Hydraulic steering

Discussion in 'Boats, Motors, Trailers and Towing Rigs Forum' started by Brian Reiber, Oct 15, 2017.

  1. Brian Reiber

    Brian Reiber Active Member

    Is anyone here an expert? We bought a uflex kit. Pretty straight forward install. Both helms are in, the cylinder is attached to the motor, and we've measured our lines. The question is do I buy bulk 3/8" pressure line (air line will work) or do I have lines made up with the fittings crimped on? The kit came with a bunch of compression fittings so I assume it is meant to be a DIY process.
     
  2. bigdogeh

    bigdogeh Well-Known Member

    I would look for some nylon tubing if you have the compression fittings. kinda looks like that's what uflex uses just looking at this kit.
    http://www.go2marine.com/product/388185F/uflex-hydraulic-steering-add-a-station-kit-ob-2s.html
    My boat uses the same (or something similar) for my hydraulic steering and auto pilot lines. It's fairly stiff but still flexible.
    I'd try to look for something with a high pressure rating. basically something like what they use for wips on some battery operated grease guns. maybe around a 3,000 psi rating if you can find it.. That should ensure you don't have any problems in the future... may be overkill but that's what I'd look for...
    maybe checkout your local hydraulic supply company...
    https://www.hydraulic-supply.com/product/tubing--and--coilhose
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
  3. russellclifton

    russellclifton New Member

    Did you get that kit from a dealer? There should have been lines in the kit. I just Googled uflex and there is a manufacture web sit with all their products listed. Call them if you don't see what you need. I just installed a Teleflex system last week.
     
  4. Brian Reiber

    Brian Reiber Active Member

    Thanks.
    I bought it from the Harbour Chandler It's the kit for up to 300hp and I bought the add a helm fittings kit. The fellow did mention that after you install the system you measure up all your hose lengths and come in and they will order them. I was looking at all the compression fittings that came with the kit and thinking to myself that I could just buy a roll of 3/8" flexible line rated to 3000 psi and it would be cheaper than having lines made up. I'll go to the Chandler today and get some help. It's probably best to just order the pre-made lines.
     
  5. Wild Bill

    Wild Bill Active Member

    Air brake tubing will work fine, Gregg distributors, traction, hose shops etc. Most sell by the foot choice of colours and about $0.60/ft.
     
  6. ericl

    ericl Active Member

    Not sure how critical a nice smooth undistorted cut on the tubing is to get a good seal. It probably matters . When I first bought my used boat I had 2 line failures. My marina is on a river I was headed downstream towards a bridge when a line failed. Second time was when we were still fishing, I was down below fixing the line & my idiot brother-in-law was in the cabin & said:" Guess he isn't going to turn. Came up to see a tug hauling logs bearing down on us - had twin engines so i used the motors to steer us from dying.

    My advice is that you are cheap, boat owning is not a good choice; try Golf.
     
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  7. bigdogeh

    bigdogeh Well-Known Member

    I don't think the cut on the end of the tubing is all that critical. (although you should try to keep it neat and square.) The seal is on the side of the tubing and the fitting itself when using compression fittings.
    Some people will put an insert (brass or stainless) into the end of the tubing to help give it a bit more strength where the compression crush takes place...
    https://www.gvc.net/p/4706/tube-insert
     
  8. terrin

    terrin Well-Known Member

    At least i'm not the only one with relatives like that. lol
     
  9. Brian Reiber

    Brian Reiber Active Member

    I got it figured out. The visit to the Chandler was a bit of a let down. Either they don't fully understand the system they sell or I did a poor job of explaining my situation. Their best solution was to sell me 7 5/16" hydraulic lines at $90 a piece (even though the installation instructions call for 3/8"). Then I could take the $99 add a helm kit that they sold me and throw away all the compression fitting and only use the 2 tees, and 2- 90's (about $20 at my local hardware store).

    So my solution: I bought 2 hydraulic lines to run from my blending tees out to the outboard. My local parts store could have made them much cheaper than $180 but at this point I just wanted to wrap this project up. These two hoses are the only ones that will be subject to any stresses and so it makes sense to put a quality hose there. For all the on board fluid transfer I used 3'8" air line that I purchased from Gregg's Distributors for $1.17/ft. I also bough the brass inserts to ensure a good seat in the furled fittings. The air lines will handle 1400 psi and I don't see any reason why transferring oil rather than air with oil in it will be a problem. The hydraulic lines that the Chandler sells are rated for 1500 psi. I'm pretty comfortable that the system I designed will work well and it is $335 cheaper than the alternative. If it fails it will be a fail in my compression of the fittings and I don't expect that to happen.

    Thanks for all the help
     
    bigdogeh likes this.
  10. Brian Reiber

    Brian Reiber Active Member

    Being cheap has nothing to do with this. I don't piss my money away unnecessarily. I do as much of my own mechanical work as possible because I enjoy it and because I want to know how things work. When I'm 20 miles offshore and something fails, I know exactly where to look and how to come up with a repair. If you are unsure how to use a tubing cutter then you are right, air lines would not be a good fit for you.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
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  11. Brian Reiber

    Brian Reiber Active Member

    Thank Bill. I paid $1.17 at Gregg's. I got a tip that P and R Western Star in Duncan sold it much cheaper than that but for the amount that I was buying I didn't want to lose another 1 1/2 hour of productivity.
     
    Wild Bill likes this.
  12. Brian Reiber

    Brian Reiber Active Member

    The system is bled and works perfectly. Hopefully we can sea trial it later this week.
     
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  13. bigdogeh

    bigdogeh Well-Known Member

    Gotta love hydraulic steering.
    are you steering an outboard?
    Or an in board with bravo /volvo leg or something like that?
     
  14. Wild Bill

    Wild Bill Active Member

    Probably th 1/4" price stuck in my head from a year ago lol! Glad everything is working well!
     
  15. Brian Reiber

    Brian Reiber Active Member

    200hp Yamaha with a 9.9 kicker. Single steering cylinder on the main and we'll use some sort of tie bar to the kicker.
     
  16. bigdogeh

    bigdogeh Well-Known Member

    Only reason I asked is because if it was a bravo outdrive, they have a problem with the main steering pin the outdrive swivels on. It's made of mild steel and over time it corrodes and the steering becomes extremely stiff. They make a stainless replacement (aftermarket and possibly oem, not sure on the latter) That fixes the issue but it's a bit of work to replace. Worth it though if you use your vessel in salt water...
    I replaced mine a few years ago and it made a huge difference in the steering. went from needing both hands to steer (even with hydraulic steering) to being able to steer using the force of a couple fingers...
     
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