I have a 2001 Larson 4.3Gl. We replaced the power steering pump and the actuator about 18 months ago. Did not use the boat in 2009, lakes dry. The boat will steer normally at idle, but under load you can't turn to the right. Questions 1) I thought that the volvo penta was a self bleeding system, 2) I was told that changing the belts would solve the problem, but I don't hear any slipping noise, and 3) In an earlier post, it was suggested that you check the steering helm. How do you do that without taking it apart?
Let me ask some questions first: Do you have an SX drive or DPS? Do you have a tilt wheel? You say you changed the belts, so can I assume the belt is also correctly tensioned?
Answer all those and I can better help you.
In the meantime, look at the lines running from the pump to the steering cylinder and make sure none are leaking or crimped. (On line creates stb turns; the other port turns)There may be enough pressure in a leaky or crimped line to turn under no load but not enough once you get going.
Also, look for any binding of the drive itself: I.e, a mechanical problem may be the cause of your problem rather than a hydraulic problem? For instance, when was the last time your gimbal bearing was checked out? Are you hearing an inordinate whine or growl when turning which would be a strong clue for a bad gimbal bearing?
Sorry for all the questions, but the way to help lies in the answers.
Thanks Kevin - another day another part to check. In answer to your question we have a SX lower unit with a tilt wheel. A quick question, when we have the boat on the trailer, tilt up and stand behind the boat the lower unit is fairly hard to turn. From the helm it turns fairly easily. Is this normal (engine is not running)? We don't hear any whine or growl from the engine compartment or lower unit when having the turning problem. Sounds like we need to check for something blocking the steering arm to the steering piston, leaky power steering on steering piston first then move to the expensive repairs.