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Boat will not steer, wheel spins freely

Anything related to the operation of your boat. Steering, Bilge Pumps, thru-hulls, bottom paint, etc.
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decker19
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Vessel Info: 94 mariner 330
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Boat will not steer, wheel spins freely

Postby decker19 » June 4th, 2013, 3:21 pm

HI all, been reading through forums and cannot find an answer. the wheel spins to the left or right infinately and no control of rudder. I checked the bilge to see if anything looked detached. The bar that typically moves back and fourth does not move with spinning of the heel. In the bilge I saw what looked like a hydralic cylinder (similar look to what swings doors back on a screen door) as welll as what looked like a bleeder line similar to what I have seen in car brake lines but have not had any experience using something like this. I took off the plate that coveres wheel at the helm to see if anything looked strange. All I saw were 3 cables still attached. HELP if anybody knows. I boat on a small lake and the service department has not done anything like this. Im guessing a line is either broke or possibly it needs some type of fluid / air. I have a 1994 mariner 330 with dual crusaders. Im not the most handy guy around but willing to give it a shot. Any thoughts and advice would be greatly appreciated. This is the first steering problem I have had but have had plenty others with air conditioning, generator, pumps, etc. None of that matters too much if I cant steer. Lately just been using the drives at varying degrees to steer boat but in windy or crowded situations - I resort to praying or just stay at dock and drink beer!

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Mkemper
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Re: Boat will not steer, wheel spins freely

Postby Mkemper » June 4th, 2013, 4:55 pm

I had the same issue a few years ago. Leaky wiper seal on the upper helm. You will need to see which manufacture you have in regards to hydraulic steering. Mine was hynautic. Hardest part was getting the air out. I posted it on another (local) site a few links and a how to list.

Not sure if I am breaking any rules but below is a link in case you have a leaky seal and need to rebuild.

You should have a reservoir with a pressure gauge on it. If it reads zero that you have lost pressure

http://www.lakestclair.net/index.php?/t ... try1172041
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Re: Boat will not steer, wheel spins freely

Postby AaHubb » June 4th, 2013, 8:01 pm

You are definitely low on fluid so there is leak some where in the system. If the main cylinder is leaking any good hydraulic shop should be able to repair it.
'99 404 CPMY
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decker19
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Vessel Info: 94 mariner 330
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Re: Boat will not steer, wheel spins freely

Postby decker19 » June 5th, 2013, 12:07 pm

Guys, Very much apprecitaed. I will take your advice and get to work on it this weekend. I was thinking the line was broke but since it is most likely low on fluid I agree there must be a leak and hopefully it will be the wiper seal or someplace fairly easy to get to.

Aahub - is the master cylinder in the bilge where the lines connect to the metal arm behind the drives or is it under the helm? Im assuming it would be near drives in bilge.

Thanks,
Chad
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Re: Boat will not steer, wheel spins freely

Postby waybomb » June 5th, 2013, 1:38 pm

I am guessing you have a Teleflex Hynautic or a SeaStar steering system.
You can read up all about them on the Teleflex website.

Your steering wheels is attached to the "pump". The pump creates flow as you turn the wheel, and directs fluid through hoses/lines to your steering cylinder, which is connected to the shaft connecting the rudders. In between, or ancillary to the pump and the cylinder is a reservoir. The reservoir has either a site gauge or is opaque so fluid level can be determined. It also has a pressure gauge on it. If the reservoir has a fluid level in between the two marks, and the pressure gauge is reading some amount of pressure, you have no leak. No pressure and/or low fluid, you have a leak. Depending on the syste,m you have the reservoir will have a capacity of one or two quarts.

The pump probably has three lines running into it. One is for port steering, one is for starboard steering, and the one in the middle is from the reservoir.
Your steering cylinder has the other two lines connected to it.

The steering lines <may> pass through a relief valve mounted underneath the reservoir.

If you have determined you have a leak, you will find it by simply following the lines. The line will have oil all over it and probably a puddle of oil below it in the bilge.

If you have determined you have no leak, and you have no steering, then either the internal pump seal(s) have failed, and/or the steering cylinder has failed seal(s) in it.

If you can determine what model pump you have (it is noted on a tag on the pump), then you can search the Teleflex webpage for a better description.

