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Old 08-07-2013, 13:48   #1
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Advice on Hydraulic Drive Rebuild/Replace

The drive for our hydraulic autopilot is out. It's a 12v raymarine type 1 drive, and an old Raymarine advisory says that it's common for the brushes to wear out and need replacing. Looking to pursue options other than Raymarine, such as a replacement motor, motor&pump, or 3rd party servicing of the motor.

Does anyone have advice on removing the drive, in such a manner that you can still use the wheel steering while the drive is worked on?

Has anyone had success using a local motor rewinder for their autopilot motor?
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Old 08-07-2013, 16:03   #2
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Re: Advice on hydraulic drive rebuild/replace

Assuming that you are talking of a hydraulic pump, as opposed to an integrated pump/cylinder system, you should be able to buy anybody's pump of sufficient capacity and change the plumbing fittings as necessary. Hydraulic pumps are a standard item and I doubt that any of the autopilot manufacturers actually build their own pumps.
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Old 08-07-2013, 16:42   #3
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Re: Advice on hydraulic drive rebuild/replace

try take off the back plate on the motor,replacing brushes is a fairly simple affair once you know the size.

brushes can be modified easily to fit by fileing to size if you cannot get the correct raymarine part.

new pump and motors are easily available,from raymarine,who will ship internationaly.

rewinding can be done in a lot of the out of the way places,check out auto electrical/alternator shops.

once the hydralic pump is removed the steering in most cases will not be usable,unless the feed pipes are capped off
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Old 08-07-2013, 20:40   #4
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Re: Advice on hydraulic drive rebuild/replace

Quote:
Originally Posted by atoll View Post
once the hydralic pump is removed the steering in most cases will not be usable,unless the feed pipes are capped off
Hunting for these "caps"

That's what I was thinking. The tubes are translucent plastic, though the connectors going into the hydraulic pump, as well as the Ram, look to be brass. I'm not sure if the connectors are part of the the pump, or a separate piece.

If they are a separate piece, then I'm probably looking for the "cap" that you mention. I would think this would be a standard size.

Would I get these caps at a West Marine, a Home Depot, a plumbing store, a truck store, ... ?
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Old 09-07-2013, 01:21   #5
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Re: Advice on hydraulic drive rebuild/replace

a hydralic hose and fitting shop would be your best bet.

if the tube has an olive on the end,and a threaded fitting that screws in to the pump bodyover the olive,you will need to find a female compression fitting,ie a "union"that fits,and a cap at the other end,most sizes are tapered bsp.
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:21   #6
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Re: Advice on Hydraulic Drive Rebuild/Replace

Problem solved. Details might help someone else.

After crawling into the boat to remove the drive, I noticed that the power wires were not joined by butt end splice, rather using removable automotive plugs (put in by prior owner's worker)

The first test with the volt meter showed power working to those leads, but I had to press hard with the prongs and in retrospect just side stepped the problem. Suspicions high, tested the motor by itself and it ran fine. I replaced the automotive connectors with permanent crimps that have shrink wrap built in, and all is well.

There were no brushes on the outside of the motor, and I didn't venture to take the motor apart. Like some suggested, the motor itself is removable from the pump. Lost a half pint or so of hydraulic fluid when the motor was taken off. Didn't see a shut off valve anywhere.

Thanks everybody for your help.
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:41   #7
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Re: Advice on Hydraulic Drive Rebuild/Replace

I recommend you replace the brushes at a regular period as suggested by the manufacturer, (and Atol). People forget but I still remember when DC motors were more common and they always needed a commutator clean and brush replacement, shitty job, no wonder we went to AC. While you are updating your programmed maintenance schedule also include the same task for your other electric motors like the anchor winch. Some motors allow visual inspection when the motor is running.

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Old 12-07-2013, 15:28   #8
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Re: Advice on Hydraulic Drive Rebuild/Replace

Hadn't even thought about the windlass. And electric winches would have brushes too. Even just getting replacement brushes to have on hand would be a good start. I've got numbers from the motor, which didn't have the 'look and feel' of a marine designed motor. I found some "rewinders", and it seemed like you've got to go to a specialty motor place to get brushes.

I'm wondering how a pro would have avoided the hydraulic fluid loss. Do they drain somehow at the helm, or detach the center house and elevate it?
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Old 12-07-2013, 17:54   #9
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Re: Advice on Hydraulic Drive Rebuild/Replace

My thought is that once you have a problem with commutator segments getting shorted out it will be catastrophic as electrically it will be a dead short/ replace motor.
Carbon brushes less risky as it would be my hoped that they will hang up in the brush holder and become electrically open. If the brushes allowed to wear so much as the commutator segments get damaged by metallic contact, it would be expected that there is insufficient copper to allow repair/replace motor again.

Regards to oil leak, If its a packaged unit maybe the whole unit can be lifted out, then you can leave the Motor connected. Otherwise it is hoped that you can split the Motor from the pump.

Brush spares I'd recommend genuine components, wrong carbon material & spring pressure can cause damage commutator wear./ replace motor.

These motors drive your winches, fans, refridge, bilge pumps etc they are all time bombs but this risk is acceptable as you have redundancy, don't you.

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