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(34)Gritty(34) hydraulic steering feel-gctid662269

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    (34)Gritty(34) hydraulic steering feel-gctid662269

    The hydraulic steering on my 32 feels "gritty" when I turn the wheel. The pressure in the steering system was low due to a slow leak in the "tire pressure" valve at the reservoir. After tightening the valve, I pumped the pressure up to 40 psi, then tried the lower helm steering. The helm seems stiff as well as having the gritty feel. I haven't tried the flybridge helm (ran out of time after I pressurized). Could this be due to air in the system? Low fluid level? Something else? I just repressurized yesterday, so I don't know if I'm still losing pressure (won't know for a couple of days). I haven't seen any leaks at the helm stations.

    ____________

    Dick

    M/V Cheers
    Dick
    Cheers
    Oceanside
    1987 3218 w/ 150 Hinos

    #2
    As a follow-up, I noticed the two fluid level windows on the reservoir are red. Could this mean that one of the POs put automatic transmission fluid in the system instead of the recommended (mil 5606) fluid? I'm not at the boat at the moment, so I can't remove the filler cap and check. If the system has ATF in it, is there some way to remove all of the ATF so I can fill it with the prescribed fluid?

    ____________

    Dick

    M/V Cheers
    Dick
    Cheers
    Oceanside
    1987 3218 w/ 150 Hinos

    Comment


      #3
      It could be air, it could be dirt in that helm, it could be not enough air in the reservoir.

      Those two sight glasses in the reservoir are there to help you keep the fluid level between 1/2 and 3/4 full but no higher. So you should see a level line in the upper glass window or you should see it just empty but not full - the lower one always needs to be full. If you correct that level and it is still 'gritty' at about 30 psi then you might try the bleeding process again.

      I have seen people utilize ATF with no issues other than the fact that it will be a bit stiffer owing to the heavier fluid - normally only noticeable at colder temps. You could drain the reservoir and as much of the system as possible and replace with the 'regular' hyd steering fluid but I would leave that for a last step if needed.

      Hope this helps
      Northport NY

      Comment


        #4
        Best guess would be air in the system, which should bleed out. I think (but am not sure) that it will bleed out by itself like most cars do. More boat people can tell you for sure.

        I agree with smitty in that ATF should be fine. it gets used in steering applications all the time and wouldn't likely be the cause of what you are feeling.
        Toni & Leila
        Orting Washington

        1992 Bayliner 4388
        250 Hinos

        Comment


          #5
          By gritty feel, do you mean it has a notchy feel? My upper helm has a notchy feel and I was told by a mechanic that it indicated the pump at that helm was needing to be rebuilt. I have not confirmed that is the problem yet but something to think about.
          2000 4788 w Cummins 370's, underhulls, swim step hull extension
          12' Rendova center console with 40HP Yamaha
          MV Kia Orana
          Currently Alameda CA

          Comment


            #6
            Also, a lot of MIL 5606 compliant fluids are red. I usually buy it at the airport for 1/3 of the price for the yellow one. They sell it as MIL 5606 aviation hydraulic fluid in tin cans, and it is red.
            Alex
            1997 2859, 7.4 MPI, Bravo II
            1993 2452, 5.7 Bravo II - SOLD

