hydraulic steering hose replacement - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
 Not a Member? 
  #1  
Old 12-29-2006
khbritten's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 32
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
khbritten is on a distinguished road
hydraulic steering hose replacement

I am considering a major overhaul of the SeaStar hydraulic steering on our 45' ketch. The steering is a bit spongy, and I guess this can come from a variety of sources. It has been throughly bled - no help. According to the guy at Teleflex, bad seals and valves are a leading suspect, so I plan a rebuild. But while I am at it, I am considering replacing the hoses. They are not the recommended copper tubing, but instead are heavy-gauge rubber. I have two questions to help me decide on whether to embark on this plan. First, does anyone have any experience with long-ish rubber hydraulic steering hose, or has anyone done a similar upgrade? (It's about 40' total length.) Second, in shopping around for copper tubing, I found a number of choices in PVC- or polyethylene-coated tube. This seems potentially very nice for abrasion resistance where the tube runs through the bilges and tight corners. Does anyone use this stuff on boats?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 12-29-2006
Faster's Avatar
Just another Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
Posts: 15,300
Thanks: 88
Thanked 241 Times in 232 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Faster has a spectacular aura about Faster has a spectacular aura about Faster has a spectacular aura about
Soft copper tubing (comes in rolls and is easily hand formed) is available, as you say, coated with various plastics. This will protect the copper from corrosion in the marine environment and avoid the "green" appearance if any seawater contacts the tubing anywhere.

If you are planning to use tube benders to make any exit turns or tight tucks the coating can be a bit of a problem . Often the bender will tear the cover. The bender also needs to be oversized to accomodate the coating. Lubricating the area of the bend with vaseline can help the bender slide over the cover more easily.

Any required fittings involve the coating being cut away, and these areas and other tears can be taped over for protection after the fact.

Hard tubing comes in straight lengths, bends tidier and is also available coated. However getting prebent straight tubing into the tight areas involved in boats can be a real chore.

Last edited by Faster; 12-29-2006 at 02:37 PM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 12-29-2006
khbritten's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 32
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
khbritten is on a distinguished road
Excellent, thanks. Any thoughts on what kind of plastic coating is better for the purpose? Brand recommendations? Teleflex recommends the mid-thickness L type tubing. Hard tubing isn't a good choice: there are a lot of bends, mostly wide-radius, perfect for soft tube.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 12-29-2006
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 135
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 9
jones2r is on a distinguished road
Rubber hose will give a spongy feel, and 40 ft. of hose is excessive. If the hydraulic pump has internal problems, it should show up as hard and unresponsive steering. Air in the system would cause sponginess. However, the presence of sponginess implies considerable hydraulic pressure. I would want to know the actual max pressure available from the steering pump, and then apply a safety factor (usually a multiple, but I do not know what is customary for this application). Soft copper tubing is usually inappropriate material for higher pressure hydraulic applications. The use of multiple lengths of rigid piping interconnected by short lengths of high-pressure rubber hose may be a safer approach, unless you know that the copper tubing's pressure spec at least doubles (triples?) the pump's capability. The use of AN fittings could help with the angles/offsets if rigid piping is required.

I would replace the hose first, and then investigate the pump, etc. Just my thoughts, which are based on knowledge of hydraulic systems and not your boat's steering system.

Last edited by jones2r; 12-29-2006 at 08:44 PM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 12-29-2006
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,394
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 11
cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough
I agree with jones...

Aeroquip supplies hyd hose & ends for construction equipment in a harsher environ at much higher pressures than they hyd. system on the boat would ever see.

I'm not sure that soft copper is the answer.
__________________
We are not primarily on earth to see through one another, but to see one another through

Some people are like slinkies: not really good for anything... but you can't help laughing when you push them down the stairs
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 12-30-2006
Faster's Avatar
Just another Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
Posts: 15,300
Thanks: 88
Thanked 241 Times in 232 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Faster has a spectacular aura about Faster has a spectacular aura about Faster has a spectacular aura about
I agree, also, that good approved hydraulic hose is probably the way to go. The question was put, however, regarding the tubing.

I don't think the pressures generated in recreational boating hydraulic steering systems is all that great. BTW - depending on wall thickness and temperatures, 1/4 inch copper can handle up to 1400 - 3600 psig, 3/8 up to 1000 - 2265 psig. I'd think that would be adequate for small boat steering systems.

But definitely, from an installation/vibration proof/maintenance point of view hose is the choice.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 12-30-2006
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 135
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 9
jones2r is on a distinguished road
The long run of hose is probably the cause of the sponginess. Shortening the run would be the correct answer. Otherwise, rigid piping.

Another thought has occurred to me. If there is point in the the hose that is higher than the ends, it will be nearly impossible to bleed the air out. Might be the first thing to check.

Further thoughts: The soft tubing will be trying to straighten itself whenever pressure is applied, causing work hardening. Then it cracks or splits. Just a minor inconvenience. A little bit of cleanup. Then a couple of compression unions and a short piece of tubing to patch should hold it until it breaks again. OOPS! Compression fittings are a no-no in pressure systems. Double-flare and threaded unions; just a little extra inconvenience, until it breaks again.

Why is there such a long run from the pump to the steering? The boat's only 45 ft.

BTW, the designation AN means Army/Navy. Aeroquip-type materials are for aircraft and marine applications.

Last edited by jones2r; 12-30-2006 at 03:40 AM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 12-30-2006
Owner, Green Bay Packers
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: SW Michigan
Posts: 10,318
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 12
sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice
I too am not sure about the 45' run. If I had a long straight run I would use steel pipe. There will be no corrosion on the inside and you can paint it on the outside. Advantage being that tou can thread it and connect hoses to it using Iron pipe thread fittings. Stronger and no leaks. The rigid pipe will remove most flex in system. New high pressure hose will probably solve the sponginess as it is probably due to internal hose deteriation also. Long runs of hose must be properly secured as they will flex laterally under load and this can lead to abrasion in unforeseen and unseeable locations. Aeroquip is the leading supplier of ss braid sheathed hose for the auto racing market and they have a product to meet every pocketbook. (by that, I mean that once you get off the floor from hearing how expensive their cheap stuff is they'll be happy to tell you how much the good stuff costs) Given the nature of small boats I expect you are going to have to use a sizable measure of flexible hose. Other than ss I'm not aware of any coating that is going to help you with abrasion resistence. I would emphasis that just because the hose is flexible and lays nicely, you must still secure it properly or you will get abrasion from hose flexing under load.
One item to consider in the degrading of your system is water. Water, via condensation or any other source, is death on hydraulic fluid as well as on hoses and pumps. If substantial amounts of hose are to be run it may be worth investigating a silicone based hydraulic fluid. Obviously, pump compatibility would have to be ascertained first. Silicone is non-hygroscopic (back to water again!) and so condensation will not be picked up in your reservour and the rubber hoses will last indefinitely.
I do not see any advantage to copper lines of any sort and numerous disadvantages as noted by jones.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 12-30-2006
pigslo's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 804
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 11
pigslo is on a distinguished road
What is the original spec on the hoses and how long did the current ones last?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Steering System Spring Checkup Tom Wood Gear and Maintenance Articles 0 04-26-2004 09:00 PM
Steering System Spring Checkup Tom Wood Cruising Articles 0 04-26-2004 09:00 PM
Steering System Spring Checkup Tom Wood Her Sailnet Articles 0 04-26-2004 09:00 PM
Checking the Wheel Steering System Will Keene Gear and Maintenance Articles 0 07-31-2002 09:00 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:03 PM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.