I have a 1999 2855 Bayliner Ciera Sunbridge, 7.4L Mercruiser 454 Bravo III with power steering. Purchased the boat a few months ago knowing there was some steering issues-has gotten worse over 3 months. The steering wheel is very hard to turn right even with both hands. To the left it is much easier but harder than it used to be. Filled power steering fluid and the power steering belt is fine. I undid the steering cable from the actuator and the wheel turns nice and free so I have eliminated the steering cable as the culprit. I also replaced the steering cylinder actuator with a new unit. However, the same problem still exists.
Another thing to note, when I first bought the boat I noticed the power steering pump was bone dry as the old owner was not aware that the boat even had power steering - DOH! However, the pump does not make any noise and it seems like I am still getting pressure from it for a left turn but not right. Am I correct to assume that if the power steering pump was shot the wheel would be very hard to turn in both directions or could the pump be bad? Does this sound like the high pressure power steering hose may be damaged or clogged? I am not sure if a new steering control valve came as part of the new steering cylinder actuator or if the control valve could be not functioning right? Any suggestions as to what could be causing this would be extremely helpful as I have been pulling my hair out on this for weeks. Thank you - Scott