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Old 12-08-2016, 07:58   #1
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Hydraulic Pilot Pump Problems

I believe my pilot pump, a Raymarine Type 3 (actually Hy Pro), is knackered.

It's a shame, as it was brand new only about 5 years ago.

I think I may have murdered it myself I've been having problems with the pilot not responding well, and blamed the B&G computer. Then on a long hard sail 250 miles upwind in hard weather, it started flipping off with "Rudder Response Failure" fault. I emptied the lazarette (at sea, in hard weather -- what fun) and found that it was making a noise like it had air in it. The fluid reservoir was not empty, but I had never looked at it close enough to see that the pipe draws fluid somewhere above the bottom of the reservoir. I was heeled 20 to 25 degrees in big seas for 48 hours and I guess it was sucking air . The fluid had a lot of black sediment in it, and there was smoke in the reservoir. I am not all that careful about the level (always thought it drew from the bottom) and it was not very full in the first place.

I emptied the dirty fluid out and put in fresh. The pilot worked more or less for the next 24 hours of sailing, but would flip off occasionally. I suppose it's on its last legs.

What to do with it? I am not knowledgeable about hydraulic pumps.

Can it be:

1. Overhauled?

or

2. Does it just need to be cleaned out and fresh fluid?

3. Will this have ruined the ram as well?

should I just

4. Order a new one now, not waiting for it to fail

or

5. Should I order a new ram as well?



Sorry for all the naive questions, but hydraulics are something I've always just kind of taken for granted, and it's an unpleasant surprise.
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Old 12-08-2016, 10:56   #2
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Re: Hydraulic Pilot Pump Problems

Flush it, you may get lucky, very unlikely it has hurt the ram, ram ought to be just an O ring with wiper rings and a seal to keep dirt out, I have fixed a many a Backhoe ones and that is all they were. Most likely you will have to have pump overhauled, cavitation will tear one up , usually you hear them squall when they get air. I wouldn't trust it if I didn't have some kind of backup.
I don't know how that pump is, some are multi piston with a stash plate, those are constant pressure, variable volume pumps, some are much simpler.


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Old 13-08-2016, 02:33   #3
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Re: Hydraulic Pilot Pump Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Flush it, you may get lucky, very unlikely it has hurt the ram, ram ought to be just an O ring with wiper rings and a seal to keep dirt out, I have fixed a many a Backhoe ones and that is all they were. Most likely you will have to have pump overhauled, cavitation will tear one up , usually you hear them squall when they get air. I wouldn't trust it if I didn't have some kind of backup.
I don't know how that pump is, some are multi piston with a stash plate, those are constant pressure, variable volume pumps, some are much simpler.


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OK, so you think a hydraulic shop might be able to rebuild it? It's a "reversing hydraulic pump", like this:

http://www.jgtech.com/pdf/HB0003_02_..._catalogue.pdf

See "PR+ Reversing Autopilot Pump"
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Old 13-08-2016, 02:51   #4
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Re: Hydraulic Pilot Pump Problems

Hy Pro are IMHO ridiculous on there spares prices. If you know a good machine shop that understands hydraulics they can fix it. I have rebuilt mine twice ! Good luck
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Old 13-08-2016, 07:38   #5
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Re: Hydraulic Pilot Pump Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Flush it, you may get lucky, . . . .
How do you flush these things?
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Old 13-08-2016, 09:31   #6
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Re: Hydraulic Pilot Pump Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
How do you flush these things?
I don't know the procedure for your model, but I wouldn't cock about: Remove the entire assembly from the boat (yes, I know) and have a pro show you how it's done. As you admit, part of the issue here is that you have been uinder-educated on the principles of both operation and maintenance, and it's classed as a mission-critical piece of gear. It behooves you, therefore, to see the entire thing in pieces on a well-lit workbench, and to pay to learn.

Just for your data points, I have a Marol commercial-grade hydraulic, two-station ram, as seen in coastal fishing boats. It's pretty straightforward and takes the same fluid (AT-4) that goes into small aircraft landing gear, but in a pinch I could probably run it on transmission fluid. I'm not advocating it for you so much as I'm advocating commercial-grade gear when it comes to hydraulics, just as some others in this thread are advocating "take it to a truck shop". The marine aspect is secondary to the "does it need a press fitting?" aspect.
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Old 13-08-2016, 10:21   #7
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Re: Hydraulic Pilot Pump Problems

