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-   -   Hydraulic steering (http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-maintenance/60273-hydraulic-steering.html)

wookie 12-03-2009 03:07 AM

Hydraulic steering
 
Hi I have a long keel ketch with hydraulic steering to a pedestal wheel, I find it is quite stiff and judders when turning under power, Under sail it is not quite so bad. Someone said the oil may need bleeding. any ideas?
Thanks

xsboats 12-03-2009 10:00 AM

I have a large ketch with hydraulic steering as well . I installed a schrader valve [used on tire tubes] on the reservoir for the hydraulic system. I use a bike pump to keep the tank pressurized at 25 psi. The steering smoothed out for me and by monitoring the pressure with a guage, I can detect leaks in the system.

Valiente 12-03-2009 12:57 PM

Sounds like air in the fluid. As said already, drain it and bleed it and then pour back the fluid, or renew the fluid if old or "off" looking. I use an aircraft landing gear hydraulic fluid called AT-4 as recommended by the hydraulic system manufacturer, Marol, but your mileage, etc.

jrd22 12-03-2009 04:17 PM

I don't know that air in the system would cause it to be "stiff", generally it will feel kind of mushy, or skip a bit when you turn the wheel. You might be having problems with one of the check valves depending on the make and model of pump. I had a Wagner pump blow out on us not too long ago, it blew one of the threaded caps right out the side of the pump (and a LOT of fluid of course). Before it went it had started to feel "stuck" when trying to turn back from hard over.

wookie 12-05-2009 04:11 AM

Thanks all i will drain and replace with new fluid then see if that does the trick


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