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Replacing cutless bearing.

Warren Holybee

Active Member
My boat is on the hard having a bottom job done. The cutless needs replaced. The estimate from the yard is a couple thousand, due to the work of removing the rudder etc. Is this something me and a friend could do in a day? Two? It's work, but seems straight forward unless we run into significant problems with frozen bolts. Someone here http://www.morgan38.org/morgan38/index.php?threads/dropping-the-rudder.10843/#post-102453 claims to have dropped the rudder, and pulled the shaft and log in 3 hours.

Looking at other threads,

How high does the boat need to be raised to drop the rudder? It is currently on a cart so it can be moved around. I'd guess that it is 1 foot higher than if it were blocked on the ground.
 

wild382

John
My boat is on the hard having a bottom job done. The cutless needs replaced. The estimate from the yard is a couple thousand, due to the work of removing the rudder etc. Is this something me and a friend could do in a day? Two? It's work, but seems straight forward unless we run into significant problems with frozen bolts. Someone here http://www.morgan38.org/morgan38/index.php?threads/dropping-the-rudder.10843/#post-102453 claims to have dropped the rudder, and pulled the shaft and log in 3 hours.

Looking at other threads,

How high does the boat need to be raised to drop the rudder? It is currently on a cart so it can be moved around. I'd guess that it is 1 foot higher than if it were blocked on the ground.
Funny you should ask! Not 5 minutes ago my friend was telling me the same thing. They did it for the cost of the bearing ...$50 bucks! On a Gulf Star 42 or 43.
 
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datswite

Ken Ferrari
I replaced my own. There is no way I'd pay someone that much. I dropped the rudder while it was still in the slings. Putting it back in I had to dig a hole. The hole was the hardest part, though it was all a bit of a pain. The good news is that you can do some other inspections and when that easiest with the rudder off.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Warren
We have dropped the rudder on Dana a number of times. My boatyard allows me to dig a hole of about 18" deep when the boat is sitting on 10" x 10" blocks under the keel. Their on concern is that I replace the hole with the gravel as it was when I started. The rudder was lowered by way of two 1/2 ton chain falls secured to the sheet winches in the cockpit. With that rig I was able to do all the work myself. The biggest issue with dropping the rudder is removing the gudgeon. the fitting is always faired over with fiberglass so you'll have to dig around to get at the 3 bronze bolts that hold it together. Once that is free the rudder comes right out. Next is removing the shaft. In the past I've had issues with removing the coupling half from the shaft. Now I keep Never Seize on the shaft & coupling so removal is not a chore. My cutlass bearing does not have set screws. The outer race of the bearing is knurled and is friction fitted into the shaft log. I try to keep 3/8" of the bearing showing beyond the end of the log. That allows me to put a big pair of Channellocks (pump pliers) on the protruding end and twist the bearing out. Jeff's puller looks like a great device to make pulling the bearing an easy job. The last time I replaced the shaft, I shortened it slightly to allow the prop to be removed without removing the rudder. The original shaft was too long to allow that to work. I'll see if I can dig up some photos of all this work.

Jim
 

wild382

John
I replaced my own. There is no way I'd pay someone that much. I dropped the rudder while it was still in the slings. Putting it back in I had to dig a hole. The hole was the hardest part, though it was all a bit of a pain. The good news is that you can do some other inspections and when that easiest with the rudder off.
How much distance under the bottom portion of the rudder is needed. Ours is in a cradle in winter
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
John
With the boat sitting on level ground with 2- 10" x 10" blocks under the keel. we needed a hole almost 18" deep to allow the top of the rudder post to clear the hull and be free.

Jim
 

wild382

John
John
With the boat sitting on level ground with 2- 10" x 10" blocks under the keel. we needed a hole almost 18" deep to allow the top of the rudder post to clear the hull and be free.

