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Getting rid of Mercruiser power assist


Chas0218

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If there is still air in the system, I wouldn't be able to get it out. I've bled this 3 times. The last time was yesterday. Tubing run from the cylinder to the helm to form a continuous loop. Bled following the instructions and continued after that in both directions on both bleeders, left and right. No bubbles whatsoever and steering is smooth. I still need to see what it does with the main running, haven't done that yet. 

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Hey dt5150, have you had a chance to test the AP while the stern drive is running?
 

I’ve taken the plunge, purchased the Raymarine EV150 and hydraulic cylinder for my kicker, both motors will be hydraulic steer with AP capability, I’ll keep you posted on how it works out! 

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I want to point something out here. With my install...by that I mean installing the new ram onto the factory power assist cylinder (where your original cable went) works for me because I troll with my main engine. 
 

if you’re attempting this install, to have the hydraulic AP work on a kicker slaved to the outdrive with a yoke assembly and your main engine off...I’m not sure that it’s going to work for you. 
 

for that type of set up you may have to add T fittings / valves to divert the fluid flow towards your kicker motor...which would also need its own ram

Edited by jigstick
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I haven't had the chance to test it again since last time, no. I work a lot and it always seems to rain on my day off! Today being no exception, rainy where I am today. 

I may put it in the water today if the weather clears up, without testing that again. We'll see. I went into this project not knowing of this detail about the ap, and the only time I use the ap is when trolling. I don't use the ap a ton, but it was kinda nice to have when things get busy and there's only 2 guys on the boat or when fishing solo. 

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Hi,  I've got my boat all pulled apart so I've decided to install a ram on the kicker motor so I'll have the AP on both motors, I figure its easier to do all the hydraulic lines at once and get it over with..... Our marina in Ontario will be closed until the Covid lock down is over (May20th) so I've got some time to get this project completed.  I hear you about fishing solo, I do that 80% of the time and things get hairy when two riggers go off at the same time on a wind day. 

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I don't think I could put a cylinder on my kicker even if I wanted to, not enough room for it. If I have to live without ap, so be it. I'd love to have it of course, but if I don't, the vastly improved steering is still worth it. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well guys i made the switch then ordered the idler and bracket for the non- power assist mercruiser to bolt in place. Right now i just have the power steering pump looped and the lines at the back on the assist ram looped as well. The steering is so easy now and the hydraulic auto pilot works great on the main and kicker. I'll post some before and after pictures when i get the new brackets bolted in. It'll be a couple weeks.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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  • 4 weeks later...

Turns out that my ap still works without the main motor running. My ap head unit was still in the old setting for the old system. Changed it to a type 1 pump and boom, works great with either motor. 

The feel of the steering now compared to before isn't even a comparison really. It's that drastic. Light years better. I should have done this years ago! 

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Chas 

 

Can you clarify your set up for me.  Did you install your new steering ram onto the factory power assist cylinder?  But then took the factory power assist cylinder out of the loop by disconnecting the factory hydraulic line going from the power steering pump back to the assist cylinder?  And by this your basically just using the factory power assist cylinder as a "mounting bracket" for the new ram?

 

If this is the case that is fantastic to know.  Because Ive been wanting to take the factory power assist pump and cylinder out of the equation.  But I wasnt sure if it would work.

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Chas 
 
Can you clarify your set up for me.  Did you install your new steering ram onto the factory power assist cylinder?  But then took the factory power assist cylinder out of the loop by disconnecting the factory hydraulic line going from the power steering pump back to the assist cylinder?  And by this your basically just using the factory power assist cylinder as a "mounting bracket" for the new ram?
 
If this is the case that is fantastic to know.  Because Ive been wanting to take the factory power assist pump and cylinder out of the equation.  But I wasnt sure if it would work.
Hey for anyone wondering the following is what i had ordered for the swap and hooking up my old autopilot:

-2.4 Seastar helm (non sport it has to be for unbalanced cylinder)
-Bravo 1 cylinder
-SeaStar hoses (used old steering cable length for hose length)
-Octopus SeaStar autopilot kit

The ram went into the old cable steering housing. i cut and looped the old hoses to each other on the PS pump and the old assist ram. It is as easy or easier steering than my old outboard baystar setup on my old johnson 150. I used the octopus hoses because they were easy and clean.

My autopilot is the Raymarine EV-100 hydraulic. It was real close to the cut off for the cc of the pump but i cant complain it has been doing great.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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You will find out that trolling a staight line results in less fish caught...I know from experience. The boat that cannot troll a straight line always catches more fish.

 

Rgards, Doc W.

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I want to mention that Sea Star recommends keeping the power assist connected and should work in conjunction with it. I haven't noticed any ill effects by not having it hooked up but figured i would mention it.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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