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Old 06-29-2018, 08:51 PM   #1
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Hydraulic setup improvements

As I am not satisfied with my current hydraulic setup I am thinking about some improvements. The reason why I am not satisfied is tiny leaks at my rudder cylinder fittings (compression). Leak is very small but still it is there and I hate going under the bed bunk to check and cleanup. My setup is copper lines all the way to the cylinder except the last 2 feet which are some kind of hose between the copper line and the cylinder (no bleeder valves).
So my plan after some homework is to fit two hydraulic tee on the cylinder with valves and bypass hydraulic hose that would allow for easy bleeding.
I am thinking to also to add one valve on each line between the copper line and the hose. This would allow me to close the valves (and avoid mess and full bleed process) if I need to disconnect the cylinder in some way.
So my question is what do you think about adding these valves on the hydraulic lines? Good or bad idea? (Of course by valve I mean valves intended to be used on hydraulic lines)

L
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Old 06-30-2018, 01:04 AM   #2
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I can't think of a reason not to, except that if you fix your leaks, you likely will never do anything to your steering again except grease the fittings and the rudder post, so I would suggest that valves are overkill.
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Old 06-30-2018, 06:49 AM   #3
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If you do put in valves make SURE you secure them in the open position.
Use tiewraps or something similar so they cannot vibrate closed.
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Old 06-30-2018, 10:06 AM   #4
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I've seen the kind of setup you're planning on one boat. A massive North Sea commercial trawler. Big rams, big hydraulicraulic lines, long runs. All of which mean a large hydraulic fluid volume. I'm not sure what is to be gained by installing valves on a smaller system like most recreational boats have, the total hydraulic volume is quite small. And the normal bleeding process after re-fill is to turn the highest helm pump hard left - hard right repeatedly until the air is gone. It usually doesn't take very long. Another thing to think about is hydraulic hoses have a 'shelf life' regardless of hours of operation. 12 yrs is what I was told by someone far more knowledgable than I. Pro-actively replacing the hoses at 12 yrs of age is a good idea. That means the hydraulic oil is also 12 yrs old. I do both at the same time. Valves and bleed ports seem a good idea. But you've added more joints to leak, more points of failure and more opportunities for operator error. I don't know about you, but this operator is quite capable of making stupid mistakes.
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Old 07-02-2018, 08:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Portage_Bay View Post
I've seen the kind of setup you're planning on one boat. A massive North Sea commercial trawler. Big rams, big hydraulicraulic lines, long runs. All of which mean a large hydraulic fluid volume. I'm not sure what is to be gained by installing valves on a smaller system like most recreational boats have, the total hydraulic volume is quite small. And the normal bleeding process after re-fill is to turn the highest helm pump hard left - hard right repeatedly until the air is gone. It usually doesn't take very long. Another thing to think about is hydraulic hoses have a 'shelf life' regardless of hours of operation. 12 yrs is what I was told by someone far more knowledgable than I. Pro-actively replacing the hoses at 12 yrs of age is a good idea. That means the hydraulic oil is also 12 yrs old. I do both at the same time. Valves and bleed ports seem a good idea. But you've added more joints to leak, more points of failure and more opportunities for operator error. I don't know about you, but this operator is quite capable of making stupid mistakes.
At least that setup has been seen somewhere else so I am not totally out of my mind
Of course as often I may be over thinking this and try to build a tank when I need a bicycle lol

But no, not at all, never ever, I am doing stupid mistake no no no, or none I will ever admit

L
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Old 07-02-2018, 09:17 PM   #6
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I agree with Portage_Bay. Just drain it, do the repairs, and refill with fresh fluid. Unless the tube run is wonky it should be easy to bleed. No sense adding additional failure points.
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