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Old 02-24-2013, 07:57 AM   #1
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Steering Helm Pump Rebuild

The Prairie has developed a leak at the upper helm pump. Apparently it's a Teleflex Hynautic H-21 or H-25. I wasn't really prepared to do any more than just clean up the mess and take a bunch of pics last time I was at the boat.

A little research turned up one place that rebuilds these, and some suggestions that I could order the seal kit and do it myself. I will try to remove the pump next weekend.

Anybody willing to recommend a rebuild shop? How much should I expect to pay?

Anything I should know before pulling off the existing lines? I'm thinking I'll want to relieve whatever pressure remains in the system, and have some rags ready, but should I do anything more to drain it? Should I do anything to protect the connections while the pump is out, beyond maybe wrap a clean rag around them?
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:00 AM   #2
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Yes, relieve the pressure. My unit was on the fly bridge so only a few drops came out. I replaced my seals but the wheel is very hard to turn. I don't know if this is from the new seals or if I did it wrong. When reassembling and testing make sure you have someone standing by the tank and knows how to release the pressure. I didn't think of this and lost about a quart of fluid leaking out of the fittings on the FB before I could get them properly tightened.

Hynautic bleeding
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:52 PM   #3
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If you have a Hynautic helm pump no longer supported by Teleflex... Here are a couple of hints from my experience repairing one:

1. If the helm pump is "square"....you MUST put a scribe mark on the separate pieces.. but only on one side. This is actually critical.... especially if when you open the pump and find a series of ball bearings in keepers.... It affects what is referred to as the "timing".....which I think is a wrong term...I think of it as "synchronization" of the movement of the parts inside....

2. After replacing the seals...reassemble the pump in exactly the same order as is was disassembled, and be sure to align the scibe marks, otherwise the pump will not work correctly. I may be hard to turn, or it may just spin...and not move fluid.

I marked mine with a scratch awl...because I was worried that the hydraulic fluid could cause any ink mark to disappear.

I know how many combinations of assembly errors you can make...been there, done that!!

Its easy enough to do...if you can get the seals... I got mine from an industrial seal distributor.... The boys at teleflex...13 years ago...wanted $95 an hour, with no guarantee of repair.... I fixed it myself.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:54 PM   #4
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I've got Hynautic H-50 helm pumps & rebuilt my f/b pump 3 years ago. Got the kit from a dealer in Iowa about $35.00 + shipping. If you are handy with tools it's a fairly simple job, made much easier with some one to help bleed the system. Common hand tools & a bike pump to recharge the system is all that's required. There is a company that rebuilds them for $200.00 with a warranty. Make sure to use the proper oil when refilling the reservoir. If you want the company name let me know & I'll find it.
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:39 AM   #5
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I found a place that will rebuild it for around $190. Since the seals alone cost $50 when you factor in shipping, I figure I'm paying someone $140 to do a job I've never done before, that is critical to my upcoming 200-mile transit home, and is guaranteed for one year.

Normally I'd take advantage of the learning opportunity, plus save the $140.

The name of the place I found (I think it may have been with the help of an old post on this forum) is "Southern Charm" in FL. The lady I spoke with on the phone reinforced that name. They say they can turn it around in 2-3 days.

Now I just have to get the old one out!
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:14 AM   #6
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Scandia in Fairhaven, MA. Rebuilt both helms for me for around 150 each, not including shipping!
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:34 AM   #7
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Wow, thanks for the tip on Scandia! They are estimating over $100 LESS than the other place. Now, what can I buy with that...
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:03 AM   #8
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Make sure you mark the lines so you get them back on the right fitting. Southern Charm is the company that had excellent reviews when I was researching fixing the problem on my boat. Good luck
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:17 AM   #9
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Thanks RC, I was thinking of that too. Any other tricks or tips I should know about removing the hydraulic lines? I'm not sure what sort of connection that is. Is there are compression fitting or some other "consumable" part I should make sure I am ready to replace?
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:42 AM   #10
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Mine had plastic lines with a brass nut & ferrule, I use small colored zip ties to mark them, relieve the charge pressure on the reservoir 1st. . The oil is a reddish color but isn't ATF, I have a mil. spec # & brand in my records, I bought it from the maintenance facility at the airport in Burlington, Ia. while waiting for the seal kit to be delivered. Bleeding the system should be done with 2 people I'll find the procedure & post it. If you need anything else just ask.

Link to bleeding system:
http://www.seatechmarineproducts.com...structions.pdf
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:41 PM   #11
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Here was my adventure in rebuilding a SeaStar II pump.

How to Rebuild a SeaStar I and II Helm pump 1984-1989
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:05 PM   #12
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Another note: When I rebuilt my FB pump, I did not have to re-bleed the system.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:46 AM   #13
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I have a 3 mb file with lots of pics and a word doc showing step by step rebuilding of a Capilano 275 pump. I would think it would be similar.
I will share. E mail to me and I will reply with the file.
jleonard@globalsteering.com
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meridian View Post
Another note: When I rebuilt my FB pump, I did not have to re-bleed the system.
Meridian, that's pretty interesting. The procedures I've seen, some posted here and some from the vendor's site, all start with filling the system then continue on to bleeding the system. As if you're starting with all the lines, reservoir and cylinder all completely empty.

