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Old 09-08-2020, 01:02 PM   #1
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Hyd pump stopped working

My bow thruster and anchoring is hydraulic. Yesterday, both stopped working. My hyd pump is Force America and it is belt driven from the main. The pump was giving screeching sounds for the last couple months. I was planning to replace the belts, as I suspected to be the source of the problem. I think it was not it.
I think I need to replace my pump, as a rebuilding would be difficult to get, or found.
Anyone could guide me on the process, if I purchase a new pump/clutch? I am asking about preparation and taking it apart. Assembly and bleeding procedures.
Iíll attach some photos.Attachment 107562

Disregard the rust please. That is a result of a different disaster.
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Old 09-08-2020, 03:00 PM   #2
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If the tank is higher than the pump there is no bleeding procedure. The pump makes a loop to the windlass control valve, forcing any air back to the tank. By the time you walk to the windlass after starting the pump, there will be no air in the lines. If the control valve remained closed, there's no air in the windlass motor, and if there was, it would bleed out in a couple revolutions.
It could be your problem is in the clutch, not the pump. The screeching sounds were probably the clutch trying to engage. Viewing from the clutch side of the pump, when energized, the center section rotates. If it doesn't, either the clutch is bad or the pump is frozen (unlikely). Even if the pump is bad, in Seattle there must be a dozen places that can rebuild the pump much cheaper than buying a new one. Logging, farming, and commercial fishing all have hydraulic suppliers.
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Old 09-08-2020, 03:07 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
If the tank is higher than the pump there is no bleeding procedure. The pump makes a loop to the windlass control valve, forcing any air back to the tank. By the time you walk to the windlass after starting the pump, there will be no air in the lines. If the control valve remained closed, there's no air in the windlass motor, and if there was, it would bleed out in a couple revolutions.
It could be your problem is in the clutch, not the pump. The screeching sounds were probably the clutch trying to engage. Viewing from the clutch side of the pump, when energized, the center section rotates. If it doesn't, either the clutch is bad or the pump is frozen (unlikely). Even if the pump is bad, in Seattle there must be a dozen places that can rebuild the pump much cheaper than buying a new one. Logging, farming, and commercial fishing all have hydraulic suppliers.


Yes, the expansion tank is about 10-15Ē higher than the pump. It is promising that I do not need to worry about the bleeding. I think the tank is the highest point of the whole system.

I will be ordering a new pump and new clutch together. I want to be sure that I have a good working set. Based on your suggestion, I will find a local shop to rebuild whatever is broken, so I can have a backup.
I really rely on this hydraulic system, so it is crucial to me to have online all the time. Letís hope that it is only the clutch.

Do you have any warnings or recommendations for the disassembly part? When and how to disconnect the hoses? Do I need to change the hyd oil? Is the expansion tank has a role in the replacement procedure?

Thanks.
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Old 09-08-2020, 04:45 PM   #4
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Dirt is an enemy of hydraulics.
The dirt will cause wear in the pump, valves and motors (hyd motors), could also cause the valve to malfunction.

The system should have a suction filter, maybe in the tank and a pressure filter. Pressure filter should be changed, suction filter most likely can be cleaned.

Hope this helps.

As the tank is most likely old, would be smart to empty and clean the tank. Than add new fluid.
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Old 09-08-2020, 04:58 PM   #5
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Dirt is an enemy of hydraulics.
The dirt will cause wear in the pump, valves and motors (hyd motors), could also cause the valve to malfunction.

The system should have a suction filter, maybe in the tank and a pressure filter. Pressure filter should be changed, suction filter most likely can be cleaned.

Hope this helps.

As the tank is most likely old, would be smart to empty and clean the tank. Than add new fluid.
some systems only have a screen, a failed part can dump metal shards in the returning oil and either stop up the screen or cause cavitation.
You should be able to turn the pump by hand, without the belt attached. If it is hard or impossible to turn, there is a problem, probably causing the belt to sleep (screaming belt). These things have ways to talk to you... You have to listen.

You could disassemble it, but understand that it is pumping from 5-20 gallons of oil per minute, at upwards of 2200-3000 PSI, so clean is IMPORTANT, and a good seal of all mating parts is required. It is amazing how much oil can fan out of a tiny crack at 3000 PSI.

