Maintenance requirements will vary with usage and climate.
Inspection by a qualified marine mechanic is required:
A. A minimum of two times a year.
B. At the first sign or indication that the steering system
is not operating normally or correctly.
1. Check the oil level in the helm pump. This should always be within
1/2" of the bottom of the filler hole.
Note: The special hydraulic oil is not available from
your local gas station. Order a spare bottle (HA5430) from
your Teleflex/Seastar dealer.
2. Check mechanical linkages and connections. Tighten loose parts and
replace badly worn parts.
3. Check for leaks. See page: 21 for how to check for leaks.
4. Check hoses for chafing/rubbing marks, and replace if required.
5. Check cylinder shaft for nicks and scratches. A damaged cylinder shaft can cause seal failure and leaks. Replacing seals to a damaged cylinder shaft will not stop leaks. A damaged cylinder shaft must be replaced immediately.
Failure to comply with maintenance checks may result
in loss of steering, causing property damage and/or personal injury.
TROUBLE SHOOTING GUIDE:
Seastar hydraulic steering will provide years of safe reliable performance with a minimum of service if properly installed with correct cylinder.
Seastar steering systems have been designed with protection against over-pressure situations, by a pressure relief valve, to minimize the possibility of total loss of steering.
Most faults occur when the installation instructions are not followed and usually show up immediately upon filling the system. Provided below, are the most common faults encountered and their likely cause and solution. The term "Rudder" also applies to stern drives, when applicable.
Sometimes when returning the wheel from a hard-over position, a slight resistance may be felt and a clicking noise may be heard. This should not be mistaken as a fault, as it is a completely normal situation caused by the releasing of the lock-spool in the system.
Whenever in the following text, a solution calls for removal from vessel and/or dismantling of steering system components, such work must only be carried out by a qualified marine hydraulic mechanic. Teleflex offers the following as a guide only and is not responsible for any consequences resulting from incorrect dismantling repairs.
========== FAULT, CAUSE, SOLUTION
1. During Filling, the helm becomes completely jammed.
Blockage in the line between the helm(s) and the cylinder(s).
Make certain that tubing has not collapsed during installation.
If so, the collapsed section must be removed and refitted with
a new piece with the aid of tube connectors. Check fittings for
incomplete holes. Fittings with incomplete holes, however,
are not common.
2. System is very difficult to fill.
Air keeps burping out top of helm even after system appears full.
· Cylinder(s) has been mounted upside down.
This causes air to be trapped in the cylinder(s).
· Mount cylinder(s) correctly, according to cylinder installation instruction.
Ports should always be kept in uppermost position.
· Air in system.
· Review filling instructions.
3. Steering is stiff and hard to turn, even when the vessel is net moving.
· Rudder post glands are too tight or rudder post is bent, causing mechanical binding. The same applies to tiller arm and linkage on outdrives.
· To test, disconnect cylinder(s) from the tiller arm and turn the steering wheel. If it turns easily, correct above mentioned problems.
Please note that excessively loose connections to tiller arm or tie-bar can also cause mechanical binding.
· Restrictions in hose, copper tubing, piping or fittings.
· Find restriction and correct.
Collapsing of copper tubing during bending is
enough to cause restrictions.
· Air in oil.
· See filling instructions supplied with helm units.
· Wrong oil has been used to fill steering system, like ATF. (automatic transmission fluid, or any other oil with a high viscosity factor).
· Drain system and fill with recommended oils.
4. One helm unit in system is very bumpy and requires too many turns from hard-over to hard-over.
Dirt in inlet check of helm pump. Dismantle helm pump and
remove contaminant from makeup checks.
5. Steering is easy to turn at the dock, but becomes hard to turn when vessel is underway
·Steering wheel is too small. fit larger wheel if possible.
see installation instructions. If the problem cannot be rectified
by the above mentioned solution, proceed with next cause and
solution or consult factory.
· cylinder(s) too small. · replace with larger cylinder(s).
· incorrect setting of trim tab(s) on stern drive. · adjust tab(s).
· incorrectly designed or adjusted rudders, causing binding on
rudder post and/or tie bar at cruising speeds.
· seek professional help. Have competent, qualified marine
mechanic correct problem.
6. Rudder drifts to port or starboard while vessel is underway, even when wheel is not being turned.
Dirt in check valves.
Remove check valve plugs. These are the larger plugs on
either side on rear of helm. Clean ball seats and balls and re-assemble.
Be prepared to lose a certain amount of oil during this procedure. Have a small can available. Refill system when check balls have been re-assembled.
7. Turning one wheel causes second steering wheel to rotate.
See fault No. 6.
8. Seals will sometimes leak if steering system is not vented at uppermost helm.
The Seastar helm has a field replaceable wheel shaft seal
which can readily be replaced by removing the steering
wheel and seal cover held in place by three small screws.
Quad ring no. 210 is found in Seastar helm seal kit HS5151.
Seal kits are available for Seastar cylinders, however, these must only be used by a qualified marine mechanic.