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Maintenance

Open Check Page 2

Open Check - Maintenance Q & A — December 2002 continued
Maintenance Q & A — December 2002
By Capt. Ken Kreisler


Open Check
Part 2: Power Steering System
 
 More of this Feature
• Part 1: Open Circuit Voltage
• Part 2: Submerged Outboard, and More

 Related Resources
• Maintenance Q&A Index

Use compressed or canned air to dry all of the ignition components thoroughly, and then spray the components with electrical contact cleaner to help evaporate any remaining moisture. Drain the fuel lines and carburetor(s), making sure to properly dispose of the excess fuel. If possible, place the engine in a 55-gallon drum that's full of water or a test tank, and start it using fresh fuel. If the engine kicks over, let it run for at least one hour to eliminate any remaining water inside. If the engine will not start, the cause is probably electrical.

I have a stern drive with a power steering unit. How do I bleed air from the system? A.S., via e-mail
First make sure the fluid level in the power steering unit is correct; watching for bubbling or foaming is a key part of the process. The reading on the dipstick attached to the cap should be at the upper end of the range when the engine is warm and just below when the engine is cold.

Disconnect the battery cables, and position the drive unit in the straight-ahead position. Remove the fill cap, wipe the attached dipstick clean, and reinstall it into the pump reservoir. Remove the cap, and note the level on the dipstick. Without starting the engine, rotate the steering wheel to port and then starboard while observing the level in the reservoir. (If you can't see it from the helm, have someone eyeball it for you.) Stop turning the wheel if the fluid level drops below the tip of the dipstick. Continue until the wheel reaches a minimum of five turns lock-to-lock and bubbles stop appearing in the reservoir. Position the steering wheel in the straight-ahead position, and top off the fluid level as described above.

Reconnect the battery cables, and start the engine. Cycle the steering wheel through several complete turns. If foam appears in the reservoir, stop turning the wheel and allow the foam to dissipate for a few minutes before repeating the bleeding process. All air has been bled from the system when neither bubbles nor foam appears in the reservoir.

Need help with a maintenance problem? Write to Maintenance Q & A, Power & Motoryacht, 260 Madison Ave., 8th Fl., New York, NY 10016. Fax: (917) 256-2282. e-mail: ken_kreisler@primediamags.com. No phone calls, please.

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This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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