When diagnosing hydraulics, especially finding leaks, NEVER USE YOUR BODY.
Injecting oil into your skin can kill you, and boating is supposed to be fun. Use a small length of dowel, looking for oil spray on the wood and don't use your fingers. I am not up on medical treatment of oil injection wounds but it often includes amputation. You don't want to be that poster boy.
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Old 09-08-2020, 05:12 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by bluebyu View Post
Dirt is an enemy of hydraulics.
The dirt will cause wear in the pump, valves and motors (hyd motors), could also cause the valve to malfunction.
The system should have a suction filter, maybe in the tank and a pressure filter. Pressure filter should be changed, suction filter most likely can be cleaned.
As the tank is most likely old, would be smart to empty and clean the tank. Than add new fluid.
I gather from your reply that it is time to change the fluid?

Unfortunately, I have very little documentation on the unit and how was it installed/configured. I will need to look for those filters, as I have no idea where they could be.
The tank is bolted down, but I think I can free it enough, so the hoses can be disconnected. Besides the top filling cap, I don't see any other way to look inside it. Yes, the tank looks old.

I have not touched this system at all, since I have the boat. This will be my first adventure with the hydraulics, but I would like to understand it well.
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Old 09-08-2020, 05:17 PM   #7
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You should be able to turn a the pump by hand, without the belt attached. If it is hard or impossible to turn, there is a problem, probably causing the belt to sleep (screaming belt). These things have ways to talk to you... You have to listen.
.
Good advice. Thank you. I will be careful.

Your description of the belt sound is very close to what I remember hearing. I am single handed, so it is not possible from me to get close, when I use the bow thruster. This is when that sound could be heard. It was a very annoying sound.

The new pump+clutch with adapters will arrive next week, from the manufacturer. I suspect, it will be complete assembly, which includes the rings.
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Old 09-08-2020, 05:17 PM   #8
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If you have a boat, you need an endoscope or boroscope to let you see what is inside stuff, behind stuff, under stuff, etc... what's in the tank that you can't get into, etc...

Some are USB, some are wifi and they are in the 10-30 buck range, as long as you use a smart phone, tablet or laptop for display. Harbor Freight has one with a display for a couple hundred bucks.

BE CAREFUL. Hydraulics are simple, with oil being pumped around in a loop. Only the valving is close to complicated, since some are rotating or sliding spool valves with incredibly fine tolerances. Some valves have VERY sharp edges from the milling process, and if you simply pull it out, they will dice up the o-rings...
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Old 09-08-2020, 05:17 PM   #9
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From your pictures it looks like everything in that area got soaked with seawater.
The clutch would be affected more by that than the pump itself.
This would be a great time to clean, ospho and repaint all that gear.
Make sure the pivot for the belt tensioner is free to fully travel, too.
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Old 09-08-2020, 05:22 PM   #10
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From your pictures it looks like everything in that area got soaked with seawater.
The clutch would be affected more by that than the pump itself.
This would be a great time to clean, ospho and repaint all that gear.
You are correct. A raptured sea water hose showered the engine room and everything is rusty. The cleaning and painting is on my list, but thing happen one by one and it is hard to keep up. I am in the emergency mode for the last 3-4 months. In my other postings, you can see what happened.

Again, my plan is to replace things, instead of repairing it. Regardless, I appreciate the advice and I will be very careful.
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Old 09-08-2020, 06:19 PM   #11
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If you have a boat, you need an endoscope or boroscope to let you see what is inside stuff, behind stuff, under stuff, etc... what's in the tank that you can't get into, etc...

Some valves have VERY sharp edges from the milling process, and if you simply pull it out, they will dice up the o-rings...
I will buy one. Thanks.

I am learning. Thanks for the guidance.
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Old 09-08-2020, 09:30 PM   #12
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Make sure the electric clutch is engaging. Will need to view the front when clutch is energized, which looks a bit tight. Clutch plate on the front should be stationary when de-energized, should spin when energized.

Pumps are pretty reliable even if outside looks rough.
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Old 09-08-2020, 11:20 PM   #13
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Seeing all the rust hurts my eyes. But, you're addressing it bit by bit. Impressive.
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Old 09-09-2020, 04:07 AM   #14
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Unless valves or disconnects were installed in your system, taking out the pump will be a oily mess. I'd plan on new oil and add an inline spin on filter if one isn't installed. If you have valve leaks, now is the time to fix them. Also if the motor on the windless could be leaking at the shaft. The motor shaft and valve body can get rust pits where they contact the seal if they weren't made for salt water. You can buy sleeves that slide over the pitted area and make a new surface for the seal to run against. Otherwise changing the seal only lasts a few months. You probably ought to give the hoses a good look at this time, too.