            Comment


              #7
              Dick, our previous boat was a '93 3288 Bayliner and we have experienced two losses of steering in our 4788 and one in our 3288 due to air in the lines. So, while I cannot relate directly to your "gritty" feel issue, I can give you a few tips. First, regarding the possibility of air leaking out of the air valve, try spaying it with a soapy water solution. If there is a slow air leak, the soap bubbles will expand and give you a quick clue as to the exact location of the air leak. If the air valve is leaking, replacements are readily available at any auto parts store, along with the tool to remove/install them. These valves have a small "O" ring and they hold up much better with a thin coating of silicone grease. Without the silicone grease, the rings will crack and wear out prematurely due to environmental exposure. Use of silicone grease will also improve the longevity of your "O" rings on all your deck caps--Water, Waste and Fuel. If you have air in the lines, it may reach either of the two helm pumps and disable you while underway. For this reason alone, towing insurance is a good idea. These pumps are located right behind the hub of each of your helm wheels. Mark the helm wheels with a piece of painter's tape and starting with the upper helm, go stop to stop. Count the revolutions to the nearest tenth of a revolution. This will be a clue as to whether or not there is air trapped in the system. Before you do this, take note of the air pressure gauge on the reservoir. After the stop to stop action at the upper helm, repeat it up to 40 times. When you reach each stop, continue to rotate the helm wheel 1-2 more revolutions. There will be considerable resistance, but this will not hurt anything. In fact, it may work any air in the system back into the reservoir. Repeat this process at the lower helm. If you have an autopilot, run it stop to stop next. The autopilot cannot turn the helm wheels beyond their stops. Then, check the reservoir pressure to see if it has increased. If it has, some of the trapped air has worked its way back into the reservoir and is no longer in the lines. While this does not guarantee purging of all the air out of the system, it may be enough to avoid doing the full purging procedure. The most important clue of air in your system is if while turning the helms stop to stop, you run across little to no resistance, then there is definitely air in the system. SeaStar Solutions may be of help: http://www.seastarsolutions.com/supp...autic-cylinder They have taken over as the dealer for Hynautics. If you can find any inscriptions on your pumps or cylinder, then you can calculate just how many revolutions it takes, stop to stop, to have an air-free system. Divide your cylinder displacement by your pump displacement for this answer. SeaStar Solutions sells the correct hydraulic fluid and if you write to them, they can tell you which one to buy. They also can provide purging instructions, if you no longer have this paperwork. Our 47 was serviced with ATF fluid by the PO or a boatyard, which does create a stiffer feel, but I do not believe the wrong type of fluid is related to your "gritty" feel. The stiffer feel is really not that noticeable and I do not have an urgency to put the correct fluid back into the system because it take about three people, a lot of time and patience to make it right. If I had to guess, your "gritty" feel is related to a defective helm pump (1 or both) or cylinder. Good luck.
              2002 4788/Cummins 330s
              SF Bay Area

              Comment


                #8
                Here is a good link to your hydraulic helm and the method to do a simple rebuild. Near the bottom of this link is another hot link that will take you to the proper bleeding process for this system if it is needed.

                http://www.local1259iaff.org/hydraulichelmrebuild.html

                I have now rebult maybe a dozen of these helm units in Bayliners as well as other named boats so I am familiar with taking them apart and their operation.

                "gritty" or 'notchy" feel are often reported when these systems are used and have issues. I am not there to feel how bad these gritty pulse are nor whether they conform to what I have seen in the past but since this description is common let me describe the most common reason to have these pulses.

                When you turn the wheel you are cycling many smaller balls and 'plugers' down into a sleeve which acts like smaller pistons driving fluid directionally which ultimately dived your linear piston which turns the rudders.

                Each one of these balls are engaged as you rotate the helm wheel and if there is 'extra' resistance or inconsistent resistance the balls inability to be driven into the plunger area will be felt in the wheel. Since many of these are engaged in each revolution of the wheel you will feel one after another engage and disengage as you rotate the wheel. So if you turn the wheel slowly that fell will be like you are rolling the steering wheel over small ball bearings one after another causing slight but noticeable 'stops'' of the wheel that are predictable and follow a distinct interval between them - often called gritty or notchy at higher wheel turning speeds

                There is actually always a slight tendency for the wheel to feel this way but it is mostly unnoticeable when everything is in great working order and you are in normal boating weather.

                What will make this condition worse and much more noticeable?

                - Really cold weather will make the fluid more dense and do this more (less than 30 or so will bring it out)

                - Heavier fluid will bring it out

                - Dirt n the helm will make this worse

                - Air in the system will pulse as the balls go through the plungers

                - No air in the reservoir will not allow the pulses that exist to be 'dampened' during cycling

                Your system should not allow you to pass by a steering stop with or without some air trapped in the system - it needs to be air tight to be safe. If you can defeat the stops it is indicative of a leak in the system which will eventually (often ad the worst time) lead to a steering failure.

                a leak in the reservoir is not the same as a leak in the system / although both are a problem. One is a leak of fluid that will compromise the steering system and the other is a leak of air which will tend to compromise the prime in the system - while both need to be corrected the technique to fix them are quite different.

                Hope this helps

                note - On dual helm install the helms operated completely independent of one another (in parallel0. If they both feel gritty then it is much more likely to be the fluid or air in the system on both helms unless this has gone on for long periods of time. Bleeding the system correctly will often remove this problem as a first step in diagnosis.
                Northport NY

                Comment


                  #9
                  I've just rebuild both my upper & lower helm.

                  The upper helm had a bad outer seal and started leaking.

