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DIY hydraulic trim/tilt

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  • DIY hydraulic trim/tilt

    I decided I really need a trim/tilt setup for my 35 johnson. Did some research and concluded that the CMC aftermarket unit seems to be a nice piece. I checked out a few other brands, looked at pictures and thought to myself- That looks like it's pretty easy to build.

    One of my friends commented to me- "You cant just make one of those"-- Sounds like a dare to me.

    My work is slow and I don't really have the spare bucks to spend $700 on a boat part. I am thinking I can build this for around $200. So here I go................

    I'm not the worlds best fabricator, nor do I have any fancy CNC shop equipment. I could probably benifit from any tips, tricks or ideas you guys have so fire away.

    Best I can tell, they didn't make a factory trim/tilt for Johnson motors under 40 or so HP. I couldnt really figure out how big these units are or what interchanges with what.

    I finally got tired of searching ebay, google, etc and just ordrered this from ebay. $155 delivered to my door.



    Its way too big to fit into the motor bracket of my 35 horse motor, so I guess I have to figure out how to make this work. I started by measuring it, locating the mounting holes.Three on each side indicated by red arrows.



  • #2
    Re: DIY hydraulic trim/tilt

    This is the boat and motor as it exists now. It has this manual jack plate that doesn't really work because it's already all the way up, if you lower it the steering hits the bracket and the motor won't tilt. I think the motor needs to go down a little bit anyway, the prop blows out when you turn.



    I'm thinking that my best option is going to be to build it into the setback/jack plate somehow.

    Comment



    • #3
      Re: DIY hydraulic trim/tilt

      I took the jack plate off, dissassembled it and just started stacking the parts around the hydrauluc unit to try to get ideas how it could all be put together. The unit has a very odd shape, so I decided to make brackets and spacers to square it up and make it the right width to fit into the jackplate and hopefully use the existing mounting holes in the transom.



      Here are the brackets and spacers I came up with using my table saw, drill press, and some scrap aluminum I picked up at the local metal supply.



      Comment



      • #4
        Re: DIY hydraulic trim/tilt

        DIY be awesome.

        Where's Shingle Springs?

        Comment



        • #5
          Re: DIY hydraulic trim/tilt

          Originally posted by ajgraz View Post
          DIY be awesome.

          Where's Shingle Springs?
          Shingle Springs is east of Sacramento.

          Anyhow, I made a bit more progress. The brackets I made ended up being too short, so I had to make longer ones. This way I can drop the unit down farther and still have plenty of surface to bolt to. The aluminum channel I have is 4 inch. I have not not been able to locate 4 or 5 inch material. I wanted to use 5 inch and cut the pieces a bit longer. I settled on using what I have since I'm trying to keep this inexpensive.



          I've been doing lots of this............ These will be the tabs that connect the hydraulic ram to the plate that will tilt. I made them side by side(bolted together) so that the holes are in the same places and they are the same shape.

          Comment



          • #6
            Re: DIY hydraulic trim/tilt

            You certainly won't be lacking strength, that is some mondo huge aluminum.

            I have to say,I saw the title DIY TT and though ya right, most guys think you can make one with some 1/8'' angle and an air assist cylinder they have laying around not having a clue of the forces involved but you are doing it right, very ambitious project.
            GO IRISH!!!!

            Comment



            • #7
              Re: DIY hydraulic trim/tilt

              i would have just bought the center ram or one similar and hooked it up to a volvo AQ290 pump assembly using either CuNi brake tubing or braided hose. Probably a 2-4 hour job from start to finish. It 35HP so you'll need something like 1-1/2 to 2" diameter piston hitting about 3-4" from pivot axis.

              Comment



              • #8
                Re: DIY hydraulic trim/tilt

                Originally posted by RRitt View Post
                i would have just bought the center ram or one similar and hooked it up to a volvo AQ290 pump assembly using either CuNi brake tubing or braided hose. Probably a 2-4 hour job from start to finish. It 35HP so you'll need something like 1-1/2 to 2" diameter piston hitting about 3-4" from pivot axis.
                Good Call.

                You may have something there RRitt. I was sort of thinking the same thing, the 3 ram setup I have is heavy and probably overkill for the 35 horse. I bet the ram alone would be plenty if power to tilt it. A quick google and ebay search for that volvo pump shows it to be about $300 for a used pump. It looks like a nice compact unit. Then you have to buy the ram, and it seems like the cost starts to really get close to a new CMC unit. With a bit of research I bet it could be done on a budget though. Unfortunately, I started this knowing almost nothing about trim/tilt rams and pumps. Like any other project, I will know what I did wrong by the time I get to the end.

                Comment



                • #9
                  Re: DIY hydraulic trim/tilt

                  Brackets made- and sizing everything up.