Jim
Thanks Jim
I think we have at least two feet under the rudder. But it sounds like it needs 28" or more? I could be wrong I need to look at other images. I'm still waiting for the one and only yard to let me know about our tranny.View attachment 6262
 
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svpilgrim

Jeff Lovett
Have been working on mine rudder and cutlass bearing recently.
Cutlass Bearing Thread
Rudder Repairs & Modifications Photo Album
If I remember correctly the total length of rudder from top of stock the base of rudder is 65" Thus you will need the boat to be blocked so that the bronze exit plate for the rudder stock is 65" off the ground... or plan on digging a hole.

$1000 sounds like way too much money if the vessel is already on the hard.
 

Warren Holybee

Active Member
$1000 sounds like way too much money if the vessel is already on the hard.

I think they are grossly overestimating the time required. They were estimating 2 people for 8 hours just to drop the rudder. They were concerned the stainless bolts in the quadrant would require time, and the bronze bolts in the gudgeon. Perhaps they were also allowing time for using the crane. This yard (dock/pier) is small, and has a fixed crane by the water, and boats are on carts that can be moved around. 20160531_102204.jpg

If your 65" measurement is correct, I might have enough space with the boat on the cart. The propshaft is eye level to me, and I am 6'. But others are talking about an 18" hole. I don't think my keel is 18" off the ground.
 

Warren Holybee

Active Member
I'm going to go work on it tomorrow, and work with a friend on Friday. Even if we get it to the point the rudder can be dropped once it is on the crane, that will save quite a bit of money.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
I just checked my drawing of the 382 rudder. From the top of the fiberglass part of the rudder to the top of the rudder shaft is 23 1/8". That means you will need that much space from the bottom of the rudder to the ground to have the shaft clear the bronze plate at the hull. The measurement I have for the total length of the rudder from the bottom to the upper end of the shaft is 68". Hope this helps.

Jim
 

Warren Holybee

Active Member
I just checked my drawing of the 382 rudder. From the top of the fiberglass part of the rudder to the top of the rudder shaft is 23 1/8". That means you will need that much space from the bottom of the rudder to the ground to have the shaft clear the bronze plate at the hull. The measurement I have for the total length of the rudder from the bottom to the upper end of the shaft is 68". Hope this helps.

Jim
Thank you. That helps a lot. I just called the yard and they measured 30+ inches.
 
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svpilgrim

Jeff Lovett
Warren,

First off... boat looking good in the image above.

I will confirm overall rudder length when I next head out to yard. Jim's 68" measurement may be more accurate as my 65" was from memory. either way just looking at the photo you provided I think you will be able to drop rudder while in the cradle.

The four variables in the time it takes to remove the rudder are....
  1. removing any thru bolts at the top of the shaft.
  2. removing the bolts the hold the two halves of the steering quadrant together
  3. removing the packing nut
  4. removing the three machine screws in the gudgeon.
If any of these fasteners are stripped or seized, then the project will take more time.

I had difficult removing Pilgrim's packing nut. My solution was to fabricate a custom wrench from a piece of flat steel.






I do recall there being a past thread on the board about methods for removing the rudder shaft packing nut.

Best to work top down on the fasteners and be sure to block out the base of the rudder, before removing the gudgeon.

Hope project goes well. Please keep us updated.
 

Warren Holybee

Active Member
Thank you Jeff. What about steering cables? Will it be obvious how to deal with them as I start disassembling everything? I was going to paint across the cables and quadrant to help with alignment putting it together. Is that necessary?
 

svpilgrim

Jeff Lovett
Thank you Jeff. What about steering cables? Will it be obvious how to deal with them as I start disassembling everything? I was going to paint across the cables and quadrant to help with alignment putting it together. Is that necessary?

Have not reassembled mine, yet, so cannot speak from personal experience. Certainly no harm in marking the current set up and taking many photos to reference when the time comes to reassemble.

Got to be weary of project creep, but now is the time to closely inspect the cables, idler arms, etc. associated with steering system.

Also when reassembling, I highly recommend using Tefgel on all the fasteners. Using Tefgel is vitally important on the stainless fasteners that thread into the aluminum steering quadrant.
 

