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311 hydraulic helm

Old 10-28-2019, 10:36 PM
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Default 311 hydraulic helm

Hey guys,

I put some add on hydraulic steering (just the rams on outside of boat) to my vessel. I have a stock 311 with 454 mags. Wanted the extra stability after rebuilding gimbals and rings and to improve handling. Now I am thinking of the full hydraulic conversion. Has anyone done this to their 311 or other similar style hull? Iím curious want else is really needed to do this to get the full effect of hydraulic steering without spending huge dollars on the all out versions that are out there. look forward to your thoughts.
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Old 10-29-2019, 08:38 AM
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The only way to do it is the right way. This is an area where you do not want to cut corners.

if you have the rams already, then youíre on your way.

Remove all of factory steering. Purchase a helm, steering wheel adapter, lines. Mock it all up, and then have a hydraulic shop crimp the ends on your hoses/supply fittings.

For me the biggest pains where getting the old steering out and fitting the helm to the dash (the space under the dash is tight).

Questions? Ask away. A few of us on here have done the work. Youíll love how the boat handles after this is done.
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Old 10-29-2019, 09:20 AM
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I have done it any questions just ask. I used my original steering wheel.
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Old 10-29-2019, 09:26 AM
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What helm unit did you order to keep same steering wheel? Cannyhe same pump on engine be used? Is a additional reservoir needed?
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Old 10-29-2019, 11:54 AM
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Mr Maine will be able to answer regarding the helm/wheel.

You can use the factory power steering pump. You will need to increase the size of the orifice in the outlet fitting to give you better assist at idle, but it's a fairly easy almost no-brainer job to do. I'm using a external reservoir connected to a cap on the pump that I purchased from IMCO (in place of the factory PS cap... seals to the top of the pump reservoir). This will give you added capacity to allow fluid to move around in the systems, and also make it easier to fill and maintain.
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Old 10-29-2019, 03:19 PM
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I am using the stock pump, no orfice chage works perfect. No external resovoir since its a balenced system level doesnt change as you steer. Stock cooler as well.

i dont remember where i got the steering column but its a 6 inch vs stock 3 inch which brings the wheel closer to me in the bolster which i like.
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Old 10-29-2019, 06:05 PM
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I went with Mayfair full kit. The hoses and fittings where tricky at first but I fitted a system up to hold everything in place while assembling. The Hardin kit comes with a reservoir, filter ,helm and column with multiple bolt patterns. My old Formula three spoke wheel did not match up however. If you go this route, let me know and I will explain how to hold the hose from spinning while tightening down the ends. This was the only thing not covered in the schematics in the kit and the only trouble I ran into with the install. Hydraulic steering is a real game changer and you will love it. Full disclaimer: I installed mine without power in the boat and can only assume your experience will be a bit more challenging if you are working in a bilge full of big blocks.
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Old 10-29-2019, 10:10 PM
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Thanks guys. So what is the size hydraulic hose to use? Do you guys have pics of your helms on the 311? Iím curious of what you removed or used for install at the dash. Did you use a flexible helm?

Send pics to my email at [email protected] if you canít post.

I feel eel like I saw a sea star type helm unit which it felt like it had parts where the hoses connect and the steering wheel adaptor all as one piece. Then the units on lathem web site have 2 part units. Is there a problem with the single unit?

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Old 10-30-2019, 09:40 PM
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[img]blob:https://www.offshoreonly.com/d365d777-4400-4a92-ae01-31c5048d1a01[/img]This is the Hardin column. I don’t have a picture of the hydraulic helm but the Allen bolts thread into it behind the dash.
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Old 10-30-2019, 09:41 PM
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Or not
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