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Old 12-02-2021, 01:40 PM   #1
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Cost/difficulty to replace all 6 cutless bearings? 2000 Grand Banks 42C.

Cost to replace all 6 cutless bearings on 2000 Grand Banks 42C? I have my biannual haul out, bottom paint, etc. scheduled for mid- January at my longtime yard and checking my shafts for trueness and replacing the bearings is tentatively on the job list. I have what I call a "slight flutter" in my starboard shaft - it makes the tube between my Norscot seal and reservoir flutter - the port tube is nearly flutter free. Will be replacing the Norscot seals too. I'm the 3rd owner and doubt any of this has been replaced in 22 years.

I wondered if anyone with a 42C has had the 6 bearings recently replaced? Advice/comments? Anything I need to know ahead of time? Cost? Difficulty? Any special brand of bearing to use? Questions to ask the yard?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-02-2021, 02:17 PM   #2
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6 cutlass bearings? 3 per shaft? That seems pretty unusual, especially for a 42' boat. Even two I think is more than typical. Usually one in the strut or skeg near the prop to support that end if the shaft, and the other end of the shaft supported by the engine. If the shaft is exceptionally long, then a second cutlass, or even a half of a cutlass may be found in the forward end of the shaft log.


Are you sure there are three per shaft?
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Old 12-02-2021, 02:37 PM   #3
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6 cutlass bearings? 3 per shaft? That seems pretty unusual, especially for a 42' boat. Even two I think is more than typical. Usually one in the strut or skeg near the prop to support that end if the shaft, and the other end of the shaft supported by the engine. If the shaft is exceptionally long, then a second cutlass, or even a half of a cutlass may be found in the forward end of the shaft log.


Are you sure there are three per shaft?
GB42 shaft length is 14 feet. Bearings at the hull exit, the mid-length strut from hull to final strut. Six bearings. I don't remember the specific cost of replacing them because it was always subsumed in the overall cost of a haul and bottom job. However, a thousand dollars a shaft might not be overstating it, at least hereabouts.
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Old 12-02-2021, 03:10 PM   #4
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Have you check engine flange to shaft flange alinement? It can cause the same type effect if out. Not knowing your engine setup that would be what I would do with the boat in the water. Some pictures of the engine/gear would help. You can determine if you decouple the safe and manually roll the measuring runout with a dial indicator. It should be within about 0.003 inches to run smooth. The shaft flange measured with feeler gages should be within about 0.003 inches or better also
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Old 12-02-2021, 05:05 PM   #5
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Ditto on alignment. An engine with .010" or more misalignment will wear the bearing closest to the engine more than the others. It also can damage some seals and loosen motor mounts. You also can feel a vibration. I shoot for .002" when I align.
Align in the water and see if your flutter doesn't go away.
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Old 12-02-2021, 06:29 PM   #6
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GB42 shaft length is 14 feet. Bearings at the hull exit, the mid-length strut from hull to final strut. Six bearings. I don't remember the specific cost of replacing them because it was always subsumed in the overall cost of a haul and bottom job. However, a thousand dollars a shaft might not be overstating it, at least hereabouts.

I see, so two struts per shaft?
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Old 12-02-2021, 06:33 PM   #7
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If you like doing the work yourself there is a company that sells a press to press out the old bearings and press the new ones in. It isn’t cheap but will certainly pay for itself and more on the first job. Then sell it to someone. I was going to do them on our last boat but sold the boat before I got around to it. Don’t remember the name of the company but probably can find it with Google.

Just looked. Strut Pro is the company.
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Old 12-02-2021, 07:11 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by rgano View Post
However, a thousand dollars a shaft might not be overstating it, at least hereabouts.
My 44' has 2 per shaft.
Replacement cost 5+ years ago, in Canadian $, over $1k per bearing.
Re-alignment was part of the job, and the rear struts (Vs) had to be removed and relocated to achieve proper alignment. That process required removal of the bed and water tanks in the aft cabin. Be prepared for all of that work.
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Old 12-02-2021, 07:16 PM   #9
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On my 14’ x 2” shafts, only one strut/A bracket which has a C bearing, next one fwd is at the hull/shaft exit, and the final one is just aft of the stern tube behind the shaft packing gland, so three per shaft. Although I’ve been told the last one isn’t that critical being so close to the coupling itself.
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Old 12-02-2021, 07:19 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by FBoykin View Post
Cost to replace all 6 cutless bearings on 2000 Grand Banks 42C? I have my biannual haul out, bottom paint, etc. scheduled for mid- January at my longtime yard and checking my shafts for trueness and replacing the bearings is tentatively on the job list. I have what I call a "slight flutter" in my starboard shaft - it makes the tube between my Norscot seal and reservoir flutter - the port tube is nearly flutter free. Will be replacing the Norscot seals too. I'm the 3rd owner and doubt any of this has been replaced in 22 years.

I wondered if anyone with a 42C has had the 6 bearings recently replaced? Advice/comments? Anything I need to know ahead of time? Cost? Difficulty? Any special brand of bearing to use? Questions to ask the yard?

Thanks in advance!
My last shaft “flutter” was entirely caused by loose shaft to transmission coupling bolts……try checking the tension on these first.
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Old 12-02-2021, 10:32 PM   #11
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I just picked up a 1" cutless bearing for a friend. $90 usd. Guessing 2" would be over $125 or more for non-discouted yard. Close to $400 per shaft for bearings alone, plus labor which is best with a helper. Questions would be thr add-on work to do while shaft is out. Restuffing shaft log, aligning engine, zincs/line cutters (if applicable), prop speed and polish prop,, etc.

