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Old 12-02-2021, 05:18 PM   #1
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Cutlass water line to engine

May I ask if anyone knows how to change a copper line that feeds the cutlass bearing from the exhaust. Ford Lehman 120 in a 1978 Litton Universal Trawler. Thanks
Jeff. The line is kinked. Can I disconnect or will water come in?
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Old 12-02-2021, 06:06 PM   #2
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I would go with a hose instead of copper, no vibration problems and no kinking. You may get some water but not a gusher. Have some rags and duct tape ready. Make sure your bilge pumps work. I would see what fittings are on each end and get new fittings to convert to hose barb and install a good quality hose, not cheap hose.
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Old 12-02-2021, 06:21 PM   #3
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Cutlass water line to engine

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Originally Posted by Comodave View Post
I would go with a hose instead of copper, no vibration problems and no kinking. You may get some water but not a gusher. Have some rags and duct tape ready. Make sure your bilge pumps work. I would see what fittings are on each end and get new fittings to convert to hose barb and install a good quality hose, not cheap hose.
Thank you
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Old 12-02-2021, 06:21 PM   #4
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I had no idea some cutlass bearings were water-fed (instead of just lubricated by "ambient" water). This thread also prompted me to google different kinds of cutlass bearings and now I'm not sure which spelling to use. Learn something every day on this forum.

https://www.followingseas.media/blog...that-bearing-1
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Old 12-02-2021, 06:27 PM   #5
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Lots of stuffing boxes use cooling water from the engine to help lubricate the shaft log. Particularly in higher speed boats because it isnít as easy for the water to get up inside the shaft log at higher speeds. And it is cutless, but lots of people say cutlass. I kinda use them interchangeably.
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Old 12-02-2021, 07:20 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Comodave View Post
Lots of stuffing boxes use cooling water from the engine to help lubricate the shaft log. Particularly in higher speed boats because it isnít as easy for the water to get up inside the shaft log at higher speeds. And it is cutless, but lots of people say cutlass. I kinda use them interchangeably.
It doesn't seem to matter what the source is connected to. When I had my Cutless bearings replaced, I noted that the yard put the source water in a different place, so instead of feeding from a Y on the hose that went to the Exhaust elbow, it fed from a new barb fitting on the bottom of the charge air cooler.
Dave; When your Cutlass can slide into your Cutless, you know it is time to replace.
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Old 12-02-2021, 08:06 PM   #7
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Single shaft vessels that have long shaft logs of more than 8 to 10 feet with cutless bearings at both ends benefit from the water feeds at the upper bearing.
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Old 12-02-2021, 09:20 PM   #8
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Can I disconnect or will water come in?

Yes a small amount of water will come in. The trick is have everything laid out and ready to go before removing the old tubing. Your bilge pump can easily handle the amount of water. The water pressure is only a few pounds depending on the depth of your bearing.
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Old 12-03-2021, 01:54 PM   #9
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I had to replace mine in the water. The elbow into the bearing housing corroded, and snapped off. Had to drill it out and retap the hole. Not that much water came in, easy enough for the bilge pump to handle. The job took awhile, not having everything on hand, but I clamped a rag around it while I went to get what I needed. Replaced the copper with hose at the same time. Forgot what I used, maybe fuel line hose, 3/8" maybe. I think the elbow was 3/8. I replaced with nylon so it wouldn't corrode again. Couldn't find the right size in bronze.
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