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Old 04-19-2019, 05:02 PM   #1
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Hydraulic steering

My new to me Aldin 40 has no steerage at the fly bridge.
I guess I need some help. My sailboats never had hydraulic
Pressure is at 15 and fluid tank is half full
Should I fill the tank before I do anything else. Seems like that’s the first step to me but what do I know
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Old 04-19-2019, 05:20 PM   #2
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Tony:

What brand is the steering? Because it has a pressurized reservoir, my assumption is it's a Hynautic. The absolute first thing you should do is search for any signs of a leak, if the upper helm is air bound it's likely the system is leaking fluid out and air in. If you have a leak repair it. Then review the instructions for bleeding, they are not necessarily intuitive. This page will take you to the instructions for the most common Hynautic system. http://boaterstore.com/images/Purge%20with%203line.pdf Instructions for all Hyn systems are available, so if this isn't the one you have, you can access it on line.

It's important to remember that the pressure reservoir has one function, to keep fluid supplied to the system under pressure, which in turn prevents air from being drawn into the system. The idea being that you monitor the level and pressure in the reservoir, if it drops you know you have a leak, you find and repair it before the tank is empty and you begin sucking air into the system. It's a very good design. The pressure in has no effect on steering effort.
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Old 04-19-2019, 05:48 PM   #3
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As Steve says sounds Like a Hynautic system. First place to fail when pressure drops is upper helm. If the fluid level is half then you have enough. Filled is more than prescribed. Proper level should be right on the tank label. Pressure gauge may not be accurate. If you have a pump with its own pressure gauge put in 25 to 30 psi. It may work fine with just that step although it would be good to complete the bleeding process.

If oil is not leaking down your helm consoles check the hydraulic cylinder. That is the most likely place other than the helms. Bleeding system is easy. You just have to find the little aluminum block with the hex nuts. I have seen it attached to the reservoir or by the cylinder. 300 or 400 turns later you will have it done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony sundeck 40 View Post
My new to me Aldin 40 has no steerage at the fly bridge.
I guess I need some help. My sailboats never had hydraulic
Pressure is at 15 and fluid tank is half full
Should I fill the tank before I do anything else. Seems like that’s the first step to me but what do I know
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Old 04-19-2019, 07:32 PM   #4
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If it is a Hynautic system the purging instructions should be on the reservoir.
Turning the auto pilot on can also help in bleeding.
Any good 15W hydraulic oil will do the job and is much cheaper than what is sold through marine outlets.
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Old 04-19-2019, 09:03 PM   #5
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Or if it's like mine, a Capilano, then if the upper unit has no fluid, then it will have no steering as you described.
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Old 04-20-2019, 06:00 AM   #6
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I've accomplished bleeding my 2-station Hynautic (now SeaStar) system twice, once after a master cylinder replacement and the second after researching a small leak at the PH remote (still adding small amounts of fluid while 'researching'). Bleeding the system isn't fun, takes time, and requires carefully following the directions, but it's not hard. I recommend you review the bleeding instructions, find all of the system parts involved, and have the required tools and oil absorbent pads in place before starting. It can be done by one person, but a partner can make it less of a chore.

I didn't have to do anything additional to bleed the autopilot pump once I had the system bled at the helms, but that may depend on where the pump is in relation to the helms. Similarly, if your PH steering is working, bleeding the FB helm may eliminate the system of air once any leaks have been corrected. There's plenty of info online.

Good luck with it, let us know the system particulars when you can and/or progress.
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Old 04-20-2019, 07:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arun52 View Post
If it is a Hynautic system the purging instructions should be on the reservoir.
Turning the auto pilot on can also help in bleeding.
Any good 15W hydraulic oil will do the job and is much cheaper than what is sold through marine outlets.
Arun, nice vessel btw, always liked the Halmatics, the Maryland Pilots have a few that I've inspected, incredibly durable.

Unless it's an emergency, I'm not sure I'd advocate the use of "any 15 weight oil". I've always used the specified hydraulic oil or ATF (and some Seastar systems specify this).

From Seastar/Hynautic...