$1k per shaft won't go very far

Good luck.

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Old 12-02-2021, 11:19 PM   #12
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The Strut-pro is great for DIY strut bearings with the shaft in place, but it won’t work for the inner bearing since it uses collars and jack-screws beside the strut.
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Old 12-06-2021, 02:24 PM   #13
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The Strut-pro is great for DIY strut bearings with the shaft in place, but it won’t work for the inner bearing since it uses collars and jack-screws beside the strut.
Yes I have a Strut Pro and it's great for removing and installing bearings in struts but won't help you at all for something embedded in the hull. I can't imagine having all that shaft work done and not putting new cutless bearings in. With the Strut Pro you can replace your cutless bearings in the struts without pulling the shafts if desired.

OP asked about brands, the Duramax/Johnson Cutless brand is well known and seems to be the standard bearing to use.
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Old 12-09-2021, 08:43 AM   #14
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Thanks for the all the comments. I should have added that boat has Soundown flexible shaft couplings which add a wrinkle to checking engine/shaft alignment. Soundown says best way to check alignment is to use a solid insert in place of the flexible coupling. I'll need to rent the insert to do that and believe I've found a yard in Maryland who has one.

But big question is condition of the cutless bearings and no way to really know that until boat is pulled in January. I have Norscot dripless shaft seals and think this is also a good time to replace seals and hoses. The replacement parts are around 450.00.

The "logic" in my head says best way to tackle this (certainly not the less expensive way!) is to check the shafts, replace the cutlass bearings, replace the Norscot seals and hoses, rent the insert, align the shaft/motor mounts and hopefully be done with this for a long time.

My local CAT guy is an ace at alignment so that's covered. I'm just trying to get info from other Grand Banks owners who've had bearings replaced so I have a feel for what's "reasonable" for a yard to charge for the work.
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Old 12-09-2021, 09:42 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by FBoykin View Post
Thanks for the all the comments. I should have added that boat has Soundown flexible shaft couplings which add a wrinkle to checking engine/shaft alignment. Soundown says best way to check alignment is to use a solid insert in place of the flexible coupling. I'll need to rent the insert to do that and believe I've found a yard in Maryland who has one.



But big question is condition of the cutless bearings and no way to really know that until boat is pulled in January. I have Norscot dripless shaft seals and think this is also a good time to replace seals and hoses. The replacement parts are around 450.00.



The "logic" in my head says best way to tackle this (certainly not the less expensive way!) is to check the shafts, replace the cutlass bearings, replace the Norscot seals and hoses, rent the insert, align the shaft/motor mounts and hopefully be done with this for a long time.



My local CAT guy is an ace at alignment so that's covered. I'm just trying to get info from other Grand Banks owners who've had bearings replaced so I have a feel for what's "reasonable" for a yard to charge for the work.
A solid insert is the ONLY way to get a more precise alignment, in the water, of course. I HATE flexible couplings. I had one on each side fracture while cruising. They do have a useful life. I replaced mine with solid inserts permanently.
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Old 12-09-2021, 10:34 AM   #16
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Here's some background from my experience with our 44 Ocean Alexander, which has three bearings per 15' by 2" shaft. The most aft is at the support strut at the prop, middle bearing is at the hull exit (aft end of stainless steel shaft tube embedded in the hull), and the most forward is at the other end of the SS shaft tube (just behind the stuffing box assembly). A small hatch in the aft cabin sole provided decent access in the stuffing box area. Sounds like the 42 GB is similar. The OA yard in Seattle said they normally skip the most forward bearing. I replaced them anyway, although they really didn't need it.

I started by checking the runout on the shafts. Then removed the following myself....props (homemade prop puller), shaft anodes, transmission couplings, middle and forward bearing set screws. Then I asked the yard to help lift the shaft during extraction. They also removed the aft strut bearings with their puller. With the shaft out, I removed the stuffing box assemblies, inserted a length of pipe into the SS tube from the forward end, and drove the middle bearing out of the SS tube. The forward bearings obviously drive out from the rear.

The four new bronze shell bearings went in a freezer overnight and they slipped in easily. The stuffing boxes got new rubber sleeves. The props went to Kallenberg Propeller in Two Rivers, Wisconsin for truing and balance. New rubber stuffing box tubes and modern Duramax stuffing material upon reassembly. I should note that the forward cutless bearing uses a composite shell (versus bronze)...probably the same for GB.

Alignment was fairly straight forward, although on the OA the shaft does droop a tiny amount at the forward end (very heavy). I sectioned an old bearing and fashioned a lifting support near the coupling....estimated how much to raise it during the initial alignment (repeated when the boat was back in the water). The most difficult task on the OA during the alignment phase was loosening the rubber exhaust tube between the engine and muffler.

Harbor Feight sells a ten ton hydraulic gear puller, which can be modified to function as a prop puller. The OA rudder offset was just barely adequate to get it into position on the shafts.
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Old 12-09-2021, 11:15 AM   #17
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Our last boat had the drive savers in it when we bought the boat. I removed them and had Spurs make solid inserts to replace the drive savers. Then did the alignment and had a lot less vibration. They were about $450 each to have the custom made but it was worth it.
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Old 12-10-2021, 04:07 PM   #18
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Back in the spring I had six bearings replaced on my DeFever 50 at Crackerboy in Ft Pierce. It cost $4000 which included two shaft seals. A big variable is labor cost, i.e. how easy it is to remove the old bearings.
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