                  Next comes the tilt portion of it. I went with 3/4 thick aluminum for most of this because is looks like it's thick enough to drill and tap and use 3/8 bolts to bolt all the pieces together.



                  Stainless bolts on everything. They gall really easily, I've already ruined one bolt from assembling and disassembling it so many times.

                  Comment



                  • #10
                    Re: DIY hydraulic trim/tilt

                    the two trim pistons will need strike plates. If they just push on the bottom of your engine bracket then it may cause the aluminum to split. A single ram system is usually the best method for 70Hp and smaller. It does not need strike plates and most outboards have the upper shaft mount built into the default swivel bracket. You can use nylon or bronze oil-lite bearings to shim the shaft size to match your shock-eye. CuNi tubing can be bent and flared with hand tools and has better corrosive characteristics than stainless. Aluminum tubing will swell with age and burst. A hydraulics shop can make you braided flex hose but it can get pricey. For $3 your can buy a 3500PSI hose from harbor freight and use NAPA brass fitting to make it fit. Carefully bent CuNi is best overall. A volvo AQ290 pump is standalone and you can mount it in any convenient spot above the waterline ($200 new). It is 3w and can be directly wired to a heavy duty switch. The center ram from your pictures should be more than adequate to the task. Use ISO hydraulic oil whenever possible.

                    Comment



                    • #11
                      Re: DIY hydraulic trim/tilt

                      Originally posted by RRitt View Post
                      the two trim pistons will need strike plates. If they just push on the bottom of your engine bracket then it may cause the aluminum to split. A single ram system is usually the best method for 70Hp and smaller. It does not need strike plates and most outboards have the upper shaft mount built into the default swivel bracket. You can use nylon or bronze oil-lite bearings to shim the shaft size to match your shock-eye. CuNi tubing can be bent and flared with hand tools and has better corrosive characteristics than stainless. Aluminum tubing will swell with age and burst. A hydraulics shop can make you braided flex hose but it can get pricey. For $3 your can buy a 3500PSI hose from harbor freight and use NAPA brass fitting to make it fit. Carefully bent CuNi is best overall. A volvo AQ290 pump is standalone and you can mount it in any convenient spot above the waterline ($200 new). It is 3w and can be directly wired to a heavy duty switch. The center ram from your pictures should be more than adequate to the task. Use ISO hydraulic oil whenever possible.
                      Good Info, it sounds like you've been through this before. I did look at the factory tilt bracket with intentions of trying to build the mechanism into it. It really looked too small to accommodate the ram. The factory manual tilt locking mechanism looked like a 1/4 or 5/16 rod if I remember right. I'll look at it again today. As of now, I plan to make strike plates out of the 2" round material in the background of this picture.

                      More to come later today.

                      Comment



                      • #12
                        Re: DIY hydraulic trim/tilt

                        Originally posted by Badburn View Post
                        Good Info, it sounds like you've been through this before. I did look at the factory tilt bracket with intentions of trying to build the mechanism into it. It really looked too small to accommodate the ram. The factory manual tilt locking mechanism looked like a 1/4 or 5/16 rod if I remember right. I'll look at it again today. As of now, I plan to make strike plates out of the 2" round material in the background of this picture.
                        Most strike plates are shoes made from 1/8" stainless plate. They are typically held in place on the original swivel bracket with a few screws or bolts. It won't help much - if any - to make your strike plate from aluminum rod.

                        Comment



                        • #13
                          Re: DIY hydraulic trim/tilt

                          Originally posted by RRitt View Post
                          Most strike plates are shoes made from 1/8" stainless plate. They are typically held in place on the original swivel bracket with a few screws or bolts. It won't help much - if any - to make your strike plate from aluminum rod.
                          I had to space the strike surface out about an inch or so with aluminum. I think facing it with stainless is an excellent idea. I'll have to pick some up. For now I got it all put together. I'm certain that there will be a bit of fine tuning and/or trial and error(mostly error) involved here, but it's working and installed on the boat.

                          Next comes the wiring. I'm waiting for a pair of Bosch relays to show up in the mail to make the control box with.





                          One thing I didn't plan for was the transom not being tall enough for this setup. I'd say I lucked out. If it was 1/4 inch taller, it would stick down past the bottom of the boat.



                          Comment



                          • #14
                            Re: DIY hydraulic trim/tilt

                            wiring diagrams
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                            • #15
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                              Re: DIY hydraulic trim/tilt

                              Originally posted by RRitt View Post
                              wiring diagrams
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                              Thanks RRitt. I think I'm using the two relay system. I have an OMC control with the rocker switch in the handle.(3 wires). The trim motor I have is a two wire. I think I can use two Bosch style 5 pole relays to reverse the polarity for up and down. The only thing I am unsure of is the amperage. I have 2-20 amp relays here. I can tell from just touching the trim motor wires to the battery while testing that it uses a fair amount of current. Do you think 20 amp is sufficient?

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