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Old 28-06-2015, 07:14   #1
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Autohelm Raymarine - won't engage

The Raymarine Autohelm on my Bavaria 42 will not engage from 'Stand By' to 'Auto'

After a while I get the message steering fail.

I have been below and hear the hydraulic motor grinding away but the wheel is free to turn by hand whereas before it resisted when in AUTO.

I considered opening up the unit but it is not just a few screws on the cover and looks more daunting.

Anyone had this and how did you resolve it?

I guess throwing money at it with a Raymarine rep is a final and last resort.

Thanks
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Old 28-06-2015, 07:25   #2
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Re: Autohelm Raymarine - won't engage

It sounds like the clutch. Check to see if you are getting voltage on the clutch wires when "auto" is pressed.

If the clutch is bad, then you need to replace. Doing so ranges from dead simple to quite complex depending on the specific drive unit you have.

Mark
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Old 28-06-2015, 08:29   #3
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Re: Autohelm Raymarine - won't engage

There is a recent thread of one sailor rebuilding his pump motor. Searching around you should be able to find it. It may not be the same unit but if your pump motor is making grinding sounds it needs some TLC.
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Old 28-06-2015, 09:53   #4
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Re: Autohelm Raymarine - won't engage

Details??

Drive Model
Drive Type (Hydraulic or Electric)
Age (Install date)
Course Computer Model
Control Head Model

I have rebuilt our Autohelm (Raymarine) Type 1 (upgraded to Type 2) Linear Drive several times and it is a very simple operation.

The course computer is a little more difficult to work on and I was unsuccessful in my attempt to repair it.

Provide some more details and we might be able to help.
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Old 29-06-2015, 13:29   #5
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Re: Autohelm Raymarine - won't engage

If it is anything like Garmins drive units, the clutch is in fact a solenoid valve, which should be activated when autopilot is ON. This is easy to check with some piece of steel ( not SS..)

Also, did you allready check the oil level? I assume the system has an expansion tank?
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Old 30-06-2015, 03:15   #6
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Re: Autohelm Raymarine - won't engage

Thanks for your responses.

The electronic part is ST6001 Smartpilot Controller (which I think is OK) and the only ID on the black box of the motor unit is "Raymarine Type 1". The boat is 10 years old and I guess this is original fit.

Not sure if the clutch is a solenoid or not. Shouldn't be too difficult to detach the unit if a full strip down is required.

There is power to the unit as I press AUTO adjust the steering and here the motor operate - until the DRIVESTOP appears.

Clutch replacement?

Regards
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Old 30-06-2015, 05:29   #7
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Re: Autohelm Raymarine - won't engage

The first thing I would check (although this sounds more like the pump is grinding) is the lever that connects the wheel to the autopilot. The bolt (screw) that holds the lever often gets loose over time. If so you will usually have a situation where the lever disengages by itself then reaches a state of looseness where it won't engage at all. This is a simple fix. Pull the wheel and tighten the bolt. A 5-10 minute job.
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Old 30-06-2015, 05:39   #8
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Re: Autohelm Raymarine - won't engage

This isn't a wheel pilot, so there is no lever.

The pictures show an electromechanical linear drive - not a hydraulic drive.

This unit is an electric motor driving gears and a ACME screw.

The clutch coil is fairly easy to access - see schematic. You should be able to get a new one from Raymarine, if it is your problem.

Mark
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Old 30-06-2015, 06:29   #9
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Re: Autohelm Raymarine - won't engage

Yea,
I didn't look at the photos. duh.
Thanks,
B
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Old 30-06-2015, 10:09   #10
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Re: Autohelm Raymarine - won't engage

"I have been below and hear the hydraulic motor grinding away but the wheel is free to turn by hand whereas before it resisted when in AUTO."

The electronic part is ST6001 Smartpilot Controller (which I think is OK) and the only ID on the black box of the motor unit is "Raymarine Type 1". The boat is 10 years old and I guess this is original fit.

I'd like to verify that you do have a 12V Linear Drive actuator that does not use any hydraulic power. Is that correct?

