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Old 17-03-2016, 17:00   #1
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How to open a Simrad wp32 wheel pilot.

I have a Simrad wp32 wheel pilot and need to open it to replace the belt and check for tightness inside. Does anyone know how to open it without damaging the unit?
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Old 17-03-2016, 18:06   #2
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Re: How to open a Simrad wp32 wheel pilot.

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Originally Posted by Capt.T View Post
I have a Simrad wp32 wheel pilot and need to open it to replace the belt and check for tightness inside. Does anyone know how to open it without damaging the unit?

Suggest you look at the parts diagram, to find the screws, like autohelm it might just snap together.


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Old 17-03-2016, 20:08   #3
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Re: How to open a Simrad wp32 wheel pilot.

Thank you for your Reply. Simrad does not show an assembly skematic in their manual. They Recommend sending it in of repair. The WP32 is discontinued and they no longer will work on them. I appreciate your snap on comment. Does the autohelm have rollers inside for the moving part that attaches to the boat wheel? The WP32 has rollers with external allen screws that hold the internal wheels in place. Best Regards, Smooth Sailing.
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Old 17-03-2016, 20:26   #4
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Re: How to open a Simrad wp32 wheel pilot.

Remove the plastic cap that holds it to the wheel, remove the wheel, make sure the clutch is released, loosen the tension screw, then just pull the disc away. It is pretty self explanatory.

Some parts of the plastic / aluminum cam clutch which tensioned the belt were broken or worn in mine. I think I ended up replacing some small screws and epoxying some of the broken plastic. I of course also replaced the belt. Since I did that repair two years ago, it has performed quite well. Adding a Simrad RC42 compass also improved its performance.
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Old 17-03-2016, 20:35   #5
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Re: How to open a Simrad wp32 wheel pilot.

There are 4 allen head screws on the back side of the wheel pilot on the top half. Loosen them, which allows the idler wheels inside to loosen. Once loose enough you can pry the drive wheel off.

Then reassemble and tighten the allen head screws. Sounds easy. It's a tad tricky.

If you experience the joy, where the screws just turn and don't tighted, chants are required. I have fixed that by drilling a 1/2" hole in the drive wheel centered about 5/8" from the edge (does not matter where though I did mine at the bottom), which allows a small socket or needle nose plyers to hold the tiny nut at the other side of the idler wheel.

Also good to lube the metal clutch bit that the tension pulleys ride on.
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Old 17-03-2016, 21:00   #6
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Re: How to open a Simrad wp32 wheel pilot.

Thank you Very Very much. You have hit the screw on the head. That is exactly what I was worried about. I saw those nuts also and have drilled a 3/8" hole about where you did. I can reach those little nuts with needle nose pliers. I don't know how simrad used to do it but they don't do it anymore as far as I can tell. The WP32 has been discontinued. Did you put a rubber plug or grommet in the 1/2" hole you drilled to keep water out?

Again, thank you so much for your clear explanation of how to open the WP32.
Best Regards and Smooth Sailing.

PS, I have received great answers and help for how to open the WP32 and hope these threads will help others out there that may have the same problems.
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Old 19-03-2016, 17:02   #7
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Re: How to open a Simrad wp32 wheel pilot.

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Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
There are 4 allen head screws on the back side of the wheel pilot on the top half. Loosen them, which allows the idler wheels inside to loosen. Once loose enough you can pry the drive wheel off.

Then reassemble and tighten the allen head screws. Sounds easy. It's a tad tricky.

If you experience the joy, where the screws just turn and don't tighted, chants are required. I have fixed that by drilling a 1/2" hole in the drive wheel centered about 5/8" from the edge (does not matter where though I did mine at the bottom), which allows a small socket or needle nose plyers to hold the tiny nut at the other side of the idler wheel.

Also good to lube the metal clutch bit that the tension pulleys ride on.

Yes, that's how I remembered doing it, forgot how... Exactly.


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