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Old 07-29-2012, 10:22 PM   #1
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Change rigid copper to hose for hydraulic steering

Since I am replacing the seals on my upper helm Hynautic steering system I might as well set it up for an autopilot pump that I expect to install next season. The flybridge looks about the easiest area to get to the hydraulic rigid tubing and put in a T with a shutoff valve for each of the 3 lines. How do I break into the tubing and set up the T for flexible hose? What couplings do I use? Any special tools required?

Terry
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Old 07-29-2012, 10:56 PM   #2
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Since I am replacing the seals on my upper helm Hynautic steering system I might as well set it up for an autopilot pump that I expect to install next season. The flybridge looks about the easiest area to get to the hydraulic rigid tubing and put in a T with a shutoff valve for each of the 3 lines. How do I break into the tubing and set up the T for flexible hose? What couplings do I use? Any special tools required?

Terry
Hey Terry,I suppose one method would be to cut each tube and add a compression fitting "T". I'm not sure of the purpose of the valves, I don't remember ever seeing any at my upper helm where the AP is located. Back to your question, if possible, and if you have the skills or want to learn, I suggest cutting each copper line and soldering a T in, probably end in a 1/4 NPT of fitting. Any new hoses you have to add could begin with the 1/4" and the other end of the hose would probably be either JIC or SAE at the pump. Hope this makes sense.
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:18 PM   #3
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I'm putting the valves in now but the AP pump next year. I'm not planning on draining the system so that would eliminate the soldering. Any recommendations on the compression fittings?
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:33 PM   #4
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I thought about the oil but assumed the level would be down a couple of inches. Could the T be installed in the hand wheel pump and then attach the lines to the T?
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:36 PM   #5
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I installed the AP pump by cutting the copper tubing with a tubing cutter, flailing the ends with my neighbor's flaring tool and using compression T fittings. No leaks and did it without draining the system. The system worked flawlessly for five years. I had very little room to work below the helm but got it done.

Will post photos but I can't access them due to computer issues.
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Old 07-30-2012, 05:54 AM   #6
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I installed the AP pump by cutting the copper tubing with a tubing cutter, flailing the ends with my neighbor's flaring tool and using compression T fittings.

flailing no , flairing yes

"compression T fittings ,"

A compression joint uses compression fittings that slide on the tubing , no flairing required .

The T fitting you used was a flair fitting , the best choice .

The reason the verbage is important is someone will be talking to a clerk and needs the right words.
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Old 07-30-2012, 07:51 AM   #7
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My 34LRC has the auto pilot plumbed in at the helm area of the bridge, so it was placed up there on some boats.
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Old 07-30-2012, 10:05 AM   #8
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Flair = a natural talent, aptitude, or ability; bent; knack:

Flare = an expansion on the end of a pipe in plumbing

If there is high pressure in the system, a flare connection will be more reliable and secure. Automotive brake systems usually use flare fittings.

The best plan is to check with the manufacturer of the stering system for their recommendation.
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Old 07-30-2012, 10:56 AM   #9
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Since we don't know what kind of boat you have, it's hard to answer your question. I am installing a Garmin GHP 10 right now in my hydraulic system that has copper lines. The install is going at the lower helm based on Garmin's recommendations. There is a tee in the lines about 3 1/2 feet from the helm pump and the copper lines from the tee to the pump have been removed. Those lines have been replaced with TeleFlex steering hose from the pump to the tee and the connections to the Garmin pump. I would suggest looking for a connection point rather than cutting the copper lines. Chuck
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Old 07-30-2012, 02:23 PM   #10
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This is on an Albin 36 DC. Unfortunately, all the connection points, other than the upper helm are inaccessible
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Old 07-30-2012, 05:13 PM   #11
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This is on an Albin 36 DC. Unfortunately, all the connection points, other than the upper helm are inaccessible
That's going to be pretty inconvenient if one ever leaks.
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Old 07-30-2012, 06:56 PM   #12
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30 years and counting
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:42 PM   #13
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Thought I had pics of my install but couldn't find them. But it was a job that went more or less as planned (<4 hr).
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