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(C) C.D.G 2009-2023

Uppdated 2023-01-29

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Autopilot unit and parts

The autopilot unit is from Jefa (DU-DD1*) and the same goes for the arm links and the steering column. Each issue with the autopilot is described under the respective picture.

*More information is to be found under the Manual section.

1.The top view of the autopilot unit to the left, the rudder in the middle and the Simrad "sensor" to the right. We will now focus on the area under the steering column, where the left link arm goes underneath.

2.Here you can se the arm is connected to a lever which is connected by a shaft to the steering wheel. In front of the lever you find the bumper. 


3.The bumbers job is to reduce the forces from the lever and dampen the impact when turning the rudder fully to starboard. Here you can see that there are no O-rings in the grooves of the bumper. We like to give a word of warning here: Do not remove the bumper from its place!! More about it later on as you scroll down. As you can see the tiller arm only hits the lover O-ring which pretty much makes the upper one to a spare part.

4. The O-rings were found in the bottom of the autopilot compartment when we started to prepare the boat in spring 2011. Obviously the rubber is not the best quality as it had cracked during the winter. As said in picture 3 the upper O-ring works only as a spare part and still it was broken! 


5. Here is the bumper removed from the boat and you can see here that there is no bolt, only a washer and a nylok nut plus two new O-rings.

6. Use good industrial quality O-rings made of nitrite rubber and you will have long lasting O-rings. Don't forget some spare ones that you greased with silicone grease and store wrapped in a glad pack. 


7.About removing the bumper and why you actually must NOT do it!

To remove the bumper we just undid the locking nut and pulled the bumper down from its shaft, which is a bolt. The not so funny thing with this bolt is that it is drilled through an aluminium plate on which the steering column is fitted plus teak is then laid on top of it. The bolt is not welded but pressed into the plate.

 The hitting of the lever on the bumper during a year or two had loosened the bolt so when we tried to put the bumper back and tighten the nut, the bolt rotated!! After calling Jefa for help, which there was none except the explanation above,  we went back to work and can say that it was pure luck that the bolt jammed of some reason so we could tighten the locking nut. So, never, ever try to remove the bumper!!


Various drawings. All credits belong to Jefa!