jigstick

Installing Hydraulic Steering

Recommended Posts

Im highly considering switching the steering is my boat from rack -and-pinion / hydraulic assisted cable steering to a SeaStar hydraulic steering setup.  The Raymarine Sportpilot gets the job done, but I don't like how it makes my manual steering feel.

 

The boat is a Bayliner 2252 Express cruiser hard top with a Merc V6 and Alpha 1 outdrive.  Seastar gave me the part numbers for the new helm and hydraulic ram.  And Im going purchase a Type 1 pump from Raymarine and integrate it into my Raymarine Evolution 200 autopilot electronics.

 

My question for you guys is this...what do I do with the power assisting "pump/pulley" on my motor?  I will no longer need it to power the factory "assist cylinder".  That gets removed and replaced with the new hydraulic ram.  Do I have to remove a pulley or get a smaller belt to remove the factory power assisted steering mechanics?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got it figured out.  This is going to be easier than I thought.  The new hydraulic ram mounts to the steering linkage in the same fashion as the old steering cable.   I pull out a cotter pin and loosen the nut on the steering cable, and pull the cable out.  Then take the hydraulic ram, extend the rod, push it through where the cable went, and reinstall the cotter pin and tight down the nut on the ram.

 

The factory power assist stays, and isn't altered in any way.

 

I remove the steering wheel, pop the dash, and remove the rack-and-pinion housing.  Remove the old helm.  and mount the new hydraulic helm, which is MUCH smaller than the old rack.

 

The type 1 pump from Raymarine is easy to install and splice into the system.  Routing the hydraulic hoses won't be an issue.

 

I hope this is easy to bleed.  I can see that part being a headache.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i'd love to see some pics of this if that's possible. considering the same thing for my rig.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you have a link for the SeaStar system or would you mind sharing what the system costs? Seems like an easy upgrade and not too complicated of a project. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You got it, the tricky part is bleeding the system.  Helps if you have a second person.  There are also some good videos on the process on youtube.   Also one other install trick is to mount valves before the pump.  That way if the pump ever fails you can swap it out easily without draining the system and should make re priming much easier.  Good luck and it is a great upgrade to any boat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ll definitely post pictures of the process. I plan to get the boat out of storage in the next two weeks. I have to take some measurements to figure out hose lengths and clearances. Then I’ll start ordering the components

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will post part numbers and costs later on today. I’m at work at the moment. Ball park though is roughly $1500 for helm, ram, autopilot pump, hoses, and misc fittings

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent idea regarding the ball valves to isolate the pump :yes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why dont you just leave the Sportpilot the way it is?  If you going to hydraulic, you still can just turn the wheel to steer which is what the sportpilot is good at.  The sportpilot shouldnt change the feeling of the wheel.  If it does, then its binding and you need to install spacers.  Im currently looking to switch my cable/power assist alpha 1 over to a hydraulic sea start and Im going to keep my sport pilot spx 5 the way it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The bearings and clutch pads inside the sport pilot heat up over time. And you end up fighting the sport pilot when trying to manually steer.  Twice now I’ve had my sportpilot back to Raymarine for new clutch pads. One time it was so bad I could barely steer the boat coming back into the harbor. The drive unit is also loud to listen too all day long. I’m just through messing around with the Sportpilot.  It worked well enough over the past few years...but I came into some extra money for the boat this year. And I think going to a hydraulic setup will fix my steering situation once and for all

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Here are the part numbers from Seastar.  These components are compatible with Mercruiser V6 190hp engines with hydraulic assisted steering.

 

Hydraulic Ram (unbalanced cylinder)     HC5328-3

Hydraulic Helm    HH5271-3

Hydraulic Hoses   HO51xx

          xx =  hose length

         2-6ft lengths come in 1ft increments

        6-30ft lengths come in 2ft increments

 

Hydraulic Pump fittings (to connect to hydraulic autopilot pumps)  HF5531

       you can specify 90-45-straight based on your installation arrangement

       youll have to double check the part number based on what degree fitting you want.

 

Hydraulic Helm fittings    HF6004

       this part number is for 90 degree helm fittings.

 

You will also need 2 T-fittings.  I don't have this part number off hand.