Hydraulic pumps in similar service last a really long time. Often for decades. Considering the pump probably isn't bad, your going thru a lot of work just for a bad clutch.
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Old 09-09-2020, 09:35 AM   #15
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Good catch on the mess Lepke. Filter location too. He said that it's going to a shop for rebuild. Maybe he should quiz the shop about the odds of it being unrebuildable. The windless and the bow thruster should be considered for rebuild too depending on age of those units as you mentioned.
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Old 09-10-2020, 02:35 PM   #16
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Make sure the electric clutch is engaging. Will need to view the front when clutch is energized, which looks a bit tight. Clutch plate on the front should be stationary when de-energized, should spin when energized..

You are correct. It will be difficult to observe the clutch front. Perhaps I need to use a mirror.
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Old 09-10-2020, 02:44 PM   #17
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Unless valves or disconnects were installed in your system, taking out the pump will be a oily mess. I'd plan on new oil and add an inline spin on filter if one isn't installed. If you have valve leaks, now is the time to fix them. Also if the motor on the windless could be leaking at the shaft. The motor shaft and valve body can get rust pits where they contact the seal if they weren't made for salt water. You can buy sleeves that slide over the pitted area and make a new surface for the seal to run against. Otherwise changing the seal only lasts a few months. You probably ought to give the hoses a good look at this time, too.

Hydraulic pumps in similar service last a really long time. Often for decades. Considering the pump probably isn't bad, your going thru a lot of work just for a bad clutch.
I have not seen any leakage on the hydraulic system.
Last time I could observe the windlass was when I was cleaning and painting the anchor chain chamber. I could look at it from below and there was not anything troublesome. I do lot of anchoring and it worked fine all the time.

The bow thruster was also working, but the clutch squeaking started to get really loud lately. I was avoiding the use of the thruster, but this Sunday the wind was too strong and I had not choice.

The expansion tank has valves installed on the incoming and outgoing hoses. See photo.
I did mention this to the manufacturer and he told me to shut off the valves and hold the hoses high enough at the pump, so there is no leakage of oil too much. I am sure there will be cleaning involved, so I have pad the area very well.

Question: If I were to replace all the oil in the system, how would I do that? Drain the oil into buckets, after opening the valves and connections; and fill it up again? If yes, where do I fill up a hydraulic system? The pump does not have any fill up access. Do I fill the expansion tank and run the pump? Please, advice.
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Old 09-10-2020, 02:48 PM   #18
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Good catch on the mess Lepke. Filter location too. He said that it's going to a shop for rebuild. Maybe he should quiz the shop about the odds of it being unrebuildable. The windless and the bow thruster should be considered for rebuild too depending on age of those units as you mentioned.
I have ordered a new pump and clutch, with adapters. It is on the way.
The plan is to install the new ones and rebuild the existing ones for backup, if that is possible.

I have no idea where filters can be. Hopefully I will know more, once the pump is removed and all the hoses are disconnected. I suspect, the expansion tank will not be the place for filters. The tank looks pretty much sealed and there is nothing I can remove from it. I did order a borescope, so as a last resort, I will be able to look inside the tank, when it is empty.
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Old 09-10-2020, 02:54 PM   #19
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Seeing all the rust hurts my eyes. But, you're addressing it bit by bit. Impressive.
It hurts my eyes, too. A raptured cooling hose showered all the engine room and the bilge was foot high with sea water. The rust comes from there. I had no time to do cosmetics, as more and more problems arose since the accident.

The rapture of the hose section was unexpected, of course. We are talking about a 5' section, so nothing was visible of that sort, until it happened. Unfortunately, the inverter/charger was mounted right above this raptured hose, and it was killed by the sea water. A dead inverter could not produce 110V and my bilge pump did work, when it was needed. So, the ER is rusty everywhere.

I have purchased and relocated a new inverter/charger, so this will not happen again. I also plan to put in a 12V bilge pump, in addition.
The rust has to wait. Safety first.
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Old 09-10-2020, 02:55 PM   #20
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Sounds like you already realize that have the old system rebuilt for a backup might not be feasible. But nice to have a backup if possible. With the filter situation, I think the suggestion of adding filters is a good idea. Where to put them in your setup is the question. If you currently don't have them, maybe you'll be fine without.
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