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Author Topic:   Oil Leak at Helm
David Ratusnik posted 03-24-2002 08:13 PM ET (US)   Profile for David Ratusnik   Send Email to David Ratusnik  
Opinions please. This afternoon while on the ICW I looked down and noticed a small line of hydraulic fluid/oil running down my console just beneath the steering wheel. cleaned it up but then another line of oil developed. Steering was not impacted (yet). I run a Teleflex SeaStar I (or something close to this name) hydraulic steering set up. I have not put fluid in for about 6 months. Why is it leaking.?? Calling mechanic tomorrow. Thanks David
Dick posted 03-24-2002 09:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
Teleflex offers a helm seal kit that may solve your problem. The part number for the 1990+ kit is HS5176. I think they also had a kit for the older helms but my book doesn't show it.
David Ratusnik posted 03-25-2002 07:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Dick- Appreciate the info. David
TightPenny posted 03-26-2002 05:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for TightPenny  Send Email to TightPenny     
My buddy has that problem on his Luhrs.

He found it to be cheaper to just add oil once and a while and clean up the drips than to do the fix.

David Ratusnik posted 03-26-2002 06:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
TightP- Thanks for opinion. I am going to go with a reseal kit. Spoke with mechanics assistant Monday. Gave Dick's part number for Teleflex reseal kit. Will have fixed on April 9th- takes that long to get high quality mechanic on the job. He agrees it needs new seal job. However, said to do exactly as you mention- top off and go boating. I'll place an old towel to catch the minor leakage. By the way, it's nice to call an experienced mechanic (after getting opinions from Wave Experts) and be able to provide a part number plus be able to explain what might be going on mechanically. Thanks David
Dick posted 03-26-2002 06:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
I just checked the price for the HS5176 helm seal kit, Teleflex suggested list is $42.83. This kit fits the 5270, 5271, 5272, 5261 & 5262 helms.
The older kit #HS5151 fits the 5201, 5202, 5241 & 5242 helms.
Guts posted 03-30-2002 12:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for Guts  Send Email to Guts     
they also do this after being filled,to full.
the sun/or the wether gets hoter, the oil expands.this has happened to me befor.
triblet posted 03-30-2002 12:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
If you go boating, take a quart of fluid,
just in case. Worst case, you give it to
your mechanic to fill things back up with.

And, to take guts point a bit further, check
the fluid level. It might be high.


David Ratusnik posted 03-31-2002 09:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Guys- Thanks for tips. Ran Friday, Saturday plus Today. About 10 hours total. Still leaks abit. Carrying a quart of SeaStar hydraulic fluid along with a turkey baster if needed. Put 2 ounces in Friday before leaving dock. Nooooo problems. David.
jimh posted 04-01-2002 08:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The TELEFLEX instructions specify how close to the top the helm pump should be filled. Apparently it is anticipated that the fluid will expand slightly in warmer temperatures, and the level may rise slightly during operation, both circumstances leading to leakage from the vent plug.

When I bought my boat (with hydraulic steering) the guy had a bottle of fluid stored in the cabin. I thought, "what's this stuff doing here?" After thinking about it, I realized you'd be in a world of woe if you lost fluid in the hydraulic steering system, so I keep that bottle aboard.

In an emergency you can use transmission fluid, but it is not recommended.

For ordering TELEFLEX items, check with SHOREWAY MARINE. Their price on the new hydraulic cylinder I just bought was over $100 less than WEST Marine and $180 less than BOAT/US. For something that cost me under $300, that is quite a price swing!

David Ratusnik posted 04-01-2002 02:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Thanks for tip on sourcing the cylinder. I trust I'm OK toward the engine and all that is wrong is that I've sprung a leak at the helm. I do not think overfill was my problem since I had not put in fluid for about 6 months as per earlier post. Have a good week. David
Peter posted 04-01-2002 07:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
In addition to topping off the fluid, you may need to bleed air out of the system. I found that on some hot days my hydraulic fluid would leak excessively out of the helm pump vent, far more than I would expect as a simple matter of thermal expansion of the fluid. Also, some days would be far worse than other. I suspect that I had some air trapped in the system that expanded and pushed hydraulic fluid out.

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