I wanted to share a bleed system I made from stuff kicking around the house:
- a jug with thicker than normal plastic walls
- 5/16-inch and 3/8-inch ID hoses
- T-fitting for outboard mounted steering cylinder bleed fitting hoses
- two brass fittings to screw in the jug
- epoxy to put around the two brass fittings after installation in the jug bottom
- screw-in fitting for the SeaStar helm
Fig. 1. The jug bottom with two fittings installed and epoxy reinforcement.
Fig. 2. Two hoses are connected to the bleed fittings on the steering cylinder and combined at a T-fitting. The line from the T-fitting runs back to the suspended jug in Figure 1.
The jug is suspended and one-quart of hydraulic fluid is added to the jug. If necessary, more fluid can be added. The system (very nicely) does not use two separate jugs, one for supply reservoir and one as a bleed overflow catch reservoir. One jug serves both purposes.
The steering wheel can be kept turning and turning to get out every bubble. And the best part yet: the bleeding process can be accomplished with just with one person and without worry about air being introduced into the system.
Fig. 3. The system.
Fig. 4. Once the setup is cleaned of steering fluid, it stores nicely if needed again.
If the hydraulic fluid is water-free but looks dirty, it can be run through a filter and reused.