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Help Needed With Hydraulic Steering System
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Pat Anderson



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
Posts: 8004
City/Region: Birch Bay, WA
State or Province: WA
C-Dory Year: 2005
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Daydream
Photos: Daydream and Crabby Lou
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 7:45 am    Post subject: Help Needed With Hydraulic Steering System Reply with quote

Yesterday for a brief moment when Patty turned the steering wheel it spun freely (she said) but after a moment it returned to operating normally. I need a refresher on checking and topping off the hydraulic steering fluid. We are in Cambridge, MD and a neighboring boater will drive me to buy the fluid. I looked at the SeaStar literature, which is Greek to me. I know the knob on the steering column is where you check and top off the hydraulic fluid, but I want to make sure I do this right and do not make things worse by introducing air into the system. I would sure appreciate it if somebody could walk me through this. Assume I know nothing, which in fact is a true statement! Thanks!
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Discovery



Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 1090
City/Region: LOA, UTAH
State or Province: UT
C-Dory Year: 2006
C-Dory Model: 255 Tomcat
Vessel Name: Discovery
Photos: Discovery
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pat, Just unscrew the cap and look at the oil level. I put the hydraulic fluid in a smaller ( two to four ounce ) container with a tapered top to make it easier to hit the small opening. If you slowly rotate the wheel with the cap off, the oil level should go up and down. Slowly, or it will shoot out the top and make a mess. I rotate the wheel to where the oil level is down and then add oil to near the top. Screw the cap back on, and your good to go.

I have to add oil every few weeks. I loose some at the cylinders over time with the dual motor set-up on the TomCat.

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Brent and Dixie,
1984 22' Classic sold 2003
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Wandering Sagebrush



Joined: 21 Jan 2005
Posts: 2506
City/Region: Canby, Oregon
State or Province: OR
C-Dory Year: 2005
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Constant Craving
Photos: Constant Craving
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pat, Boris has a nice how to in this thread, about 6 posts down. He uses an inexpensive brake bleeder.

http://www.c-brats.com/viewtopic.php?t=23370

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Discovery



Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 1090
City/Region: LOA, UTAH
State or Province: UT
C-Dory Year: 2006
C-Dory Model: 255 Tomcat
Vessel Name: Discovery
Photos: Discovery
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Boris has a nice write-up, but to just add fluid to top it up, don't use the brake bleeder.
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BrentB



Joined: 15 Jul 2006
Posts: 4089
City/Region: Greenwood
State or Province: IN
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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a fill kit which is optional item

http://www.smartmarine.co.nz/products/engines-accessories-steering/steering/60016/hydraulic-steering-oil-fill-kit/details/

but has a great diagram


remove the large plastic fill plug

add oil until full and replace plug
#2 turn the wheel full left and right several times
#3recheck oil
add more if needed and repeat #2 and #3


You can use a medicine dropper, too

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thataway



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
Posts: 15187
City/Region: Pensacola
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2006
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Thisaway
Photos: Thataway
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem with the refill kit is that it uses a pin to put a hole in the bottom of the very expensive hydraulic fluid. You can make most of the kit with a 3/8 pipe thread to 1/4" Int. diameter nipple (nylon if you fear tearing up the threads in the pump), clear plastic tubing and a small funnel, which is what I carry. I very slowly add the fluid. (I got a gallon for $40 on the internet.)

Hopefully you will not need to bleed the system...but a routine maintenance item is checking & filling the hydraulic pump if necessary once a week when full time running. Also check to see if there is any fluid leaking around the shaft seal (fluid running down your side of the console. Since you have an auto pilot, check to see that there is no leaking around the pilot pump fittings, or the fittings on the helm pump.

Also look carefully for any leaking around the cylinder by the motor also once a week. We are told that dog hair and fine sand are the most abrasive items for the cylinder external seals. Even replacing the piston seals is not that hard, you just need a specific pin wrench.

There are some other potential issues, but low fluid is highest on the list. Let us know what you find when you open the helm pump plug. You should fill the helm pump to about 1/4" of the inside opening when at its "lowest" point in the cycles.

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Thataway
Thisaway 2006 22' CDory November 2011
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BrentB



Joined: 15 Jul 2006
Posts: 4089
City/Region: Greenwood
State or Province: IN
Photos: BrentB
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a different remote fill unit with the fill port is on the dash and sealed with a plug. I used an empty hot sauce bottle filled with oil. The cap is a valve. Push it up and oil flows. Push the cap down and oil flow is stop. Very easy is fill and the fill tube is behind the dash but is clear and easy to check the fluid level.
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BrentB



Joined: 15 Jul 2006
Posts: 4089
City/Region: Greenwood
State or Province: IN
Photos: BrentB
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is the item

Remote fill kit

http://www.seastarsolutions.com/products/hydraulic-new/helms-new/rear-mount-helm/
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thataway



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
Posts: 15187
City/Region: Pensacola
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2006
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Thisaway
Photos: Thataway
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brent,
Pat has the fill plug on the top of his helm pump. Not the way your Parker is rigged.
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BrentB



Joined: 15 Jul 2006
Posts: 4089
City/Region: Greenwood
State or Province: IN
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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob

I thought we might share the same helm company. The remote fill kit is add-on item. Where the current helm drain plug is replaced with a new fitting, tube and fill port on dash. He might consider later bc it is requires drilling a hole in dash. When done, it is very handy. just saying
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BrentB



Joined: 15 Jul 2006
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City/Region: Greenwood
State or Province: IN
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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is a nice upgrade
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thataway



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
Posts: 15187
City/Region: Pensacola
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2006
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Thisaway
Photos: Thataway
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brent--the C Dory use the front mount--so access is easy. I can see where the remote mount would be almost essential, lacking a hinged or open upper console..
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BrentB



Joined: 15 Jul 2006
Posts: 4089
City/Region: Greenwood
State or Province: IN
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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah my mistake , I thought it was behind helm

I like the Zoom oiler

http://www.laco.com/lubricants/zoom-spout-oiler/

or medicine dropper
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Pat Anderson



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
Posts: 8004
City/Region: Birch Bay, WA
State or Province: WA
C-Dory Year: 2005
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Daydream
Photos: Daydream and Crabby Lou
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SeaStar Hydraulic Steering Fluid is purchased, ouch, $26 for a quart! I will be checking and filling tomorrow! Thanks all!
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localboy



Joined: 30 Sep 2006
Posts: 3745
City/Region: Lake Stevens via Honolulu
State or Province: WA
C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: 'Au Kai (Ocean Traveler)
Photos: 'AU KAI
PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pat Anderson wrote:
SeaStar Hydraulic Steering Fluid...ouch, $26 for a quart!


A total rip off. I bought an aviation-grade fluid from an airplane parts supplier; $50 for a GALLON. Exact same fluid but died red to spot leaks.

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