Originally Posted by dougcrock
I have noticed a slight oil leak at steering ram of Seastar 3 yr old How easy? to fix or is it better to get expert to do it. General condition immaculate
Pretty easy to do, assuming you can get the kit. Kit contains (as I remember): 2 seals premounted in end caps, a spanner for removing and installing said seals, a few other bits and pieces. Kit runs between $60 and $85 US, depending on where you buy it.
If you can't get the kit, you'll need the appropriate glands with seals, and need to fabricate a wrench that fits the little holes in the cap.
I suppose it's possible to reuse the caps and just replace the seals, if you don't mind being down for a bit. (see below)
Seastar used to recommend doing a complete flush and fill when you do the seals, but it's quite possible to replace them without losing much fluid at all.
Basically, you disconnect the steering arms from the ends of the ram, turn the wheel so the ram moves all the way to one side, remove and replace that seal, then go the other way to change the other side. Bleed the ram on either side to eliminate air, and you're pretty much done.
As a side note, many people say that you can take the old glands to a hydraulic shop and have the seals replaced; seems easy enough, but I haven't gotten around to it.
As long as you're doing the ram seals, you might as well replace the helm seal as well. That way all the user replaceable stuff is done at once. The helm seal runs about $5.