Autohelm ST4000 belt tension - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
 Not a Member? 
  #1  
Old 06-07-2012
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Hershey, PA
Posts: 137
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 7
harbin2 is on a distinguished road
Autohelm ST4000 belt tension

I am having trouble with belt tension on my wheel unit. When I have the unit engaged, the belt seems way to tight. When it is disengaged, it is barely disengaged (still has a little drag). Often, when I engage it, it disengages on its own when the wheel turns in a CCW direction. If I engage it and reingage it several times, the belt seems to strech a little and then stay engaged better. I think the answer might be to lubricate the back side of the belt which comes in conctact with the cam of the lever. I have though about using wax or lanolin etc. It seems worse when it is damp or I have gotten water in the unit from rain. Any thoughts.

Note, I have had the wheel apart several times and I believe I know how it works. I have the tension cam adjusted with the least amount of tension. I have replaced the two pins that hold the lever arm onto the shaft (had corroded and sheered off). The belt looks fine and has all it's teeth.

I have read many of the posts on sailnet but have not found anything relating to lubricating the back side of the belt that comes in contact with the lever cam.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 06-07-2012
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Long Isalnd
Posts: 19
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 0
CatalinaRob is on a distinguished road
Re: Autohelm ST4000 belt tension

I have the same issue and cant seem t figure it out either. Wish I had some better info for you.

- Rob
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 06-07-2012
celenoglu's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 561
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 6
celenoglu is on a distinguished road
Re: Autohelm ST4000 belt tension

It seems that the drive unit should be re placed to have proper tension. Another method might be using a bigger belt.

Last edited by celenoglu; 06-07-2012 at 09:04 AM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 06-07-2012
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Hershey, PA
Posts: 137
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 7
harbin2 is on a distinguished road
Re: Autohelm ST4000 belt tension

celenoglu
What is your basis for suggesting the drive unit be replaced? It seems to work fine and simply engages with the teeth on the inside of the belt. Plus, that would be a several hundred dollar item. What I'm suggesting is something that would cost nothing but an hours time.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 06-07-2012
celenoglu's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 561
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 6
celenoglu is on a distinguished road
Re: Autohelm ST4000 belt tension

The positioning of the drive unit should be changed, not replaced.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 06-07-2012
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Hershey, PA
Posts: 137
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 7
harbin2 is on a distinguished road
Re: Autohelm ST4000 belt tension

OK - but I'm not sure how I would do that. Below is a photo showing where the drive unit mounts. Is there some adjustment that would permit less belt tension? I do agree that would help. As I'm sure you know, the wheel on the right is attached to the lever. The one on the left is the tension adjustment which is adjusted as loose as I can get it.
Attached Thumbnails
Autohelm ST4000 belt tension-p1110471-large-.jpg  
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 06-07-2012
MSN2Travelers's Avatar
Badger Sailor
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Milwaukee
Posts: 176
Thanks: 1
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 9
MSN2Travelers is on a distinguished road
Arrow Re: Autohelm ST4000 belt tension

I had this same problem when we acquired our boat. I was able to adjust the cam to a lessor tension and resolve the problem.

In researching the problem, I was told that these belts tend to shrink with age vs. stretch as one would think.

I've seen replacement belts available on ebay.

Good look.
__________________
Paul
`99 Beneteau Oceanis 352, #282 WiTCHCRAFT
Milwaukee, WI
Sailing Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 06-07-2012
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Hershey, PA
Posts: 137
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 7
harbin2 is on a distinguished road
Re: Autohelm ST4000 belt tension

Thanks MSN2. That doesn't make sense but it's a good explaination for what is happening. I read in another thread that the steel inside the belt will rust over time and affect the performance but this is the first I have heard of shrinkage. Perhaps I should try leaving it engaged when I'm away from the boat. That might help keep it stretched. I have adjusted the cam for the least tension possible. If I increase it, I think it's possible I'd break the belt or some other part if I tried to engage it.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Autohelm ST4000 Plus problems Outrageous Electronics 43 02-18-2013 10:58 PM
Autohelm ST4000+ rattle py26129 Gear & Maintenance 3 10-11-2011 09:55 AM
AutoHelm ST4000 jheitzman Gear & Maintenance 4 09-27-2011 06:01 AM
Autohelm ST4000 always going to the right. Sleek Geek Announcements and Suggestions Box 8 08-26-2011 03:54 PM
'Single-handed' Belt Tension jason3317 Gear & Maintenance 7 04-05-2009 12:48 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:59 AM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.