Hydraulic inboard steering

We supply complete hydraulic systems and replacement parts for inboards, outboards, and sterndrives. Hydraulic boat steering systems have gained in popularity because of their smoothness in comparison to mechanical steering systems which use a cable and require more care. You can find hydraulic steering systems used on inboard pleasure crafts, sterndrives, outboard power boats, work boats and commercial fishing vessels, and are necessary when incorporating certain types of autopilot systems.

On larger horsepower engines, a power assist pump may be needed to complete the boat hydraulic steering kit. Javascript is disabled on your browser. To view this site, you must enable JavaScript or upgrade to a JavaScript-capable browser. Coronavirus: Important Information on Ordering.

Inboard Steering

Hydraulic Steering Systems. Steering Cylinders. Do you have high horse power? Helm Pumps. Who doesn't need a new helm pump am I right? Helm pumps from Teleflex, Uflex, Vetus. Helm Pump Parts. Steering Cylinder Parts. Steering Seal Kits. Hydraulic Steering Fittings. Have a flawless installation with these hydraulic steering fittings! Hydraulic Steering Hose.

Clean fluid through a nice new clean hose, what could be better? Tie Bars.Note: requires cable connection at the SeaStar Solutions The Rack Mechanical Rack Steering System Traditional mechanical steering is still the top choice for sterndrives, inboards and other power assisted applications.

You can avoid being stranded if you note the warning signs that your steering rack is at the end of its service life. If you experience any of the How To Back HDPE outer casing for durability and best A one piece Stainless steel drive spool NFB 4.

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With the advantage of 4. Will not fit any steering systems other than Ezy-Glide Ezy-Stik steering systens Least effort, least lost motion, smooth release of NFB clutch with the best Order Once. For the high-performance boater, we recommend the Teleflex dual steering system ISO compliant and crafted using the finest materials The patented No Feedback technology has been applied to the incredible precision of a rack and If so you or your marine technician will need to replace your steering system and boat cables.

We have every system component including cables, back mount racks, steering rack and boat cables, mechanical rack steering systems, and single cables. We stock the popular Seastar formerly known as Teleflex brand of boat steering cables and kits. A major aftermarket brand, Seastar steering and control cables have been engineered cables and their control cables are designed to work with the existing connection components.

This Rack Mount system is back mounted for a precise and more comfortable steering. It is designed for use on either outboards or sterndrives. In fact, it can be used on virtually all power-assisted stern drive boats. This 3-turn steering system operates so smoothly that it makes steering V-4 outboard powered boats much easier!How do you make a living on the road? Probably the 1 question we get.

A boat steering issue can be a serious problem if it happens on a deserted area of the high seas. In this article, we look at the problems of mechanical, hydraulic and fly-by-wire steering systems.

Here we go!

hydraulic inboard steering

These include the rotary and rack steering systems found in small boats, especially outboard-powered vessels. Mechanical steering systems are affordable, long-lasting and easy to install by the boater. They are also easy to use and provide a high level of maneuverability. But over time, these systems can become stiff, unresponsive and even fail without warning. When mechanical steering experiences a limited range of motion, such as steering in one direction, it is a sign of cable damage or seizure.

Because cable steering systems work perfectly most of the time, most boaters forget about their maintenance until it is too late. The tilt tube is an engine component through which the steering cable runs. While the end of the tilt tube and the entry point of the cable are sealed off with valves, the former receives a lot of saltwater.

Over time, the saltwater exposure causes accumulation of salt which can quickly corrode the tilt tube because it is made of steel. You can prevent the corrosion by dismantling the tilt tube and applying marine grease, especially during winter. Otherwise, the long period of non-use can cause corrosion. This can make the steering cable to seize up, reducing the range of motion.

If the tilt tube is badly corroded, it may be impossible to remove the cable without destroying it. After removing the cable, use a wire brush to clean the inside of the tilt tube. If the stainless steel cable is not damaged, clean the ends and apply marine grease and reassemble the compartment.

hydraulic inboard steering

During the installation, it is important to reduce the bends in the cable to minimize steering inefficiency and backlash. If you force steering cables around tight corners, you may bind the outer lining with the inner core. The seals which protect the core of the steering cable from seawater become worn and damaged after some time.

Saltwater exposure causes the cables to corrode and stiffen. Most mechanical steering systems are easy to install, but get a professional if you lack the technical skills to DIY the job. If the cable is corroded, worn, or damaged, get a replacement because they are not designed to be repaired. A good way to check this is by disengaging the steering cable from the tilt tube.

