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post #3 of Old 01-30-2009
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for the first rough bleed, you have to open "bleed valves" on the hydraulic ram, and then turn the wheel until air stops coming out. that will get the major bubbles out, but the system will still have enough to be "soggy". There are all sorts of contraptions that promise to suck the air out (connecting to bleed ports on the ram and to the fill port), but it really does not seem possible to me to fully bleed the system that way. On mine, bleed valves would re-admit some air back in when open by their very nature.

After a primary bleed I usually let it stand for a while, so that air would move upwards towards the steering pump. then, just turn steering all the way to one side and another, alternating - depending on your setup the air would escape from the fill port. My hoses run fairly level, and having a boat sway a bit (at anchor or some such) helps shuffle air around Or just shake the hoses by hand if they are rubber or plastic.

Initially I had a funnel with hydraulic fluid fitted to fill port and bubbles escaped into funnel, while fluid went into the system. Since I added a small reservoir, bleeding seems to have become unnecessary - air just moves upwards into the top of reservoir on its own, all I have to do is top it off may be once a season (though it only had been a season since I installed it).
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