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Old 19-05-2013, 23:14   #1
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Raymarine SPX 5 wheel autopilot drive unit

My autopilot went tits up during a transpacific voyage. I recently found that three of the nine plastic gears were all chewed up and need replacement. The drive unit costs over $500 but all I need is some gears. Has anyone dealt with this before. I've checked online for parts but raymarine says the only self serviceable parts are the belt and fuses.
Suggestions?.....
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Old 20-05-2013, 01:02   #2
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Re: Raymarine SPX 5 wheel autopilot drive unit

I've got a 4000 Plus wheel drive unit. Had a bad solder joint fixed by a Raymarine dealer. $250.
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Old 22-05-2013, 20:50   #3
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Re: Raymarine SPX 5 wheel autopilot drive unit

For the Mark II drive, Raymarine sells the entire gearbox. Part number is A18088. You might call Raymarine and double check that number. Torrenson has them for $155.
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Old 22-05-2013, 21:15   #4
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Re: Raymarine SPX 5 wheel autopilot drive unit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tide Roller View Post
My autopilot went tits up during a transpacific voyage. I recently found that three of the nine plastic gears were all chewed up and need replacement. The drive unit costs over $500 but all I need is some gears. Has anyone dealt with this before. I've checked online for parts but raymarine says the only self serviceable parts are the belt and fuses.
Suggestions?.....
Yes, you can take the 33% failure rate of the gears as a good indication of quality: it's a toy. There is no decent alternative for a below-decks auto-pilot. I can recommend a Simrad.
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Old 22-05-2013, 21:47   #5
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Re: Raymarine SPX 5 wheel autopilot drive unit

there is only one wheel drive autopilot that is strong enough to handle larger boats for long passages - the cpt autopilot. have been using mine for years, not a single problem yet.

they are rather simple, so you won't be linking it to your gps or anything like that, but really worth taking a look at -

www.cptautopilot.com
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Old 24-05-2013, 04:56   #6
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Originally Posted by Capn Dan View Post
For the Mark II drive, Raymarine sells the entire gearbox. Part number is A18088. You might call Raymarine and double check that number. Torrenson has them for $155.
Do you have a website I can go to. I can't seem to find any gearboxes online
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Old 24-05-2013, 05:55   #7
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Re: Raymarine SPX 5 wheel autopilot drive unit

ST4000 Component GEAR BOX Raymarine A18088 Sailboat Supplies, Engine Parts and Boat Parts

or Google: Torresen Marine

You might be able to special order through West or Defender.
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Old 09-10-2013, 13:38   #8
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I did end up getting it through torrensen or TOAD now and it was only $200 with shipping. I am however saving the old gearbox for spare gears in case this ever happens again.

Thanks for the posts.
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Old 20-07-2014, 17:50   #9
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Re: Raymarine SPX 5 wheel autopilot drive unit

Hi Tide Roller,
I recently bought a Catalina 36 with the SPX 5 installed. Shortly after purchase I noticed the X5 would reach a point to strbd where it could no longer move the wheel and would make a nasty grinding sound. Worked fine to port or with small course corrections. Could this issue be similar to what you experienced? I plan to tear into it tomorrow to see what I can find out. Thanks in advance.
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Old 20-07-2014, 21:00   #10
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Raymarine SPX 5 wheel autopilot drive unit

Turns out that the gear drive on this model has plastic gears. The drive motor gear is metal but the gears surrounding that are plastic. Not a smart plan by the manufacturer.
I called to see if there was a more robust built gear box. Nope. If it didn't break every year or two how else would they get your repeat business.

Mine ended up tearing up the gear box in heavy seas. This may be similar to your problem but I don't think it is the same. This may be a calibration issue.


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