Hello those with some mechanical expertise and thank you in advance for advice. I have a major steering pump
issue. Vetus HTP 125 (or HTP 52) Hydraulic Steering Pump
is weeping badly, losing 1 oz hydraulic fluid per day. (yes, I am catching it so as not to pollute but not something I want to continue)
Sailing cat, 46', with simple system - two hydraulic lines form the loop with a return valve and a gravity fed reservoir. Old boat
owner(s) had fiberglassed and painted in the old pump so it was about 2 days of "joy" getting to the pump. I pulled pump to inspect and found seals
(both inner and outer) were both quite wet and need replacing. (metric sized gaskets). I have already replaced the lines and hydraulic steering
ram in back with new Vetus gear
so I am rather committed to a solution that involves staying with this company.
Option 1: replace pump/buy new. Vetus direct was somewhat helpful. They told me the new pump a Vetus 4210r was compatible in size (with an adapter flange) so I bought the pump. Simple? not so fast... Old pump spindle was 1" brass with a 1:12 taper outer diamer ("od") and new pump is aluminum
3/4" od with a 1:12 taper. Hmmmm, so much for compatible.
The issue: the 1:12 taper is all about brand sitckyness -- if you have this pump, you generally need to buy a Vetus wheel
. Vetus is back backordered up to 12 weeks for a Vetus wheel
KW81 (810 mm - about 2.8 feet across). And I already have a perfectly good Manson stainless wheel that was attached and working fine except for the leaking issue.
Issue 2: The old setup was as follows - pump was about five inches directly below the helm's wheel. Two spur gears were used to connect the steering
wheel shaft down to the hydraulic pump spindle. The one on the steering wheel shaft was really large and the hydraulic pump gear
has a smaller 21 tooth, spur gear that used to mount acceptably on the 1" Vetus pump shaft - not great but it apparently worked for decades with a slot key that held it in place. Now that Vetus has changed the pump shaft to a short and smaller 3/4" diameter, I am left searching for some adapter that has a 3/4" tapered 1:12 ID (inner diameter) and an outer 1" FLAT diameter so I can mount the gear back onto the new steering pump. Not an easy find. I have consulted machine shop friends and talented motorcycle and marine mechanic
One guy offered to take 5 weeks and custom make me a new spur gear with a custom 1:12 taped id. Only $500 and half the summer - so not a good option.
One guy said buy an adapter but all adapters I find seem pretty fimsly and my machine shop guy - with plenty experience says it will last only a short time.
OPTION TWO - extremely humbled (yeah ok, frustrated), I found a great shop in Baltimore
that may repair the old pump. The devil you know is better than the devil you don't. Still waiting for them to get back to me on whether the pump (good spindle and good housing) is salvageable. Maybe this option gets me through the season or even more years?
Anybody else have this problem or have a solution?
OPTION 3 is go nuclear and buy an entire new hydraulic steering system from some other brand. Use old and new pumps as paper weights.
Help? Advice?? Thank you.