power steering from just starboard engine-

Discussion in 'General Maintenance/Repair Questions' started by 19ed50, Jul 3, 2022.

  1. 19ed50

    19ed50 Member

    Jun 1, 2021
    1997 280 ss twin 350's gen 2
    twin 350's w/ gen 2 drives
    twin 350 mercs- posted this complaint several weeks ago- I forgot to thank the gentleman who advised me 'by design'- power steering should be by both engines- is there a retrofit- thank you to anyone who can solve this idiocy- thank you- 19ed50
  2. Hoplite808

    Hoplite808 Active Member

    Jan 11, 2022
    Honolulu, HI
    1996 Sea Ray 270 Sundancer
    Mercruiser 7.4 LX MPI EFI (Gen. V)
    I'm not familiar with the 280 specifically, but the Mercruiser power steering system for the I/O's consist of a power steering pump similar to that used by General Motors through the 90's. Then a cable from the steering that is pulled and pushed by a gear on the back of the steering wheel then it goes into an assembly that opens the valve to assist the motion of left and right on the outdrive unit as the cable pushes or pulls it left or right. On twins they then connect the two outdrive steering arms together with a rod. It's not a hydraulic system but rather a hydraulic assisted system. You can only have the one pump on one engine to make it work. If you got longer hoses made you could switch the pump to the other engine but it doesn't really make sense to do such a thing.
  3. Jimmy Buoy

    Jimmy Buoy Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2008
    Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
    2004 Formula 27PC
    twin 4.3 EFI/Bravo III Dual Prop Drives
    Or scrap the whole power steering idea and install a SeaStar Hydraulic Steering system like the PO did on my boat. All the OEM steering parts were removed (including pumps/pullys, cables) and the steering hub is now the SS system's with two oil lines going to the transom to a hydraulic ram. The ram is attached to the stb steering lever which is tied with the OEM bar to the port steering lever. Very smooth, needs a bit more effort to steer under way but you can take your hand off the wheel and it won't budge until you turn it. More precise.
    rowekmr and Nater Potater like this.
  4. Nater Potater

    Nater Potater Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Oct 19, 2020
    Southwest Idaho
    1992 300DA Sundancer
    Twin Merc Alpha I Gen II I/O's with 5.7 V8's
    Unsure as to your '97, but my '92 only uses the starboard engine's P/S pump. The port engine still has a pump, so, as @Hoplite808 pointed out, you could run longer hoses to connect to it. I guess my only question would be why you'd want to. One engine supplies more than enough to operate the system. Is it just for redundancy's sake?
  5. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 21, 2009
    A others mentioned, you only need one power steering pump "in operation" and a tie bar to connect the two outdrives together on the inside of the transom. That's perfectly normal and it's done this way on many, many thousands of boats - all with no issues. What you have is normal and good... leave it alone and look to spend your money elsewhere :)
    Nater Potater and techmitch like this.

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