Marine Hydraulic Steering Parts & Accessories
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Hydraulic Parts How-To's
Learn How to replace the Seals in a Boat Hydraulic Steering System by Teleflex (Video)
Video TranscriptHey guys we are back with another episode of repairing this big old boat. It’s just a little maintenance item that we have got to take care of. And the other day I was driving around and I notice the steering wheel was kind of clunky. Like you would turn a little bit and it would bump bump bump bump. And I noticed down here below the helm we had some drippy going on all the way across coming out from behind here. So we took apart the dashboard and discovered that the pump has a seal that has gone bad on the inside of it. With these Teleflex hydraulic pump systems it’s pretty common so I went ahead and bought myself a seal kit which is still over there, I’ll show it to you in a second.
This just has a couple of seals and we’re going to take this apart and see exactly where the problem is. So the first thing you’re going to do is get the steering wheel off. I’ve cheated; I have pulled the nuts off already and I went ahead and tapped the end here to be able to get it loose. What I did was I used an extension, you don’t want to damage the threads around here, you just want to put it on here and then you tap gently with a hammer to get this to pop off. Because it’s a tapered fit, so it’s going to be on their kind of tough. So once you pulled this thing off, you just start disassembling the little bits at a time by pulling that piece off. And my screw is broken off on here; this piece comes off really easily. This just pops off just like that.
That leads us to this, this is our tilt mechanism and the seal we’re trying to get to is back in here. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to take off these four little nuts right here. I opened my socket set wrong, oh well I’m fine. Now we’ve got to take off this little Allen screw back in here, it’s a 532 it looks like, this is what holds the universal joint onto the pump shaft. Okay and I have already taken off those four bolts. This thing should pull right off just like that. Awesome, so now you may well notice that now we have this thing torn completely apart. What I didn’t show you is how we got this out of the helm. But it turns out that we needed to do a lot more work. It turns out the leak was from the rear of the pump and I bought a whole kit, so we’re going to put all of the seals in here now. Just to do it right and make sure it’s 100%.
So what I did originally was this is the pump and how it fits together right here. You noticed I put two marks here to keep, so that way I know exactly where it is index wise. And then this is what goes on the inside. This is how the pump works. If you look inside, you will see that this bearing race right here is actually angled. And what it does is it attaches to this and pushes each one of these down. As you rotate, these things go down in succession and create the pumping action. What it’s doing is it’s actually pumping out on my hand. So that’s how you get your hydraulic flow. Well apparently the seals have gone bad and so what we’re going to do is we’re going to replace all of seals in this thing so that way we are 100%. And the main one is this rear seal which is right here and it’s just a nasty, gooey, gross shape. You can see that it’s no longer dry; it’s all wet so it’s leaking out. That’s going to go away, so we make sure we clean this very very good around the edge, so when we tighten it down it’s not going to leak.
Right now we’re doing the easiest one; I don’t know if it’s the easiest one are not. But putting in the front seal; just take these three little screws out, pop this up and you can see, here is your front shaft seal. This is actually the one that fails the most. And so what do we do is we go over here to our Teleflex kit (it actually feels kind of nasty) and I’m going to store these out of the way.
Make sure your items don’t blow away. Pop that down, I’m going to take a little bit of hydraulic fluid and put around inside here just so it will lubricate itself whenever you put it together. Pop it in there, wipe the mess off.
Okay that’s one seal down. Two more seals underneath this guy. Pull it up, see that they are right. There is a little spring in there guys you’ve got to be very careful it does not come out. So were going to take; I’m going to run ahead and get a little flathead screwdriver and we’re going to pry those off and replace them. Be back in a second.
Okay so take a little screwdriver like this and the slide it up and reach that O-ring. Pull it off, same thing with this one, this could be a teensy bit troublesome and fiddly. But if you persevere you’ll get up underneath there. One and two, throw this over here in our non-use pile. Reach back into our kit here and slide on the new O-rings. Here we go, on to the next one.
Try to be careful, these things have got little check balls and springs in there. Pull these things apart. And these were torn too. Make sure you use the right O-rings; when you pull off the old ones match them to the new ones just to make sure, because they are different diameters, these guys. And when you put it back in just make sure your ball’s in that socket down there. Sometimes easier said than done…here we go… that’s done.
Okay, now we got this thing back together. I just basically slid this in and it has a bearing race in there and it takes like eight hands to do it so we didn’t video it. But you put those little things that has the pistons right here, you just hold it sideways and slide it in here and it goes through that seal. See it’s kind of spring-loaded here, that’s how it works. So what we’re going to do now is, we’re going to take this guy and put it on to here with this bearing race. You see here is our new seal and so we’re going to take this and put it over here. But the thing is I do believe it’s going to take more than just me to do this.
Okay maybe not, the seal came loose.
You know they probably have a special tool for this. My hands are killing me. Alright that’s better, you look around here and make sure we have no extra parts hanging out. It looks like we’re good to go. I’m going to put this down and get dad to help me hold this thing and we’ll tighten all of these screws up really good and we throw it back into the boat.
So here we have our fully assembled rebuilt pump or at least with new seals. And I took a picture earlier of how this went together, so that’s the reason why I’m kind of tearing into it here. Put both of these on here. Alright it’s going to take more than one hands or two hands, so were going to put both of these on here and getting mounted back into our helm. And we’ll be back in a second to get it all filled up and make sure it doesn’t leak.
So we got the pump back in and to kind of show you how this thing came out. It just takes these three little screws right here. They are half inch and I’m going to just tighten them back up. All of the holes are the pump in this helm. We have a pump right here. That pretty much it. You notice the fill reservoir. Don’t buy cheap tools, the Northern tools they don’t work very well.
Alright so now you take your tilt mechanism which is right here and we’re going to clean it up a little bit because it was full of cobwebs and everything else here.
You just line it up with the shaft there… and you tilt it down because you need to put this little screw in here, which is that Allen wrench we took out a few minutes ago. It goes right down in that little hole right there. What it does is it goes through the shaft that we just put the seal on. So that way you can’t; now even if those bolts were not in here I can’t pull this off. So now we just reversed all of our installation procedure by putting these washers back on…tighten it up.
One thing you have to remember; whenever you put this thing all back together, you need to refill it with power steering fluid. This is actually pretty easy to do. Because I didn’t drain the whole system, I don’t really need to bleed it from the back. Actually you go back to the rudders which are way back underneath their and there is a little bleeder screw that you’re able to do. But since we just took it out of here, what I did is it actually have a little top that goes on here and you take a little thumbtack and you pierce this bottom. And you hold it upside down and you squeeze it as you turn the steering wheel back and forth. You go all the way back and forth and what that’s going to do is it will work the bubbles into here and that going to come out that thumbtack hole. You don’t want to turn it back upside down with putting the thumbtack back in it because you will make a mess. Been there done that. And all it does is go in this little spot right here. You unthread that, it goes in, real simple turn it back and forth five or six times or however many it takes until you get a nice firm feel and it’s not bumping all the way across. You want it to be smooth like this and you can turn it all the way one way and it will stop, that means you have hit the full lock. Let’s see if we can go back this other way. I know it’s a lot of turns but there you go. And I have had it out already and it works perfectly.
So definitely remember to put the power steering fluid back in it otherwise it isn’t going to turn. Well as you can see we got it all back together. I took it out for a test drive and everything was perfect again. We had no leaking whatsoever on the bottom, so obviously it was just a seal. So guys this just goes to show you its pretty easy. About 2 to 3 hours of work, replaced a complete helm seal kit in a Teleflex hydraulic steering cylinder. See you next time. read less