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Old 02 March 2011, 06:01   #1
Country: Ireland
Town: Castlebar
Boat name: Clewless
Make: Valiant DR 490
Length: 4m +
Engine: 60 hp ETEC
MMSI: Awaitng one
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,330
Purging air from a new steering system

I have just purcahsed a new baystar steering system. It is quite easy to install. (total time including removing old system circa 4 hrs)
I undertsand that purging air from the system can be a problem. How long should it take with two to purge the system


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Old 02 March 2011, 11:37   #2
Country: USA
Town: Oakland CA
Length: 3m +
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,653
I did my Seastar system in about 45 minutes, working alone. I kludged up an external fluid reservoir that screwed into the filler cap: 1/2 gallon pitcher, an outlet using a fuel barb (sealed with rubber washers and held on with a nut), a length of plastic hose, a stopcock so I could shut off flow when filled, and another fuel barb to screw into the fill opening. At the other end, a short piece of plastic tubing over the bleed nipple that went into another container with enough fluid to keep the end submerged.

Follow the directions that are on the Seastar/Baystar website (or should have been included with your kit), but do one additional step:

Once you get everything bled according to the directions, close up all the bleed nipples, and open the filler cap (might want to put a towel or something over the top, though). Turn the wheel to full lock in one direction. Rapidly, and forcefully, turn the wheel about 1/2 turn off lock and back onto lock several times. If your system is like mine, you'll get a bunch of air bubbling back through the helm reservoir. Refill the fluid, and repeat until you don't get any more air coming out. Repeat with the wheel going to the other side.

It's a PITA, but not terribly difficult.


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Old 02 March 2011, 13:02   #3
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Country: UK - England
Town: Fareham
Length: 6m +
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 7,855
The only problem with the kit is the amount of Hydraulic oil they give you. I found I had to recycle it a bit (I don't recommend using oil that's come out of a system, even if it is new oil for fear of contamination) as there wasn't enough and I ran out of oil. I did forecast this and made sure my jam jar was super clean. But this gave me another problem with air bubbles in the oil that had gone around the system. So I just let it stand overnight and completed it the next day.

I might suggest getting another bottle of oil, just in case if not for topping up in the future.

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Old 02 March 2011, 16:04   #4
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Country: Ireland
Make: Redbay Boats
Length: 9m +
Engine: 370hp
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 13,792

I have an unused bottle of Seastar oil looking for a home...
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Old 02 March 2011, 18:22   #5
Country: USA
Town: Oakland CA
Length: 3m +
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,653
The Seastar spec for their oil is the latest mil-spec aviation grade hydraulic fluid (MIL SPEC H-5606 C.) No idea why they spec it so high.

That said, even the way-too-picky aviation hydraulic fluis is cheaper than buying the Seastar quarts (which run about $18 - 30 US around here, as I recall.) A gallon of aviation hydraulic fluid (4 times bigger than the quart) runs about $30 - 40 US. The only big difference is the color (Mil Spec stuff is red; SeaStar stuff isn't dyed for ID of leaks.)

From the Seastar website, the following are approved fluids:

Seastar oil, HA5430
Shell Aero Shell fluid #41
Esso Univis N15 or J13
Texaco HO15
Chevron Aviation Hydraulic Fluid A
Mobil Aero HFA
Petro Canada Harmony HV115 (Canada only)

I anticipated using 2.5 to 3 quarts for my steering; I think it was probably closer to 2. No big deal; the fluid is not like brake fluid, and does not absorb water (despite what you read on the net.) Means I don't have to buy any next time I flush the system.

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Old 03 March 2011, 04:28   #6
Country: UK - Scotland
Town: glasgow
Boat name: arriba
Make: marlin
Length: 7m +
Engine: suzuki 300
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 314
Originally Posted by willk View Post
I have an unused bottle of Seastar oil looking for a home...
still got the oil?
doing mine this weekend
pm me with price etc

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