Monday, September 5, 2011

Power steering complete

The power steering system is complete and ready for oil and testing.

I finally received the auxiliary drive adapter from Deere and had little problems getting it installed. The adapter is a nice piece of equipment and the machining is top notch as everything fit together nicely. I really like this set up vs a belt driven contraption off of the front of the engine. The drive adapter is actually set up to use two pumps. I have the hydraulic power steering pump mounted on the SAE "B" side of the adapter, and if you look at the picture I have room for another pump inboard of the steering pump. I don't know how I will configure the auto pilot and if I need another pump to drive it. This drive adapter is commonly used to drive the power steering pump and also the sea water pump if that is how one is cooling the engine. Since I'm keel cooled, I don't need the sea water side of the drive adapter.

The drive adapter taps in to the engines oil circuit and has a steel line leading from the engine to the top of the drive adapter. The oil enters the drive adapter at this point, lubricates the gears then is collected in the sump and is returned to the oil pan via another steel line. It took a little head scratching to realize how the lines were connected, but once I realized the logic, the perfectly bent lines fit just how the Deere engineers had planned. I love it when things actually work and work well.

I'm going to get the exhaust connected along with the hydraulic system before I fire the engine. Jim at Key Power is drawing my hydraulic circuit so I can start putting the pieces together. I do know I need 3/4" hydraulic lines feeding my bow thruster and deck winch, so I'm going to measure for those, figure the route and get all my bulkhead fittings installed. I'll be able to bush the bow thruster lines down to 1/2" once I get close to the tube. The 3/4" line is needed to overcome friction loss due to the long runs. Once I have the hydraulic system and exhaust system complete, I'll fire the engine and test the systems. If I have the engine running by Halloween, I'll be happy.

As I work towards the end goal of having the engine running and all of it's associated systems, I find myself completing other jobs along the way. I need to install the engine room bilge pump and the bilge pump in the forward rooms while I'm installing the hydraulic lines so I have no conflicts of various lines. I also need to get the water system installed to make sure all the various hard lines work together. Two months to complete these jobs seems reasonable, and to be honest with you, once the engine fires, I think I'll be on the down hill side of having all the major systems complete. AC and DC systems is on the schedule for fall if your reading this Kevin M.

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