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Keel pump (Read 207 times)
Spaceman
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Keel pump
30.05.2019 at 12:30:11
 
Hi All

Just purchased a TS240 Trapper (No: 20) only just launched into the water of Langstone Harbour near Portsmouth. I have everything to learn about its foibles.


Question on keel pump: the manual handle seems to sweep through an arc of approx. 70% however only the last 15% become hard and do any pumping. This feels like air in the pump itself. Can anyone enlighten me as to how I bleed air from the pump. There doesn't appear to be any gross leak just a slight seepage (not sure from where). The keel can be raised however it takes hundreds of pumps, moving around 1 mm at a time.

Grateful for any assistance.  
Simon
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Paul
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Re: Keel pump
Reply #1 - 30.05.2019 at 21:14:46
 
Hi Simon,
Congratulations on choosing a super boat..
Keel pump problem is likely to be a failed seal.
I,m at Dell Quay and found that it was best to go to the specialists to identify
supply and fit.
I had mine done at hydraulic specialist in Fareham. Can't remember name but head south from centre over flyover towards Gosport and turn left at first cross roads . It's on your right. Seem to recall it was about 10 pounds fitted some 4 or 5 years ago.
Cheers
Paul
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Spaceman
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Re: Keel pump
Reply #2 - 01.06.2019 at 20:18:49
 
Hello Paul thank you for your prompt reply, I know Dell Quay very well good to know you are nearby.
I was hoping that there was an air bleed screw or valve that would get rid of the air.
I have seen an allen bolt just by the lever and wondered if this was an air bleed.

Thank you for the info on the specialist in Fareham this firm was named on another thread.

Simon
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Pompeydave
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Re: Keel pump
Reply #3 - 03.06.2019 at 15:49:33
 
Hi Simon, are you berthed opposite the ECA? If you are you're two berths up from me!
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Jonathan
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Re: Keel pump
Reply #4 - 20.06.2019 at 15:19:29
 
Hello Simon,

You probably have this sorted by now. If not I have had a similar problem a few times usually because the level in the reservoir has dropped too low and I have unwittingly pumped air into the system. The air bubbles then compress and mean you only get lift from the last part of the handle travel. The cure I have found is to let the keel right down then top up the reservoir to absolutely full. You might want to let it stand a while for air bubbles in the reservoir to find their way out and possibly top up.

As you use the system likely more air bubbles will be expelled via the reservoir. Reasons I have found as to why the level has dropped too low have been these. Leak past the washer on the pump piston, leak around the stop/open screw and letting the keel down too fast as it causes bubbles in the reservoir and some oil escapes through the air hole in the cap. The level does not need to fall much on my boat to cause a problem so two or so checks mid season are worthwhile. I have never in many years had a leak from the hose unions nor from the Ram itself - any such would be visible.

I have replaced the washer on the pump piston - got mine from Ernest Doe agricultural engineers for pence. Also replaced hose and unions with one made up by Pirtek who might be able to do the washers. The stop/open screw is simply that a screw which presses on a ball bearing against a spring to open and close the valve -oil can seep down the thread but a bit of PTFE tape will fix it.

Lastly you can get foreign bodies in the reservoir especially if the washer starts to break up as mine did and a fragment can lodge under one of two ball bearings rendering the valve ineffective. Most likely this is not your problem but I have cured this by removing the pump assembly and flushing out with paraffin.

Watch for any lost oil and keeping the level up is the key and the system is truly elegant simple and reliable. Since working all out I have had years of pleasure with the boat and bar once every time I thought I had a problem it was always the oil too low.
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« Last Edit: 20.06.2019 at 15:22:14 by Jonathan »  
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Spaceman
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Re: Keel pump
Reply #5 - 23.06.2019 at 11:18:55
 
Hi Dave, No, I'm at Tudor top end of the Eastern Road. Good to hear from you - is yours a lifting keel?  Currently I have my lifting keel pump dismantled on my bench hoping to find out where I can purchase the correct seal as it looks worn. Simon
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Jonathan
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Re: Keel pump
Reply #6 - 23.06.2019 at 15:03:30
 
Try an agricultural engineer. That was what I was advised to do by another owner who had a hydraulic problem. There is lots of hydraulic equipment attached to tractors and they need to be able to cope with all sorts. Ernest Doe happened to be recommended but they are not local to you. When I went there with the piston and pump it did not take them long to rummage in a series of bins to locate the exact right part so I am guessing another good agricultural engineer could do the same.
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Spaceman
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Re: Keel pump
Reply #7 - 24.06.2019 at 19:26:40
 
Hello Jonathan
Thank you very much for such a detailed reply with really useful info.

I am in the process of fitting new pump washer and will then re-assemble after flushing the system with petrol.

I do have a question:
Is there a re-filling process that I should follow.
I have noticed that there is what looks like a small air bleed nipple on the same hollow bolt that has the feed pipe to the remote reservoir.
Cab this be used to get the air out ?

Thank you again

Simon
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Jonathan
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Re: Keel pump
Reply #8 - 28.06.2019 at 17:29:10
 
On mine you fill the reservoir by undoing a hollow bolt on the top of the block in which the piston is located. My bolt simply has a small hole drilled in it and when you let the keel down if you hold your finger over it you can feel the displaced air being expelled. Similarly air will be sucked in when the keel is pumped up and the level in the reservoir drops. It is though this hole I have found the oil can escape if the keel is let down too fast and the oil foams in the reservoir.

When I have taken mine apart I have reinstalled it like this. First bolt back into position and connect the hose. Then use a large builders bar clamp to extend the ram to the keel down position if not already like that. All the fluid should be squeezed into the reservoir plus most of any lurking air bubbles - these should escape via the air hole. Allow to settle then top up reservoir to totally full. If you do it all slowly and take time to ensure the reservoir really is full you should not have too much air in the system. I find it takes a moment for the oil to work is way from the filler into the reservoir and air bubbles can be there if filled a bit too fast.

I have found if you then raise and lower the keel a few times you may find you can add more fluid when in the down position suggesting it takes a few cycles to get rid of some air bubbles. When I first got my boat the system was filled with red automatic gearbox or power steering fluid and I had leaks. When I replaced the Hose I asked Pirtek if they sold suitable oil. They suggested I help myself to a huge jerry can of oil from a pile in their yard - apparently hydraulic lifts have to have the fluid changed at intervals by regulation and this was old lift oil. There was method in their madness as I had the job of disposing of a large quantity not needed. The system has seemed to work better with it than the previous oil but I suspect any reasonably viscous oil will do. I would be interested to know what other owners use - maybe the gearbox fluid which is much thinner has advantages - it might be easier to get bubbles out but I thought it might be more prone to finding leaks.
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« Last Edit: 28.06.2019 at 17:31:09 by Jonathan »  
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