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I have a Volvo Penta 8.1L with the DPS-A lower unit. I was…

I have a Volvo Penta...
I have a Volvo Penta 8.1L with the DPS-A lower unit. I was having trouble with the steering (it was harder to turn one direction than the other, and was making a moaning noise when turned all the way to the stop on the right).My mechanic looked at it and found some hoses were rubbing up against the steering actuator. He re-routed those hoses and now the steering is easier and consistent in both directions. However the moan is still there when turning the wheel all the way to the right with the engine running.The lower unit as been pulled and inspected and the gimbal bearing, u-joint, bellows, etc, all look good and are well greased. No belts are slipping and the power steering pump spins freely. I drained and refilled the power steering fluid to make sure it was fresh.The moan doesn't seem to be causing any functional issues, but it definitely was not there the last couple of years so I am wondering if it is something to be concerned about. The sound is fairly loud in the engine compartment and sounds like it is coming from the rear of the engine / transom wall where the actuator is mounted. It could also be reverberating through the wall from the lower unit.The mechanic said he could replace the actuator as that's the only thing he thinks it could be, but the part alone is $850.So my questions are, any idea what this could be? Could the steering cable/actuator be slightly misaligned? Is it possible to disconnect the steering cable from the actuator, align the lower unit slightly left, and then reconnect the steering cable? In that case, hard right would not turn the drive quite as far and then not cause the moaning noise?Thanks in advance.
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Answered in 9 minutes by:
6/18/2018
Jason
Jason, Marine Mechanic
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 18,240
Experience: Degree in Marine Technology. Gas and diesel marine mechanic.
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Hello my name is ***** ***** am I speaking with? I read what you wrote. Where is this moaning noise coming from exactly? Is it coming from the power steering pump? Is it coming from the actuator? Or is it coming from someplace else?

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Hi Jason, my name is***** listen in the engine compartment when turning the wheel all the way over to the right/starboard, the noise comes from the transom wall on that side. Hard to tell with the engine running the exact source but it could be the actuator, or it could be echoing through the transom from the outdrive. When you get a moan like that it carries through the fiberglass. It is definitely not coming from the PS pump as that is mounted on the front of the engine on the port side.

HI Darin. What is your concern here? Is the steering now working correctly and there is just this noise? Or is the steering still not working correctly?

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
The steering seems fine now. The boat is for sale and the groaning noise will I'm sure raise concerns on a sea trial.

The groan only occurs when you turn the steering wheel completely to 1 side or the other, but not when you just steer the boat normally, is that correct?

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Correct. The noise only occurs when the steering wheel gets all the way to the stop turning the boat right. I can turn the wheel all the way to the left stop, no noise. Turning right and left are all fine, no noise, until the steering gets to the right stop.

Okay got it. Based on what you are telling me so far it is more or less normal. Have you ever listened to your car when turning the wheel all the way over?

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
I have heard that in my truck yes. My reason for thinking that this is abnormal is (a) it didn't do it last year and (b) it is very loud. I haven't heard anything that loud from my boats in the past or any other boats for that matter.

Both the power steering pump and the actuator have hydraulic relief valves inside of them. In the power steering pump, it is just a pressure relief valve. In the actuator, there is a control valve services a couple of different things, but also acts as a pressure relief valve. These valves can stick, they can get dirty, and they can go bad. This moan can only be coming from 1 of 2 places, either the pump or the actuator. There is nothing else that could possibly make any kind of noise. The first step is to get a stethoscope and actually pinpoint where the noise is coming from. From there, once you find out what is making the noise, then you have decide on what you want to do. Pumps and actuators can make noise but still work just. So you just have to ask yourself if you want to run the boat, and just deal with the noise. Or if you want to spend the money on parts and labor to replace parts that are just noisy but otherwise operating just fine. Does that all make sense to you. Personally if it was my boat, the noise wouldn't bother me. When you are up on plane and cruising around you wouldn't ever hear it anyways. But if you are selling the boat I can understand your point. If a buyer makes a big deal about the noise you can offer to take 500 bucks off the boat and see what they say. Or you could spend 1000 up front and fix the noise. I do want to make sure you are happy with my service before you go. If you had a further question on the issue by all means feel free to ask. If not, Just in case 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. The ratings box is located at the top of the screen. To rate, you must select the star you wish and also confirm it. Please let me know if you run into any problems or errors when trying to do it. If you do have a problem, or if you can not see the ratings box which is at the top of the screen. Please reply back "I rate Jason's service _______" and fill in the blank.

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Thank you
Jason

Jason
Jason, Marine Mechanic
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 18,240
Experience: Degree in Marine Technology. Gas and diesel marine mechanic.
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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Thanks Jason. That's what I suspected. I didn't think about using a stethoscope but that's a good idea. Just from putting my ear in the engine hatch, I know the noise is not coming from the steering pump because it is on the other side of the engine compartment and towards the bow of the boat.Since the steering is fine I will try to just sell the boat as is and see how that goes.

You are very welcome. Thanks again and good luck!

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