Recommended oils for your steering system are: SeaStar Fluid, P/N HA5430 (1 quart), HA5440 (1 gallon). The following brands are acceptable: ChevronŽ Aviation Hydraulic Fluid A, EssoŽ Univis N15 or J13, MobilŽ Aero HFA, Petro Canada Harmony HV115 (in Canada only), ShellŽ Aero Fluid #41, TexacoŽ HO15 and other fluids meeting MIL SPEC H-5606-G.

Automatic transmission fluid (Dexron IIŽ) may be used in an emergency. Never use brake fluid. Any non-approved fluid may cause irreparable damage, loss of steering, and cancellation of warranty.

In cases of extreme emergency any nontoxic, nonflammable fluid may provide temporary steering.

Generally, 2 quarts are required for single station, single cylinder filling. Add one quart per additional station or cylinder.

Please note that SeaStar Capilano systems use Dexron II ATF, not SeaStar steering fluid.
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Old 04-21-2019, 04:19 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Steve DAntonio View Post
Arun, nice vessel btw, always liked the Halmatics, the Maryland Pilots have a few that I've inspected, incredibly durable.

Unless it's an emergency, I'm not sure I'd advocate the use of "any 15 weight oil". I've always used the specified hydraulic oil or ATF (and some Seastar systems specify this).

From Seastar/Hynautic...

Recommended oils for your steering system are: SeaStar Fluid, P/N HA5430 (1 quart), HA5440 (1 gallon). The following brands are acceptable: ChevronŽ Aviation Hydraulic Fluid A, EssoŽ Univis N15 or J13, MobilŽ Aero HFA, Petro Canada Harmony HV115 (in Canada only), ShellŽ Aero Fluid #41, TexacoŽ HO15 and other fluids meeting MIL SPEC H-5606-G.

Automatic transmission fluid (Dexron IIŽ) may be used in an emergency. Never use brake fluid. Any non-approved fluid may cause irreparable damage, loss of steering, and cancellation of warranty.

In cases of extreme emergency any nontoxic, nonflammable fluid may provide temporary steering.

Generally, 2 quarts are required for single station, single cylinder filling. Add one quart per additional station or cylinder.

Please note that SeaStar Capilano systems use Dexron II ATF, not SeaStar steering fluid.

What a Metric f-ton of nonsense. Let's review about fluid hydraulics, their history, and modern fluids.

Let's evaluate two statments quickly:

Quote:
and other fluids meeting MIL SPEC H-5606-G
This is a 1940s fluid requirement for flash heat. If you aren't running your fluid near a burnin' turbin', set this aside. But note, it's the base spec they appeal to. 1940s. Let's repeat: the base spec they appeal to is a late 1940s spec to diminish flash fire in turbine applications.

Does that relate to your boat?

Quote:
Automatic transmission fluid (Dexron IIŽ) may be used in an emergency.

Dex II has been extinct since around 1986. GM set out other specs to supersede it. If you are reading something recommending DexII, you are reading something written before 1987. There have been a lot of advances in fluid technology since then. This thread and the posters above are arguing to ignore everything developed since the late 1940s, or at a minimum since circa 1986.

What a lot of nonsense. Fluids and chemistry have developed since the time of Truman. But these specs haven't, and the recommendation to stick with them is just nonsense. What's more, it smack of reading old rec's and not knowing at all what they meant or how to incorporate them into modern practice.
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Old 04-21-2019, 05:29 AM   #9
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Civilities,

Good point. I could argue that any 5606 oil would work. I don't believe the changes over the years in the different dash letters, -G, -H are significant changes, but packaging, color and perhaps a cleaner oil.

Also, and oil that meets the spec but is not so labeled would most likely work, and are sold at less money. (There is a cost for the 5606 label).

The MIL spec 5606 was designed for military aircraft, withstand extreme temperature changes and be totally dry. We probably don't need those extremes in our boats.

However, the latest 5606-H is cheap enough to not make a huge difference. At ~$25 a gallon, who cares. And how much will you use. I've used 3 gallons over the past 30 years for all my boats and aircraft combined (40 of them). The stuff just doesn't go bad.

However, I'd NOT use the synthetic stuff (It's not 5606 either).
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Old 04-21-2019, 08:12 AM   #10
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I agree Seevee.