If the helm moves freely, the issue might be from engine pivot points which have stiffen because of lack of lubrication. A common reaction when boaters experience a seized steering is to force it back and forth hoping to release the tension. The best way to keep your mechanical steering system in top shape is through regular maintenance. Remember that steering cables are designed to work for a finite period.

However, they are more expensive and you may need professional knowledge to install or repair it. Large boats have hydraulic steering to reduce the physical stress of piloting them. Hydraulic steering systems can encounter the following problems:.

If you notice visible fluid leaks in your hydraulics, that is a sign of air in the steering system. If the shaft is still wet, you have fluid leaks in your hydraulic steering. This can mean that you have leaky seals which may need you to replace the seals. Visible leaks could result from corrosion.Boat steering problems should be solved at the earliest opportunity ashore, just like steering problems in the family car need to be fixed before going on a trip.

Isolate the problem location. Start at one end of the steering system, usually the steering wheel, and work backward through the entire system.

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As you inspect, you may have to have another person turn the wheel so that you can see the effect on the element of the system being inspected. Determine the nature of the problem. Is a part broken, bent or missing? If broken, replace it. If bent, can it be repaired? If missing, can it be replaced? The most frequent problems are stiff or frozen steering, problems with steering cables and problems with broken or missing pulleys. Replace, repair or adjust elements as necessary. Frequently, problems can be solved with a simple bit of maintenance, like lubrication, but more complex problems, like broken pulleys or damaged cable in cable steering, or a damaged or broken pump or ram in hydraulic systems, can be fixed quickly by simply changing out the part that is not operating as it should.

Changing out parts may seem expensive, but is usually more effective than trying to rebuild something that, once repaired, may break again. Test your solutions. Again, have another person turn the wheel while you watch the results.

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If the problem persists, return to Step 1. You may have cured one problem, but there may be more than one problem with the steering. Evaluate and repair each separately. Basic hand tools like wrenches, pliers and screwdrivers, should be sufficient for most boat steering problems.

A long run of steering cable can be fished through tight spaces in the same way that electrical wires can be fished through a house wall. As with any repair project, be aware of the hazards created by tight spaces and sharp objects or tools.

Boats with hydraulic steering systems require specialized knowledge and tools; if your boat has a hydraulic steering problem, your dealer may be able to offer specific advice.

This article was written by the It Still Works team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Works, contact us.

Tips Basic hand tools like wrenches, pliers and screwdrivers, should be sufficient for most boat steering problems. Warnings As with any repair project, be aware of the hazards created by tight spaces and sharp objects or tools. About the Author This article was written by the It Still Works team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information.Switching to hydraulic steering can reduce both maintenance and steering effort.

If it's time to replace your outboard-powered boat's mechanical steering system, consider an upgrade to hydraulic. The systems are simple, consisting of three components: an integral hydraulic-fluid reservoir with a pump at the helm, a cylinder with steering ram at the outboard, and the hydraulic lines that push the fluid between the two.

The simplicity of the system reduces maintenance; the hydraulics all but eliminate steering effort. And if you're using two hands on the wheel to steer the boat, upgrading to hydraulic steering will make it fun to drive again. SeaStar Solutions' BayStar kit is a popular option for boaters considering a change from mechanical to hydraulic steering.

hydraulic inboard steering

This DIY project can be accomplished by a handy boater and a friend in an afternoon; or, if you decide to hire a pro to do it, just knowing how it's done will make you a smarter boat owner.

This system is designed for use with outboards up to horsepower. We installed a BayStar system on a foot center-console boat powered by a hp outboard, replacing the boat's original mechanical steering system that had been used in saltwater, then sat unused for several years.

The effort required to turn the wheel and steer the boat was increasing with use, which a change to a hydraulic system would alleviate. With fewer moving mechanical parts, the hydraulic system requires only periodic checks and the topping off of fluid levels, both of which are performed via an easy-access port at the helm, and annual or every hours of use cleaning and regreasing of select cylinder and helm components.

An additional benefit of moving to a hydraulic system: It gives you the option for more easily adding an autopilot. Follow these steps to make the switch to hydraulic steering. Review the instructions before installation to make sure you have the parts, tools, and the confidence required to tackle this project.

The kit includes cylinder, helm, tubing, hardware, and fluid.

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Basic hand tools and power tools are required. Remove the wheel, which may or may not be easy, depending on how firmly it's locked on the existing hub. In our case, a gear puller was required to help free the wheel. Remove the original wheel-hub mounting base. We had to cut the rust-locked bolts to free them. Separate the steering cable from the drum and remove the latter from the dash. Separate the steering cable from the engine.

