Replacing Hydraulic Helm in 2002 330 Express

usmm1234

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Location
Myrtle Beach SC
Grady White Model
Express 330
#1
My helm had a lot of play and was real ratchety feeling so I replaced it before it died on me on a trip. I found a great post on removing the tub under the electric electronics pod. Pretty easy. I used a rope tied to the forward hardtop legs to hold the pod up after I pulled the pin on top of the electric actuator. I also put an adjustable mop handle in as a safety measure while I got th3 rope tight. 8 screws hold the tub in. I had to unplug my Furuno machines and drop the cables thru the hole.
Getting the old unit out was easy. Putting the new helm was also easy. Make sure you get a 2.4 helm. That’s how many cubic inches of fluid they pump in one revolution. Grady is the only builder I know that uses dual rams on the twin engines. Excellent over kill typical of Grady. The 2.4 is the highest volume helm and it still takes 7 full turns stop to stop.
One important item you will need for an older Grady is the SeaStar Part # HF6012. These are 3 stainless adapters that will allow you to attach your original Grady hydraulic fitting clusters to the new helm. SeaStar changed from 1/4” NPT threads in the back of the helm to some 1/4” straight thread that you won’t find anywhere else. You can see the stainless fitting between the brass block fitting and my new helm. I have an auto pilot, so I have the yellow handle isolator valves Incase the auto pilot takes a dump and I need to get back to the dock. There’s a hole in the tub to reach thru and shut these.
Also remember the red marked port hoses go to the hole in the back of the helm on the starboard side and visa versa for the green marked starboard hoses going to the hole on the port side? You can see that in my pictures.

PS: You won’t need the fitting kit if you don’t have an autopilot. The new helm comes with the fittings to attach a single hose to each port on the back of the helm. Be sure to use thread sealant on the old NPT thread fittings, not Teflon tape. I used Permatex High Performance thread Sealant from the auto parts store. You only use thread sealant on the NPT thread. NOT the straight thread.
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Joe H

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Nov 6, 2019
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Age
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Grady White Model
Express 330
#3
Thanks for the how to info. I noticed my helm doing the same thing now I know what I need to do. How much was the new helm?
 

usmm1234

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Jul 21, 2019
Messages
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Location
Myrtle Beach SC
Grady White Model
Express 330
#5
Thanks for the how to info. I noticed my helm doing the same thing now I know what I need to do. How much was the new helm?
I own a Marine sales rep agency and sell to all the builders. The Purchasing Manager at one of my big builders got it for me. I think it was $600? You have to get the 2.4 if you have the dual rams on the motors.
I like the inline valves on the hydraulic lines. Did the stock one have them or did you add?
They were there. I don’t know if Grady did them or the guy who did the electronics install. I installed them on my Bertram years ago and had to use them when the auto pilot pump went down.
 

Fishtales

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#6
Good practice to have shut offs to leverage so you don't get fluid all over the place and enable easy change outs.