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Jason, Marine Mechanic
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 15858
Experience:  Degree in Marine Technology. Gas and diesel marine mechanic.
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How can you tell if the power steering actuator is bad. Have

Customer Question

How can you tell if the power steering actuator is bad. Have 1 89 OMC Cobra and have eliminated all other steering items and still stiff steering?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Boat
Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** am I speaking to?
There really isn't any test except for eliminating all other possibilities. Is your steering tight at both off plane and on plane?. Or is it reasonable of plane, and tight on plane?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Let me ask you this. Should power steering on this mentioned be smooth and easy like a car?
Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.
No. And the easiest way to explain it is in a car, power steering provides a full time (regardless of rpm) power boost. In a boat, the system provides a part time power assist at higher rpms only. (ie when the boat is up on plane).
The reason I had asked about the steering is because if it steers reasonable when not on plane, but stiff when up on plane. Then that is either a pump or actuator issue. What happens next is a pressure gauge gets put between the pump and actuator, and the reading you would be looking for 1000 psi. If pressure is not there, the pump is bad. If pressure is there, the actuator is bad. However, if it is stiff at low speeds, that is not a pump or actuator issue. That is a cable issue. And the cable has a worn inner sleeve causing a bind when steering under load. If you take 2 identical boats, and 1 has power steering and the other does not they should steer identically when not on plane. Only when on plane would the boat with power steering be quite noticeably better/easier. But off plane they would steer the same.
Does that all make sense? -Jason
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes that clears up my expectation. Thank you
Expert:  Jason replied 2 years ago.
You are most welcome and I was glad I could help.
Just incase you do not understand the way the website works (and some folks do not). You do have to put forth a positive rating in order for it to credit me for helping you. When ratings are not done, the website simply keeps your deposit and they will not credit me. Please let me know if you run into any problems or errors when trying to do it. If you can not see the ratings box, please reply back "I rate Jasons service as _______" and fill the blank with whatever you deem most appropriate. Questions do not close out, so if you have to come back tomorrow or next week with follow up questions to this you still can even after doing a rating. Tips are always greatly appreciated.
If I do not hear back from you I thank you in advance and good luck!

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