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Old 03-17-2017, 04:47 PM   #1
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hydraulic steering question

Does anyone know what kind of hydraulic fluid goes into a 1987 vintage Vetus hydraulic wheel steering unit? There was a quart of Sea Star Hydraulic steering fluid on the boat left by the previous owner. That stuff is sort of golden colored. However, the fluid currently in the hydraulic steering lines is much darker. I'm starting to question if the fluid in the hydraulic steering lines is just very old, discolored "golden" type fluid, or if there is red hydraulic fluid in the hydraulic steering lines (similar to what is in my transmission), or heaven forbid some combination of both. I see I also have a small leak on the back end of the lower steering station Vetus unit. The hydraulic fluid level in the upper steering station Vetus unit is wayyyyy low.







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Old 03-18-2017, 08:05 PM   #2
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Can,t tell you which oil. Would suggest contacting Vetus and ask. If possible get a manual.

Often the oil is a 5w hydraulic which can be a pain to find or as a second. Dexron atf.

But best ask.

That oil looks old but also could be a reaction between two different oils.
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Old 03-19-2017, 08:32 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by C lectric View Post
Can,t tell you which oil. Would suggest contacting Vetus and ask. If possible get a manual.
Hi C lectric. Thanks for the feedback. I found a technical specification on the Vetus web site for a pump similar to mine, but they did not include hydraulic fluid info, though I see they market their own transmission fluid. I sent them email, asking which fluid I should buy for my steering system.

What's the difference between something like West Marine Hydraulic steering fluid for $23 a quart, and universal hydraulic fluid for $20 a gallon? It doesn't look to me like my 1987 vintage steering system is anything close to being a state of the art hydraulic steering masterpiece.
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Old 03-19-2017, 09:18 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by seattleboatguy View Post
Does anyone know what kind of hydraulic fluid goes into a 1987 vintage Vetus hydraulic wheel steering unit?
Hey, I finally found the Vetus recommended hydraulic fluid spec:

"Vetus hydraulic oil or a similar quality of oil with a viscosity of 2.5 - 3 deg E / 50 deg deg C and a V.I. which is more than 100. Solidification point must be -30 deg C."
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