                  I have a question. After rebuilding I bleed the system according to instructions . Lower helm was good from get go.. Had to bleed a little more air at unit P & S lined & turn the wheel "again" 60 to left & right with the bleeder screws in.

                  The pressure I used to do this was 35-40 psi

                  After I finished I adjusted the pressure down between 25 - 30 psi .. Actual 28 psi

                  Before rebuild pressure in tank for the last

                  18 years was 15psi

                  Since rebuilding I can notice the feel of the ball & detent more... The boat is steering good & the cylinder action is smooth .. Post second Bleeding ... Im just wondering about this feel in the wheel ... Should I lower the pressure back to 15 psi ... Manual says 25-30 psi ..

                  Thanks ... Roger
                  1987 3270MY, 135 Hino engines

                  2015 Element ( Lime Green) Limited Edition 75 HP Mercury.

                  Roger, Lake Saint Clair, Michigan
                  Fair Winds & Following Seas

                  Comment


                    #10
                    "Opu" post=662291 wrote:
                    As a follow-up, I noticed the two fluid level windows on the reservoir are red. Could this mean that one of the POs put automatic transmission fluid in the system instead of the recommended (mil 5606) fluid? I'm not at the boat at the moment, so I can't remove the filler cap and check. If the system has ATF in it, is there some way to remove all of the ATF so I can fill it with the prescribed fluid?

                    ____________

                    Dick

                    M/V Cheers
                    If you are suspicious of the fluid, remove it and start over. You can suck it out at the reservalve with whatever is handy. That gritty feeling might be causing damage to the pumps. People do often use ATF and that's wrong.

                    Yes, you can use any 5606 fluid. Aircraft hydraulic (anti foaming) is the right stuff.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      There are many good posts on which steering fluid you can use and what colors they are - not all 'red' fluids are ATF and not all ATF is bad dependent upon the temps the boat might see. Here is one of those posts....

                      http://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/s...kind-4957.html

                      "Should I lower the pressure back to 15 psi ... Manual says 25-30 psi .."

                      You can try the lower pressure it wont hurt anything but I really doubt you will see a difference in the feel of the wheel.

                      Here are the reason why the wheel may have a more 'gritty' feel....

                      What will make this condition worse and much more noticeable?

                      - Really cold weather will make the fluid more dense and do this more (less than 30 or so will bring it out)

                      - Heavier fluid will bring it out

                      - Dirt n the helm will make this worse

                      - Air in the system will pulse as the balls go through the plungers

                      - No air in the reservoir will not allow the pulses that exist to be 'dampened' during cycling

                      Hope this helps
                      Northport NY

                      Comment


                        #12
                        http://www.hypromarine.com/UserFiles...ne%20bleed.pdf

                        Here is the bleeding procedure if you don't have it. Probably best to follow this first to see if it helps. Again, if you are suspicious of that fluid I'd remove it, and replace with proper hydraulic fluid - as stated it does not have to be Sea Star, and the red fluid is handy for spotting leaks.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Hello Iceclimber,

                          I have found the original Hynautic helm bleeding instructions to be more helpful due to their addition of helpful pictures as well as direct

                          references to which helm gets bled first and how slowly to rotate the helm wheels to avoid aerating the fluid.

                          They are in the first link in post #8 on this string.

                          Hope this helps
                          Northport NY

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I used the bleeding instructions from the rebuild kit .. The original fluid was red ... I used A quart of sea star steering fluid ( yellow in color). Both helms have the ( tighter) feel post rebuild ). However they both work and I'm up & running ... As long as I cannot do any damage to system I think I'll leave it alone for now at 28 psi... Not sure why I can feel the detent more now ...is feeling the detent normal ? Thanks ... Rog
                            1987 3270MY, 135 Hino engines

                            2015 Element ( Lime Green) Limited Edition 75 HP Mercury.

                            Roger, Lake Saint Clair, Michigan
                            Fair Winds & Following Seas

                            Comment


                              #15
                              "3270my" post=671481 wrote:
                              I used the bleeding instructions from the rebuild kit .. The original fluid was red ... I used A quart of sea star steering fluid ( yellow in color). Both helms have the ( tighter) feel post rebuild ). However they both work and I'm up & running ... As long as I cannot do any damage to system I think I'll leave it alone for now at 28 psi... Not sure why I can feel the detent more now ...is feeling the detent normal ? Thanks ... Rog
                              No, I don't think it's normal. Mine is silky smooth after the purge procedure.

                              Comment

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