Warren Holybee

Active Member
The rudder is removed. Took about an hour and a half by myself. The gudgeon need some work. The teflon needs replaced. There is a fiber thrust washer that sits on top of the gudgeon that is cracked but still in one piece. I'm not sure how to install a new one. The yard had a nice tool that made short work of the screws in the gudgeon. One was troublesome. It was a longer replacement to accommodate a zinc. It had a pan head screw that didn't hold the screwdriver bit well. I got it about 1/2 inch out and finished it with vice-grips. Pictures to follow.
 

Warren Holybee

Active Member
Is it possible that the crack in the washer is actually a cut to fit the washer around the rudder post?
Certainly possible. I did consider that, but this washer is too brittle to remove without breaking it. So unless I have a new one in hand I'm not going to attempt that.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Warren
The thrust washer, was it on top or below the gudgeon? What is the outside diameter of it? What is the thickness of it? That thrust washer has been missing on Dana for as long as I've owned her. I'd like to replace it the next time she is out of the water.

Jim
 

Warren Holybee

Active Member
Just got the shaft out. Getting the coupling off the shaft was the hardest part yet. About 2 hours for just that. There wasn't enough room for a gear puller, so I put a socket between the coupling halves, between the prop shaft and transmission output shaft. Then I put the four screws back in and tightened them. That moved the shaft about 1/8", then I pulled it apart, used a larger socket, for the next 1/8" and so on.

How would one put that damn thing back on? It seems a hydraulic press would be ideal, but obviously won't fit in the boat.

The shaft seems in good shape. Lots of grime but there seems to be no wear in the metal. At the contact point of the cutlass bearing, there are stripes of hard black material. The stripes appear to be material from the cutlass that fused to the shaft.20160601_152719.jpg
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Warren
Putting the coupling half back on the shaft should not be a problem. The hard time you had getting it off was due to gauling and corrosion that began once the coupling was in place. Before you go to reinstall it, clean the inside surface of the coupling and the outside of the shaft where the coupling sits with emery paper. Using a course grit, working down to a finer grit until the coupling slides on easy. Then mark where the set screws meet the shaft, remove the coupling again and drill out two good sized dimples with cobalt coated drill bits. It's the set screws and the keyway that do the work. As Jeff recommends, use never seize or Tefgel when reassembling. There should be no need for force or pressure to put it back together. I learned this process years ago when I was putting a new coupling on the shaft and was having all kinds or difficulty. I went to the Boatyard office to ask if I could borrow a bigger hammer. The old timer there asked me what I need that for. He was dumbfounded when I explained the problem and my need. Grabbing a couple of sheets of emery cloth, he took me back to the boat explaining the process. A half hour later the coupling was in place without the hammer. Don't forget to tie wire the set screws after your done.

Jim
 

Warren Holybee

Active Member
Well great end of the day. I was just finishing cleaning up and the fleet manager of my sailing Club showed up. We are taking a club boat out for a night sail and bbq.

I think tomorrow I'll assemble a puller like you did, Jeff, and finish the job Friday.
 

jnoble

John Noble
I replaced my cutless bearing myself in an hour or two without dropping the rudder. It has been a while, but I do not recall it being a big deal. I did have the coupling off, but can't recall if that was necessary to side the shaft forward enough to remove the prop and bearing. I would remove the coupling and/or Hurth transmission and before I would drop the rudder. And still do it a few hours max.
 

Warren Holybee

Active Member
I replaced my cutless bearing myself in an hour or two without dropping the rudder. It has been a while, but I do not recall it being a big deal. I did have the coupling off, but can't recall if that was necessary to side the shaft forward enough to remove the prop and bearing. I would remove the coupling and/or Hurth transmission and before I would drop the rudder. And still do it a few hours max.
I'm certainly glad I did it this way. Removing the rudder was actually very easy, and I am performing needed maintenance on the gudgeon and prop shaft. I don't think I could clean/prep the surface of the prop shaft without removing it. And the surface is bad enough it would have quickly destroyed a new cutlass.
 

