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Old 20-09-2011, 20:02   #1
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Upgrading a Wagner Autopilot

Gosh... I hope this is the right forum... my post involves hydraulic steering and autopilot topics?!

Has anyone successfully upgraded a Wagner Series 70 autopilot that is hooked up to a hydraulic steering system by just changing the 'brain' to something a bit less dated... say with a digital interface (and hopefully remote) that has all the goodies like + / - 10 degrees and a quick AUTO / STANDBY button?

The hydraulic steering has had a secure box glassed in around it and to change the whole thing back to cable drive with a linear drive auto pilot would require extensive work disassembling the cockpit area and then rebuilding it.

The hydraulic steering ram works great (and so does the Wagner driving it I'm told) but the interface and brain is sooooo old and I just know that it's going to fail someday soon.
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Old 20-09-2011, 20:22   #2
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Re: Upgrading a Wagner autopilot

I would love to hear an answer to this as well. I have the wagner with hydraulic steering and know I will be in the same position soon. I actually think my little remote (brain unit) is starting to fail now as it is intermittently losing its bearing. It cannot be trusted any longer.
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Old 20-09-2011, 20:54   #3
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Re: Upgrading a Wagner autopilot

Depends on what your wagner drive uses for power. If it has a 12v motor which reverses the polarity to go left and right, its easy to hook up one of the simrad, raymarine or coursemaster units--just make sure they have the amperage capacity to handle your motor. There is also a 12v output for a solenoid valve bypass valve or clutch. If your wagner is the type that has a continuously running motor and opens valves to go left or right, its doable, but not as common. some of these systems can run at 24v if needed.

The modern brains are a lot smarter, automatically adapt to sea states, have lower power consumption, and have remotes.
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