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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #11  
Old 08-13-2008
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I looked at Marol website. The systems they show seem to be geared towards powerboats. Nothing wrong with that per-se, the hydraulic principle certainly does not change. Still, something to consider.
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Old 08-13-2008
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So the female threaded swivel fitting came away from the ram actuating arm?

Loctite maybe. If it was fit dry, then the fitting could come off with a years worth of back and forth. The only trouble I'm having in visualizing that is how exactly the fittings are that one would be allowed to turn 360 degrees without binding on another fitting.

Perhaps the hydraulic ram arm is able to spin freely in the ram body. Can you grab the ram arm and spin it with little resistance? If that is so, then there is where the free spin culprit might be. Otherwise I don't know how a threaded fitting could come unthreaded in a fairly static setup. If the ram arm can spin in the body then you may need loctite or a similar thread locker to keep the whole unit together.

Maybe a mechanical solution is called for. If the hydraulic arm and swivel are beefy enough, maybe you can drill through both and put a keeper bolt through. If not, maybe two shallow taps 90 degrees apart to put set bolts in (like your prop shaft and coupling have).

Of course, that is if I'm envisioning this all correctly, if not
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Sapperwhite:

Yes, the Swivel fitting separated from the ram actuating arm.

The tiller arm on the rudder post can't travel 360 degrees. Maybe between 90 and 120 degrees max to get full rudder swing. Since the swing of the tiller arm is angled relative to the horizon, the hydraulic clyinder ram must be able to move up and down slightly, as well as left and right slightly to prevent any binding as the tiller arm moves.

I didn't notice any loctite on the threads, and I will have to check to see if the actuating arm of the hydraulic cylinder can rotate in the cylinder or not. If it can, this might explain how it unscrewed itself over time. If that is the case, some loctite and a hole / cotter pin modification might do the trick.

If the female socket on the swivel is broken, sheered, or stripped out, then I have a bigger issue which is probably either design or alignment related some how.
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Old 08-13-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleWingCA View Post
If the female socket on the swivel is broken, sheered, or stripped out, then I have a bigger issue which is probably either design or alignment related some how.
Wouldn't this be pretty obvious by looking at the connector? Cleanly unscrewed connector is pretty different from broken one?
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I know exactly what the steering gear area looks like. I've spent quite a bit of time upside down through the cockpit running new plumbing, wiring, engine work, steering gear work, new waterlock, etc. etc. I know what you mean about the angle. My Orion was built with wheel steering, did you convert from tiller to wheel?

Here is a pic of my steering quadrant (Orion wheel cable steering) . Nevermind those rusty hose clamps....old pic.

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Sapperwhite:

My Orion 27 supposedly came from the factory with wheel steering using a rack/pinion and cable connection from the wheel to the tiller arm originally. This was due to the pedestal being mounted to the engine cover on the part that opens up. The previous owner damaged the cable one day when it touched his exhaust elbow before he added a heat blanket. By the time I purchased the boat, water and corrosion were creaping into the cable and making steering very stiff. I had the rack/pinion and cable system replaced with a hydraulic system.
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Old 08-14-2008
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The ball joint usually canot be seperated. It has a bolt to attach it to whatever and a female end to accept the threaded end of the ram's shaft.

The ram has a round piston and round shaft and no way to index it. The shaft near the threads usually has flats ground to allow you to fit a wrench to hold the shaft from turning .

If the ball joint came unscrewed from the shaft I am going to guess it is because the JAM NUT was not installed.

Even if the shaft unscrewed from the ball joint the jam nut should still be on the shaft in the short time you described between failer and inspection.

Just install a jam nut on the shaft screw the shaft back into the ball joint, check operation, Hold the ball joint and tighten the jam nut up aginst the ball joint.

Done

You can take a bit of Testors paint and put a drop on the top of the three parts in a line to make a quick check to see if all is well.

Rick
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Old 08-14-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timebandit View Post
If the ball joint came unscrewed from the shaft I am going to guess it is because the JAM NUT was not installed.

Rick
My guess is Rick hit this exactly. Pictures will tell the final story but matches my experience on industrial hydraulics.
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I remember seeing a large nut still on the ram actuating arm. This must be the Jam nut. Maybe it was never tightened up against the ball joint. I guess I will need a lock washer as well. The opposite side of the ram has flattened surfaces to attach a wrench, so I guess the ram actuating arm is designed to be able to rotate in the cylinder body, which could explain how it unscrewed over time.

Sounds like a little loctite, lock washer, and screwing it back together along with tightening up the Jam Nut may be the fix. I should also probably cut an inspection port hole, with water tight cover, in the cockpit floor to be able to keep an eye on this connection over time without having to lift the engine cover. I like the idea of a line of paint to see if things are moving.

I will post pictures this weekend when I get a chance to get back to the boat.
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Last edited by LittleWingCA; 08-14-2008 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 08-14-2008
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I have never had to use a lock washer but if it will make you feel better than that's fine.

I would not install an inspection port. Just check it before you go out the next couple of times and then when ever you open the cover for engine maintainance.

Rick
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