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Old 03-21-2021, 08:56 AM   #1
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Frozen rudder

Hi i have a 1979 chb34 ... my rudder was getting difficult to turn and now is frozen .... I managed to break it loose after removing the top bearing and the packing gland ... ive tried penitrating oil with no luck !
A friend suggested trying clr or maybe pool acid to help free up salt and calcium deposits.?
Any input by someone who has been thru this would be greatly appreciated... I’m hoping not to have to remove the rudder if possible
Thanks for any help !
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Old 03-21-2021, 10:20 AM   #2
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard, if I've missed you. Are you on the hard or afloat? IF on the hard, you might try removing all the packing and use penetrating oil again. IF afloat....tough call.
Keep in mind if you do manage to free things up, it WILL need attention, in the future which probably means dropping the rudder.
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Old 03-21-2021, 04:24 PM   #3
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Check the bearings on the steering shaft that runs along the starboard side under the deck. One or more of the bearings could have rusted and frozen. Also check where the shaft goes through the bulkheads. They were not too accurate when they chopped (not drilled...ugh!) the holes for the shaft to poke through. It binds when on the hard.



I found the chain from the upper to the lower steering station had jumped a tooth and was binding where the sprockets were mounted. I had to remove a link to make it flow smoothly. That meant it had been that way since the build in 1977.
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Old 03-21-2021, 04:34 PM   #4
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Rotating it back and forth will not solve it. You must fill the packing nut with atf and acetone . Then [ with 2 people. ] drive the shaft up and down . Even if it’s a 1/4” . Make some kind of wedge to for between the shoe and rudder post. Drive up and have some one drive back down. That will expel the corrosion
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Old 03-21-2021, 06:24 PM   #5
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Agree on removing the packing. You may need a packing removal tool to get it out. Then as said above maybe try putting a mix of ATF and acetone in and let it soak a bit. Then try moving the rudder up and down and side to side. If you get it loose, I would go ahead and pull it out and clean and polish all the surfaces. Good luck!
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Old 03-22-2021, 12:25 AM   #6
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Better pull the rudder clear out. Then you’ll be able to clean everything properly and check that the shaft is not bent, and bearings are ok. New stuffing!
It’ll also give you the opportunity to install a grease nipple in the lower bushing. A couple strokes of waterproof grease now and then, along with some exercise will prevent same situation from reoccurring.
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Old 03-22-2021, 05:53 AM   #7
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AS suggested first step would be disconnecting everything from the steering system that hooks to the rudder.

On some setups the packing IS the bearing , so run a line under the rudder to keep it from dropping out, before prying out all the packing.

When free replace with modern packing , Duramax or equal.
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Old 03-22-2021, 08:43 AM   #8
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My Albin is a sister ship. If the rudder shaft runs through a big block of fiberglass about 2 feet square it is filled with wood. It swells, rots and breaks up. Then gets mis aligned. I had to cut mine off, rebuild and reglass. it was a pain but stopped the leaks and works perfect now.

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Old 03-22-2021, 11:31 AM   #9
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Best penetrating oil I have ever used is Kano Kroil Penetrating Oil, found at large hardware stores.
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