Autopilot almost done!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by mnm99, Feb 27, 2021.

  1. mnm99

    mnm99 Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2015
    Long Island
    2004 340 SeaRay Sundancer
    Twin 8.1 Merc
    Been working on it for a while. Just got done with all the plumbing. I decided to replace all the lines with Seastar Pro crimped lines. I added some shut off valves incase I ever have to remove the whole pump. Kept the original Nylon for return. Looking at a way to make a nice mount to hold the bottle for bleeding.
    thumbnail (23).jpg thumbnail (24).jpg thumbnail (22).jpg thumbnail (16).jpg thumbnail (18).jpg
     
  2. Tripsdad

    Tripsdad Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    198
    Sep 27, 2019
    Long Island, NY
    2006 360 Sundancer
    T 8.1L Horizons
    Nice job. I’ve been thinking of adding AP as well and would go with Garmin to match the rest of my electronics.
     
  3. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    Looks awesome! How many times have you squeezed yourself behind those engines for this project? Oiy!
     
  4. markrsimon

    markrsimon Active Member

    202
    Sep 1, 2018
    Cleveland, OH
    92 Sea Ray 400 Express
    454 Mercruiser
    Nice work! Curious (because I have to do a similar project) - did you investigate using the 'existing tee w/ bleed nipple' on the steering cylinder? Perhaps removing that bleed-nipple, and connect your pump there? Best case, augment the existing tee (4 way, or add another tee) to keep the bleed capability? Wondering if that saves me the hassle of reworking the existing lines - of if that's 'too much' handing from the cylinder.
     
  5. mnm99

    mnm99 Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2015
    Long Island
    2004 340 SeaRay Sundancer
    Twin 8.1 Merc
    Not too bad. I removed one of the exhaust tubes on the port motor. There is actually room to sit and work.
     
  6. mnm99

    mnm99 Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2015
    Long Island
    2004 340 SeaRay Sundancer
    Twin 8.1 Merc
    I wanted to replace all the lines with the better lines. You need the nipple for bleeding there I would think. Not sure about you’re way. It might work, just never seen it that way.
     
  7. markrsimon

    markrsimon Active Member

    202
    Sep 1, 2018
    Cleveland, OH
    92 Sea Ray 400 Express
    454 Mercruiser
    As I started looking for parts- it seems easier/less expensive to follow what you did. The kits have everything you need with the inline tees. Trying to find a tee to come off the existing tee and keep the bleeder hasnt been easy.
     
  8. JC3

    JC3 Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2006
    Kentucky
    N/A
    N/A
    What a very nice installation! Very good job. GOD speed, JC
     
  9. be_prepared

    be_prepared Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    361
    Oct 12, 2015
    Mattapoisett, MA
    2002 Sea Ray Sundancer 340DA
    Twin Mercruiser Horizon 8.1 inboards
    I'm not sure I like this, I've been telling my wife we need a bigger boat to have autopilot, and now you've gone and put one in a 340DA... :(
     
  10. mnm99

    mnm99 Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2015
    Long Island
    2004 340 SeaRay Sundancer
    Twin 8.1 Merc
    All my friends say, Once you go auto you never go back..lol. One of my friends turns it on every time he leaves the dock.
     
    Todd320 likes this.
  11. OllieC

    OllieC Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Mar 11, 2013
    MinniSoCold
    Sara Belle
    2005 Weekender 215
    Mercruiser 5.0 mpi, Bravo III
    Do you get autopilot on your chart plotters as well? If so, how is it? Is it similar to the GHC-20 you installed? Sorry about the questions. I’m looking into this and trying to save a few dollars by using my current chart plotter which is supposedly comparable the Reactor 40 and ECU.
    Thanks
    Ollie

    looks great btw!
     
  12. mnm99

    mnm99 Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2015
    Long Island
    2004 340 SeaRay Sundancer
    Twin 8.1 Merc
    Yes. Everything comes up on the plotter. There are modes that do not though. I haven't played with it but from my research there are dealer modes used for troubleshooting and a couple other options you cant do on the plotter. I also was just going to use the plotter, then changed my mind because I wanted all the info I can get if something happened.
     
