Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 11-06-2014, 15:58   #1
Registered User
 
motaman9's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 151
Rebuilding an Autopilot Hydraulic Ram or just Replace?

We have a hydraulic autopilot ram that is 1.5" bore, 12" stroke and a 5/8 rod. We developed a leak at the working end of the cylinder. After removing it from the boat and taking it to a local shop back home we were told it had grooves and a rough spot on the rod which cut the nylon washer causing the leak. It was rebuilt in Spring of 2013 by prior owner at a shop in FL. The ram itself doesn't have any manufacturer emblems or marks on it. It is an aluminum casing and strongly resembles a Teleflex / Seastar. The rebuild shop wants $375 to re chrome the rod but a few other shops seem to think they can have a new rod made for less than that. It seems a whole new Teleflex / Seastar in a comparable size can be had for about $463?? Does anyone have any experience with rebuilding vs replacing either the whole unit or just the rod? Or maybe there's a scenario I haven't considered ??? Thanks
__________________

__________________
motaman9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2014, 16:29   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
mikereed100's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Santa Barbara
Boat: 46' custom cat
Posts: 1,573
Images: 2
Re: Rebuilding an autopilot hydraulic ram or just replace?

I would be surprised (would not be the first time) if the rod were not solid s/s. That being the case, I would be tempted to simply polish out the grooves and replace the seals. I'm interested to hear what the machinists here have to say.
__________________

__________________
Mike

www.sailblogs.com/member/rumdoxy

Come to the dark side. We have cookies.
mikereed100 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2014, 16:57   #3
Registered User
 
Nicholson58's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Live aboard
Boat: Camper & Nicholson58 Ketch - ROXY Traverse City, Michigan No.668283
Posts: 3,466
Images: 83
Re: Rebuilding an autopilot hydraulic ram or just replace?

Quote:
Originally Posted by motaman9 View Post
We have a hydraulic autopilot ram that is 1.5" bore, 12" stroke and a 5/8 rod. We developed a leak at the working end of the cylinder. After removing it from the boat and taking it to a local shop back home we were told it had grooves and a rough spot on the rod which cut the nylon washer causing the leak. It was rebuilt in Spring of 2013 by prior owner at a shop in FL. The ram itself doesn't have any manufacturer emblems or marks on it. It is an aluminum casing and strongly resembles a Teleflex / Seastar. The rebuild shop wants $375 to re chrome the rod but a few other shops seem to think they can have a new rod made for less than that. It seems a whole new Teleflex / Seastar in a comparable size can be had for about $463?? Does anyone have any experience with rebuilding vs replacing either the whole unit or just the rod? Or maybe there's a scenario I haven't considered ??? Thanks
I deal with a lot of hydraulic reps. You might get lucky if you contact the nearest Parker hydraulic rep and ask for a new replacement equivalent. These guys often make drop-in replacements and specialty cylinders for us. Some may be rebuildable - buy a seal kit too. Even cheaper alternate might be BIMBA or Clippard.
__________________
Nicholson58 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2014, 17:54   #4
Registered User
 
motaman9's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 151
Rebuilding an autopilot hydraulic ram or just replace?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikereed100 View Post
I would be surprised (would not be the first time) if the rod were not solid s/s. That being the case, I would be tempted to simply polish out the grooves and replace the seals. I'm interested to hear what the machinists here have to say.

The shop claims it is rolled steel, chromed and then threaded....the issues with removing the grooves is that if you grind it down or polish the grooves out you lose the diameter to fill the seal and it still leaks
__________________
motaman9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2014, 17:58   #5
Registered User
 
motaman9's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 151
Rebuilding an autopilot hydraulic ram or just replace?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
I deal with a lot of hydraulic reps. You might get lucky if you contact the nearest Parker hydraulic rep and ask for a new replacement equivalent. These guys often make drop-in replacements and specialty cylinders for us. Some may be rebuildable - buy a seal kit too. Even cheaper alternate might be BIMBA or Clippard.

It's technically "rebuild-able"....I can rechrome the original rod....or replace the rod....or replace the whole unit.....I was more worried about future dependability vs price to just replace the whole thing
__________________
motaman9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2014, 18:00   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Auckland New Zealand
Boat: Farr 1020
Posts: 101
Re: Rebuilding an autopilot hydraulic ram or just replace?

To ensure that you get the proper fit up following repair you should go with the re-chrome. However get your repairer to spell out his proposed repair process and sizing. The rod will require to be ground to remove all previous damage and enough for the substrate layer plus the hard chrome finish and final regrind to finish size. You want to know the final chrome thickness after final regrind. This followed by a new seal set and you are all set to go. The pricing quoted is not a bad price for the work required.
Cheers Acushla
__________________
Acushla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2014, 18:17   #7
Moderator
 
a64pilot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Albany Ga.
Boat: Island Packet 38
Posts: 17,058
Re: Rebuilding an autopilot hydraulic ram or just replace?

