How to Bleed Hydraulic Steering

Your Macerator Pump Specialists Give the Instructions Needed to Bleed Your Hydraulic Steering Properly

Raritan Engineering your macerator pump distributors would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding performance enhancing tips for your outboard engine.

Your macerator pump suppliers talk about how steering is arguably the most important system with respect to safe boating. When your hydraulic steering gets spongy, sloppy or otherwise unresponsive, it’s time to check everything for leaks, correct the problem, and then purge the system of air. 

Step 1

For a single-station, one-cylinder rig, start by screwing the filler kit onto a bottle of SeaStar hydraulic-steering fluid. Next, unscrew the vent plug at the helm and insert the hose from the filler kit. Invert and suspend the steering-fluid bottle in whatever way you can. 

Step 2

Allow the hose to fill entirely with fluid while you put clear plastic tubes onto the bleeder valves and run them into a ­container to collect the excess hydraulic fluid.

Step 3

The fluid will get low in the supply bottle as you purge, so you need to fill it again with either new fluid or the collected fluid from the bleed valves. Do not let the fluid get below the filler tube, or you will have to start over because air will be reintroduced to the system.

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Step 4

Have an ­assistant turn the wheel clockwise until the cylinder is fully extended. Open the right-side bleeder. Hold the cylinder in place with your hand while your assistant turns the wheel counterclockwise. 

Step 5

Stop turning the wheel counterclockwise. Open the left-side bleeder. Turn the wheel clockwise while you hold the cylinder in place with your hand. 

How to Add Fluid to Hydraulic Steering

You turn the wheel, and it feels sloppy or requires extra effort. It’s time to purge and add hydraulic fluid.

In this situation, you’ll need to get some hydraulic-steering fluid that meets Mil-Spec H-5606C standards, such as Sea Star/Bay Star No. HA 5430; an adapter hose, like Sea Star No. HA 5438; and a pushpin from the bulletin board in your office.

  • Thread filler tube into helm pump
  • Thread bottle of fluid onto filler tube
  • Poke a hole into the bottom of the bottle (or, cut the bottom off and create a funnel)
  • Turn bottle upside down (like an IV)

NOTE: AT ALL TIMES BE SURE THERE IS FLUID IN THE FILLER TUBE, IF IT DRAINS OUT YOU ARE PUMPING AIR IN THE SYSTEM AND YOU WILL NEED TO START OVER

  • Turn steering wheel hard to starboard
  • OPEN starboard bleeder nipple located on the steering cylinder
  • Turn steering wheel to the port side pumping air/fluid out of bleeder fitting
  • When an air free stream is seen, CLOSE bleeder nipple
  • Continue turning to the PORT side until engine comes hard over

TIP–puncture the bottle on the bottom side, not the very bottom, with the pushpin. Doing so enables you to place the pushpin back in and store a partially-full bottle on a shelf without leaks.

Diesel Outboard Engine

The Coast Guard currently uses both diesel and gasoline to fuel its surface fleet; while diesel is the dominant fuel for cutters and many boats, the service operates hundreds of gasoline-powered outboard engine boats.

The RDC, based in New London, Connecticut, is in the third phase of the project – actual testing of diesel outboard engine technology. Testing covers performance assessments as well as long-term reliability, availability and maintenance data collection. 

“Since this technology is so new, industry partners are just as eager as the Coast Guard to put real operational hours on these engines to better understand their capabilities and limitations,” said Lt. Keely Higbie, a member of the RDC’s Diesel Outboard Engine team.

“Training Center Yorktown has provided exceptional technical and operational expertise and support to date, working with both the RDC and industry to effectively integrate these engines onto their boat platforms,” said Lt. Carl Brietzke, the RDC’s Diesel Outboard Engine project manager. 

In addition to hosting a wide variety of Coast Guard personnel and other government agency stakeholders, Training Center Yorktown offers other benefits as well.

To initiate the project, the RDC conducted a market survey to determine the characteristics and development status of diesel outboard engines in the 150 to 300HP range currently available on the market. 

Ultimately, the analysis concluded that the Coast Guard can experience significant operation, maintenance, infrastructure and logistics cost savings through integrating diesel outboard engine technology into future boat fleet designs.

Other benefits of a single-fuel fleet:
• Improved interoperability with Coast Guard cutters, Department of Defense assets, and foreign nations due to increased fuel availability
• Reduced concerns about fuel availability during natural disasters or other major events
• Elimination of half of the Coast Guard’s fueling infrastructure

The results of the cost-benefit analysis were briefed to other government agencies and industry at the Multi-Agency Craft Conference in June 2016. 

“This project is a great example of government agencies working together to eliminate duplication of efforts,” said Lt. Steven Hager, Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (CG-926) domain lead for the project.

Don’t forget to reserve your items here at Raritan Engineering. We are your #1 expert in marine sanitation supplies.

via How to Bleed Hydraulic Steering

via How to Add Fluid to Hydraulic Steering

via Research Development Test & Evaluation Spotlight: Diesel Outboard Engine