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Tan
Tan, MerCruiser Certified Technician
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 10620
Experience:  40 yrs. experience with complete engine repairs both inboard/outboard and MerCruiser Certified Technician.
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How do I fill and bleed the air from my 1985 Grady white sailfish

Customer Question

How do I fill and bleed the air from my 1985 Grady white sailfish hydraulic steering system? I removed the tuna tower which had a second steering station and capped off the hoses at the tee connections behind the engine oil resevoirs. In the past I have used a bicycle pump to purge the system at the upper steering station but have never had to add fluid before. I think I can take the cap off the central line that I just capped off and add fluid through that connection. I can then crack the plugs on either side of the remaining lower steering station and turn the engines side to side to purge the air. Is that correct or is there a better way?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Boat
Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.
Good morning my name is ***** ***** am I speaking with? What I would need to know is the model/part number of the steering cylinder back by the engine. As some have bleed screw and some do not. Can I get the number off the cylinder please
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am not at the boat. I do not believe there is a bleeder nipple on the cylinder-only a grease fitting nipple.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My name is Mark.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have twin Johnson 250 hp engines
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ther are two cylinders, naturally
Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.
Hi Mark. If there are no bleed screws on the cylinders then you would bleed them by turning each wheel fully to the left and to the right quite a few times. If it still won't bleed out then there is an air leak, and air is getting sucked into the system. When that happens it's typically a cylinder end cap seal. Does that make sense?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I used to bleed the system by cracking the side plugs at the upper helm but I just removed the entire tuna tower so there is the
Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.
I would really need to know which steering system you have, as there are so many different types of these. Do you have any numbers at all on the helm units and cylinders?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
please call me. I have authorized the extra payment of $18.00
Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.
I don't really do the phone calls that often, they take up way to much of my time and isn't worth the 18 bucks But even if I were to call you I would need to know which steering system you have first so I could look it up and prep myself. So either way, I would need to know what you have before going any further.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My real question is where to add the hydraulic fluid. There doesn't seem to be a dedicated fitting for this anywhere in the system. The only helm station left doesnt seem to have a port to fill from. It has two side plugs for bleeding air but no fill port. Since I just removed the upper helm, I have three plugs where I removed the upper station. Do I remove the center plug and try to fill through that fitting?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There is a resevoire tank in the rear compartment close to the engines but there is only an air pump fitting and a sight guage which shows the pressure in the system. There is no fill port there either.
Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.
You always fill at the helm. If you have 2 stations and upper and lower, you would fill through the uppers center cap. This thing costs an arm and a leg for what it is. But they do make a fill hose that fits those threads. Click this link, this is the product. http://www.westmarine.com/buy/teleflex--fill-hose--552620 You can use a small funnel but you always risk spill over. With the hose you can stick the bottle on one end and then thread the hose into the helm and tip the bottle upside down without spilling anything, and then just work the wheel back and forth. Does that make sense?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I cannot access the top cap on the helm. It is in a place where the copper tubing will not allow me the flexibility to pull the station down to access the top fitting. The only thing I can think of is to fill through the air fitting on the resevoir tank or through the plug I put in when I removed the upper helm. What are your thoughts about either of those options?
Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.
I don't understand. Can you not see the cap at all? Can you not remove it with a flat headed screwdriver, or pliers?
Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.
Can you send pictures over of your upper and lower helms?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No. the helm is surrounded in a tight fiberglass compartment. The pumping portion is inside the compartment and there are three copper lines connected to it that are rigid and no slack on them at all to pull the station down even if it is unbolted. I cannot access the top cap in its present location.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I believe I have to create a fill fitting at he spot where I removed the hydraulic lines from the upper helm..
Expert:  Tan replied 1 year ago.
Hello. My name is***** this look similar to your reservoir? You have the old Hynautic system with the reservoir. On the top of the reservoir is a large 1" fill plug remove the plug and fill with fluid till the sight winds are full of fluid. Once you get the system full there is a schrader valve that you use the bicycle pump to pressurize 40-50 psi the system. SYSTEMPURGING1.Fill the reservoir to within 2' of the top. Pressurize to 40-50 psi.2.Loosen valve screws on the relief valve. Circled in red.3.Bleed both ends of the cylinder until solid oil appears. This is accomplished by loosening the hose connections at the cylinder and retightening it when solid fluid is evident. Single rod end cylinders bleed rod end first.4. Go to highest helm and turn slowly 60-70 turns in on direction. Repeat at successively lower stations.5. Again bleed at cylinder as in Step 3.6. Go to top station and turn slowly 60-70 turns in the opposite direction. Repeat at successively lower Sta -7. Again bleed at cylinder as in Step 3.8. Purging should be complete at this time9. Close valve screws on relief valve, check turns H.0 to H.010. Leave systern pressurize-at 25-35 psi,and reservoir halfful

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