Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-02-2020, 08:29 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Pmcsurf1's Avatar
 
City: St Augustine
Vessel Name: Agape
Vessel Model: Mainship 400 Trawler
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 247
Seastar hydraulic steering and atf fluid.

Here is my very specific question. Does anyone have a seastar system running on "red" atf fluid and if yes, any problems?
Paul
Pmcsurf1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2020, 08:47 PM   #2
Guru
 
City: Here
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,937
I found a hydraulic jack oil at an autoparts store (Canadian Tire) with the same US milspec as the Seastar oil ... for less than 1/4 of the price. I've been using it for 6yrs now with no problems.

I'd tell you what the milspec number is but the label is so stained it's illegible.
boatpoker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2020, 09:17 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
City: Three Oaks, TN
Vessel Name: Pipe Dream
Vessel Model: Silverton 42C
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 163
The mil spec is 5606 and It is red. It’s used extensively in aircraft and occasionally there is a minor change to the specs resulting in lots of unusable oil stored in the back rooms of airport maintenance hangars. I’ve managed to lay claim to many a gallon for free.
PPandE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2020, 05:56 AM   #4
Guru
 
Keysdisease's Avatar
 
City: South Florida
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 998
Why would you not use Sea Star fluid?

Keysdisease is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2020, 06:12 AM   #5
Guru
 
O C Diver's Avatar
 
City: Fort Myers, FL... Summers in the Great Lakes
Vessel Name: Slow Hand
Vessel Model: Cherubini Independence 45
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 11,410
I had the helm pump and cylinder rebuilt on my Hynautic steering system. The factory authorized rebuilder recommended aircraft hydraulic fluid as the purest, thinnest, and best fluid for the system. $9 per quart from Aircraft Spruce.

Ted
__________________
Blog: mvslowhand.com
I'm tired of fast moves, I've got a slow groove, on my mind.....
I want to spend some time, Not come and go in a heated rush.....
"Slow Hand" by The Pointer Sisters
O C Diver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2020, 08:21 AM   #6
Member
 
City: Jacksonville, Fl.
Vessel Name: Henrietta
Vessel Model: Present 42 Sundeck
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 17
I have a Seastar Capilano 1250V system on my '84 Present 42. It uses Dexron II type ATF fluid as per the manufacturers instructions. I have owned the boat for almost 3 years. So far no steering problems.
gulfstar1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2020, 08:34 AM   #7
Guru
 
Seevee's Avatar
 
City: st pete
Vessel Model: 430 Mainship
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 3,412
I could argue to use aero hydraulic fluid, but that's really a misnomer.


ANY hydraulic fluid with the same MIL spec, is the SAME... there is no "purest" just because it has an aviation label on it. Chevron, Phillips, Shell... all the same. Now there are different dash numbers. Started as 5606, then 5606A, etc., believe the latest is 5606G, however, very little difference and all will work in our boats.



Now, for some reason the aviation suppliers sell it fairly cheap... and not hard to find it in the $25 a gallon range, or where Ted gets it at Aircraft Spruce. If you google it, there are other suppliers.


And occasionally, you may find a local oil distributor that will sell it (and other oil products) very reasonable, especially in bulk.
__________________
Seevee
Seevee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2020, 08:49 AM   #8
Technical Guru
 
Ski in NC's Avatar
 
City: Wilmington, NC
Vessel Name: Louisa
Vessel Model: Custom Built 38
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 6,194
One boat I ran used ATF. In cold weather the steering was much harder due to higher viscosity. In warm weather it was fine. Flushed it out with 5606 fluid and it was much better. 5606 aero hyd fluid is an absolutely fine replacement for the branded sea star fluid.
Ski in NC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2020, 09:14 AM   #9
Guru
 
City: Here
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,937
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keysdisease View Post
Why would you not use Sea Star fluid?

if you don't mind paying 4 or five times more than other products that meet the same spec ..... go for it.
boatpoker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2020, 10:41 AM   #10
Guru
 
Bkay's Avatar
 
City: Reedville, VA
Vessel Name: Wingspan
Vessel Model: Aluminum Catamaran
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 565
Coincidentally, I was researching this over the weekend.

I came to the conclusion that I will go with milspec PRF-5606 aircraft hydraulic fluid. It is an acceptable substitute per Seastar with the primary difference being red dye (so you can more readily identify leaks). I understand the dye can play hell with gelcoat - but my aluminum boat won't care.

As a totally unrelated note: I found out in my research that PRF in milspec PRF-5606 indicates it meets the "performance" standard of 5606. The Seastar instructions indicate H-5606 which is the outdated specification system no longer in use.
Bkay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2020, 10:53 AM   #11
Guru
 
Group9's Avatar
 
City: Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi, (or where the anchor drops)
Vessel Model: 1973 42 Bertram MY
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,412
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pmcsurf1 View Post
Here is my very specific question. Does anyone have a seastar system running on "red" atf fluid and if yes, any problems?
Paul
I've always just run the SeaStar brand fluid in my SeaStar system on my center console (because it takes so little of it). But, I've used ATF fluid for years in my Hynautic steering System.
__________________
"It's the tides. They can work for you, and they can work against you. And, confidentially, I've had this problem with the tides before." Captain Ron
Group9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2020, 11:11 AM   #12
Guru
 
syjos's Avatar


 
City: Gig Harbor
Vessel Name: Sandpiper
Vessel Model: Bluewater 40 Pilothouse Trawler
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2,311
The manual for the 1976 vintage Seastar Capilano 1250V system that came with Sandpiper specifies ATF for fluid.

