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Old 14-01-2018, 05:55   #1
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autumnbreeze27's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Cruising Mexico
Boat: 50' Herreshoff Ketch
Posts: 969
nut bearing in autopilot linear drive

I've been troubleshooting a problem with our old autohelm type 2 linear drive. It died again in a heavy sea, with "DRIVE STOPPED". It was really hot, so I put a fan on it and we could get it to work for about 45 min before it would stop again. A 5-10 min break and it would be good for another 45.

When I took it apart I found a couple of issues:
1) When I replaced the dead plastic planetary gears with metal ones two years ago I installed them backwards. I figured this out when I found a better diagram online that had the warning on it.
2) The pin on the shaft that is part of the thrust bearing kit had sheared off.

When I had it apart, I cleaned the motor out, I greased the gears to try and reduce the friction from the damage, replaced the pin, cleaned and greased the thrust bearing, and I pulled the spiraled shaft out and cleaned it and lightly greased it.

When the planetary gears go back on, the proper direction this time, it adds a lot of friction to the setup. The motor can move it in and out just fine, and reinstalled on the boat the helm is easier to turn when the pilot is not on than it was before I serviced it.

When I tried the dockside calibration, when it gets to the part where the pilot moves the helm, it starts to move it and then errors out with "values too close"

We took the boat out yesterday and tried it, but the pilot would only run for about 5 minutes and then stop.

I did some googling on servicing the electric motor, I might try checking that again. I just cleaned out all the loose carbon but didn't really inspect the brushes very well.

I'm guessing we need the gear kit and thrust bearing kit, but being in Mexico it's always a challenge. If you have any experience that might let me know!
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