Tape the two hydraulic hoses to the steering cable and use the cable to messenger the hoses from the transom up to the helm. Use the paper template provided, or the new helm bezel as a template to mark the three-inch-diameter hole required for accepting the helm unit. We used masking tape to reduce gelcoat flaking and to protect the dash surface from the jigsaw. Cut the new hole to fit the helm unit.

SeaStar offers kits for adapting oversized holes to accept the BayStar helm.An annual inspection of your hydraulic steering system starts at the helm, where the oil reservoir is located. Some marine systems are so reliable we tend not to notice them.

I've owned a few boats in my time, and most of them had hydraulic steering. It's one of those reliable systems so widespread, it's all but universal except for boats that use a tiller, cable, or other form of mechanical steering. Good steering systems work as they should, year after year, and typically don't get on the schedule of routine maintenance, unless there is a problem. But that might not be the best of ideas.

After all, it is on a boat, and nothing on a boat is perfect, or forever. Does the hydraulic fluid go bad over time?

Do fittings work loose? Are there any common failure points you should know about? So, how often should you think about these things and what exactly do you look for? To find some answers, we spent time with Chad Winget, lead technician at Zimmerman Marine, a well-respected service and repair facility in Deltaville, Virginia, whose ABYC-certified tech staff knows how things should be done. When we got together, he explained hydraulic steering in simple terms and showed what to look for and how best to ensure a trouble-free system, no matter what kind of boat it's on.

Hydraulic steering is made up of three components: a pump with an integral reservoir for hydraulic oil, a ram that connects to a rudder or outboard engine, and connecting lines that transmit inputs from the steering pump to the steering ram.

It's very simple and, when sized and installed correctly, makes for a mostly carefree system. Turning the steering wheel in either direction pumps oil through the lines to the ram, which in turn pulls or pushes the rudder, outboard, or sterndrive in the desired direction. The simplest example of hydraulic steering is found on small powerboats powered by single outboard or multiple engines linked by a tie bar. On a small boat, a compact hydraulic pump with integral hydraulic-fluid reservoir located at the steering wheel connects with sturdy nylon hoses below decks and in turn to flexible rubber hoses to a steering ram at the transom, which reliably turns the outboard s as one turns the steering wheel.

Steering systems get progressively more complicated on larger boats with multiple helms, autopilots, and power steering, but the basics are much the same. So, too, is the maintenance.

hydraulic inboard steering

Winget recommends a yearly inspection. Look at the seals on the ram, especially on an open boat, where it's exposed to salt, sand, fishing line, and other potential hazards. The shaft should never be wet with oil. If it is, wipe it dry with a rag and check it again as you turn through a steering cycle. If a wet shaft comes out of the ram, the seals are leaking and need to be replaced.

Check to see there is no pitting on the shaft, a sign of corrosion that will ultimately cause hydraulic fluid to leak out of the cylinder. Remove the vented cap on the hydraulic reservoir at the helm and take a sample of the hydraulic oil. Does it look black?

Does it smell? Hydraulic steering fluid is clear, mostly odorless, and light-colored. It's specially formulated with viscosity stabilizers, anti-wear and anti-foaming agents, and corrosion inhibitors.Owning a new boat ultimately brings the reality of performing both scheduled and nonscheduled maintenance. One issue that you might encounter is a hydraulic boat steering problem. HA ; an adapter hose, like Sea Star No. HA ; and a pushpin from the bulletin board in your office. A rag also helps.

Sea Star hydraulic steering fluid is prevalent in most boating centers across the United States. Note: At all times, be sure there is fluid in the filler tube, if it drains out you are pumping air in the system and you will need to start over.

The above will ensure that you have properly bled the system free and clear. TIP --puncture the bottle on the bottom side, not the very bottom, with the pushpin. Doing so enables you to place the pushpin back in and store a partially-full bottle on a shelf without leaks.

Menu Sign Up. Boating Magazine. This diagram shows how to add hydraulic boat steering fluid. Thread filler tube into helm pump Thread bottle of fluid onto filler tube Poke a hole into the bottom of the bottle or, cut the bottom off and create a funnel Turn bottle upside down like an IV.

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How to Add Fluid to Hydraulic Steering. Thread filler tube into helm pump. Thread bottle of fluid onto filler tube. Poke a hole into the bottom of the bottle or, cut the bottom off and create a funnel. Turn bottle upside down like an IV. Turn steering wheel hard to starboard. Open starboard bleeder nipple located on the steering cylinder. Continue turning to the PORT side until engine comes hard over.

Open port bleeder nipple located on the steering cylinder. Latest Boats. How To. Intrepid Nomad Boat Test.


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