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ST4000+: RIP

Jun 25, 2004
283
Hunter 306 Pasadena MD
Took my folding wheel (w/autopilot) off and brought it home last weekend. It's a 2004 vintage Raymarine ST4000+ (MK2, I guess: gray) which has worked flawlessly for the past 17 or so years (3 on the hard), although it's always been squeaky from day one. I knew there was a crack in the dust cover (aft-facing gray plastic bit), but I thought I'd check for loose parts and maybe consider some epoxy to fix the crack. After unbolting it from the wheel, here's what I found:
autop1.jpegautop2.jpegautop3.jpegautop4.jpegautop5.jpeg

Not only was the rear plastic cover (which seems to be just a dust cover) totally broken into 3 parts, but the thin black plastic ring with all the bolt sockets was broken or cracked at all 3 locations where it bolts to the wheel. Although I'd like to fix it... I think this hardware is trying to tell me something: it's tired and ready to retire. New one is on order. The funny thing is: this thing was working up until the moment I removed the wheel. I guess I can't complain.
 
Oct 22, 2014
15,862
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
17 years of service. I think you reached the life expectancy of plastic mechanical parts and then some. It served your needs well. Put it to rest with no regrets only admiration.
 
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Likes: RoyS
Dec 2, 2003
615
Hunter 260 winnipeg, Manitoba
Looks like a replacement might still be available- if pricey.


If your going to replace the whole system let me know what your planning on doing with your control head and sun cover - I have a 2004 that needs some parts at that end!
 
Jun 25, 2004
283
Hunter 306 Pasadena MD
Looks like a replacement might still be available- if pricey.


If your going to replace the whole system let me know what your planning on doing with your control head and sun cover - I have a 2004 that needs some parts at that end!
I've ordered the replacement already. Maybe I could have found just the 2 rings + belt and lever, but it came with the motor as well: around $530. So the only part that I'm replacing and that's still up to snuff is the electric motor (and maybe the idler pulleys and clutch bits). I'd be rather happy to part with the motor if someone wants it. Although I don't know the forum rules about that sort of thing. Otherwise, I'll just keep the motor as a spare.
 
Jun 21, 2004
1,855
Beneteau 343 Slidell, LA
Looks like a replacement might still be available- if pricey.
Yes, the ST4000+ wheel is available. The same wheel is still being used in raymarine's newer EV100 wheel pilot (entirely different course computer, compass, and controller). I think the motor from the ST4000+ has been upgraded also.
 
Jun 8, 2004
2,555
Catalina 320 Dana Point
There's 2 versions of the wheel drive, the old black ones were the Mk 1 newer gray ones like yours were the MK2 with a slightly larger diameter and motor and are current model available. I'm using a mk1 from 2002 and my back-up is even older from about 1995. Never seen one so completely disintegrate like that, if you keep the motor for a spare it'll probably guarantee you'll never need it, toss it and you'll need one.
 
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Likes: LloydB
Jun 25, 2004
283
Hunter 306 Pasadena MD
Got the new autopilot drive installed on the wheel and back on the boat today, and took it out for a sail. I have to say, almost all the squeakiness is gone, both with the pilot engaged and (even better) when steering manually.This makes me very happy. I guess all the cracked bits weren't helping with the squeaks. Also had a perfect 16 knots of wind, gusting a bit higher, which made for a nice daysail!

Replacing the drive portion was well worth it. Quite an easy install.