You seem to do a lot of open water long trips in snotty conditions.
My experience wit a/p installs in < 65ft comm. fishing boats used year round is to convert to a constant running pumpset.
The motor runs in one direction ,constantly,while in pilot mode.
The hydraulic oil is "reversed" by a Port & Stbd solenoid controlled valve fitted to the pump outlet.
Plumbing & wiring are compatible with existing reversing pumpset.-no big deal to convert.
I'm retd & not up to date on latest pumpset brand offerings,but any brand pumpset will work with any brand pilot for the most part as long as voltage (12 or 24) are same.
I suggest a separate small 1 or 2 ltr oil reservoir also.Easy to check/add oil & helps in cooling oil.
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Old 13-08-2016, 11:04   #8
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Re: Hydraulic Pilot Pump Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by deblen View Post
You seem to do a lot of open water long trips in snotty conditions.
My experience wit a/p installs in < 65ft comm. fishing boats used year round is to convert to a constant running pumpset.
The motor runs in one direction ,constantly,while in pilot mode.
The hydraulic oil is "reversed" by a Port & Stbd solenoid controlled valve fitted to the pump outlet.
Plumbing & wiring are compatible with existing reversing pumpset.-no big deal to convert.
I'm retd & not up to date on latest pumpset brand offerings,but any brand pumpset will work with any brand pilot for the most part as long as voltage (12 or 24) are same.
I suggest a separate small 1 or 2 ltr oil reservoir also.Easy to check/add oil & helps in cooling oil.
I edited this post to add addit info re pumps & pilots. I posted the Edit @ 1500- It was refused.

/ Len
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Old 13-08-2016, 11:10   #9
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Re: Hydraulic Pilot Pump Problems

This was a small part of my attempt to edit/add additional info to my earlier post. I don't have time at the moment to re-peck all of my Eit attempt but here is link to a good rev. pumpset.
I have had many yrs exp. installing & adj. A/P's.
Be glad to help if you have questions.
Constant Running Pumps | octopusdrives

/ Len
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Old 13-08-2016, 12:17   #10
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Re: Hydraulic Pilot Pump Problems

[QUOTE=a64pilot;2188047]Flush it, you may get lucky, very unlikely it has hurt the ram, ram ought to be just an O ring with wiper rings and a seal to keep dirt out, I have fixed a many a Backhoe ones and that is all they were. Most likely you will have to have pump overhauled, cavitation will tear one up , usually you hear them squall when they get air. I wouldn't trust it if I didn't have some kind of backup.
I don't know how that pump is, some are multi piston with a stash plate, those are constant pressure, variable volume pumps, some are much simpler.



I always thought that was a swash plate. gs
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Old 13-08-2016, 12:49   #11
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Re: Hydraulic Pilot Pump Problems

The smoke indicates burned oil and seals in the pump - flushing is unlikely to make much difference. As already advised, reversing pumps are not ideal for your heavy autopilot use - a one direction pump with control valves will hold up a lot better, so I recommend replacing the pump rather than having it rebuilt. The ram is probably undamaged but if is, replacing the seals and O rings is a DIY job if you have appropriate tools and a big enough workbench and vice.
Good luck
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Vetus Maxwell Group
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Old 14-08-2016, 05:33   #12
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Re: Hydraulic Pilot Pump Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHNMARDALL View Post
The smoke indicates burned oil and seals in the pump - flushing is unlikely to make much difference. As already advised, reversing pumps are not ideal for your heavy autopilot use - a one direction pump with control valves will hold up a lot better, so I recommend replacing the pump rather than having it rebuilt. The ram is probably undamaged but if is, replacing the seals and O rings is a DIY job if you have appropriate tools and a big enough workbench and vice.
Good luck
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Vetus Maxwell Group
Thanks!

Can such pumps be controlled by a normal Simrad pilot computer?

What are the most common types?
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Old 14-08-2016, 06:33   #13
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Re: Hydraulic Pilot Pump Problems

Your autopilot simply turns the pump on and off, left or right, usually through a pair of relays to avoid running motor current through the electronics of the autopilot. Any competent marine electrician will be able to use the same autopilot output to open and close the two solenoid actuated hydraulic valves on a continuous run pump. All of the autopilot manufacturers make continuous run pumps, just tell them what you're doing so that the valves are set up correctly at the factory and don't get talked into another stop-start pump. I like BCS from Italy, but these pumps are not high tech and all of the well known suppliers of autopilots and hydraulic equipment offer good products.
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Old 14-08-2016, 07:26   #14
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Re: Hydraulic Pilot Pump Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHNMARDALL View Post
Your autopilot simply turns the pump on and off, left or right, usually through a pair of relays to avoid running motor current through the electronics of the autopilot. Any competent marine electrician will be able to use the same autopilot output to open and close the two solenoid actuated hydraulic valves on a continuous run pump. All of the autopilot manufacturers make continuous run pumps, just tell them what you're doing so that the valves are set up correctly at the factory and don't get talked into another stop-start pump. I like BCS from Italy, but these pumps are not high tech and all of the well known suppliers of autopilots and hydraulic equipment offer good products.
Cheers
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Vetus Maxwell Group
Thanks very much. I see that Hypro make one too. They are about 4x as expensive as the reversible ones!
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Old 14-08-2016, 07:28   #15
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Re: Hydraulic Pilot Pump Problems

By the way, do you have to bleed these systems?

Maybe bleeding could help mine limp on a bit longer. I've got about 800 miles to go until I get back to the UK and it would sure be nice not to have to hand steer all the way. It will probably not be realistic to get a new pump shipped to me along the way, as we won't be stopped anywhere for long enough.
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