Let us know what you find.
Thanks
Fred
1964 Barron Flatbottom with BBC Chevy
1969 Glaspar Avalon /1969 Johnson Electromatic 85
1987 Carver Mariner
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decker19
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Re: Boat will not steer, wheel spins freely

Postby decker19 » June 10th, 2013, 12:05 pm

I found the reservoir and it says Hynautic reservalve model number RV-55 or RV-55p made by hynautic which I believe seastar bought out. I have sent them an email.

I checked the gauge and it reads 12psi which seems to be lower than recommended level but still not at 0. Looks like label said it should be at 30

The fluid level is hard to tell. To me it looks like it is all the way full as the little glass bubbles to look at fluid levels is a solid color of medium brown so Im thinking the fluid is completely full. All the cables appear to be attached. (I also discovered an unrelated leak while scurrying about in the bilge on my starboard engine water pump which I will be posting about later on another thread as detailed out on forum etiquite)

My next step it sounds like is to check the seals and pump cylinder. This may bring me back to a previous post about Wiper seal too.

I did check everywhere I could ot see if there was a small puddle of fluid anywhere and there did not appear to be much fluid excdept a little water and gunk. A good reason for me to clean it up to amke diagnosis easier!

I'll post when I get an email back (hopefully) from Seastar and I am also working on finding a tech who can help at the marina as this may be getting over my head in abilities.

Thanks
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Vessel Info: 1987 3697 Carver Mariner
1988 Cougar 46 Kevlar Vee offshore
1969 15' Glaspar / 1969 Johnson Electrmatic 85
1964 Barron Flat bottom drag boat
A couple of dinghies
Location: Saint Joseph and Trenton, MI
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Re: Boat will not steer, wheel spins freely

Postby waybomb » June 10th, 2013, 1:21 pm

I would say that having 12psi indicates no leak.

There must be an internal seal leak, or possibly the relief valve is stuck open.
Thanks
Fred
1964 Barron Flatbottom with BBC Chevy
1969 Glaspar Avalon /1969 Johnson Electromatic 85
1987 Carver Mariner
1988 Cougar Kevlar 46' with triple blown 572s
http://s4.beta.photobucket.com/user/waybomb/library/
Past - 1988 2807, 1989 4207 Aft
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strokerking
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Re: Boat will not steer, wheel spins freely

Postby strokerking » August 14th, 2013, 7:54 pm

Where is the reservoir and pump for steering from the fly bridge for a 1981 Carver Aft cabin?
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waybomb
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Posts: 1446
Joined: February 5th, 2013, 9:24 pm
Vessel Info: 1987 3697 Carver Mariner
1988 Cougar 46 Kevlar Vee offshore
1969 15' Glaspar / 1969 Johnson Electrmatic 85
1964 Barron Flat bottom drag boat
A couple of dinghies
Location: Saint Joseph and Trenton, MI
Has thanked: 18 times
Been thanked: 141 times

Re: Boat will not steer, wheel spins freely

Postby waybomb » August 14th, 2013, 8:05 pm

The pump is what the steering wheel is mounted to. As you spin the wheels, the mechanism inside spins and moves the fluid. Look behind your helm and you'll see the hoses. If you have three hoses, you have a reservoir somewhere on that boat.

IF you have a reservoir system, it would be someplace accessible. Follow the lines either from the helm to the steering cylinder at the back of the bilge, or follow the lines the other way. I would guess your reservoir is in the bilge near the cylinder. But I do not know that for a fact.

If the helm only has two hoses, then the helm unit is the reservoir, and there should be a cap at the top of it, usually visible from your chair. You simply remove the cap and fill it. You shouldn't to fill it unless you have a leak.
Thanks
Fred
1964 Barron Flatbottom with BBC Chevy
1969 Glaspar Avalon /1969 Johnson Electromatic 85
1987 Carver Mariner
1988 Cougar Kevlar 46' with triple blown 572s
http://s4.beta.photobucket.com/user/waybomb/library/
Past - 1988 2807, 1989 4207 Aft
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strokerking
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Re: Boat will not steer, wheel spins freely

Postby strokerking » August 14th, 2013, 8:21 pm

thank you this will help

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