Anybody every fabricate a power trim setup?

Discussion in 'Power it up with Electronics' started by SClay115, Mar 24, 2011.

  1. SClay115

    SClay115 Throwin' loops

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    I think it'd be a great advantage on the water, be able to adjust trim while running, but the pre built setups are outrageously expensive, 700-800$ for a kit. Too much. So I am trying to see if I can do this for cheaper.

    It honestly does not seem that complicated, I think just sourcing the parts will be the trick. I've scoured eBay, and did some google searches, but just can't seem to find what I'm looking for. Most of the OEM rigs I see use an electric hydraulic pump that drives the ram, seems like a good setup. But what about a full electric ram? My motor is very lightweight, and I'm sure it would be sufficient to lift it, more compact too.

    Trick is finding one that is waterproof, and corrosion resistant...any ideas?

    Steve
     
  2. cutrunner

    cutrunner Cert. Yamaha technician

    Jackplate on my old flats boat was driven by 2 lenco actuators. Worke great! Thats the way i would go for sure!
     

  3. SClay115

    SClay115 Throwin' loops

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    Nice, yep that would be ideal, those are electric correct?

    I had thought about trim tab actuators, but I have no knowledge on how far their travel is, or how much force they can exert. But that'd be the ticket. Did you happen to know what model they were? So I can get an idea of what sort of item I should be looking for?

    Steve
     
  4. cutrunner

    cutrunner Cert. Yamaha technician

    To my understanding theres 2 sizes, normal and xl. I had two of them and they were lifting a 115 evinrude no sweat. I also liked it cuz i could hear it working(actuators are loud). And yes all electric. Travel was about 5 inches. (plenty).
     
  5. Gramps

    Gramps Living & Dying in 3/4 Time

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    Forum member Tom C of TSG Custom makes jackplates and tilt 'n trim units utilizing the electric actuators, just FYI.
     
  6. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

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    I thought about it when I built my last jackplate, but I don't like how I would need to mount the motor, didn't seem rigid enough. A CMC PT-35 TnT unit is only about $500, and all the math and headache is already done. I believe it uses a self contained hyrualic/ electric acuator.
     
  7. SClay115

    SClay115 Throwin' loops

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    Did a bit of digging on the Lenco site, says they can move 750 pounds. That...is way more than I need. So I bet a single solidly mounted actuator would be MORE than enough. Might even need to tone down the power a bit to slow down the movement.

    And does Tom use Lenco's in his setup? I know they are electric, but I didn't know which ones.

    And while true, the CMC plate is self contained and ready to rock, you can buy a Lenco actuator for around 150 bones, and I can build the rest for very little cost. I already have a CMC manual jackplate, so I have no need to replace it.

    There are a bunch of sizes for the Lenco's too. The standard one is about 11.5" center to center on the mounting holes, there is two shorter ones, each just a bit shorter than the next. Says the travel on them are all around two inches. Might be tight, but if it's mounted close enough to the pivot point, it should be just fine.

    Steve
     
  8. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

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    Just remember you aren't lifting just 100lbs, you have to think about the other forces that will be placed on it like thrust and drag (ie a 25hp motor can thrust a 1000lbs boat up on plane pretty easily....). Also the reason they use a hydralic/electric combo is for the safety built in if you hit something, an elecitic actuator won't have it. I'd get a hydraulic cylinder from another outboard of I were to do it.
     
  9. SClay115

    SClay115 Throwin' loops

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    I understand what you mean, about the other forces acting upon the outboard as you are trying to move it around, but there has to be some logic to it, as Tom is using the rams on his plates as well. I think they would have plenty of oomph, even if I had to double it up, but I think that would be serious overkill.

    I looked into the hyrdos. They are so outrageously overpriced it's not even worth looking into. I don't mind putting 250$ into a project that I "think" will work. But I sure don't want to spend 400-500$ just for a ram+pump motor to find out the hyrdo one won't fit. Know what I mean?

    And as far as the safety system, are you talking about smacking something submerged? Do most modern setups have a safety release that will prevent serious damage? On my old Evinrude, it's either locked down, or not. If it's not locked down, it's a pain to pull start as you are basically pulling the motor out of the water, and not applying enough force to the starting rope. So I usually leave it locked. And with it like that, it is going nowhere, should I not run it like that?

    Steve
     
  10. cutrunner

    cutrunner Cert. Yamaha technician

    I learned to leave mine in the tilt position after i went to the keys...... Couple old wood crab traps and a tire later... :mad:
     
  11. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <

    I always enjoy jack plate/tnt discussions...
    but the one thing that always stops me from installing them
    is the actual measured gain obtained by using them.
    You do increase speed by eliminating wetted surface and friction,
    but you gain draft due to added weight.
    Do you think that a jack plate will truly allow you to run an appreciable amount shallower?
    They're not magic, they function under the basic rules of hydrodynamics.
    Is the expense and the weight worth the gain on a small, low horsepower skiff?

                                              :-?

    Have you sat down and looked at how much of a real difference it will make?
    I'm not talking wishful thinking or sales hype, I'm talking about hard numbers.

                                           
     
  12. cutrunner

    cutrunner Cert. Yamaha technician

    Not much Brett.. I keep tellin em... If shallow is your 100% means to an end goal. BUY A TUNNEL!
     
