internal leakby and in need of repair.
    Go Time
    2003XS GS 225 Promax
    26 Regulator twin 250 EFI

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  16. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Go Time View Post
    Tango, which helm (capacity) are you using? the Marine Machine ram is larger (volume) that the standard SeaStar helm and is probably why the steering response is so sluggish (in addition to air in the system) You should be using a 2.4 helm, which is the highest capacity seastar helm.
    I have also noted that most people attempting to bleed these systems, do it incorrectly....including many "experts". I have three boats with seastar and each of them works great (except centering the wheel). I also do work on a 30 spectre with the Marine Machine (twin ram) and it works great and is tight (bleeding using the hose fittings at the ram). Make sure you properly performing the procedure for bleeding....if you are, you most likely have a ram or helm with excessive internal leakby and in need of repair.
    Good information here. I have boats with both Sea Star Pro and Uflex Silver Steer. The Pro is ultra sensitive to bleeding as compared to my Uflex unit.

  17. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrcrsr View Post
    if the wheel is drifting under load you can try and remove and clean the center check valve, i had one that was doing the same thing, dissassembled and cleaned and problem solved. it's been awhile but if i remember correctly i didn't take the helm out of the boat, was able to do it in place, and it is one of the hex plugs behind the helm(facing forward with helm installed). something else that is helpful, after you bleed the system let it sit overnite with the bow high, helm higher then the ram, air will find its way forward to the helm. turn the wheel lock to lock several times with the bow high and you'll see the air come out of the helm with the fill hose connected. i have marine machine ram with a seastar helm, and it was a pita to bleed. i did the above plus filled everything with oil including bench bleeding the ram putting 2 hoses on the ram fittings into containers of steering oil while pulling the piston rod in and out.
    does the seastar helm and the marine machine Ram work well?
    21 Tuff, Mercury 300X

  18. #30
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    Dirk, I suspect that the compatability of the large Marine machine ram and the smaller capacity seastar helm is why the steering is sluggish....see mrcrsr post. Got to use the big helm and even then add extra capacity.
    Tango...how many turns of the wheel do you have lock to lock?
    Go Time
    2003XS GS 225 Promax
    26 Regulator twin 250 EFI

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