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You are here: Skip Navigation LinksHome > Articles > Modifications/maintenance > Parker 31, 325, 335 > Replacing the Ram Anode of a Parker 325/335

Parker 325/335 - replacing the ram anode

Submitted by Don Harvey

February 2007


The following process is an elaboration of one sent to me by Jonathan Houston. I have included extra detail of the process for any 325/335 owner who has yet to replace the ram anode for the first time.

Before commencing the actual task of replacing the ram anode, it is necessary to have the boat held in a position where the keel can be fully lowered. In my case I have the boat held in the slings of the lift-out crane.

Following the task description below is a list of tools one should have at hand. It may be stating the obvious, but it is imperative to ensure no tools or boat parts drop into the keel box. To this end I ensure that every tool used, is attached by string to the boat, either on one of the deck halyards or hand rails.

There are two hydraulic hoses which will need to be disconnected. The top one is fairly accessible, but the lower one not so. This is held on to a nipple by a jubilee clip. While the clip is easy to unscrew it is very difficult to pull the pipe off when in its normal position. Leave this pipe in place until lifting out the ram, and when the pipe appears above deck, it can be pulled off with ease.

Holding the Ram at the top are two 20mm pins; each having split pins at each end. The one to remove will be the bottom one.

The Ram is attached to the keel by a 22mm nut and bolt. Parkers used to fill the aperture which is used to access the nut and bolt with car body filler which need a hammer and chisel to remove. On later boats Dow Corning type sealant is used. If you have the former, I suggest you change to the sealant when finishing the job.

The Ram will be extracted by tying a rope through the eye at the top of the ram and connecting this rope to the main halyard. The Ram is surprisingly heavy, so wrap the main halyard around a winch when ready to lift.

The process

  1. Remove screws retaining cover on deck and lift off cover
  2. Disconnect the top hydraulic hose just below elbow joint - 2 x 22mm spanners. You will see three castellated connections. The one to unscrew is the top one. Plug loose ends of hose to prevent excessive hydraulic fluid leakage, although not much is lost if you don’t. Tuck ‘top’ hose back out of the way if necessary.
  3. Loosen the jubilee clip on the lower hose and pull off the hose if you can. If not leave it in place as you will have an opportunity to remove it shortly.
  4. Straighten out (in preparation for removal) one of the split pins on the lower 20mm pin (the rear one probably the most accessible). You may find one at the rear has a piece of string tied to it, to retain it on extraction. (Hopefully there will also be a string attached to one of the split pins at the front end. This is simply to stop you dropping the 20mm pin when you come to remove it)
  5. Locate aperture in keel where bottom of ram bolts to keel.
  6. Scrape out filler from around bolt/nut - both sides of keel.
  7. Loosen but do not yet remove the nut and bolt. This needs two 30mm sockets.
  8. Remove the rear split pin and tap out the 20mm pin (Note - If this was greased when last disassembled, it will come out fairly easily. If not it will need encouraging with a hammer and drift). If one of the split pins at the front was not attached, be careful not to drop the 20mm pin.
  9. Manipulate the Ram to enable you to connect a rope (connected to the main halyard) through top hole of the Ram.
  10. Take up the slack on the main halyard and remove the nut and bolt from the bottom of the Ram
  11. Use main halyard to lift ram by top eye until anode clear of deck. (Note as the lower hydraulic pipe fitting appears the pipe can be pulled off if you were unable to do so in its normal position).
  12. Lower the Ram to the ground.
  13. Unscrew anode.
  14. Clean ram under anode to ensure good metal-to-metal contact by using wire brush or chisel. (don’t use these any higher up the ram as it is important not to score the ram surface). Fit new anode - ensure tight fit. May have to knock anode together with a hammer as the castings are sometimes not round.
  15. (Optional) Unscrew grub screw at bottom of ram and unscrew end pin of ram to check threads. N.B. important to refit in exactly fore/aft alignment.
  16. Check for corrosion just on the inside of the lip of the cast iron end cap? (ie where the stainless steel ram leaves the housing)
  17. If excessive corrosion on ram casing, rub down and coat with epoxy.
  18. Rub down rest of ram with fine wire wool to clean any calcified deposits. Ram surface should be shiny. Oil ram with hydraulic oil so that it does not go back dry through the seals.
  19. Lower ram into keel box. Lower end of ram locates into small ‘box’ roughly in centre of keel. Refit and tighten lower bolt. No specific torque setting - just do up tight.
  20. Refit top of ram in reverse order of disassembly but if not present, attached a string to the front spilt pin to retain the 20mm pin when you come next to replace it. Also connect a string to the new split pin. Make sure you grease well the 20mm pin as this will ease its removal next time. Note - some find that if the keel bolt is put in before the ram head is put back in the deck bracket then it's difficult to replace the split pins etc. See which way is best for you.
  21. Refill around bolt head and nut with Dow Corning type sealant or similar.
  22. Check hydraulic fluid level and top up if necessary.
  23. Test ram operation.

Tools/equipment required

  • New anode (circular anode - 35mm inner diameter hole)
  • Allen keys
  • Two 30mm sockets on T bars.
  • Large screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Large S/S split pins
  • Fine wire wool
  • Sealant
  • Filling knife
  • Club hammer
  • Ordinary hammer
  • Hydraulic hose blanking screws (small wooden pegs will do)
  • Drift for removing top ram pin
  • Plastic cable ties
  • Wire brush
  • Small chisel
  • Two 22mm open-ended spanners for hydraulic hose connections
  • Metal file
  • Hacksaw
  • Hydraulic oil