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Author Topic:   Hydraulic Steering: Procedure to Bleed Air From System
maverick posted 04-14-2009 05:10 AM ET (US)   Profile for maverick   Send Email to maverick  
I'm re-connecting [SeaStar-brand] hydraulic steering lines to base of [the hydraulic helm pump]. I'm sure [the hydraulic steering system] will have air in the lines and need some fluid. [Give me] suggestions for getting it working again. Where is fluid added?. How is air bled out? Thanks, Mav
Peter posted 04-14-2009 07:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
It's easy. To bleed, you need to add fluid to the steering reservoir at at the same time open one of the bleed valves at the ram while turning the wheel so the ram moves towards that valve. Search Teleflex's site for an instruction manual for the hydraulic steering which explains how to fill and bleed.
jimh posted 04-14-2009 08:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The installation instructions that come with the SeaStar hydraulic steering products typically contain a detailed and illustrated procedure for accomplishing the bleeding of air from the system. Follow their instructions.

The installation kits usually contain some accessory devices to accomplish the air bleed procedure. The newer Teleflex hydraulic steering installations provide a bleed T-fitting that has simplified the procedure.

jimh posted 04-14-2009 08:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Generally a very casual inspection of the hydraulic helm pump will reveal the fill port. To add fluid you remove the fill port cap and introduce fluid into the helm pump.

Anytime a hydraulic system is opened the hydraulic lines will generally have air introduced into them, and the system will require bleeding of the air.

If you do not have the installation instructions for your hydraulic steering system, you may be able to obtain them from the manufacturer. The Teleflex company has an excellent website, and they provide a library of literature about their products. You can obtain their literature in an electronic form from:

Teleflex Steering Products Instruction Manuals library=1018

If you have a SeaStar or BayStar product, look for their literature at:

BayStar Installation Books
SeaStar Installation Books 1

The literature is organized by product model. You can generally locate the product model designator by a close visual inspection of your equipment. If the product model designator has become lost, you can generally identify your product model by making a comparison of its general shape and characteristics to those listed in the literature.

outragesteve posted 04-14-2009 03:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for outragesteve  Send Email to outragesteve     
This past week, I installed Seastar steering on 2 17' Guardians w/ 90 Yamaha 4 strokes. The engines had to be unbolted and movedback from the transom about 8" to get the old cable out and install the Seastar support rod through the tilt tube. I also used the rear mount adapter for the helm. I needed to get the helm pump as deep into the console as possible. Bleeding was quite easy. Just follow the excellent Teleflex instruction. The first install took about 20 minutes (by myself) and the second install I bleed in 10 minutes. I suggest that when you bleed the cylinders, you attach the clear tube (provided) onto the bleed valve and run it into a container with steering fluid in it. Keeping the tubed submerged into the fluid keepd air from backing up into the cylinder when you run the steering back and forth. At the helm, just keep the fluid level above the helm sono air is introduced. Two people, when at the helm and one at the cylinder could bleed the systemin 5 minutes! Easy, yes. Messy, of course. FYI: The helm is labelled "P" and "S" where the hoses connect. The port hose goes to the starboard end of the cylinder, and the starboard hose goes to the port side of the cylinder. They are simply crossed per the instruction drawing.
maverick posted 04-15-2009 05:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for maverick  Send Email to maverick     
Thanks, it is an older system and on the boat when purchased, so no instructions. Console and floor were removed, so re-assembling this weekend means re-connecting and bleeding the steering. I appreciate the feedback and the helpful links - will put it all together this weekend. Mav

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