Steering play in Baystar Hydraulic helm

Repair or modification of Boston Whaler boats, their engines, trailers, and gear
MillieTheBoat
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 8:16 pm
Location: Dana Point, CA

Steering play in Baystar Hydraulic helm

Postby MillieTheBoat » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:36 am

I finally replaced the original Teleflex steering system for my 2003 Boston Whaler 160 Dauntless. The new steering is very smooth but I noticed a small steering play 1/2 half of an inch both left and right turn before the the steering engages the hydraulic system. Is this normal? I made sure there was no bubbles in the system. The previous steering system has an inch of play before engaging the cable. I have never owned a boat before so I can't tell if this is by design. Reading online at other threads, some says this is normal, others asks to check bleed the system again. I thought it would operate similar to a car hydraulic steering system where there is no steering play.
Thanks!

dtmackey
Posts: 373
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:29 pm

Re: Steering play in Baystar Hydraulic helm

Postby dtmackey » Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:33 am

Operate like a car? I can think of several cars that have 1/2" or more play in the system, just drive any SUV with a recirculating ball steering box. Better yet, get into any car without the engine running and I'd bet there's not a car on the road that has less than 1/2 inch of play in the wheel.

First off, a car, SUV or truck has a direct mechanical connection through a steering shaft to a gear setup of some type (rack and pinion or recirculating ball), to which the power steering (electric or hydraulic) is incorporated into this system to significantly reduce the steering input required to turn the wheel.

In a boat hydraulic system, there is no "direct connection" as in a car and the helm operates as a pump to push fluid one direction or another which is delivered to the steering ram or cylinder. When the wheel is moved "left" to "right" (or opposite) there are check valves that open and close in the helm to direct the flow of fluid. You will have some movement, but it is minimal compared to any boat cable steering system.

I converted my 15' Whaler from the Teleflex NFB system to BayStar hydraulic and couldn't be happier.

You may also have small bubbles in the system that you didn't see when bleeding. It doesn't hurt to bleed another time and I recently posted about bleeding on one of my boats where the hose routing made it ripe for bubbles and I devised a way to bleed that allows for uninterrupted purging where you have to refill the helm fluid supply bottle.

http://continuouswave.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4660

D-
Last edited by dtmackey on Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

flymo
Posts: 191
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2015 2:58 pm

Re: Steering play in Baystar Hydraulic helm

Postby flymo » Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:33 am

That's normal, half an inch is nothing. Sounds like you did a good job with the install and bleed.

MillieTheBoat
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 8:16 pm
Location: Dana Point, CA

Re: Steering play in Baystar Hydraulic helm

Postby MillieTheBoat » Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:49 am

Thank you both for your replies.

Dtmackey,

I saw your bleeding solution after I finished working on mine but I did not read it thoroughly. I will study your method and will try to bleed the system again. I need to take her out to the water first after working on this thing for 2 days.

Thank you!

jimh
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Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
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Re: Steering play in Baystar Hydraulic helm

Postby jimh » Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:17 pm

Where are you seeing and measuring the 0.5-inch play?

At the outboard engine tiller attachment to the hydraulic actuator?

At the steering wheel?

MillieTheBoat
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 8:16 pm
Location: Dana Point, CA

Re: Steering play in Baystar Hydraulic helm

Postby MillieTheBoat » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:43 pm

At the steering wheel. I used a paint masking tape and marked the middle of the steering wheel and then turned left and right. Give and take about 1/2 inch on both sides before I see the hydraulic actuator move the outboard engine tiller. I pushed the engine tiller back and forth and there is no play there. Thanks.