I've had no issues in 20 years since fluid renewal.
syjos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2020, 11:47 AM   #13
Guru
 
Lou_tribal's Avatar
 
City: Quebec
Vessel Name: Bleuvet
Vessel Model: Custom Built
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 4,277
Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
I found a hydraulic jack oil at an autoparts store (Canadian Tire) with the same US milspec as the Seastar oil ... for less than 1/4 of the price. I've been using it for 6yrs now with no problems.

I'd tell you what the milspec number is but the label is so stained it's illegible.
If you have a picture of the jug I would be interested having canadian tire nearby.

Thank you

L
Lou_tribal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2020, 12:20 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
City: Anacortes
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 489
Tony at Seaboard Marine recommends 3 parts ATF and 1 part #2 diesel. Guessing that the #2 reduces viscosity a little and adds some lubricity.
sean9c is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2020, 07:19 AM   #15
Guru
 
Keysdisease's Avatar
 
City: South Florida
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 998
Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
if you don't mind paying 4 or five times more than other products that meet the same spec ..... go for it.
Had the same qt bottle aboard for 11 years, not something I buy like beer. I know Sea Star / Teleflex do not refine oil, they buy it from an oil company and brand it. And yes, the equivalent/same in several industries is the same stuff.

I worked for a company that manufactured and sold a hydraulic system. The system, tolerances, performance and seals were designed for a specific oil, in this case the readily available and cheap ATF. Did not stop people from calling and asking if they could use this or that.

Capilano and Sea Star (Teleflex) are from the same manufacturer, but specify different oils for their systems. Same with Wagner and Hynautic, and within the Hynautic line different oils for steering than their controls.

Unless I'm going through gallons of the stuff, for stand by / back up in case of a leak, I tend to stick with the manufacturers recommendation.

If the difference was hundreds of dollars and it cost 4 or 5 times as much, I might shop around.

$0.02
Keysdisease is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2020, 08:18 AM   #16
Guru
 
City: Rochester, NY
Vessel Name: Hour Glass
Vessel Model: Chris Craft Catalina 381
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 5,726
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keysdisease View Post
I worked for a company that manufactured and sold a hydraulic system. The system, tolerances, performance and seals were designed for a specific oil, in this case the readily available and cheap ATF. Did not stop people from calling and asking if they could use this or that.

In some of those cases, it may have been a commonality question. And at least they asked, instead of trying it and breaking stuff... I've been known to vary fluids slightly in automotive applications just to reduce the number of different fluids I have to keep around. And occasionally I've found a functional benefit from it (such as switching a power steering system that said to never use ATF to ATF, which improved cold weather performance and caused no issues at all in over 100,000 miles).
rslifkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2020, 06:15 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Pmcsurf1's Avatar
 
City: St Augustine
Vessel Name: Agape
Vessel Model: Mainship 400 Trawler
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 247
We bought a new Garmin system with auto pilot. Reactor 40 and the such. Installer left the plastic caps in the pump. During sea trial all the fluid leaked out and we lost steering. Had to add fluid on the hook to get back. Oil was dripping everywhere as the pump was installed in the upper helm. Picture of the pump shows the oil straying out while turning the helm. Click image for larger version

Name:	20201031_074458.jpeg
Views:	10
Size:	68.7 KB
ID:	109622Click image for larger version

Name:	20201030_073842.jpeg
Views:	11
Size:	33.7 KB
ID:	109623Click image for larger version

Name:	20201101_092814.jpeg
Views:	10
Size:	86.3 KB
ID:	109624
Pmcsurf1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2020, 06:23 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Pmcsurf1's Avatar
 
City: St Augustine
Vessel Name: Agape
Vessel Model: Mainship 400 Trawler
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 247
Btw. Garmin guy made many more mistakes during install. Very poor job. We're in negotiations about his bill. I leaning towards paying for parts and not paying for labor. We're still cleaning oil from leaks seeping oil all over the boat. I also reinstalled the pump. Original installer mounted screws though our outside gell coat. Left all the old Raymarine wiring, still hot and sparking/arching. Didn't even cap off the old wires. Total cluster. Btw. Local garmin dealer with all the certificates on the wall.
Pmcsurf1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2020, 07:53 PM   #19
Guru
 
syjos's Avatar


 
City: Gig Harbor
Vessel Name: Sandpiper
Vessel Model: Bluewater 40 Pilothouse Trawler
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2,311
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pmcsurf1 View Post
Btw. Garmin guy made many more mistakes during install. Very poor job. We're in negotiations about his bill. I leaning towards paying for parts and not paying for labor. We're still cleaning oil from leaks seeping oil all over the boat. I also reinstalled the pump. Original installer mounted screws though our outside gell coat. Left all the old Raymarine wiring, still hot and sparking/arching. Didn't even cap off the old wires. Total cluster. Btw. Local garmin dealer with all the certificates on the wall.
I'd deduct your time for clean up from the parts on the bill in addition to not paying labor.

Make sure to take lots of pictures for documentation in case of push back from installer.

Write up a detailed description of what happened, what was said etc while fresh on your mind. Written report holds a lot more evidentiary weight than memory recollection.

Every time I have a beef with vendors, I email vendor my report and tell them that I'm giving then an opportunity to respond before I send the report to Boat US, Passagemaker Magazine and the local boating magazine; NW Yachting. I've been very successful at getting satisfaction.
syjos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2020, 08:02 PM   #20
Guru
 
City: Here
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2,937
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou_tribal View Post
If you have a picture of the jug I would be interested having canadian tire nearby.

Thank you

L
The label is truly illegible but just go to CTC and look for the black 1 quart bottle of hydraulic jack oil marked with the 5606 US milspec.
boatpoker is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Trawler Port Captains
Port Captains are TF volunteers who can serve as local guides or assist with local arrangements and information. Search below to locate Port Captains near your destination. To learn more about this program read here: TF Port Captain Program





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:28 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012