In reality, I'm hoping that just the lines up to the flybridge are empty. The lower helm pump, lines to it, cylinder, lines to it, and relief valve are already full.

So I'm thinking I need to attach the lines, pump up the reservoir, then crack each of the Port & Stb lines until I get a stream of fluid. That takes care of the lines. Maybe I should do that 2 or 3 times to fill up the helm pump, too.

At that point I'm not sure if anything more needs to be done. The procedure talks about backing off the relief valve screws and doing 40-60 turns one way, then the other. But even if there is a little air left in the pump, won't it work its way back to the reservoir, and be replaced by fluid, through normal use?

The pump is out for rebuild now, hopefully I'll have it this weekend. Next weekend for sure.
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:06 AM   #15
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For completeness, I thought I should post my results.

First, a million thanks for the recommendation of Scandia Prop & Hydraulic shop in Fairhaven, MA. Great folks, they always answered the phone, they had the rebuild turned around the day they received it, and the owner came in on his day off to give me the pump back on my way down to the boat. No doubt you can find great small shops like this in other places, but I can vouch for this one. The visit to New Bedford/Fairhaven was like a pilgrimage for this old fisherman, and just being in that shop, surrounded by hulking old machines and enormous props, was good for the soul. And he only charged me about $100, $30 of which was for the parts.

The install went well. I hooked up the center (smaller) line first, so I'd have plenty of room on either side to swing the wrench. Then attached the port and stb lines. For some reason, mine was installed upside down, with the hydraulic lines coming off the top. Because the lines were in a bundle with a bunch of wires, and the manual says it doesn't matter which way it's installed, I left it that way. That turned out to be a help later, but I noticed the line marked with red for "port" was on the starboard side, and vice-versa. No problem, once I realized it was upside down.

With the lines connected up top, I went down to the reservoir and put a little pressure to it (15 lbs or so). Went back up top. Couldn't see or hear any leaks. Cracked the connection on the port, then stb side, one at a time. Got a little air coming out. Closed them again.

Went down below again and pressurized to 55 lbs. Waited 10-15 minutes. No change in pressure. Back up to the helm. Cracked each line again, this time waiting for the air bubbles to stop and only fluid to leak out. Waited a minute or two more to be sure. Tightened the lines one last time.

Because the hydraulic lines connect at the top, bleeding this way should, in theory, have removed almost all the air. If it was hooked up right-side up, there are two hex nuts on the bottom (which would be the top) that I think are for bleeding. Anyway the break-out parts diagram shows them with gaskets, so I suspect that's what they're for.

Back below, I released the pressure, removed the fill cover and filled the reservoir 3/4 full (it had been down to 1/4). Pumped it back up to 55 lbs. It took exactly one quart (I had bought 3.)

Up at the helm, I turned it 5-1/2 turns to port until it stopped. Then 4-1/2 turns back to starboard to the stop. Then back and forth, each time only 4-1/2 turns stop-to-stop. I'm taking that as a good sign, since 4-1/2 seems about right, and it was consistent every time (after the first.)

12+ hours later, the pressure is still at 55 lbs. I'll back it down to 40-45 like the manual recommends later, for now I'm leaving it high to verify there's no pressure loss.

My "little" job for the day, replacing two courtesy lights, turned out to take far longer, and involve more parts & tools, than the helm pump replacement. But that's a story for another day.
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:51 AM   #16
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Hynautic h-21

I just had Scania rebuild my upper helm steering pump. Now I find that one of the flare nuts is stripped as I was trying to bleed the unit. What a mess.
Now I need to cut the copper line and install a new flare nut.
Anyone know where i should look for a replacemnt flare nut?
is there a flare nut with a tee connection to make bleeding easier?

Do I use a standard single flare tool to make the bell?


Thanks, John
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Old 05-11-2013, 02:35 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCDSAIL View Post
I just had Scania rebuild my upper helm steering pump. Now I find that one of the flare nuts is stripped as I was trying to bleed the unit. What a mess.
Now I need to cut the copper line and install a new flare nut.
Anyone know where i should look for a replacemnt flare nut?
is there a flare nut with a tee connection to make bleeding easier?
Do I use a standard single flare tool to make the bell?
Thanks, John
SAE Brass 45 Flare Tube Fittings: Male Branch Tee

SAE Brass 45 Flare Tube Fittings: Double End Internal Flare Union

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Old 05-15-2013, 12:26 AM   #18
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You may find a flare nut at any good auto or truck parts store. Some chandleries will carry them and of course plumbing shops and I think Homee Depot or the like.

Put on a double flare. Although the single is a bit easier and if done correctly will work well I've always found the doubles work better.
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Old 05-16-2013, 06:31 AM   #19
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The best flair nuts come from the refrigeration supply store..

About double the thickness of a house water fitting , very robust.

Most problems with flair leaks come from a cheap flair making tool.

Get an Imperial while at the fridge parts shop.
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Old 06-04-2016, 05:07 PM   #20
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To resurrect an old thread.

My upper Hynautic helm spins freely. Lower helm works fine. And auto pilot works fine. Is this a symptom of one worn out helm? Or could low fluid/ pressure be the issue? Going back to boat tomorrow to check pressure and further investigate.

Scandia is right next door.

Thanks for posting Hynautic info and manuals.
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