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Hydraulic Steering Issues

Old 08-27-2020, 07:02 AM
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Default Hydraulic Steering Issues

I have a 1998 Formula 271 FasTech with Mayfair twin ram, full hydraulic steering. When I first bought the boat I noticed low speed steering issues e.g. docking. The steering would become hard around the docks, and would require a lot of effort in the wheel. I added an external reservoir with a dump cap to the saginaw pump, because the boat was lacking one. I saw a definite improvement but the problem is not totally gone. I have noticed that if will feel like helm is turned to lock and the steering is almost non responsive, but if you use a considerable amount of effort you can push past that point and the boat will start to respond. I know these are not outrageously complicated systems, but I definitely have an issue here and I am not sure if what I am describing is a characteristic of an issue with pump pressure, a filter, or the helm. Any help and insight appreciated.
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Old 08-30-2020, 08:36 PM
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Sounds like a helm issue. If the pressure won’t move from one side to the other there must be an obstruction or a problem in the helm. Is this problem at all engine speeds or just around the dock? I have the same steering and it doesn’t like to turn quickly at low rpm (-750). I can’t say I have experienced what you are describing.
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Old 08-31-2020, 06:59 AM
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Thanks for the reply. So this is exclusively a low speed issue and I think it is getting worse. I am now almost convinced its a pump issue because the wheel itself gets hard to turn. It is especially bad after running for a bit then going slow. It is definitely worse after running than it is pulling it right off the trailer, which tells me heat has something to do with it. It will still turn but its like trying to turn your helm with the engine off but harder yet because of the prop torque. Even with all that, the pump isnt leaking or whining. When i called Hardin they werent much help. I might throw a pump in it today and see what happens.
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Old 09-02-2020, 04:46 PM
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Pull the high pressure line off the back of the pump. Unthread the high pressure fitting out of the back which is the large nut looking fitting that the line threads into. There is a hole through the center of it, drill that out with an 11/64" drill bit. Just reuse the o-ring and put it back in. I have done this with all my steering setups that still run a stock Saginaw pump. Helps tremendously. All mine steer the same at an idle as under power.
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Old 09-02-2020, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by TwoBill420 View Post
Thanks for the reply. So this is exclusively a low speed issue and I think it is getting worse. I am now almost convinced its a pump issue because the wheel itself gets hard to turn. It is especially bad after running for a bit then going slow. It is definitely worse after running than it is pulling it right off the trailer, which tells me heat has something to do with it. It will still turn but its like trying to turn your helm with the engine off but harder yet because of the prop torque. Even with all that, the pump isnt leaking or whining. When i called Hardin they werent much help. I might throw a pump in it today and see what happens.
What speed are you running the pump? Is pump pulley about the same size as the drive pulley (~1:1) or is the pump under driven? I had a similar issue and had to increase the crank drive pulley to get to about 1:1. Works perfectly.
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Old 09-02-2020, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by larose481 View Post
Pull the high pressure line off the back of the pump. Unthread the high pressure fitting out of the back which is the large nut looking fitting that the line threads into. There is a hole through the center of it, drill that out with an 11/64" drill bit. Just reuse the o-ring and put it back in. I have done this with all my steering setups that still run a stock Saginaw pump. Helps tremendously. All mine steer the same at an idle as under power.

Here is a link to the step by step instructions.. I've done it on all mine as well.. Helps quite a bit at idle....
https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/c799a...aw%20pump.docx
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