Raymarine ST4000 Autohelm binding - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 08-16-2009
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Raymarine ST4000 Autohelm binding

My Wheel Mount Raymarine Wheel ST4000 is binding. When the Autohelm is turned off (No power at all), the steering wheel binds during turning. This is not the actual steering wheel binding, but the autohelm drive wheel/track mounted to the steering wheel. It's not really binding as in consistent resistance during turning, but more free turning, then an abrupt stop followed by a snap/pop release when more torque is applied. I tried a little dry lube, which helps some but does not get rid of it. It's pretty pervasive as in a full turn, the bind/pop can happen 0 to 10 times.

Anyone have any ideas?

Thanks.

DrB
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Old 08-16-2009
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I have the same problem. I plan to take it off and see what I can figure out. I can get all the Allen screws loose except one (on the clamps that hold the drive unit to the wheel spokes).
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Old 08-16-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrB View Post
My Wheel Mount Raymarine Wheel ST4000 is binding. When the Autohelm is turned off (No power at all), the steering wheel binds during turning. This is not the actual steering wheel binding, but the autohelm drive wheel/track mounted to the steering wheel. It's not really binding as in consistent resistance during turning, but more free turning, then an abrupt stop followed by a snap/pop release when more torque is applied. I tried a little dry lube, which helps some but does not get rid of it. It's pretty pervasive as in a full turn, the bind/pop can happen 0 to 10 times.

Anyone have any ideas?

Thanks.

DrB

This happened to me. Take a look at this schematic. Nevermind the red circles, I used those for a different post. In my case, part number 8 (a sheer pin) broke so part number 9 (the drive lever) rotates the oblong parts 10 and 11 incorrectly and won't disengage the belt properly. In my case, I took part 1 off, with a simple prying motion with a flathead screwdriver (very easy), removed part 4, correctly aligned the oblong parts and used a very small cotter pin to replace the broken sheer pin. All is well.
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Old 08-17-2009
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I too have this problem. Its the drive belt that stick to the wheel housing. try some taculm powder. Mine starts to stick AFTER I dismantle it for washing (dish washer liquid). Usually after sometime on Autopilot, I need to "break-free" the sticky belt by jerking the wheel before its normal.
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Old 08-21-2009
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Another Possible Cause...

I have had the same or at least a very similar problem to what DrB described. So I followed the great schematic and instructions given by JSL3. However instead of finding a sheared pin I found that my belt (#5 on the schematic) must have been pretty worn since it had a thin 6" wire coming out of the edge of the belt. Kind of like a worn steel belted tire. So in my case it looks like this wire would get caught on other parts as I turned the wheel. When the wheel is is in the position with the rudder amidships it seems that the worn part of the belt is near part #7. Which seems to make sense since this looks like the point where the belt has the most friction. I cut the wire flush to the belt and tested, so far so good. Thanks for the tips!

Now anyone know where I can get a replacement belt?
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Old 08-21-2009
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Thanks for the responses...

I plan on taking the gizmo apart this weekend. I'll report back the findings and hopefully a solution.

DrB
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Old 08-25-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fud View Post

Now anyone know where I can get a replacement belt?
search ebay for 'autohelm belt'

here is a link to one supplier
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Old 08-25-2009
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Another possible cause is one or more of the plastic guide rollers broken off. Thats what happened to our old drive wheel - no parts available for that, the original molded plastic nubs for the rollers had snapped off.

We installed a new S-1 - the drive assembly is a much better engineered product.
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Old 08-25-2009
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I second Faster, as that is exactly what we went through.
Replaced belt as it was binding and wires sticking out of the side. It worked fine for several months... until one day coming into the harbor the thing jams, I heard a snap after messing with it for a couple of minutes it was free but broke. The guide rollers snaped.
I do have a new spare belt for yours if you are interested, just pay shipping.
We replaced with a new S1 and it works great, it is a lot more robust.
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Old 08-25-2009
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Update

Went sailing this weekend twice and no issues, so I can fix what isn't broken. As soon as it breaks again, I'll try the suggestions in this thread.

Thanks.

DrB
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