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Old 01-25-2016, 01:16 PM   #1
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steering question

I am replacing my capilano steering cylinder with a Uflex cylinder. The capilano cylinder tapped 3/8 npt has proper heavy duty 1000psi 1/2 inch flex lines from the cylinder to junction block. The ulfex is tapped 1/4 npt and calls for 3/8 od plastic tubing with compression fittings.

This plastic tubing and compression fittings set up seems very mickey mouse and like an accident waiting to happen. Does anybody else here on TF have this plastic tubing / compression fitting set up? or can comment on this setup?
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Old 01-25-2016, 10:27 PM   #2
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Can't comment on that particular manufacturer. Plastic tubing has been around for quite some time on steering systems. For decades copper tubing with either flare or ferrel fittings were used. While I prefer the heavier plastic fiber reinforced tubing with swaged flare fittings, I wouldn't be to concerned with what you have. Probably a good idea to verify before installing that the tubing will handle your helm pump pressure, and that 3/8" OD tube meets the helm pump flow requirements.

Ted
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Old 01-26-2016, 12:09 AM   #3
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Thanks Ted, mine has the copper lines with flare fittings. I decided to go with the traditional heavy hydraulic hose versus the plastic to the cylinder.
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Old 01-26-2016, 07:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Kangeroo View Post
Thanks Ted, mine has the copper lines with flare fittings. I decided to go with the traditional heavy hydraulic hose versus the plastic to the cylinder.
Think that's probably a good move. Going with 3/8" ID hose?

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Old 01-26-2016, 07:53 AM   #5
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If the plastic tubing is designed for the system...it is fine.


We used it all the time when installing autopilots into systems that already used it.


It is easy to work with. The 2 issues if I remember correctly are kinking and not getting a good square cut on the tube.
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Old 01-26-2016, 08:59 AM   #6
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There is good, better and best. Start with best rated tubing - what does it cost vs lower tier setup. When installing a multi thousand dollar AP setup saving $50 dollars or so may or may not be important. Line diameter should match cylinder sizing and pump charts. Are you going with a smaller capacity cylinder?
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Old 01-26-2016, 12:40 PM   #7
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My "ex" an old 34 Mainship had plastic and brass ferrules. To my knowledge all the older Mainships were like that.
Being an owner for 14 years and extremely active in online groups and local owner's groups I have never heard of them failing.
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Old 01-26-2016, 05:53 PM   #8
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For the benefit of those that have Capilano steering, the new Uflex cylinder is installed and seems to work fine, albeit the steering does seem stiffer than it was before.

I had completely rebuilt & honed my Capilano cylinder but it continued to weep slightly at the rear seal. As a replacement I chose the UFLEX cylinder over an original Capilano based solely on price, not that I was at all unhappy with Capilano. The Capilano was approx $800. The Uflex was $500. Side by side the cylinders appear identical but there are important differences as follows:

Rear (ball & socket) mounting block on UFLEX is larger so it will require new holes to be drilled. Not a big deal because it is also 1" shorter overall so the mounting block has to be moved forward anyway. Note that Capilano uses 9/16" bolts, the Uflex 1/2".

Because the UFLEX cylinder is shorter it has slightly less volume, 3oz as I recall.

The Capilano cylinder is tapped for 3/8npt fittings, the UFLEX is only tapped 1/4npt and comes with compression fittings for plastic flex lines. (I discarded these & used 1/4npt to 3/8 flare fittings with proper 3/8 hydraulic hose.

Not certain of the effect of slightly lowered volume or the potential restriction of the much smaller 1/4 npt ports

My original cylinder was a BA200-7TM, the replacement is a UFLEX UC293-1 These are both 7" stroke but available in several stroke lengths.

I have the 3 line system using the uniflow valve. Given all the difficulties I had in rebuilding this system, I wish I had simply bought two new Capilano helms & a new cylinder & be done with it. As the uniflow is obsolete I will be re-visiting this headache again.
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Old 01-26-2016, 06:40 PM   #9
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Plastic tubing is fine since you're not generating huge hydraulic pressures when turning the wheel, the rudder moves. If the rudder was jammed, then I am sure the pressures will rise, BUT, there must also be a way of escape for the fluid, else something might break in the system. Of course, this is just my thinking on the subject.
Curious, do these systems always keep the wheel lined up in the same position relative to the rudder, or has anyone noticed it slips, sort of like your car's wheel gets out of alignment..
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Old 01-27-2016, 09:39 AM   #10
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Plastic can work harden with constant movement.

The metal reinforced rubber (think bulldozer) can easily be had custom made with swivel fittings at both ends , while you wait at NAPA or a Hyd shop.

If you are going on a world cruise the fittings can be purchased that are reusable, just bring a coil of hose.

"Curious, do these systems always keep the wheel lined up in the same position relative to the rudder, or has anyone noticed it slips, sort of like your car's wheel gets out of alignment.."

The pumps usually "slip" so the use of a wheel style AP will depend on how much slip there is in modest time.

Huge AP difference in cost , install complexity and power supply requirements, between a wheel add on and a new DC pump, + cylinders and tubing.
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Old 01-28-2016, 09:14 PM   #11
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The 3oz less volume may be why your steering is a little stiffer. If you also have less turns then the reduction has changed. If you had a larger cylinder (greater volume relative to the helm pump capacity) it would have more turns with less effort.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Kangeroo View Post
For the benefit of those that have Capilano steering, the new Uflex cylinder is installed and seems to work fine, albeit the steering does seem stiffer than it was before.

I had completely rebuilt & honed my Capilano cylinder but it continued to weep slightly at the rear seal. As a replacement I chose the UFLEX cylinder over an original Capilano based solely on price, not that I was at all unhappy with Capilano. The Capilano was approx $800. The Uflex was $500. Side by side the cylinders appear identical but there are important differences as follows:

Rear (ball & socket) mounting block on UFLEX is larger so it will require new holes to be drilled. Not a big deal because it is also 1" shorter overall so the mounting block has to be moved forward anyway. Note that Capilano uses 9/16" bolts, the Uflex 1/2".

Because the UFLEX cylinder is shorter it has slightly less volume, 3oz as I recall.

The Capilano cylinder is tapped for 3/8npt fittings, the UFLEX is only tapped 1/4npt and comes with compression fittings for plastic flex lines. (I discarded these & used 1/4npt to 3/8 flare fittings with proper 3/8 hydraulic hose.

Not certain of the effect of slightly lowered volume or the potential restriction of the much smaller 1/4 npt ports

My original cylinder was a BA200-7TM, the replacement is a UFLEX UC293-1 These are both 7" stroke but available in several stroke lengths.

I have the 3 line system using the uniflow valve. Given all the difficulties I had in rebuilding this system, I wish I had simply bought two new Capilano helms & a new cylinder & be done with it. As the uniflow is obsolete I will be re-visiting this headache again.
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