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Roller bearing inside seastar h5271 helm is completely destroyed.

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Roller bearing inside seastar h5271 helm is completely destroyed.

Old 03-03-2020, 12:42 PM
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Default Roller bearing inside seastar h5271 helm is completely destroyed.

Had a pretty decent leak coming from my helm. Replaced all of the seals and put it back together but it wouldn’t take any fluid. Pulled it back apart to find that the large roller bearing that is on a tilt was in pieces and the bearing balls were scattered through out the housing. Everything seems ok as far as gouges and things like that. However, 6 of the 7 pistons are pushed in too far. Working on getting them out but it’s not easy at all. So any fixes for that would be greatly appreciated. One of my main issues is that I can not find this roller bearing anywhere online. NADA! Can anyone help me out here? I tried to post a picture but I’m too new on this forum for them to allow me to to that. Thanks in advance.
Old 03-03-2020, 12:49 PM
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Give Teleflex a try if you haven't already. Of course they'll want to sell you a whole new helm.
Old 03-03-2020, 12:51 PM
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Did you try calling SeaStar?

SeaStar Solutions

Old 03-03-2020, 12:59 PM
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Boat Steering Solutions Home
Old 03-03-2020, 01:00 PM
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I did call them. It was a recording and I left them a message. I hope they get back to me but I was also hoping someone here might be able to help.

Any ideas on getting these pistons back out?
Old 03-03-2020, 01:02 PM
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I would just get the recon and put it back in.
Old 03-03-2020, 01:22 PM
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Can you read any numbers stamped into the roller bearing? Seastar does not make roller bearings, or seals for that matter. If you can find numbers, usually you can find the bearing or seal online, probably a Timkin, SKF, Aisin, NSK,...
Old 03-03-2020, 01:31 PM
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If you can take the old one to a bearing shop they should be able to match it for you pretty easily. If it doesn't have numbers etc they will just measure it and match it.
Old 03-03-2020, 01:40 PM
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Are you looking for a new race? If your seastar is like mine it has ball bearings that are riding on a tilted race, the tilt is what causes the pistons to actuate to create hydraulic pressure. If the race is not bad, I would think that pulling the pistons and springs out and cleaning them thoroughly so they actuate freely would fix your problems. The pistons being stuck are most likely what allowed the ball bearings to fall out of the race. It has been many years ago, but if you do a search for seastar helm rebuild you should find a post that describes the rebuild process including pictures. If I remember right, I think it was posted on this site..

Last edited by Tegin1; 03-04-2020 at 12:49 PM.
Old 03-03-2020, 01:53 PM
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Hopefully this link will help. I think one of the threads that had some good info and pics was posted by a guy that went by the name “Topshot”.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...PeXbNWcU-NZbgJ
Old 03-03-2020, 02:12 PM
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This guy has several videos showing different stages of the rebuild. One of the videos I believe does show some roller bearings in the helm that look like the may be associated with the shaft, but that did not sound like what you were describing. Hope this helps.
Old 03-03-2020, 03:32 PM
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I’m not sure I understand what you mean.
Old 03-03-2020, 03:37 PM
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That's too bad. SeaStar is now owned by Dometic. Here's the contact

MARINE PRODUCTS:
Address: 2000 N Andrews Ave. Pompano Beach, FL 33069
E-Mail: marinesales@dometic.com
Phone: 800-542-2477
Old 03-03-2020, 03:51 PM
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Four hundred dollars buys you a brand new helm pump. If you pay yourself for time and aggravation, you will save $ in the long run and end up with a perfectly functioning unit. The unit you’re dealing with will never work as well no matter how much blood, sweat and tears you pour into/on it.....

Last edited by Mpellet; 03-03-2020 at 05:10 PM.
Old 03-04-2020, 04:54 AM
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In The video I posted, right at the end the guy puts his finger on the race that holds the ball bearings. The ball bearings are sandwiched between the two races. The races are essentially washers with grooves in them to hold the bearings in place. I believe the spring pressure from the pistons is what holds the two races together to contain the bearings. The pistons being stuck allowed that pressure to be released, resulting the bearings being found scattered about.
As long as you have all the bearings, and the bearings and the races are not damaged, you should be able to reassemble and use them again. The reason the pistons are stuck is because moisture gets into the system resulting in a buildup of mung and corrosion.
As far as disassembly of the pistons go, I don’t have a good answer. If I remember correctly they are just interference fit and should come out, except for the corrosion and mung holding them in. I would try google with a query for stuck pistons in teleflex helm to see if there is any info out there that can help you. I am also not sure about the helm not taking fluid, unless one of the stuck pistons was causing this.
In the end you’ll have to decide whether it’s worth trying or not. When I rebuilt mine the pistons were sticking, but not seized, so it was relatively easy to do as I only need to flush it out and use a little scotch bright to clean up the corrosion.
I believe hydraulic fluid is hygroscopic which is what causes the problems you are having. I think It should be a recommended maintenance item to flush the hydraulic system every 5 years or so which would probably go a long way towards preventing this. Anyways, good luck! If I find anything on how to free up the seized pistons, I will post it for you.
Old 03-04-2020, 05:07 AM
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Here is a link discussing using heat to get the stuck pistons to release. If you try this, I would make sure any parts containing seals/o-rings are removed first.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=17&ved=2ah UKEwjql92q74DoAhWlSt8KHUYxC48QFjAQegQIARAB&url=htt ps%3A%2F%2Fwww.thehulltruth.com%2Fboating-forum%2F135841-sea-star-helm-stuck-pistons-help.html&usg=AOvVaw2yHbXnh3qteM-9OQnS86u_
Old 03-04-2020, 09:24 AM
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The bearing and race I am referring to is shown below as component#2. The roller bearings are listed as component #1. Which one fell apart?

Introduction

The SeaStar helm pump is the heart of the hydraulic steering system.
SeaStar helm pumps are the product of many years of research and experience by the world’s foremost builder of manual hydraulic steering systems. Our efforts have resulted in a design which represents the ultimate in efficiency, safety and reliability, yet is easy to install and maintain. Superior design, teamed with the finest materials, precision manufacturing and rigid quality control all add up to an outstanding product which is certain to set industry standards for years to come.

Features of SeaStar Helm Pumps

Name:  helms-1.png
Views: 135
Size:  39.2 KB

1 Helm rotor supported by three roller bearings.
2 Ball bearing piston race.
3 Field replaceable shaft seal.
4 5 ORB ports.
5 Built-in lock valve for positive rudder lock.
6 Patented bleed tubes.
7 Internal air pocket eliminates oil

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