 

The part numbers for these fittings I know work for a Raymarine Type 1 reversing autopilot pump.  I would recommend you guys crossreference the fittings you need based on what pump you are using.

 

This is the layout that I will be using

 

UC8pUhZ.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by jigstick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I got the dasher and old steering all torn apart. Went pretty smoothly. The hardest part was pullling the pin securing the steering cable. 

7001944B-D844-45F3-9CCE-117712E41D16.jpeg

2658895D-7E60-47AF-9A90-CAAE7656AC0E.jpeg

0D3FD77F-A215-41C4-99BB-1D49776444B9.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I’m running into one issue. The new hydraulic ram is going to encroach in the drain tubes for my deck scuppers. I’m not sure how to go about rerouting the tubes. I’m going to need a really flexible type of tubing in order to route the pipe over or under the new hydraulic ram. Any suggestions?

 

in the middle picture you can see the old steering cable in relation to the white drain tubes

Edited by jigstick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do they make thru Hull 90s?  

 

I got the platform form made for the autopilot pump. Once the cylinder gets here everything should move pretty quick. 

 

My current dash dash only has a 2 1/4in round opening from the old helm. I’m going to have to open that up to 3in for the new one. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

maybe, i don't know. i was thinking more along the lines of adding a 90 to the existing thru-hull you've already got.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok.  Thanks guys.  I worked a little on the boat yesterday. My thru hull fittings are 1.5in I believe.  The tubes connecting the scuppers to the current thru hulls are 1.5in internal diameter.  So Im guessing I need to order a 1.5in thru hull 90*.  Im hoping that I can install it though.  Getting that 90* bend through the hole in the transom may be difficult because of the angle of the fitting? 

 

If I could find a 90 degree 1.5in thru hull that had a removable nut on both sides it would alleviate the problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

If you get the right fittings they will fit right threw with no issues make sure you have some 5200 sealants to seat the new ones with. They have a fitting that comes with a front half (outside of boat), that threads into the back (inside the boat) and it comes in all different configurations. If it were me I would not get plastic, only brass or aluminum. I wouldn't take the chance of it breaking, I hate threw the hull fitting, as they have sunk alot of boats.

 

I did almost the same conversion on my boat and am very happy with the results, you are going to really like the steering on it.

Edited by Knotlost Charters

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Can you please post a picture of the fitting you mentioned?  The only 90* fittings I’m seeing have a permanent “flange” on the outside portion, with a threaded body that goes through the transom...and then the lock nut secures from inside the boat. 

Edited by jigstick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

This is what I’m finding. So it basically needs inserted from the outside of the boat because of that flange. But if it “won’t make the bend” then I don’t see how I’ll get in in. Unless I can fine one with s flange that threads on. 

 

FWIW the thru hull that is there has a Perko scupper cap over it. With a rubber curtain to prevent water from backflowing. 

 

This fitting is above the waterline. 

12862DFE-F90A-47D4-96E8-AE972AC63BC1.jpeg

Edited by jigstick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/5/2018 at 9:01 AM, jigstick said:

I’m running into one issue. The new hydraulic ram is going to encroach in the drain tubes for my deck scuppers. I’m not sure how to go about rerouting the tubes. I’m going to need a really flexible type of tubing in order to route the pipe over or under the new hydraulic ram. Any suggestions?

 

in the middle picture you can see the old steering cable in relation to the white drain tubes

Would regular bilge pump tubing work? That stuff bends real easy and tight. I would make sure and check it yearly as they can chaff and develop a hole but definitely more flexible than that clear poly tubing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/4/2018 at 12:52 PM, vetting said:

Why dont you just leave the Sportpilot the way it is?  If you going to hydraulic, you still can just turn the wheel to steer which is what the sportpilot is good at.  The sportpilot shouldnt change the feeling of the wheel.  If it does, then its binding and you need to install spacers.  Im currently looking to switch my cable/power assist alpha 1 over to a hydraulic sea start and Im going to keep my sport pilot spx 5 the way it is.

Vetting,

I have also been having problems with my sportpilot steering as the unit becomes tight and almost binds when in manual mode. Where would the spacers be placed ? There seems to be adequate clearance between the wheel and the drive unit. I have also re torqued everything. The standard steering is very easy when the sportpilot is removed. Any info would be appreciated. 

 

Thanks , Jack

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.