Autopilot Wheel Drive ripped out... - SailNet Community
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 04-12-2019 Thread Starter
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Autopilot Wheel Drive ripped out...

Beloved Sail-heads,

Mounted my Raymarine EV-100 autopilot wheel drive onto my Edson pedestal, following, naively, the instructions that came with it. Unfortunately, after a few hours of use the post against which the drive does its thing got pulled off the pedestal. See sad pic. The screws pulled right out of the 1/4 inch aluminum wall of the pedestal.

Sooooo....Round II. Can anyone suggest a better way to mount that thing? I was thinking a custom built clamp that would encircle the entire pedestal but maybe someone has a better, cheaper, and/or easier idea?

Thanks all in advance! I've learned to never make a maintenance move on my boat without consulting the Sailnet Oracles - a.k.a. you guys.

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post #2 of 9 Old 04-12-2019
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Re: Autopilot Wheel Drive ripped out...

Looks like you either drilled the holes too big or you overtightened and stripped the threads on the aluminum. If you are using stainless steel screws don't forget to use Tef-gel or you will suffer from corrosion. Move it up/down half an inch and try again or ... visit Harbour freight and buy a cheap pop rivet gun and some aluminum rivets.

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post #3 of 9 Old 04-12-2019
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Re: Autopilot Wheel Drive ripped out...

I would through bolt that base. There should be access to slide your hand down the pedestal. If not, rivets should work.

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post #4 of 9 Old 04-12-2019
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Re: Autopilot Wheel Drive ripped out...

Did you use sheet metal or self tapping screws??? If so, that's the cause. ST screws are notorious for stripping out because of the minimal threads that actually bite the metal. Should have drilled and tapped for course thread machine screws. The tapped machine screws have worked fine for me including a 200 mile return to port after a rigging failure.

If you don't have access to through bolt the post, drill and tap for the next size larger course thread fastener and use machine screws to fasten. If that rips out, you have a serious problem with bad metal in the pedestal. Those wheel pilots just don't have enough power even if jammed to rip out the fixing pin.

Last edited by roverhi; 04-12-2019 at 09:29 PM.
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post #5 of 9 Old 04-12-2019
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Re: Autopilot Wheel Drive ripped out...

I donít know if this is considered a legit technique or not. I used it to mount an exit block on my mast, so I hope itís OKÖ

I epoxied a bit of G10 to the area, then tapped through both the G10 and the aluminum. My theory is that the G10 stiffens the aluminum in that area, and tapping through both gives the threads more to bite on.

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post #6 of 9 Old 04-12-2019
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Re: Autopilot Wheel Drive ripped out...

Or you could try rivit nuts.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rivet_nut

OR look at what CPT sells to mount their unit. It might work for you.

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post #7 of 9 Old 04-12-2019
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Re: Autopilot Wheel Drive ripped out...

Quote:
Originally Posted by krisscross View Post
I would through bolt that base. There should be access to slide your hand down the pedestal. If not, rivets should work.

I second the recommendation to through bolt. You should be able to reach down from the top of the pedestal to get large washers and nuts on the back of a bolt. The ideal solution would be to make a backing plate curved to fit the inside of the pedestal.

AND yes, don't forget to use Tefgel on the SS screws where they pass through or contact aluminum.
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post #8 of 9 Old 04-12-2019
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Re: Autopilot Wheel Drive ripped out...

Thread it correctly. No problem, done that. But do some practice holes first, if you are new to drill-and-tap.

Self-taping screws are the wrong answer for many things. This is one of those.

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That said, it appears he followed the Edison instructions (p17).. That is disappointing.

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post #9 of 9 Old 04-13-2019
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Re: Autopilot Wheel Drive ripped out...

Ev 100 is Raymarine and it might be that you do not have the wheel drive in the center of the wheel and the drive is moving up and down as you turn the wheel this will put a high load on the bracket and cause the bracket screws to loosen. the screws that come with the unit are self taping # 10- screws and they supply the correct drill bit. the screws supplied will hold fine if installed properly and there is no bind. the screws could be re-tapped to 1/4 x 20 screws if the holes are over size for the #10 screws

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