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Old 05-02-2016, 09:18 PM   #1
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Cutlass bearings

We are going to have to change at least one Cutlass bearing on our OAA 456. Does anyone out there have experience with changing the bearing on the strut? Is it possible to just push The old one out and the new one in? Does changing the strut Cutlass bearing necessitate also changing the bearing on the hull?

Thanks,
Gordon
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Old 05-02-2016, 10:18 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon J View Post
We are going to have to change at least one Cutlass bearing on our OAA 456. Does anyone out there have experience with changing the bearing on the strut? Is it possible to just push The old one out and the new one in? Does changing the strut Cutlass bearing necessitate also changing the bearing on the hull?

Thanks,
Gordon
Gordon,
If you need to change one.. you need to change them all at the same time. They can be a bugger to get out, most of the time I cut the bronze in a couple places and collapse them.. taking extreme care to not cut the stern tube or strut. most have pointed set screws to keep them from moving/spinning. If you have not done this before hire a knowledgeable tech and watch the process.

HOLLYWOOD
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Old 05-03-2016, 12:53 AM   #3
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Even if you're lucky and someone put anti-seize on the bearing housing before they installed it, you need a tool designed specifically for driving the bearing out with the shaft in place. More often than not it's seized, the shaft has to be removed and the bearing cut in several places to get it out.

There is also the possibility that you have a shaft alignment problem which caused uneven wear on the bushing material. If so, that needs to be corrected at the same time.

Probably best to have someone who know the routine do it.
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Old 05-03-2016, 01:15 AM   #4
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Hi. My former boat didnīt have bronze "tube" surrounding the rubber part but rather some kind of resin/GRP - easily cut, as Hollywood said, lengthwise, with a hacksaw blade (the ones that comes with a handle are really useful in general). Good luck
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Old 05-03-2016, 02:14 AM   #5
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Hi Gordon,
It's actually quite easy, scrape away any old anti fouling and remove the set screw in each bearing, generally located on the side.
Disconnect your propshaft at the gear box, remove the flange and withdraw the shaft.
Carefully using a drift try tapping it out first, if not cut it as described by Jonza.
Check your engine mountings, replace all cutlass bearing, check the shaft for wear, if there are worn spots and if both ends are tapered you can change the shaft end over end.
Check your shaft log because this is the perfect time to change it, I fitted a new Deep Sea Seal when I did mine and it's brilliant.
Have a peek at my blog 'Ireland to the Mediterranean Part 1' at the end when we arrived in Dunkirk we lifted the boat out to do the same job and there are photo's for you to see.
When refitting, coat the shaft in soapy water to help sliding it back in.
Time spent on engine alignment is essential, nothing less than perfection will avoid future problems.
Hope all goes well for you.
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Old 05-05-2016, 08:19 PM   #6
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When I replaced mine, I removed the strut.
Then I pressed it out, using my hydraulic home made 12 ton press. I likely also took a torch and heated the strut.
It was very tight, and there were no set screws.

What I put back in was plastic bushing made of Vesconite.
http://www.vesconite.com/
It is entirely a hard grey plastic, no rubber. I have gotten so far 10 years and no it is not worn out yet. And they are a lot less expensive than bronze rubber bushings.

To put it in, I froze the vesconite bushes in the freezer in a bag, that I used a little grease and pressed them in. No set screws, but a set screw certainly would not hurt.
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Old 05-05-2016, 09:06 PM   #7
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Sdowney,

I am on the hard at Dandy Haven. I pressed mine out of the strut using a hydraulic bushing press. My question was whether folks automatically change the stern tube and strut at rhe same time.

Gordon
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Old 05-05-2016, 09:34 PM   #8
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Replacing A Cutlass Bearing (Sleeve Bearing) Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com
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Old 05-05-2016, 10:39 PM   #9
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I changed all six on our OA 440 some years ago. One on each strut and two in the tube in the hull (one at the stuffing box end, and the one exiting the hull). Don't know if the 456 has the same arrangement. The most forward Cutless had a composite shell, the middle and aft had bronze shells. (I checked with the dealership/yard in Seattle before ordering bearings...from Blue Sea). If I remember correctly, there were two set screws in each.

I started by cleaning the crud off the shafts, so they were perfectly slick. Then located and removed the set screws, then pulled both props with my handy dandy prop puller fashioned from a big hydraulic gear puller from Harbor Freight. Works great on three blade props as long as the rudders have some offset from the shafts (for the hydraulic cylinder). Then disconnected and pulled both shafts back and removed the flanges at the transmission end (gear puller). Then pulled the shafts.. Finally removed the rubber stuffing box tubes with stuffing boxes attached.

On a 440 there's room in the engine compartment to get length of pipe into the shaft tube. After poking it around a bit I found the forward lip of the middle bearing....a few hard whacks on the end of the driver/pipe with a BFH and the bearings popped right out. Shoved the same pipe in from the rear and drove out the forward bearings. Had to apply some heat to the struts to get the rear bearings to move.


Installation of new bearings was simple. I put the bronze backed units in a freezer over night, applied a very thin lube, and they pushed in by hand. Tapped the composite units in from inside the boat with no significant problem....although access is very poor. Tighten the set screws (allen heads). Replaced the rubber stuffing box tubes with new. Reinsert the shafts, slide the stuffing boxes over the shaft, reattach the flanges Put it all back together using Gore packing.

About a three day job by myself (except for r/r the 2" diameter shafts which are very long and very heavy on a 440). The boat was blocked extra high to get the shafts out. Once the shafts were back in the boat I realigned the engine/trans...another day. Props were reworked in the interim and were reinstalled a few days later. Re-tweaked the alignment when it was in the water. By the way, if your props are made in Taiwan and have never been to a good prop shop....do yourself a favor and get them checked .

Suggest you call the OA yard in Seattle to establish whether you have two or three bearings per shaft if you decide to do them all at once.
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Old 05-05-2016, 11:55 PM   #10
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That is a great site - thanks Capt. Bill!
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Old 05-06-2016, 07:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon J View Post
Sdowney,

I am on the hard at Dandy Haven. I pressed mine out of the strut using a hydraulic bushing press. My question was whether folks automatically change the stern tube and strut at rhe same time.

Gordon
Examine the bushing and see if it is worn.
If good, then I would leave it alone. Can the shaft be moved inside the bushing?

My old rubber lined bushes, the rubber was peeling loose on the edges of the bronze and had some visible wear. It was not bad enough that lifting the shaft you would notice anything wrong. It was only after pulling the shaft I decided to change them since they were likely very old.

I think a decent puller could be made using threaded 3/4 inch rod, nuts, pipe and washers to fit the bush, and a propane torch to heat the strut.

Chamfer or smooth the strut edge so it does not catch the new bush going in.
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Old 05-09-2016, 11:07 PM   #12
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By the way, it's Cutless, not Cutlass. Cutless is a tradename fallen into common usage, like Kleenex.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stave_bearing (see the second paragraph in Materials.) Not to be confused with a cutlass, weapon or Buick. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cutlass

I never knew these things were 'stave' bearings, did you?
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