  13. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <

    No argument on my end regarding power trim and tilt as an advantage on a heavy engine.
    With 4 strokes above 20 hp weighing in at 150 lbs or more, t-n-t is a necessity.
    But for outboards weighing less than 115 lbs, I don't see the need.
    A t-n-t adds some weight to a small outboard, and then add in the weight of the battery to power it.

    Merc 4 stroke 25 manual weighs in at 157 lbs,
    Electric start with t-n-t is a hefty 185 lbs.
     
  14. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

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    You should never run your motor in foward with it locked down, if you hit something instead of your motor bouncing up it might be your transom cracking off.

    Where did you look? you can buy factory hydro units on ebay all day long for $60-150. But you can also buy used CMC units for $300 or so every once in a while. I still think it's not worth it, and I'm all for building my own stuff obviously, but if you are dead set on it and get a factory unit I can give you a link to plans on a manual JP/TnT combo.
     
  15. SClay115

    SClay115 Throwin' loops

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    Okay, let me see if I can attempt to clear this up a bit. The boat, when purchased, came with a CMC jackplate. And Brett, you are right, does the boat really need it? More than likely not. And I wouldn't be running out to spend a few hundred on one if it wasn't already on there. This is also the reason I am not prone to look into purchasing a new jackplate with TNT built into it. I like DIY projects, and I think this is doable, and if my price estimates come out too high, well, it's just not going to happen then. 

    I am not looking to set any 14' skiff speed records, or run in an inch of water, I am just wanting some adjustability while on the water, that doesn't involve me messing with the pin. It is not a "convenient" setup, as the pin itself has an odd way of locking into the opposing side of the motor bracket, and involves me having to fully tilt the motor while I use two hands to put the pin in. Do I absolutely need it? Not at all, but would it be convenient? You bet it would.

    Weight is a concern, but I believe my skiff needs some more bow weight regardless, so I could hypothetically put a battery up front, and it could hypothetically help the porpoise issue I am having when running alone...hypothetically. Other than that, the weight I would be adding is minimal. How much do the Lenco's weigh, it can't be much.  Gasoline is what weight per gallon? I think water is around six pounds, and I believe it is lighter than that, so the added weight of the actuator would be less than the difference between a few gallons of fuel in the back of the boat, depending on the weight of the actuators themselves. 

    I checked on eBay for the hydro units, and really couldn't find what I am looking for, something that I can fit inside the space of the jackplate/transom/motor imaginary box. If the offer is still open, shoot me the plans, I'd love to take a look at them. It just would seem the electric rams would be far easier to install and fit into the space required. But then again, without a hydro unit in my hand, I have absolutely no spacial reference. 

    I guess it all comes down to me just finding enjoyment in fabrication. It's not about the skinny water, or the gadgetry, it's just keeping my hands busy, which keeps me mostly sane. I appreciate the comments, and the tips. And as mentioned above, it's not about any sort of gain so to speak. It's just simply about convenience, and not having to shut the outboard off everything I need to change the trim. I truly hope this didn't come off in an ill tempered manner, reading it over, it might have. But I assure you, it isn't meant to be, I am just trying to explain my actions. And I do sincerely appreciate the input. Thanks guys.

    Steve
     
  16. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <



    1 gallon of water = 8 pints = 8 lbs
    16 ounces to a pint, remember?  ;)

    Gas averages about 6.2 lbs per gallon

    Making a trim actuator from a lenco wouldn't be hard
    but you wouldn't want it attached to the outboard, only the jackplate.
    I'm thinking a rubber bushing on the thrust rod to push against the midsection/bracket
    so in case of a kick up, the outboard has no resistance limiting motion.


    you're not alone.... ;D
     
  17. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

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    I didn't realize you were trying to do this on an existing JP. In that case I definately wouldn't do it cause you will most likely have to modify it, or cut a slot out, which means you wouldn't be able to sell it if need be.

    Here are the plans to dillons racing JP with optional trim. I've build the JP already and may build another one. Cost about $40-50 for the JP and a ram like that will only be another $50 or so on ebay.

    http://www.dillon-racing.com/jackplate/plans/jack-plate-page-01.htm

    http://www.dillon-racing.com/jackplate/plans/jack-plate-page-02.htm

    If you are interested shoot me a PM with your email and I'll send you the diagrams.
     
  18. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

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    Sclay, not trying to beat a dead horse, but I've been looking at specs for a TnT unit for myself. I'll most likely go with a PT-35, or the Atlas version.
    Anyway I don't think the electric actuator is going to work out if it is only rated at 750lbs. The CMC is rated at 7853lbs! more then 10 times the amount of thrust. Scouring the net it's hard to find specs on the rams, but it looks like even a factory unit off a small motor is rated at 3000lbs or more. Even if you got the electric actuator to work the way you want it, I don't think it would last very long. Sorry, not trying to be a downer, just trying to save a headache.
    That being said you could use it to make your own electric power pole ;)
     
  19. SClay115

    SClay115 Throwin' loops

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    Holy crap! I can't believe those are rated that high. How does Tom get away with using them on his plates then? Seems crazy that they would even hold up, considering the other setups are using something that has ten times the strength.

    Oh well, maybe I'll look around for a small hydro setup that will fit. I'd still like to try and tackle the project.

    And I remember when the Dillon plans were free, I also remember when they made them not so free. I'll send you a PM, I'd like to have a look at them.

    Steve
     
  20. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

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    On a jack plate they would be fine since they are lifting the engine weight only, the main force of thrust is being pushed through the jp into the transom. On a TnT all the force is directly on the ram itself which is why I think they use such strong ones.