T&T: Capilano Helm Pumps and UniValve Replacement
tlaverill at msn.com
Mon Apr 3 14:04:38 EDT 2006
If you have an older Capilano steering system, you may find this information
As has been discussed here many times, Capilano makes commercial grade
steering systems for mid size vessels. The helm pump has its own reserve
and can be used with or without an additional reserve or the upper and lower
pumps can be plumbed to each other to share a larger reserve capacity.
Somewhere in the early 90's or late 80's they changed the design of the
pump. In the older pumps, pressurized fluid from one side of the pump could
not be pumped into the other pressurrized side. The Univalve or uniflow
valve, usually located at the rudder slave cylinder picked up the expelled
fluid from the cylinder and routed it back at low pressure to the helm sump
using a 3rd line. The re-design of the pump eliminates the need for the U
valve and expelled cylinder fluid is routed to the low pressure side of the
pump and the 3rd line is not used. Capilano elected to discontinue the sale
of the U Valves and nolonger services them. You can occasionally find one
in a salvage store, but they have become golden. If you call
Teleflex/Morse/Capilano about this, they will tell you all about their new
helm pumps. The older helm pumps can be resealed and kits for this are
still available. They are good strong pumps.
What to do if your Univalve fails? I have found a company by the name of
Vetus Den Ouden, Inc which is a Netherlands company. They have US
distribution from Maryland, see www.vetus.com.
This company sells their own pumps cylinders etc primarily in the European
market. Their pumps are sold with a built in return valve or without. For
the "non-return" pumps, they route expelled steering slave cylinder fluid
through a "non-return" valve block (same idea as the U valve). This valve
is available as part number K30/140 for $US260. The drawback is that the
entire Vetus line of steering components is plumbed in metric fittings.
With a little creativity, this speed bump can be circumvented. You could
save your old sytle Capilano pump which use the 3 line system. Vetus offers
another valve which will serve as a Non-return block. This one also has a
by-pass valve built into it which will allow for system bleeding and in the
event you need to put a tiller onto your rudder in an emergency steering
situation. This non-return/bypass valve is over $600, but we all have our
threshold of pain right?
Or you could convert over to new Style Capilano pumps for about $900 each or
go to a Teleflex pump for around $400 each and eliminate the 3rd line. So
anyway, I have heard some very frustrating stories about this problem, which
I believe can be solved as described above.
A side note: I did talk to a Teleflex distributor about their "relief
valve" which was explained to me to be as a possible solution to the U valve
dilemma. It is not a solution. The relief valve is a bleeder valve which
allows a "one man" bleeding of the system. It does not eliminate the
pressure from the expelled steering cylinder line which goes back to the
helm pressure side. This would "lock" both pressure lines if no U valve
were present. It is still a good bleedins solution and I have seen several
in the recylcling shops for about $50.
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