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Old 04-04-2013, 09:58 PM   #21
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From the original post, is it safe to assume that before this episode started everything was running straight and true?

If so, then everything (prop pitch balance, shaft is straight, cutlass bearings don't have excessive wear, transmission output bearing doesn't have excessive play, motor and transmission mounts aren't warn or loose fasteners, etc.) was correct and something(s) has changed.

If it were me, I would plan on pulling and blocking. Then pull the shaft and have it checked, drop the prop off at the prop shop to have it checked, and finally go through everything listed above before reassembling. Remember, if you stop after finding the first problem, you may not have found all the problems.........but then in this case you already know that.

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Old 04-05-2013, 06:23 AM   #22
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The drive saver is not made to make yp for a crap shaft , only to "save" the drive train when you go over a log or sea land box at speed.

There ARE mechanical systems that will accept some shaft wiggle , but its far cheaper to just do the shaft right in the first place.
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:09 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Tom.B View Post
the Drive Saver - that red urethane disc

we are out by .012". Spec calls for .010" as a max, so we are just barely outside of that, but we can't see the entire shaft and could be way off down the tunnel. He has recommended that it CAN wait a little while

The little voice says to use it, but at $500 to replace, that seems like a lot for hunk of polyurethane that a 15-year marine mechanic doesn't recommend.

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Hi Tom,

1. I'd get the cost to true the shaft. .002" out of tolerance should be true-able. Plus once trued, your shaft might likely be within .005"

2. You need your own machine shop. Figure you probably have anyway. You could pull the drive saver, get the material ID, and make your own with a decent lathe and drill press. You just need the fine dimensions which you can measure with precise calipers anyway. Seems like the drive saver "may have" (quotes because that's my guess) disguised your shaft wobble for a while.

It sounds like the shaft is your primary issue, but close enough to fix.

A bent shaft is no laughing matter.
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:29 AM   #24
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Maybe I missed it...was the engine ever aligned after the drivesaver was recentered?
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:01 PM   #25
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The Drivesaver had washers on bolth sides you say... If it is the correct Drivesaver, it has a spigot on one side and a recess on the other to match up with the transmission and coupling recess and spigots. This centers it. One set of bolts are socket head cap screws and the heads fit into recesses in the Drivesaver the other set of bolts are hex head and are exposed. Washers, if thick enough, could prevent the spigots and recesses from engaging properly. Removing the washers and reinstalling the Drivesaver is not an alignment check so your "bend" could be due to angular misalignment but I doubt it because the Drivesaver should have handled this. Nonetheless, a basic "feeler gauge" alignment check should have been performed with the Drivesaver out to check for angular misalignment and coupling runout. While at it you should check that the hex head bolts haven't been replaced & are grade 5 (3 lines on the heads)
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:44 PM   #26
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Maybe I missed it...was the engine ever aligned after the drivesaver was recentered?
No, but the tech said that the engine's alignment would not make the shaft act the way it is.

I have video of the before re centered wobble that I will post once I get an after video.
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:54 PM   #27
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My only experience with this sort of thing is as a boat owner and yard customer, not as a DIY mechanic. But from what I have gathered over the last 14 years is that engine alignment is REALLY important and it can slip out fairly easily.

The yard we use automatically checks engine alignment when a boat is relaunched after being out for a week or more for bottom paint or other things. All boats, not just the wood ones they work on. Just sitting in the blocks and braces can change the alignment. Doesn't automatically change it, of course, but the potential is always there. So their normal procedure is put the boat in the water, let it sit overnight, and then check the alignment in the morning.

An out-of-alignment shaft can create several other problems besides just vibration, like uneven or prematurely worn cutless bearings. And the vibration can, in turn, cause the alignment to drift out even more over time.

