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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    14

    Default Cable rack to Hydraulic steering conversion

    So I was looking into a hydraulic steering system for my 08 Supra Launch to reduce the slop in the rack style steering as well to improve the 2 hand turning method when the sacks have 2200 lbs of ballast in the boat. Yes I said Supra, but Supra/Moomba, Same manufacture so same improvement. I looked all over the Internet to try to find some sort of information about this conversion and after checking every wakeboard boat manufacture forums I came up with nothing. So I started my research and found a solution.

    Items needed.
    -Seastar sport helm pump. Before you go and buy all of this gear make sure you have the Seastar SPORT tilt helm. The seastar SPORT tilt helm is what comes on moomba/supra from the factory but with a cable rack behind it, however there may be some oddballs out there. As for the helm pump, You need the pump with the flat!!! adapter shaft. (see pictures) The taper/Splined ones do not come with the proper mounting holes and shaft and will not work with your sport tilt helm. Finding the pump alone without the tilt helm is a bit of a challenge but I managed to find one on Ebay for 270 brand new, shipped to my door.
    -Hydraulic ram. I got a Seastar BA135x7-BJ. It has a 7" stroke which is the same as the cable steering on the boat. I found it on ebay for 80 bucks recently rebuilt and shipped.
    -Seastar hydraulic lines. You will need 2 of them. My boat is 21 ft long and 20 foot ones worked perfect with extra to spare. Better be long than short, you can always coil them up with no worries unlike a cable setup.
    -The last item you need is a bracket to mount the ram. I made one out of 1/4" steel cut and welded into shape. I would have preferred aluminum or stainless but the steel was at my disposal. It is essentially 2 6"x6" pieces of steel with the holes drilled in them welded at the correct angle for the ram.
    -Some stainless hardware found at home depot.
    Once you have all of the parts needed, you can start the process.

    Remove the old steering cable making sure to tie a rope to the end so you have something to feed the hydraulic lines through. Remove the steering cable mounting plate bolted to the bottom of you hull by the same bolts that hold your strut on. Take the 2 pieces of steel and drill holes in them that match the ram and the mounting bolts on the bottom of the hull. Due to the fact that the ram is longer than the cable setup, I had to switch the 2 aft (longer) bolts with the forward (short) to accommodate the longer ram. MY strut has 6 bolts total. Note the picture attached on which bolts I used. After mocking up the ram and the pieces of steel, tack them together and make sure you have full travel on your steering. After verifying everything is in the correct place and angle weld it up solid and preserve the crap out of it. I powder coated mine to try to make it last. After getting the ram mounted, the hard part is over.

    The helm is fairly straight forward and requires little fab work. You have to start by removing the 20 degree shim to allow the much bigger helm pump to clear behind the wheel. You can see in the attached pictures the helm mounted without the shim. Once removed and bolted back up, trim the bolts to allow the helm pump to mount up. Bolt it up with the same bolts used to hold the cable rack in place and put your steering wheel back together.

    Plum the lines to the helm pump and the cylinder. BEFORE YOU TAKE THE BOAT FOR A TEST SPIN, ENSURE THE RUDDER TURNS THE CORRECT DIRECTION. If it doesn't, it is as simple as switching the lines on the helm pump. Once everything is plumbed up and all of the lines are zip tied securely, Bleed the system per the seastar instructions. If you want to spend 20 bucks a quart (you need 2) on seastar hydraulic fluid, by all means do so... After working on a farm for years I have realized that dexron/mercon 3 does the same job at a 1/4 the price. It works great on my setup.

    Once everything is bled and ready to go, Enjoy a beer and take the boat for a spin and be amazed at how much improvement this is. I filled the sacs up and was able to turn the boat on a dime with one hand with barley any force. Absolutely no play in the steering as well when planed out.

    The whole setup cost me around 400 bucks minus the beer and about 6 hours to fab up. THE best 400 bucks I have spent on this boat.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    1999 Outback Please someone buy her.
    2008 Supra launch 20ssv

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    14

    Default

    Here are some more pictures of the install.Attachment 14226Attachment 14227Attachment 14224Attachment 14225
    Attached Images Attached Images
    1999 Outback Please someone buy her.
    2008 Supra launch 20ssv

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Irondequoit Bay, NY
    Posts
    1,298

    Default

    if i had 400 i would drop this in my outback
    2004 Outback Blue/white w/5.7 indmar 350, Direct Drive
    Rockford fasgate cabins
    Rockford fasgate 500w amp (cabin) and a kenwood HU (kmr700u)
    Exile XM7's
    Exile Harpoon
    Exile ZLD
    Polk 10in sub (2)
    Polk P330 amp (subs)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Belton, Texas
    Posts
    2,572

    Default

    that's a very impressive DIY, job well done sir


    Sent from my home phone..
    Jason

    Go Hard or Go Home.......it's MOOMBA time!!

    2009 Moomba Mobius LSV

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, WA
    Posts
    3,978

    Default

    Nice work. So I'm curious how much tension you have in the wheel. When you're not loaded down is it fingertip steering at any speeds? How about when you are up to speed and running straight - can you let go of the wheel without the boat wanting to start into a turn on it's own?
    Old enough to know better, young enough to do it anyway.

    2001 MobiusV

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Kaukauna, WI - 3minutes from glass
    Posts
    1,726

    Default

    That's what I was wondering. I don't mind a little tension on the wheel I find that I don't wonder so much when pulling someone.
    -Mark
    14 Mojo - Waiting patiently for my build date.
    02 Mobius LSV ---- Sold and always will be remembered as the one that started it all.

    "Hey you only live once"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    14

    Default

    Well 6 months later over 150 hours on the steering and it is working as well as day one. Absolutly no slop in the steering. With the boat planed out doing 30, I can let go of the wheel and it goes straight till I grab the wheel again. One finger operation when planed out, however with 3000lbs of ballast you have to grab the wheel but one hand only.
    1999 Outback Please someone buy her.
    2008 Supra launch 20ssv

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    11,211

    Default

    So glad this worked out. I have a little play in mine now. Time to tighten everything up.
    My Mom said I'm not allowed to get wet!
    2008 LSV
    2000 Outback LS (sold)
    Exile Tunes
    PWI
    LLTR!!!!!!!!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Katy, TX
    Posts
    4,142

    Default

    i really want to do this with mine
    David

    2008 Mobius LSV, Gravity III , Wake Plate, Z5, Exile SX65c's, Exile XM9s, Exile XI12D, Exile Harpoon, Exile SM600.1 , Exile Xi800.4.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    newnan, GA
    Posts
    437

    Default

    I'm assuming that the helm pump is a self contained pump and orbital valve? Sweet looking setup certainly beats worrying about steering cables

    2005 mobius lsv 2900lbs ballast
    2005 mobius lsv

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