Help me diagnose a power steering issue

LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaMember Posts: 5,472 ✭✭✭✭✭
Recommissioning my 370 after a major rebuild with new transom assemblies ... the power steering feels stiff and jerky.  It goes through the full range of motion, but the steering effort is too high, and it feels jerky and uneven.

It's not a pump issue.  Today I swapped the port steering pump over the starboard side, and it didn't help.  The hydraulic fluid is new.  I don't see air bubbles in the steering fluid reservoir, and I've already worked the wheel back and forth about 1000 times.  I fixed a slight kink in the hydraulic line to the cooler ... no joy.  

What would make the steering feel jerky and uneven?  
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Comments

  • aero3113aero3113 Long Island, NYMember Posts: 6,264 ✭✭✭✭✭
    What happens if you raise the RPM’s? It shouldn’t matter but it might make a difference in you situation.
    2008 330EC
  • Dream_InnDream_Inn Annapolis, MDMember, Moderator Posts: 6,473 mod
    Something maybe with the power steering cooler?  Could be inhibiting flow?

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

  • aero3113aero3113 Long Island, NYMember Posts: 6,264 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Were the steering arms easy to move by hand on your new transom assemblies?
    2008 330EC
  • Handymans342Handymans342 Ft Myers FloridaMember Posts: 9,483 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Definitely a blockage. Hard to find with out gauges
  • Handymans342Handymans342 Ft Myers FloridaMember Posts: 9,483 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It could also be a valve sticking in the hydraulic assist arm. 
  • LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaMember Posts: 5,472 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'll try to describe it in terms of force are needed to turn the wheel:

    No power steering, 20 pounds
    Normal power steering, less than 1 pound
    My steering:  5 pounds, but sometimes it briefly drops to 1 pound 

    That's why I say it feels jerky.  While I'm turning the wheel, sometimes it will feel "normal" for just a fraction of a second, then back to 5 pounds of effort.  

    A problem with the steering cable or transom assemblies would be a constant force, so I think it has to be hydraulics.  @Handymans342 it could be in issue with the ram after sitting in my attic for five months.  

    How would I test the pressure?
  • PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 2,656 ✭✭✭✭
    You had it all apart and empty, what's the chances it just needs to be bled more? air pockets in the lines = no power steering until they pass.  

    Start the motors at the dock, idle rpm and slowly clock the steering from left to right for the duration of your favorite power rock ballad.  "Don't stop believing" that it's something simple. 

    I just rebuit my trim cylinders and it took maybe 10 min up and down working  to get it to stop  whining under load.  

    Ive had cars that needed a few days to fully purge after swapping a power steering pump

  • goalie59goalie59 Port DoverMember Posts: 187 ✭✭
    Larea, does it make any difference if you have the wheel tilted. I have a bad u-joint in my steering tilt mechanism and if the steering tilt is not completely straight it causes an issue, it's a long shot but something you might want to check
  • LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaMember Posts: 5,472 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @PickleRick I will try that today.  "Red Streamliner" by Little Feat is five minutes long ... that ought to do it.  
  • davidbrooksdavidbrooks GermantownMember Posts: 856 ✭✭✭
    I am agreeing with @PickleRick really sounds like you are chasing an air bubble. I'm sure you've done this but keep turning the wheel hard starboard and hold it under pressure and then hard port and hold it under pressure at least a dozen times and see if it helps to smooth things out.
    It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere!
  • Handymans342Handymans342 Ft Myers FloridaMember Posts: 9,483 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It will probably go away after Hotel California and a cold beer. As far as checking pressures, its impossible with out the proper gauges installed. There are no ports. Your Ram is probably ready to be replaced 
  • Liberty44140Liberty44140 Bay Village & Marblehead, OH.Member Posts: 3,395 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Whatever you listen to just make sure there ate lyrics. I am close to writing in a complaint to the Margaritaville channel about Santana like songs with no lyrics. I'd listen to a rock station of I wanted that crap. Good luck LR....
    07' Cruisers 390 (Previous Rinker's: 06' 342EC & 01' 310FV)

  • GrahamuGrahamu Port Credit, ON, CDAMember Posts: 187 ✭✭
    I would run the engine at 1000 RPM going thru full turns both ways several times bring the drives to center and remove the vented reservoir cap to let any air escape or check for bubbles. You might have to do it more than once.
  • GrahamuGrahamu Port Credit, ON, CDAMember Posts: 187 ✭✭
  • aero3113aero3113 Long Island, NYMember Posts: 6,264 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Can you bleed the lines in different areas? Crack them open and let some fluid out under pressure.
    2008 330EC
  • LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaMember Posts: 5,472 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I just got my second upper-body workout of the day -- no joy. 

    I ran the engine at high idle and cranked that wheel every way I could for about 15 minutes:  slow, fast, pinned against the end stops, you name it, I tried it.  There are no bubbles in the reservoir, and it's still really hard to move the wheel.  

    @goalie59 the wheel tilt position didn't change anything.  
  • aero3113aero3113 Long Island, NYMember Posts: 6,264 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @LaRea , was any work done to the actuator? Was it rebuilt? 
    2008 330EC
  • LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaMember Posts: 5,472 ✭✭✭✭✭
    To my knowledge, no work has ever been done on the actuator.  Do you think I should look at rebuilding or replacing it?
  • Handymans342Handymans342 Ft Myers FloridaMember Posts: 9,483 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Did you disconnect the steering cables and turn wheel?
  • aero3113aero3113 Long Island, NYMember Posts: 6,264 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Maybe you have a weak hose collapsing?
    2008 330EC
  • Handymans342Handymans342 Ft Myers FloridaMember Posts: 9,483 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I guess @LaRea dissapeared. 
  • Handymans342Handymans342 Ft Myers FloridaMember Posts: 9,483 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Alswagg will know the answer for this
  • AlswaggAlswagg Member Posts: 2,835 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Disconnect the cable from the tiller arm. If it is still tight or hard to turn the wheel, the issue is in the cable assembly.  If not it is in the transom assembly or the power assist 
  • LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaMember Posts: 5,472 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Ok definitely not the cable. What could cause binding in the transoms?
  • aero3113aero3113 Long Island, NYMember Posts: 6,264 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Steering pin too tight?
    2008 330EC
  • GrahamuGrahamu Port Credit, ON, CDAMember Posts: 187 ✭✭
    Did you disconnect the tie rod and try the steering with one drive connected?
  • LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaMember Posts: 5,472 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Pump problem is unlikely (Swapped power steering pumps port to stbd, no change.)

    Not a steering cable problem (Wheel moves freely when cable is disconnected from actuator.)

    Not a problem with the port transom assembly (Port steering pin moves freely by hand when disconnected from tie rod.)

    Not an autopilot issue (Autopilot cable moves freely by hand.)

    No visible interference or binding in the tie rod or other components.

    By process of elimination, it has to be the power assist actuator.  There's still an air bubble, or maybe a piece of debris somewhere inside the actuator.  
  • PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 2,656 ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 4
    Any chance a hose was twisted/over extend or pinched/kinked causing the issue?  I don't know if having hoses at the steering ram crossed is possible or would affect anyting if it was. 
  • LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaMember Posts: 5,472 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It's not possible to cross-connect, but I'll double-check the hoses. 
  • Dream_InnDream_Inn Annapolis, MDMember, Moderator Posts: 6,473 mod
    Well. I mentioned the power steering cooler earlier with no response.  Chance there is s clog or kink inside ot?  Not the water cooled side but the fluid coil side.

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

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