jigstick

Installing Hydraulic Steering

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Posted (edited)

The binding is the clutch pads inside the sport pilot heating up over time. Then they get sticky. And don’t release when you flip into manual mode. So when you grab your wheel and start steering you are now fighting all the gears inside the sport pilot. It won’t matter if the sport pilot is installed on a cable steered or hydraulic steered boat. The same scenario will happen as those clutch pads heat up. 

 

This is why im installing hydraulic steering. So I can get rid of the sport pilot and instead use a hydraulic autopilot pump. The cable steering on my boat was fine to use as it was smooth with minimal slop.  I’m going to hydraulic just for the pump. 

Edited by jigstick

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I put spacers on rotary helm to set it back a bit into the dash and get the sport pilot more flush to the dash.  If it everything is line up and not twisted, then not sure what to tell you.

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I'm also thinking about the same conversion to hydraulic but keeping the sport pilot.  How much was the total conversion?  Not sure what unit to get - the power assist or non power assist.  

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It would depend on your current steering and motor. I’m not sure what you have. Mine is going on a Merceuiser V6 with Alpha 1 outdrive

 

hydraulic helm is $400

hydraulic cylinder is $370

Raymarine Type 1 AP Pump is $600

and I have maybe $150 in hydraulic hoses and fittings. 

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I have the exact same thing except its a V8 with Alpha 1.

 

I guess I really dont understand why they make 2 different helms.

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You need the standard hydraulic helm. Not the pro series. And you most likely need the same cylinder I’m using. I’m not sure exactly what the pro helm is used for. Maybe dual motor outboards or something like that. 

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, jigstick said:

You need the standard hydraulic helm. Not the pro series. And you most likely need the same cylinder I’m using. I’m not sure exactly what the pro helm is used for. Maybe dual motor outboards or something like that. 

 

I was referring to the Non Power Assist vs Power Assist.  Since the main motor wont be running when using the kicker, the power steering pump wont even be running.  Just wondering why it even matters since the ram isnt even hooked up to the PS anymore - or am I misunderstanding something?  Is the power assist meant to mean the extra SeaStart pump that you can add into the system?

Edited by vetting

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Posted (edited)

Don't they make a unit that converts the entire steering to hydraulic and eliminates the need for the power assist? I'm pretty sure it is close to the same price and then also removes the need of the power steering pump on the motor. Jigstick, are you still keeping the power assist or completely going hydraulic?

 

Here is a link:

http://www.seastarsolutions.com/products/hydraulic-new/sterndrive-steering-new/

Edited by Chas0218

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Got the hydraulic cylinder installed today. It’s a tight fit but I think it’s torqued down enough. It was near impossible to get a crescent wrench on it to tighten down. I also pulled the old thru hill fittings and put a 90* one in to check for clearance. I think it’s going to work and allow me to run the scupper hoses up and over the new ram. 

 

I have to coat the thru Hull hole with some epoxy to protect the transom from water. 

 

Now im off to order the hydraulic helm, hoses, and hydraulic auto pilot pump. 

772CEF55-1ABF-4E7B-AD71-FE47B8F8722D.jpeg

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Posted (edited)

The transom looked fairly dry in the thru Hull holes. I cleaned out all the old caulking with a Dremel and sanding bit. Then wiped it all down with acetone. Then I mixed up some Marine Tex and skim coated the exposed wood. I’m just waiting for that to dry. Once I reinstall the 90* thru Hull fittings I’ll coat them good with 3M 4200 and everything should be water tight and protected. 

32035003-1BDE-4E37-9545-1F64C2FA8370.jpeg

643C0770-540B-49B7-B8E4-262EDC4A809C.jpeg

Edited by jigstick

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On 5/11/2018 at 11:16 AM, Chas0218 said:

Don't they make a unit that converts the entire steering to hydraulic and eliminates the need for the power assist? I'm pretty sure it is close to the same price and then also removes the need of the power steering pump on the motor. Jigstick, are you still keeping the power assist or completely going hydraulic?

 

Here is a link:

http://www.seastarsolutions.com/products/hydraulic-new/sterndrive-steering-new/

This IS the setup I am going with, witch requires you to keep the factory power assist in place.  They work in conjunction with each other.

 

I believe there IS a way to convert totally over, removing the power assist and pump from the motor.  But the cylinder you need is more expensive and much more difficult to install.  At least this is what Mark from Seastar told me.  I took his recommendation and went with the setup he told me to.

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From what I read on their website, that steering cylinder (HC5370-3) is an outboard side mount cylinder. Is that what they recommended for your alpha stern drive? I was quoted last year that for my stern drive application (alpha 1) I should use the HC5328-3 (power steer) or the HC5332-3 (non power steer). The non power steer, balanced cylinder works better for AP applications and replaces the merc actuator.

Not trying to second guess anybody here, but I would hate to see you install the incorrect cylinder due to a communication error.

Jake...

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Mark from Seastar originally told me to use the HC5328-3 cylinder.  However that cylinder is 17in long, and wouldn't fit in my configuration.  That cylinder would hit the inside of my transom.  So in order to gain clearances Mark said I could use the HC 5370-3 (outboard) cylinder which is only 13in long.  It is still rated up to 300hp, and Mark said it should work fine.  I was scared to order it, but it screwed right on.  Im hoping everything works properly when I get the helm and autopilot pump installed.

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Posted (edited)

Ah, good to hear. That might be an option for me as well. I haven't measured up anything yet but good to know there are options if things get in the way. Keep us posted as to how the steering feels once all is installed. I really like the power steering on my boat now and hate to give it up but I think this setup is the best option for AP installation. I have twin alpha's and would be going the non power steer (HC5332-3) route as I like to alternate engines while trolling and was told the power steer cylinder might not handle the extra load if the power steering pump is not running..

Cheers...Jake

 

Edited by nautime

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I don't remember the cylinder # but 20 years ago I went the same way your going and the AP was running perfectly and my steering was so smooth when the main motor was running! ncredible.

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I have the Raymarine sport pilot, I removed all the hydraulic original equipment, steering wheel, to control arm. All of it gone, including all the hydraulic lines and power steering pump. I installed Sea Star HH5261  helm, hoses and SeaStar/Teleflex Inboard ATM Cylinder Part #HC5313  and the incidentals. Done works perfectly with motor off. 

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So I’d like to check for any clearance issues with the cylinder during turning of the boat. However the helm isn’t installed. 

 

Does anybody know know if I can manually activate the shuttle valve on the factory power assist?  I believe I can just push and pull on it as the steering cable would. And that will get the steering yoke assembly to activate?  

 

If so so this will let me ensure that the new cylinder isn’t going to touch the exhaust manifolds when I’m all done

Edited by jigstick

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There’s hydraulic fluid in the power assist cylinder. I believe if I start the engine and manually push and pull on the shuttle valve it should activate the factory cykinder

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Well the answer is "YES" you can.  Worked on the boat a little bit today.  Im definitely going to have all the cylinder clearances I need.  Most of today was deciding on how to plumb the autopilot pump.  Either with T fittings off the back of the helm...or T fittings back by the engine.  The autopilot pump will be mounted back by the engine.  Im not sure which hose route will perform better???

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