I would be very suspicious of the expertise of a driveline mechanic who told me that a vibration problem was not due to engine alignment unless he actually checked it and found that it was, in fact, correct. Simply assuming alignment is okay is not a good assumption to make in my opinion.
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:54 PM   #28
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The Drivesaver had washers on bolth sides you say... If it is the correct Drivesaver, it has a spigot on one side and a recess on the other to match up with the transmission and coupling recess and spigots. This centers it. One set of bolts are socket head cap screws and the heads fit into recesses in the Drivesaver the other set of bolts are hex head and are exposed. Washers, if thick enough, could prevent the spigots and recesses from engaging properly. Removing the washers and reinstalling the Drivesaver is not an alignment check so your "bend" could be due to angular misalignment but I doubt it because the Drivesaver should have handled this. Nonetheless, a basic "feeler gauge" alignment check should have been performed with the Drivesaver out to check for angular misalignment and coupling runout. While at it you should check that the hex head bolts haven't been replaced & are grade 5 (3 lines on the heads)
They are Grade 5 bolts. I checked that already

The rest of the Drive Saver is as you described with the exception of the washers that have now been removed. No feeler gauge alignment was done. I may get to that eventually. Any tips on performing that? Are we mating the coupling to the transmission plate without the Drive Saver and reading the gap? I'd need an adapter of some kind, right? Or are the coupler and trans plate the same bolt pattern?

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Old 04-05-2013, 03:03 PM   #29
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I don't care for drivesavers. I prefer to get the alignment and straightness correct then there should be no problem.
I have made and installed solid steel spacers (I have one now) and you could do that to make up the space of the drivesaver if you choose to remove it.
No problems at all with doing that.
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:42 PM   #30
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They are Grade 5 bolts. I checked that already
The rest of the Drive Saver is as you described with the exception of the washers that have now been removed. No feeler gauge alignment was done. I may get to that eventually. Any tips on performing that? Are we mating the coupling to the transmission plate without the Drive Saver and reading the gap? I'd need an adapter of some kind, right? Or are the coupler and trans plate the same bolt pattern?
Tom-
Yes, remove Drivesaver, push the 2 couplings together (no bolts) and check all around couplings w/ feeler for same* reading. Then turn the shaft 180degrees and see if the widest opening moves. If it does, your shaft is bent and/or the coupling face is not true (90 deg) to the shaft both jobs for the machine shop.

*Same= less than .001/ in. of coupling diameter.
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:45 PM   #31
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No, but the tech said that the engine's alignment would not make the shaft act the way it is.

I have video of the before re centered wobble that I will post once I get an after video.
Again I'm not sure why this guy would say that a misaligned engine wouldn't make a shaft wobble. Whenever a shaft wobbles...usually the first thing a mech does is a feeler guage alignmet check. If you don't get a consistent "out" then you start looking at shafts, flanges and coupling issues.

I'm with Brooksie on this except Drivesavers will not correct a lot of misalignment.

Also with Jay as I posted before...put in a blank if it's cheaper than a new drivesaver or shaft (assuming shaft is OK).
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Old 04-05-2013, 05:11 PM   #32
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Why fabricate a spacer to put in place of a drive saver? When I took them out of our boat for a season, I simply pulled the shaft forward the inch and a half and bolted up the original flanges. I'm quite sure the shaft savers were added by a previous owner with no mods to the shafts. Need to make sure the shaft surface is clean where it pulls into the cutless bearings, of course.
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Old 04-05-2013, 06:26 PM   #33
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And there is room for a shaft zinc...if you want one...
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:10 PM   #34
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I have Drive savers and they do fail. This one failed From shifting (I was in a boat parade and in and out of gear continuously trying to maintain station and position relative to the fleet.

When I talked with the company (Globe) that manufactures them, they advised me that drive savers have (in their opinion) limited service life and should be replaced periodically (I think it was 3-5 years if I remember correctly). This one was installed by the PO of the boat, so I didn't know how long it had been in service. I wound up replacing the shaft, because it was thrown on an eccentric and as you can see, the failure wasn't complete although it probably only turned a couple of revolutions before I shut everything down. It did get my attention!

I decided to go ahead and replace them on both engines after this failure because I think it does help somewhat with dampening vibration, and out of concern now for transiting the PNW coast with all the Japanese Tsunami debris - some of it big stuff - now beginning to show up.

Globe, by the way, provided excellent customer service so I was back in service very quickly.
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