If it is an electric Type 1 Linear Drive I can provide a lot of assistance - having dealt with the same problem.
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Old 30-06-2015, 10:20   #11
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Re: Autohelm Raymarine - won't engage

Have you tried the forum at raymarine.ning.com/
You may find the answer searching there, but if not, there are Raymarine techs there who are pretty responsive to issues.
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Old 30-06-2015, 23:45   #12
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Re: Autohelm Raymarine - won't engage

Tacomasailor

Yes I confirm it is electro-mechanical without hydraulics.
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Old 01-07-2015, 01:49   #13
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Re: Autohelm Raymarine - won't engage

My test and repair procedure for the Linear Drive (LD):

Disconnect the LD drive rod from the rudder quadrant so the LD drive rod is easy to move. I strongly recommend removing the entire LD from it’s mount and from the rudder quadrant and testing it in your shop or on deck. IF you remove the LD to work on it on deck then you need to have a small battery or 12V power source to energize the clutch and the drive motor (they are separate circuits). Or, connect new + and GND leads from the course computer to wherever you are working. They can be 14 gauge or lighter since the clutch uses little current while testing.

In my boat, I do not have easy access to the Linear Drive and it is much easier to remove it and work on it in my shop.

When I refer to Voltage it should be more than 12V and in my system was always slightly less than battery voltage. Engage AUTO to cause the Course Computer (CC) to output V for the LD clutch which uses a circuit separate from the LD drive motor. The clutch circuit should always have 12V on it when in Auto mode.

Measure the Voltage at the +12V output (marked Clutch) on the (CC). If there is no voltage then the CC is not generating the power to engage the LD clutch. There is little hope of repairing the course computer!

Disconnect the power wires from the course computer to the Linear Drive (LD) AT the LD. The easiest way to do that is open up the LD and use thin multimeter probes on the wires.

If you have voltage at the CC but do not have voltage at the LD then you know the wire from the CC to the LD is bad (it could be either the + wire or ground wire). Be sure to use the ground wire for the clutch voltage as your ground point for the measurement. If it is a bad ground wire and you use some other ground you will measure OK but still not have a good 12V circuit for the clutch.

If you have voltage on the CC 12V “Clutch” wire at the LD then you suspect the clutch itself is bad. With the clutch wire activated (Auto at course computer) you should be able to move the LD drive rod in or out by hand and hear the gears in the LD drive motor turning. If you move the rod but do not see or hear the drive motor gears turn then the clutch is bad.

You can take the clutch/drive motor apart fairly easily and inspect the clutch parts. My clutch did not fail and looked brand new when I inspected it after 18-years and 4,000 hours of usage.

If the clutch looks good then you will need to check the Linear Drive planetary gear system to see if the SUN gear is stripped. My old “plastic” sun gear stripped due to operator error after 6-years and 500 hours usage. I replaced it with the “new” bronze gear that will never strip. That bronze gear was used in all LD units after about 1999.

The SUN gear replacement is easy if you are mechanically inclined and have rebuilt car or motorcycle transmissions. Otherwise, find a good mechanic friend.

The entire Linear Drive system is fairly simple and I learned all about it by tearing it apart and playing with it. The first time I explored the LD innards - we were anchored off of Cabo San Lucas in the worse 5-foot rolling swell I had ever experienced. Lying on my back between the battery box and rudder post while removing the LD from it’s mount and rudder quadrant was no fun.
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Old 01-07-2015, 06:08   #14
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Re: Autohelm Raymarine - won't engage

Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
With the clutch wire activated (Auto at course computer) you should be able to move the LD drive rod in or out by hand
Is this correct? I would think that with the clutch activated, one should not be able to move the drive arm. After all, with the clutch activated, the steering cannot be moved by hand.

Mark
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Old 01-07-2015, 09:54   #15
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Re: Autohelm Raymarine - won't engage

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Is this correct? I would think that with the clutch activated, one should not be able to move the drive arm. After all, with the clutch activated, the steering cannot be moved by hand.Mark
Sorry - I was not very clear when I made that statement!

IF the Linear Drive has been disconnected from the steering quadrant AND the POWER wires are disconnected from the Linear Drive motor THEN you can move the drive rod in and out.

I was trying to say that you can reverse normal power input to the LD motor by apply force to the drive rod and that will turn the planetary gear system and the motor IF the motor is NOT electrically powered.

That process will then test the clutch connection between the drive rod and the motor.

???
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