    Tripsdad and OllieC like this.
  13. melida

    melida Member

    880
    Apr 1, 2009
    Istanbul-TURKEY
    Sea Ray 2007 375 DA
    Sea Ray 2005 315 DA Sold
    2xYANMAR 6LPA-STP 315 HP V-drives, 4kw Onan gen, radar, gps, autopilot, bow&stern thrusters, sat tv
    Don't tell your wife that I had AP in my 05/280DA then you would downsize.
     
  14. stg099

    stg099 Active Member

    347
    Jun 30, 2013
    Chicago
    2013 370 Sundancer
    8.2L V-Drives
    This thread is perfect timing for me as I plan to tackle a self installation of AP on my 370 this spring. To that end, I am curious how the hydraulic bleeding process goes with just the bottle elevated at the helm. I've been looking into a product called the bubble purge pro that allows bleeding from the helm and the cylinder simultaneously, but since I've never done a bleed procedure I'm not sure it's necessary. Thoughts?

    My boat was equipped with SeaStar power hydraulic steering so my plan is to use the ray marine EV-200 AP combined with the "piggyback" seastar AP pump so that I don't have to fabricate any new hydraulic lines.

    Did you opt for a rudder reference sensor? I think I'd like to have this feature so I'm curious to hear your opinion on this as well. While not necessary I would like to have that displayed while docking/etc to confirm the rudders are straight

    I'm already dreading the amount of time I'll have to spend behind those engines...
     
  15. kindredspirit

    kindredspirit Member

    56
    Sep 1, 2009
    Lake Erie, Ohio
    2002 Sea Ray 410 DA
    8.1
    I'm going to be installing the same system this spring. What did you hook the 3rd hydraulic line off the pump to? I know one line goes to starboard and the second line goes to the port but the third line is suppose to be "return". My cylinder has two ports just like yours but I don't recall a third line in the system. I was thinking about installing the pump and ecm up by the helm. I wonder if installing them closer to the cylinder will result in better AP response?
     
  16. Jaybeaux

    Jaybeaux Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jan 3, 2016
    Upper Potomac River
    420 Sundancer 2004
    Naught On Call
    Cummins 6CTA-8.3's with V-Drives
    9KW Onan Genset
    This is from the Garmin Smart Pump installation instructions. The third line will go from the pump back to the helm.

    Jaybeaux Single Helm.png
     
  17. kindredspirit

    kindredspirit Member

    56
    Sep 1, 2009
    Lake Erie, Ohio
    2002 Sea Ray 410 DA
    8.1
    I thought it was a return line but I'm positive that my helm only has 2 lines coming off it, one for starboard and one for port. Hopefully I have a plugged port on my helm that I can return to! Do you know if there is any advantage to mounting the pump/ecm closer to the steering cylinder or if it is fine being mounted closer to the helm?
     
  18. Riptide III

    Riptide III Active Member

    742
    Dec 8, 2007
    Dartmouth MA
    1997 Sea Ray 400DA
    Cat 3116 TA
    1994 Sea Ray Laguna CC 250 Tohatsu
    :
    There is a plug that is blocked off on your helm.
    I found it easier to mount my system near the helm. This allowed me to use existing lines and only purchase 36’ lines. My 2 cents.
     
  19. mnm99

    mnm99 Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2015
    Long Island
    2004 340 SeaRay Sundancer
    Twin 8.1 Merc
    I have been having a heck of a time bleeding the system. It looks like all the bubbles are out, but the pump won't go into a stall during configuration. I was told from garmin there is air still in the lines. I went back in after letting it sit for a couple days and am still getting air. I have no leaks.
     
  20. stg099

    stg099 Active Member

    347
    Jun 30, 2013
    Chicago
    2013 370 Sundancer
    8.2L V-Drives
    Thank you for the update and I'm sorry you're having trouble! in all the reading up on this that I've done the bubble purge pro seemed to be a good solution as it bleeds from the helm and both sides of the cylinder simultaneously. SeaStar has a power bleeder that would make super quick work of the whole process but it's $1k. If any mechanic has one local to you it might be worth their hour of time to handle it, otherwise the bubble purge product seems to be a solid DIY option. If you decide to go the bubble purge pro route I'm definitely all ears to hear about your experience, and if it works as advertised I'd happily send you $$ to ship it my way when I tackle my install later this year.
     

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