The price penalty for using the book recommendation steering fluid is negligible. The user should not have to decide which internet expert to heed. For Capilano and Hynautic systems the books are relatively current and oils referenced commonly sourced.
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Old 04-21-2019, 09:15 AM   #11
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Am I to understand that you have two reservoirs? Upper and lower?
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Old 04-21-2019, 10:11 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony sundeck 40 View Post
Am I to understand that you have two reservoirs? Upper and lower?
Yes there is an upper and a lower on my Albin 40.
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Old 04-22-2019, 02:54 AM   #13
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The Hynautic system, which was purchased by Seastar/Teleflex, has been around for decades, so I wouldn't be surprised if the fluid spec was written in the 70s.

For industry pro's at least, my recommendation is to use SeaStar fluid, doing so means any future seal failure can't be blamed on the fluid. It's not as if it needs to be changed like crankcase oil, so the cost over the life of the fluid is pretty low. I see many systems charged with ATF, with no out of the ordinary
leak issues, and it's technically approved, so no serious risk there.

I've never seen a Hynautic system with two pressurized reservoirs. Are they identical, both with sight glasses and pressure gauges?
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Old 04-22-2019, 08:15 AM   #14
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Yep, I doubt there are two pressurized reservoirs. Only one needed if pressurized. Many boats have non-pressurized reservoirs, and there may be two there.

To the OP- Go near the rudder cylinder and look for a metal block with hoses and two 1/2" hex nuts- those are the relief/bleed valves. Look up the directions for bleeding the Hynautic system and it uses those nuts/valves. All the fluid you bleed goes back to the tank so you generally don't lose fluid. Always good to have some on board anyway.

May want to go to upper helm and crack open the nuts on the two big lines and vent any air before you do the bleed process. It will make it quicker if you get the most of the air out.

I'd go with they Seastar/hynautic fluid. Expensive but you won't need much.

I ran one boat with ATF in the steering, it worked ok, but was stiff in the cold. Also the rudder cylinder piston swelled and began dragging making it even more stiff. Piston is some sort of plastic and it might have reacted with the ATF, not real sure. Had to cut a couple thousandths off with a lathe and put in new seals. This time went with 5606 fluid and all was well.
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Old 04-22-2019, 09:06 AM   #15
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Or if it's like mine, a Capilano, then if the upper unit has no fluid, then it will have no steering as you described.
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:06 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Steve DAntonio View Post
Arun, nice vessel btw, always liked the Halmatics, the Maryland Pilots have a few that I've inspected, incredibly durable.

Unless it's an emergency, I'm not sure I'd advocate the use of "any 15 weight oil". I've always used the specified hydraulic oil or ATF (and some Seastar systems specify this).

From Seastar/Hynautic...

Recommended oils for your steering system are: SeaStar Fluid, P/N HA5430 (1 quart), HA5440 (1 gallon). The following brands are acceptable: ChevronŽ Aviation Hydraulic Fluid A, EssoŽ Univis N15 or J13, MobilŽ Aero HFA, Petro Canada Harmony HV115 (in Canada only), ShellŽ Aero Fluid #41, TexacoŽ HO15 and other fluids meeting MIL SPEC H-5606-G.

Automatic transmission fluid (Dexron IIŽ) may be used in an emergency. Never use brake fluid. Any non-approved fluid may cause irreparable damage, loss of steering, and cancellation of warranty.

In cases of extreme emergency any nontoxic, nonflammable fluid may provide temporary steering.

Generally, 2 quarts are required for single station, single cylinder filling. Add one quart per additional station or cylinder.

Please note that SeaStar Capilano systems use Dexron II ATF, not SeaStar steering fluid.
I had the Hynautic steering unit on my FB rebuilt by an authorized dealer in FL (name forgotten) and they advised me to use only Dexron 3 if using tranny fluid.
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Old 04-27-2019, 05:25 AM   #17
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I had the Hynautic steering unit on my FB rebuilt by an authorized dealer in FL (name forgotten) and they advised me to use only Dexron 3 if using tranny fluid.
I doubt it matters, and you can't even buy Dexron II anymore, it was superseded by Dex III, which is backward compatible, but that's all relevant to transmissions rather than steering. As I said earlier, a lot of the literature on the net for Hynautic is dated.

So, your guy is right;-)
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