Less than $100 difference? Buy a new one and put new wipers and O ring in the old one as a temporary spare if needed one day.
What's the warranty on yours if you have if fixed and it only lasts a month?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
__________________
a64pilot is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2014, 18:39   #8
Guy
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: So. Oregon, USA
Boat: Seafarer36c
Posts: 4,308
Re: Rebuilding an autopilot hydraulic ram or just replace?

You might be getting a little bit of a bum steer If the old shaft is just a piece of cold rolled with chrome plating and threads, it would not cost $400 to make. If it were a centerless ground shaft with hard chrome plating, then it could be worth $400. One reason to re-chrome a shaft is to bring it back to proper specs. They can re-grind the shaft and load up on the nickel layer and bring it back to specs. All of this would be a waste of $$ if it is just a piece of cold rolled steel with chrome plating.
I would look for somebody with a lathe and have them make one from stainless, for maybe $200.
__________________
Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2014, 18:44   #9
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Rebuilding an autopilot hydraulic ram or just replace?

Listen to a64pilot and learn the easy way the lesson we all have learned the bitterly hard way - if the cost of a repair is more than 50% of a new unit, get the new unit.

In your case, it really is a no-brainer.

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2014, 20:02   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 7,961
Re: Rebuilding an autopilot hydraulic ram or just replace?

Regardless of whether you rebuild/replace, learn how to rebuild and keep spares aboard, its easy and cheap just to repace seals/etc....on my todo list for tomorrow in fact.
__________________
belizesailor is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2014, 16:16   #11
Registered User
 
motaman9's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 151
Rebuilding an autopilot hydraulic ram or just replace?

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Regardless of whether you rebuild/replace, learn how to rebuild and keep spares aboard, its easy and cheap just to repace seals/etc....on my todo list for tomorrow in fact.

I could rebuild it, but I'm not able/prepared to rechrome the rod.... So I'm kinda stuck on this one since they don't charge much more to reassemble/reseal it once the chroming is done.
__________________
motaman9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2014, 16:18   #12
Registered User
 
motaman9's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 151
Rebuilding an autopilot hydraulic ram or just replace?

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Less than $100 difference? Buy a new one and put new wipers and O ring in the old one as a temporary spare if needed one day.
What's the warranty on yours if you have if fixed and it only lasts a month?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Most warranties I've seen for shopwork are only 90 days....the rest is really part of my overall question, which is......does $463 seem like a "knock off" or refurbished unit price, in which case I'm no better off than rebuilding mine. That seemed low to me considering that some new units were $1400???.....Part of the overall issue is that my ram doesn't have any manufacturer markings on it.....so it's hard to compare.....it looks like an aluminum Teleflex / Seastar but it doesn't match dimension wise to any of their units
__________________
motaman9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2014, 16:24   #13
Registered User
 
motaman9's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 151
Re: Rebuilding an autopilot hydraulic ram or just replace?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acushla View Post
To ensure that you get the proper fit up following repair you should go with the re-chrome. However get your repairer to spell out his proposed repair process and sizing. The rod will require to be ground to remove all previous damage and enough for the substrate layer plus the hard chrome finish and final regrind to finish size. You want to know the final chrome thickness after final regrind. This followed by a new seal set and you are all set to go. The pricing quoted is not a bad price for the work required.
Cheers Acushla

Is there a bad thickness for the chrome to be? Or is thicker better for the chrome? They are including the rebuild and re-chroming for the $375.....
__________________
motaman9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2014, 17:14   #14
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Rebuilding an autopilot hydraulic ram or just replace?

I can't believe for the difference of $90 (20%) less than new you are still pursuing rebuilding this thing.

I guess one needs to learn those bitter hard lessons first hand…

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2014, 17:35   #15
Guy
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: So. Oregon, USA
Boat: Seafarer36c
Posts: 4,308
Re: Rebuilding an autopilot hydraulic ram or just replace?

Quote:
Originally Posted by motaman9 View Post
Is there a bad thickness for the chrome to be? Or is thicker better for the chrome? They are including the rebuild and re-chroming for the $375.....
I don't think you grind the chrome. The chrome is the final surface on top of nickle on top of maybe copper on top of steel. The surface the o ring touches is not ground. The people who do this stuff know all about it, you don't need to worry how thick it is.
__________________

__________________
Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
autopilot, rebuild

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Autopilot Hydraulic Ram Bypass Dockhead Marine Electronics 14 17-04-2016 10:58
Hydraulic Autopilot Ram Wainui Marine Electronics 23 19-10-2015 14:15
Bleeding Hydraulic Ram on Autopilot svcattales Construction, Maintenance & Refit 14 29-08-2015 14:54
Autopilot hydraulic ram wont stop Johnty32 Marine Electronics 10 15-04-2013 12:04
Want To Buy: Alpha 3000 Ram or Motor for an Older Ram sailinlee Classifieds Archive 7 23-02-2012 18:18



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:31.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.