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Old 03-06-2017, 05:25 AM   #1
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Steering problem

Hi I have a 1942 WW2 work boat and the steering is starting to give a bit of trouble You have to keep turning the wheel to the left to keep the boat heading straight It appears that the steering pump has worn if you turn the wheel to full lock you can keep slowly turning the wheel
the ram has been rebuilt and seems ok

the pump is a triple cylinder completely made of brass the local hydraulic shop just laughed when I asked if they could repair it
It is the original pump
so what are everyones recommendations for a new pump( 3 cubic inch per rev)
40 ft full displacement 100 hp gardner 6lw engine about 12 tonne
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Old 03-06-2017, 05:53 AM   #2
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Go to a different hyd shop.

Most of these pumps are sealed with 0 rings not leather ( unobtainable) seals.
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Old 03-06-2017, 06:16 AM   #3
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I agree with FF. Or just take it apart yourself. Unless shafts and bearings are hopelessly worn, replacing o-rings will probably work just fine. Worst case, you decide it can't be rebuilt and you buy a new helm pump.

That said, check out SeaStar for a wide range of help pumps. I'm sure they will have one that fits your needs. They have some that are variable displacement (a knob controls the displacement) that can come in handy adn allow you to fine tune to your liking. I don't know what sort of a $$ premium they carry.
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Old 03-06-2017, 09:19 PM   #4
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Old hydraulic helm units... I have 35 year old Wagners, great stuff but regular rebuilds did't last. Checking dimensions showed little wear. Bought a set of metric "O" rings from Harbour freight. found seals a thou tighter. changed them for the old imperial seals and annoying misty leak has gone from both helms. After 4 years problem solved.
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Old 03-06-2017, 11:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crashley View Post
Hi I have a 1942 WW2 work boat and the steering is starting to give a bit of trouble You have to keep turning the wheel to the left to keep the boat heading straight It appears that the steering pump has worn if you turn the wheel to full lock you can keep slowly turning the wheel

the ram has been rebuilt and seems ok



the pump is a triple cylinder completely made of brass the local hydraulic shop just laughed when I asked if they could repair it

It is the original pump

so what are everyones recommendations for a new pump( 3 cubic inch per rev)

40 ft full displacement 100 hp gardner 6lw engine about 12 tonne


On some of the older Wagner helm pumps the "shop protection" valve that prevents flow back to the helm pump from the rudder cylinder is a separate valve. It is plumbed in "parallel" to the helm pump, and usually located a few inches from the helm pump. It can in fact be located anywhere between the helm pump and the cylinder if a single helm, or between the helm pump and the tees to a second helm pump if more than one helm. This valve blocks the cylinder from feeding flow back to the helm pump, which keeps the rudder in the same position unless the helm pump is turned. In multiple helm installations it prevents one helm from simply turning the other wheel instead of the rudder. If it sticks or leaks the rudder can turn due to the same force as causes prop walk, resulting in the need to continuously turn the wheel to keep the rudder in the same position. At "hard over the leakage allows the wheel to turn after the rudder hits the stop. It is about 1.5 inches square, 7 inches long, with 2 pipes in, and 2 pipes out. If you have one rebuild it. If you don't have one, it is internal to the helm pump, make sure it is operating freely, and sealing when you dismantle and reseal the helm pump.
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Old 03-06-2017, 11:43 PM   #6
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Many large industrial loaders, etc., have similar hydraulic steering. The pumps can be rebuilt as long as the surfaces aren't worn too bad to make the seals work. A good hydraulic supply should be able to rebuild anything hydraulic. Or know some company that does. But cost is another issue.
Some other pump should be adaptable. An autopilot would be another way to control the ram. I use the autopilot or a jog stick all the time and rarely use the wheel.
I also have Wagner steering about 40+ years old. All the seals, o-rings are available. If Australia is all metric, USA o-rings and seals should be online.
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Old 03-07-2017, 03:33 AM   #7
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helm pump

HI thanks for the replies I have had the pump apart and it only has two oring seals on the the main shaft the three pistons are bronze and the cylinders are bronze and there are no seals at all I will check the non return valves to see if they are leaking otherwise I think I will have to buy a new pump which looks like costing over $1000 down here in australia
thanks ashley
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Old 03-07-2017, 03:39 AM   #8
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HI thanks for the replies I have had the pump apart and it only has two oring seals on the the main shaft the three pistons are bronze and the cylinders are bronze and there are no seals at all I will check the non return valves to see if they are leaking otherwise I think I will have to buy a new pump which looks like costing over $1000 down here in australia
thanks ashley


Dont give up too quickly its dosn't sound all that complicated. There are some good blokes in Payneville give Tony Webster a call he knows everyone
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