Raymarine ST4000 Autopilot....
I have a Raymarine ST4000 Autopilot that is starting to sound like a bag of rusty nails. I've stripped it down and the problem seems to be a general lack of lubrication between the two rotating surfaces. This unit is of the type that bolts onto the wheel. Peering through there seems to be a host of small wheels and cogs but as they look plastic I am wodering waht would be best to use.....Silicon, Mr Sheen ??
Does anyone have a manual with/or any recommendations ???
I would also like to ad in passing that here in Australia it is impossible to contact Raymarine with any queries as they do not list a phone number anywhere on their web site and prefer to direct any queries to the UK.....now that's what I call great service !
I just called them for you but they are closed ...I will call tomorrow and ask them for you..
Do NOT use anything other than a damp cloth to clean the control head or drive unit
Ok, I found my op man and it says not to use any chemicals on it, only a damp cloth to clean the head and drive unit.
They don't even have a indexed page that covers lubricating parts.
I'll keep this out for a bit, so if you have any ??? I'll be able to help find you an answer
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I have this autopilot on our boat. The manual says to rinse the gears inside the wheel drive (the part that fits on the steering wheel) with water after every sail, but not to lubricate with anything. There is a plastic belt in there which has teeth which can wear/break off, so the belt may need replacement. You can take it apart by prying the two sides of the wheel drive apart with a large screwdriver (and it clips back together with pressure).
Unfortunately, the belt is very hard to find now, as they have replaced it with a new model. Even Raymarine wouldn't send me one--suggested I send the wheel drive in to them (in the US) and they would replace the belt with one of the few they had left (at a cost of several hundred dollars). When I asked them to simply send me one of their few left over belts, they refused to do that. I eventually found one at West Marine (there were only 3 left in all the West Marine stores in North America according to their computer inventory). It took me about 15 minutes to replace the belt--for which they wanted to charge me several hundred dollars!
If you're going to try and match a belt (toothed belts are used everywhere these days) I can tell you from experience that the length of the belt is CRITICAL. Even imperceptible differences (too long or too short) cause the clutching mechanism to not work.
I threw mine in the sea (sorry Green Peace) after many attempts at trying to get it to work.
If you're doing any serious distance sailing, spend the money and get a new one. Repairs will let you down, it's just a case of when.
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