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Power Steering Pump Not Hooked Up???? Help?

Old 10-20-2009, 12:52 AM
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Location: St. Petersburg, FL
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Default Power Steering Pump Not Hooked Up???? Help?

I just purchased a 1996 336 Formula with twin 502 Mag MPIs and noticed that the Port side power steering pump is not hooked up to a belt? There is fluid in it and a spot for a belt on the pulley on the pump and on the main pulley on the engine. Is this normal? The steering felt harder than I would have thought a boat with power steering would have felt? I see some other boats with same engines running both pumps and they do not have the upgraded external steering on the drives, bone stock like mine? Any help?
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:18 AM
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Prior to 1996, boat builders could order there engine packages from Mercruiser either with, or without, power steering on them. This saved them a few dollars, if they only needed the one power-steering equipted engine on a twin installation, as this is all thats needed, and how every performance boat builder plumbed their steering. Then Merc began only selling their engine packages with power-steering, without a choice of with or without. Some builders removed the reduntant pump/pulley/belt/power-steering cylinder/hoses assembly, & install a correct length belt, for a cleaner installation. Others opted to just leave everything alone, & just let it go along for the ride, not hooked up to anything, as it is not needed. Then others, went to the trouble of installing a Mercruiser priority valve & hose system to allow full-time use of both power-steering pumps. Very few builders went this last route though.
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:13 AM
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Ed is correct. Even if both are hooked up only one pump will work the power steering at a time. The valve will only allow the stronger pump to work (probably the engine started first) and the other to simply circulate. So your steering will be no different with both hooked up.
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Old 10-20-2009, 01:52 PM
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Actually, In my setup (Volvo/Innovation 600's), both pumps contribute. The steering is considerably stiffer with only one engine running. This could have something to do with the relative volumes of the steering helm, rams, etc. in my setup versus other manufacturers.
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