Garmin undoubtedly makes some of the best autopilots on the market. We are commonly asked if a Garmin autopilot can be made to work with a legacy pump already installed on the boat from an older pilot. The answer is generally yes! Any normal Type I, II, or III pump can be retrofitted to work with a Garmin autopilot. The existing rudder reference unit can often be used as well. This makes an upgrade to new Garmin autopilot technology a breeze.
What do you need? You will first need the Garmin Reactor 40 Mechanical Retrofit Solenoid autopilot kit. You can find it here. This kit gives you a 4"x4" display that can be a direct drop-in replacement for most other autopilot controllers. You also get a course computer which can go in place of your existing course computer. Finally, you get a compass which can also go in the same place as your existing compass. Easy enough.
You are almost done but there are still two connections you'll need adapters for. The first is for your existing pump. Garmin requires you adapt your pump to their proprietary fitting that will plug straight into your new course computer. It is part number 010-11533-00 and can be found here. Lastly, you will need to either replace your Rudder Reference Unit with a new GRF10 from Garmin, or use Garmin's adapter cable to make use of your existing rudder reference unit. You can find their adapter here and a whole new rudder refernce unit if required here.
That's it. We're here to support the DIY installers so if you have any questions before or after purchase please call.