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Old 11-11-2014, 03:22 AM   #1
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Prop play

Hello all,
Just completed slipping the boat. Mostly went ok, just a bit concerned about a bit of prop shaft play. I would say about 3 mm (1/8) play. It doesn't vibrate or leak- just wondering if it's normal?
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Old 11-11-2014, 07:11 AM   #2
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Cutlass bearings wear over time. If you're not getting noticeable vibration, I wouldn't worry about it. If you need to pull the shaft at some point in the future, that's a good time to replace the bearing. The bearings themselves aren't that expensive. If you can't do it yourself, the labor will be a significantly higher cost. Just did mine on my 13' long 2.5" shaft. In the process of a repower and wanted to redo the dripless seal and cutlass bearing, and have the shaft checked. Think the bearing was 2 or 3 hundred dollars and maybe a couple of bucks for the ibuprofen for the one day of grunt work.

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Old 11-11-2014, 07:25 AM   #3
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Chung hwa clipper

Thanks Ted, don't fix what isn't broke -yet. I don't think I've got a cutlass bearing, I'm trying to post a photo of it. Hopefully I can. The CHB owners might be familiar with these
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Old 11-11-2014, 08:12 AM   #4
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Bluevee:

The cutlass bearing is in the stern tube just in front of the prop.

1/8" play is a bit much, but if it doesn't vibrate, then leave it alone.

David
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Old 11-11-2014, 10:41 AM   #5
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djmarchand is right, too much play.
Further; on a boat, if you wish troublefree operation and no towing, you do fix things b/4 they are broke.
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Old 11-11-2014, 10:46 AM   #6
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Hello all,
Just completed slipping the boat. Mostly went ok, just a bit concerned about a bit of prop shaft play. I would say about 3 mm (1/8) play. It doesn't vibrate or leak- just wondering if it's normal?
What is the shaft size? The smaller the shaft the less play allowable.
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Old 11-11-2014, 02:42 PM   #7
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Thanks all

I haven't measured the shaft dia - but guessing about 1 1/8 " I was curious about the two bolts on the sides of the housing- shaft tube (I presume this houses the cutlass bearing)
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Old 11-11-2014, 06:45 PM   #8
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I haven't measured the shaft dia - but guessing about 1 1/8 " I was curious about the two bolts on the sides of the housing- shaft tube (I presume this houses the cutlass bearing)
The cutlass bearing is generally a press fit into the stern tube. The 2 bolts on the side lock the bearing in place (generally they are set set screws. It most cases, you remove the shaft and then unbolt the stern tube from the boat. The old bearing is removed (mine required cutting the bearing with a long sawsall blade and then internally pealing it). Then a new bearing is pressed in with a hydraulic press. Then you reassemble and do an engine alignment to make sure everything is properly allighned so you don't get excessive cutlass bearing wear.

Ted
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Old 11-11-2014, 08:56 PM   #9
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I just replaced both or ours. One at each end of the shaft tube. The one on the aft end of the tube was easy, the one on the forward end was a pain in the butt. You should not need to use a press to install the new one. It should slide in with some gentle persuasion. I was given some advice by an old mechanic that I highly respect to not remove the tail piece from the keel. He stated that it usually opens a bigger can of worms than you want to deal with. Just replace the bearing and check the engine alignment. We have an 1 1/2" shaft and the bearings cost $70 each.
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Old 11-12-2014, 01:46 AM   #10
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1/8" on a 1 1/8" shaft seems excessive to me. I'd want it to be a quarter of that. Do you have a dial indicator?

Not the end if the world if vibration "seems" OK, but I would plan on changing it in the near future.

Not a big deal to change.
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Old 11-12-2014, 02:32 AM   #11
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1/8" is excessive play.

The important thing is ..... The more worn it is, the faster it wears.

At some point you will score the shaft and that will cost a lot more than $70 for a bearing.

If you are doing a few weekend trips per season, you will get away with it for a couple of seasons. If you are cruising south on the ICW in abrasive sandy water it will wear much faster.

From your photograph it looks like the rubber bearing is grossly distorted which indicates that it is breaking down very quickly.

The arrow points to the bearing in the shaft log. DO NOT pull the shaft log to get the bearing out, that will just give you the headache of re-aligning everything.
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Old 11-12-2014, 05:32 AM   #12
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Just in case , dont forget this product,

Industrial and Marine Bearings
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:08 AM   #13
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Wished I'd known

I wished I'd known the bearing was that worn, the little difficulties of boat ownership become apparent - not like I can just jack it up and get stuck in. Thank you all for your knowledge & input - you blokes are a goldmine. Hopefully it gets through to next haul out - or that sleeve bearing looks interesting. Would the boat still have to be taken out I wonder?
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:36 AM   #14
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Would the boat still have to be taken out I wonder?
Yes, you have to pull the shaft to get the bearing out.

