Hi All, any advice on how to convert rack and pinion steering to hydraulic. Not sure where to start interms of material but im confident in my mechanical abilities to rKe on this task. Any advice or links would be appreciated
I am in agreement that the uflex system worked best for me. I have a volvo penta dp-a drive with power assist (power steering pump). I got a balanced cylinder, which means that the helm will have the same # of turns from straight ahead to full port or full starboard. depending which outdrive would depend on which cylinder you need. the 280 volvo penta is a bit more challenging. I think it was capt. c. delaney (member) had a write up on his 280. My steering cylinder came with compression fittings, and I found an older seastar helm with compression fittings. I will most likely get flammed for this but I used 3/8 soft copper hvac for my lines. let me know which drive you have and I might be of more help
Interesting reply. I did a lot of research before going with copper. The old seastar helm can not pressurize the system above the copper. I am thinking that the copper will most likely out last me. I tied it down with tie wraps that are screwed down along the entire path. I will watch the fluid to see what happens. I am using airplane grade fluid dyed red.
so I have studied the information and I am not opposed to pre made hoses. What I am running into is the fittings on the cylinder and on the helm are compression fittings. The pre made hoses that I find are ORB fittings. changing the helm fittings are no problem, but the fittings on the cylinder seem to be the ones they want you to use. It says on the cylinder not to tighten or change the position of the bleed/connection fittings. also I am sure that I can find ORB fittings for my auto pilot. any suggestions on how to work around all of the fitting problems would be greatJust keep an eye on the hydraulic fluid color from time to time. If it starts turning green, it means you are getting corrosion in the lines. You can get galvanic corrosion due to the dissimilar metal contact between the copper and the stainless steel parts. It is also common to get a small amount of moisture trapped in the fluid and when it turns color, its time to flush out the fluid and replace it.
The 3/8 standard annealed copper is designed for around 960 psi. Its right at the 1000 psi range for most lower end hoses. The reinforced high pressure hoses like the QKITOB-22 comes with two hoses for less than $125. It can withstand 1500 psi of pressure. The cost is relatively cheap, especially for boats.
I'm more worried that in the long term, the corrosion might cause pinhole leaks on the inside of the copper tube and that is not something you can repair in the ocean. If you look at the chart below, the copper is more anodic than the stainless steel, so its more active and tends to pit on the copper side instead of the stainless. The further apart the two metals are in the chart, the more likely it is to have corrosion between the dissimilar metals. In this situation, its not good because the pitting will weaken the copper tubing.
Another issue is that vibration over time would work harden the annealed copper resulting in a fracture. Its like someone bending a beer can tab over and over and eventually it just breaks off. All that engine noise in the long run can do that to copper tubing if its not supported properly.
Stainless tubes are much stronger and does not have issues with galvanic reaction. It is often used in airplanes or construction equipment, but not on boats. Boats are subjected to the worse corrosion environment due to the salt spray.
These are the two main reasons why the copper tubing is not suggested for boats to run hydraulic lines from a safety point of view. It looks like you have a nice setup other than the copper tubes.
QKITOB-22 kit from Ebay or Amazon.
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so I have studied the information and I am not opposed to pre made hoses. What I am running into is the fittings on the cylinder and on the helm are compression fittings. The pre made hoses that I find are ORB fittings. changing the helm fittings are no problem, but the fittings on the cylinder seem to be the ones they want you to use. It says on the cylinder not to tighten or change the position of the bleed/connection fittings. also I am sure that I can find ORB fittings for my auto pilot. any suggestions on how to work around all of the fitting problems would be great
so with the exception of the helm pump, the rest of the system is brand new. auto pilot pump just arrived, cylinder i have had for a while but is new. the helm pump is something I acquired and rebuilt. It is a navico type 2 pump with a couple of different 1/4 npt with either tubing compression fitting or a metric type fitting. the u flex cylinder has a compression fitting. I have T's with compression fittings.
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Thanks for all the great information!!! I just wanted to make sure that the hoses had the correct fitting for the compression fittings that I had on the cylinder and helm. I have Lots of fittings. When I bought the cylinder I bought the 2nd pump kit. More t's and other fittings. You are right the helm does have 1/4 npt fitting, and I was aware that I needed to move the bottom plug to the top and the fitting there to the bottom. I found a pretty good deal on the hoses I need and it looks like hodges has the octopus kit. Thanks again for the assistance