83 Fairlane 32 flybridge sedan

Forum for those owners restoring a Fairline.
Gyula Huszar
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 12:35 am

Re: 83 Fairlane 32 flybridge sedan

Post by Gyula Huszar » Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:03 am

Looks like my steering is kaput. I have a volvo penta dpsm duoprop drive system with two 320 hp engines and a teleflex/seastar steering system with two hydraulic helms and power steering. It turns out that I need the helms (they are pumps) and to eliminate the uniflow valve (meant to keep the hydraulic pressure created by one of the helms from being lost to the second helm). I've made the order for the parts and I should have them this weekend. I'll replace all the lines front to back and top to bottom too. I like reliability.
I was reminded of the absolute need for reliability the last time I went up Indian Arm for an overnight. Upon coming back under the narrows, the tide was changing and the sea was a confluence of tidal boiling and powerful current. I don't worry about that too much since I steer around the worst of it and have a superabundance of power. I'd just cleared the narrows, steering around the worst of it, and I turned right into the marina and lost the steering at the breakwater. I nonchalantly used my two drives to steer, applying power to either one as necessary, and nobody on board was the wiser. If the steering had gone whilst 'running the boil', things might have gotten pretty serious in 30 seconds or so. The bridge footings had quite the bow wake on the leading edges and I passed them at about 100 feet. Not the time to have to deal with a failure of that sort, so all new steering it is!

Gyula Huszar
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 12:35 am

Re: 83 Fairlane 32 flybridge sedan

Post by Gyula Huszar » Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:25 am

I've put in two new SeaStar helms and run new lines front to back and up to down. I'm waiting on the teleflex/volvo penta steering assist ram ($1200) and the Sea Star steering cylinder ($800). Together with the helms and lines and fluid ($2500) I should come in under 5 large. This may sound expensive, but just think of what a loss of steering at a critical time could cost. I'm assuming that the steering will be silky smooth and finger tip light. I'm excited!

Gyula Huszar
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 12:35 am

Re: 83 Fairlane 32 flybridge sedan

Post by Gyula Huszar » Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:53 am

This weekend I received the needed bits and I installed them using all of the physics I've learned fixing cars, and the project went well. One thing that really worked out well was the bleeding of the hydraulic helms. There was a reservoir cap on top of each helm and bleeder valves off the ram in a 't' with orb fittings. I arranged the hoses (quite stiff) in such a way that there was nearly 3 feet of free hose for some movement, and the orb fittings at all points so that the fluid ran downhill all the way, and the bleeders were at the highest point on the ram. Since everything was brand new, I had no worries about any contamination which could affect the check valves built into the hydraulic helms.
The reason that I bring this up although it's self evident is that the annealed copper tubing running fore and aft was corroding and black flakes came off of the tubing when bent. This indicated to me that if I left the lines in to save myself the trouble of running new lines all over, I would have experienced steering failures due to contaminants being introduced into the other new parts. If you're considering putting in some new helms or other parts of your hydraulic system, don't do it without replacing all the lines.
By the way, the steering is so smooth, responsive, effortless and accurate that it made the effort and expense more than worthwhile. And I get to enjoy the boat this summer!

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