While you are at it, it would be a good time to consider a drive saver if you don't already have one.
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Old 11-12-2014, 10:26 PM   #15
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I just replaced both or ours. One at each end of the shaft tube. The one on the aft end of the tube was easy, the one on the forward end was a pain in the butt. You should not need to use a press to install the new one. It should slide in with some gentle persuasion. I was given some advice by an old mechanic that I highly respect to not remove the tail piece from the keel. He stated that it usually opens a bigger can of worms than you want to deal with. Just replace the bearing and check the engine alignment. We have an 1 1/2" shaft and the bearings cost $70 each.
Wonder what your old mechanic is talking about with the can of worms. Shaft tubes are removed and replaced fairly easily by most competent mechanics. The stuffing box and coupling hose need to be removed. The tubes as pictured in this thread, are held in place with 2 or 4 bolts which are removed, and then you just break the caulk loose. I get my work done in a commercial yard that caters to Chesapeake Bay waterman. The yard pulls 1 or 2 stern tubes every month. Most are on fiberglass boats, but a fair number are on wood boats. These boats can run in access of 2,000 hours a year in the shallow waters of the Chesapeake . Replacing cutlass bearings is a common occurrence. In many cases the shaft isn't removed, they just pull the prop and then the stuffing box is removed. They do an inspection of the shaft tube and hardware, replace the cutlass bearing, inspect and service the stuffing box and connecting hose as necessary, and reassemble. Haulout, service, and back overboard usually the same day. Pulling a stern tube is really no big deal if you know what your doing and it's a serious commercial yard.

Ted
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Old 11-12-2014, 11:33 PM   #16
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Wonder what your old mechanic is talking about with the can of worms. Shaft tubes are removed and replaced fairly easily by most competent mechanics. The stuffing box and coupling hose need to be removed. The tubes as pictured in this thread, are held in place with 2 or 4 bolts which are removed, and then you just break the caulk loose. I get my work done in a commercial yard that caters to Chesapeake Bay waterman. The yard pulls 1 or 2 stern tubes every month. Most are on fiberglass boats, but a fair number are on wood boats. These boats can run in access of 2,000 hours a year in the shallow waters of the Chesapeake . Replacing cutlass bearings is a common occurrence. In many cases the shaft isn't removed, they just pull the prop and then the stuffing box is removed. They do an inspection of the shaft tube and hardware, replace the cutlass bearing, inspect and service the stuffing box and connecting hose as necessary, and reassemble. Haulout, service, and back overboard usually the same day. Pulling a stern tube is really no big deal if you know what your doing and it's a serious commercial yard.

Ted
You seem to be confusing the shaft tube with the shaft log. The shaft tube is usually (not always) not a big job to remove unless it's metal and corroded.
There is absolutely no need to remove the shaft log to replace the shaft, stuffing box or cutless bearing...... and I'd sure like to know how you remove a cutless bearing from a shaft log without pulling the shaft !
I've done more than a few cutless bearing changes and I would love to know how to make it easier.
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Old 11-13-2014, 06:48 AM   #17
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The million dollar question I would guess the mech is worried about is how easy will it will be to remove the bearing carrier aft and the bolted on part of the stuffing box forward.

If the are corroded on the shaft tube or the shaft tube breaks while trying to remove either, ooops.

Not all boats are set up this way but many are. If it were me and I did not know more about the boat, I would be worried what I was getting into also.

Not sure how easy if even possible to remove the cutless from an aft bearing carrier like this one, though from a stand alone strut I have seen bearings changed without pulling the shaft.
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Old 11-13-2014, 10:26 AM   #18
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ID:	34408Our shaft tube is a fiberglass tube and is built into the keel. It has a fiberglass flange on the forward end which is at a bulkhead. It can not be removed. The aft bearing carrier has four bolts that attach it to the keel. You can not access these bolts from the inside, so you do not know if the builders used studs with wood screw type threads and installed them after the keel was laid up or if they just laid regular bolts in as they built the keel. If they did the latter and one spins while you are removing the nuts holding the carrier on you are in for a big job.

The cuttless was easy to remove from the carrier and don't see any reason I would need to remove the carrier anyway.

All boats are different and most advise doesn't fit all boats.
It may not be a problem on other boats.
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Old 11-14-2014, 12:17 AM   #19
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love that blue prop

I think on consideration I wouldn't remove the the shaft log, just remove the bearing insitu. I think a press could be fabricated by using the shaft log mounting bolts to hold it square to the tube and press the bearing in off that. It may just tap in as well off a soft hammer. The question is now how to I obtain the OD and length of the bearing needed to be ready to swap in out, I have no documentation - specs.
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Old 11-14-2014, 07:10 AM   #20
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I think on consideration I wouldn't remove the the shaft log, just remove the bearing insitu. I think a press could be fabricated by using the shaft log mounting bolts to hold it square to the tube and press the bearing in off that. It may just tap in as well off a soft hammer. The question is now how to I obtain the OD and length of the bearing needed to be ready to swap in out, I have no documentation - specs.
The bearing length is four times the diameter of the shaft If your shaft is 1 1/2" the bearing will be 6" long. You can measure the shaft inside the boat behind the transmission. You will have to also measure the diameter of the bearing itself which will have to be taken off the bearing itself. Could be done in the water. You should not need a press to install the bearing. If you can not tap it in then something is wrong. The reason they have two set screws to hold them in place is because they are not press fit.

I would not plan on doing this in two hours while it is in the slings. Sometimes they can be a pain to remove, and other issues may arise. Plan on a weekend and hopefully it will only be a few hour job.
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