How to Troubleshoot and Maintain Power Tilt and Trim Units

Power tilt and trim units are electro-hydraulic mechanisms that are commonly used for marine outboard engines in order to achieve hydraulic pressure. Utilizing motor-driven gear pumps, the mechanism allows for a smoother ride as the angle of the motor may be adjusted. As an essential component for achieving high motorboat performance, it is important that owners regularly maintain their units in order to prevent damage or issues.

Depending on how often one uses their boat, the service life of a power tilt and trim unit may vary. Nevertheless, many require regular maintenance with 100 hour or yearly intervals, those of which often consist of a visual and fluid level inspection. If the application of the boat is more intensive, however, owners may want to conduct more thorough maintenance endeavors to ensure that every part is healthy and operating as intended.

When conducting operations around sandy areas, it can be important to consistently lubricate the rams of the power tilt unit, and certain types may be used to increase protection from saltwater as necessary. Checking fluid levels is also crucial, and any detected leak will require immediate attention. Such units also contain relay power tilt components, wiring, solenoids, and a battery, thus such electrical parts need proper protection and should be inspected regularly for their health.

When a power tilt and trim unit encounters an issue, the operator will most likely recognize the difference in performance. When an issue is discovered, the operator may utilize a number of troubleshooting methods to remedy the situation depending on what is wrong. If the power tilt trim is unable to drop the engine until the trim rams retract, the issue being faced by the unit is most likely corrosion centered around the tilt or steering tube.

When this particular assembly becomes corroded, it can tighten enough to maintain the engine in an upwards position until the trim rams are pulled in so that hydraulic pressure can force it down. To remedy such issues, the swivel bracket should be greased, all tilt and steering nuts may be loosened, and the corroded parts may be replaced or repaired as necessary.

Another common issue faced by boaters with such equipment is power tilt trim hydraulic lockup, that of which is caused by trailering the engine prior to pulling the trim rams in. This can cause oil pressure to exceed operational maximums, meaning that the electrical motor will run while the tilt trim is locked in place. To fix such issues, the check valve should be removed from the port side of the power tilt trim assembly to reveal the inside of the chamber. From there, the shuttle valve should be removed, and the punch of the detached valve must be placed into the hole of the second check valve that is still in the unit. By unseating the second check valve, hydraulic pressure can be released before reassembling everything. When returning all equipment to its intended position, the operator should refill the oil reservoir.

As a last common issue for power tilt and trim units, there may be times in which the motor, lubrication, and release valve are all functioning as intended but no operations are possible. In such cases, the culprit is most likely an air lock located below the oil pump. Placing the engine in full tilt position, the operator can detach the reservoir fill plug screw and tightly insert an air nozzle into the fill hole. By pumping in a small amount of air under pressure, the oil should be capable of removing the air lock. It is important to not use too much pressure, however, as it may cause other issues.

Power tilt and trim units are useful for many marine vessels, allowing for more smooth operations with their capabilities. When you are searching for relay power tilt components, power trim anode parts, cylinder power tilt products, and other items for maintenance endeavors, look no further than Aviation Purchasing Platform. Aviation Purchasing Platform is an online distributor of marine and aircraft parts, and we are your sourcing solution for top quality NSN part types and more. Get started today with a competitive quote for your comparisons upon the submission of an Instant RFQ form as provided on our website.


March 20, 2023

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