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Seastar helm reseal and rebuild info

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  • Seastar helm reseal and rebuild info

    One of our longtime members kindly posted up this tutorial for replacing the seal on the steering shaft of a Seastar Helm. Many thanks to

    SSFishX for posting this up....well done.

    The input shaft seal on the seastar helm is pretty easy to replace. only the back mount helms need to be removed from the boat to replace the seal. Tilt helms require removal of the tilt mechanism.

    removing the steering wheel is the hardest part, then there is a small plate with three screws, remove that and dig the seal out with a tooth pick or brass pick.don't use a steel pick as you might scratch the shaft!!. the seal is a quad ring - not an o ring! there are two different sizes, the 90 and newer helms use a 3/4" id quad ring and the older ones use a larger 1" id ring. you want to make sure the shaft is clean and free of pitting where the seal rides. assembly is pretty much the reverse of disassembly - lube the seal with some grease and install, replace the plate with a little grease on the screws and reinstall,then reinstall the wheel. fill the reservoir and test

    you can buy the seal in kit form but they are readily available from local hydraulic shops for a buck or so, just take the old one in to match it up.

    The larger helm with the smaller cylinder will cause more steering effort and a faster reaction to the movement of the wheel. the formula is the displacement of the cylinder divided by the displacement of the helm.

    the various helms range from 1.2 ci per revolution to 3.6! nothing 2.4 or above is recommended for outboards without power assist or multiple cylinders. The larger helms are mostly used on inboards with very large cylinders and outboard systems with multiple cylinders for decreased steering effort.

    the outboard cylinders range from 5.7 ci to 9.3 ci, some of the inboard cylinders go as high as 28 ci!

    The mercury version of the uflex uc94obf/1 cylinder that I have is 5.7ci displacement, with the 1.7 helm you would get 3.35 turns lock to lock, about 1.7 turns each direction - none of the manufacturers recommend less than 4 turns lock to lock for safe operation. the steering is just too "touchy"

    with a 1.4 helm you get 4.07 turns lock to lock and with the uflex up20 1.2 helm you would end up with 4.75 turns.

    for the reverse using the 1.2 helm with the side mount 9.3ci splash well mount cylinder you would have nearly 7.75 turns lock to lock, like driving a school bus with manual steering but using the 9.3 with a 2.0 helm you get a reasonable 4.65 turns lock to lock.

    to add to this confusion there are the 'silver steer" and "pro" steering system which use better seals, better hoses, multiple cylinders and higher pressure reliefs in the systems to make the steering more reliable when controlling multiple high hp engines on faster boats.

    76 25 "Aenigma"

    Richland/Long Beach, MS
    [br]1994 Mako 215 Dual console Optimax 225[br]1978 Mako 19 with 90hp johnson[br]1996 Mako 22[br]1982 Mako 171 Angler 135 Black Max Mercury[br]1987 21b 225 Yamaha[br]1974 23 inboard Gusto gone.[br]1979m21 225johnson \"blue dolphin\" bought off this board and restored [br]with everyone\'s help!!Gone but not Forgotten....[br]1979 20 Mako 115 Suzuki gone[br]1977 19 Mako 115 Johnson gone[br]1976 23 Mako twin 140 Johnsons gone[br]1983 224 with closed transom and bracket[br]And 162 SOB (some other boats)[br]Venice Florida, Traverse city Mi.

  • #2
    Great Post! was asking this question of him the other day. He gave me all the information I needed to repair my helm.

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    • #3
      More great info.... I tore my helm down today and repaired it myself saving 349.45 cents....

      all it took was a 55 cent spring from the hardware store..

      This tutorial from the HULL Truth is spot on....enjoy...If you can rebuild a carb...you can do your own helm...they get full of sludge and debris and just need a good cleanup...

      http://www.thehulltruth.com/boating-...uild-pics.html

      d
      [br]1994 Mako 215 Dual console Optimax 225[br]1978 Mako 19 with 90hp johnson[br]1996 Mako 22[br]1982 Mako 171 Angler 135 Black Max Mercury[br]1987 21b 225 Yamaha[br]1974 23 inboard Gusto gone.[br]1979m21 225johnson \"blue dolphin\" bought off this board and restored [br]with everyone\'s help!!Gone but not Forgotten....[br]1979 20 Mako 115 Suzuki gone[br]1977 19 Mako 115 Johnson gone[br]1976 23 Mako twin 140 Johnsons gone[br]1983 224 with closed transom and bracket[br]And 162 SOB (some other boats)[br]Venice Florida, Traverse city Mi.

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      • #4
        Dave,send me an Email as i lost yours with this new computer. D18

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