Warren Holybee

Active Member
Iv'e ordered a new washer from McMaster-Carr. Hopefully it will show up early enough tomorrow for me to use it. I am going to try and source plastic sheets locally. Depending on if the washer shows up in time, and depending on what everything looks like and I decide what to do as I put it together, I am thinking of making thin washers from the plasitc sheets, and using 5200 to glue them to the existing washer or the new washer with the slit 180 deg from the slit in the existing washer. The existing washer is is a fiber of some sort, and I think gluing plastic to it would make is stonger, and provide a better mating surface.

Or maybe two washers, to provide a plastic to plastic mating surface for less friction.

Also, I thought the gudgeon mating surface was damaged. After getting it home and trying to clean it up, I have determined that it is not. What I thought was damage is 5200 or similar. Probably to secure the plastic bushing that was there. It is white and nearly impossible to remove. Iv'e removed most if it, and will probably do the same thing and glue a plastic sheet in there as a bushing.

I slick idea, that I'm sure I can't get done today. A one piece bushing/washer, consisting of the thrust washer on top, connected to a shaft bushing below could easily be 3d printed.

Anyway, my plan today is to collect stuff and and figure out the best course of action and hopefully get it together tomorrow. If I don't get it done I will have to throw money at the yard to finish. But I think I did enough work to save a bundle of money, and I know that the other maintenance items were found and are being handled instead of just getting the cutless and leaving the other problems. I have two trips planned this month, and will not be canceling them.
 

Warren Holybee

Active Member
Not having much luck finding plastic for the rudder shaft bushing. There is a model store one town over that I think sells various plastics in 6" x 12" sheets. I am going to check there later today. Otherwise, a plastic milk bottle (HDPE?) might be a good source of a bushing material.

The other thought I had was packing material. Thinking that if I hammered it thin and wrapped one piece continuously around the shaft? It almost seems ideal to me. It would have no play, and be lubricating.
 

Warren Holybee

Active Member
Oh, one other thing. Is lanocote fine as a substitute for tefgel? I have that and have been using it elsewhere on the boat. Should I put it on the threads to the stuffing box? That isn't dissimilar metal, but had corrosion on the threads nonetheless.
 

wild382

John
Oh, one other thing. Is lanocote fine as a substitute for tefgel? I have that and have been using it elsewhere on the boat. Should I put it on the threads to the stuffing box? That isn't dissimilar metal, but had corrosion on the threads nonetheless.
I hope you are taking lots of pictures. We will be wanting to do similar work this years end
 

Warren Holybee

Active Member
I hope you are taking lots of pictures. We will be wanting to do similar work this years end
On that note, I was wondering during this if it would be useful for the site to have a "how-to" Section. I could do a how to for this, and I know others could write how-to's for other projects.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Warren
I found that Lanocote has a tendency to harden to stone like consistencies. If you can't fine the Tefgel, a good hardware store will carry "Never Seize" or an electrical supply will carry "Coppercoat" or Penetrox". They will all serve the same purpose of not allowing the two surfaces to bond together. It will allow the parts to be removed at a later date.
What is the thickness and the outside diameter of the thrust bearing that is on your rudder?

Jim
 

wild382

John
On that note, I was wondering during this if it would be useful for the site to have a "how-to" Section. I could do a how to for this, and I know others could write how-to's for other projects.
That would be great! Maybe Mark can add a "how to section" as long as we try really hard not to get off topic...I'm first offender
 

Warren Holybee

Active Member
I think I figured out the bushing solution. I bought some sheet polystyrene to play with but decided it would be a poor material for a bushing. I ended up using plastic cut from a plastic squirt bottle. I did a poor job surfacing the top of the gudgeon with a grinding wheel, but it's still a 1000% better surface for the washer on top of it. and after a lot of work decided that there was corrosion and damage inside the gudgeon as well. But with a bushing in there I don't think it will matter, and again it's 1000% better than it was.

I formed the bushing at home with a piece of similarly sized pipe I had. There is a tab that folds and fits between the gudgeon halves. When the shreads of original bushing came out it looks like this was how it was done. It will keep the bushing from spinning, so the only surface that matters is that of the rudder shaft.

I used a wire brush in a drill press to surface the inside of the gudgeon. Overall It did a poor job but is what I had. I think it is sufficient and much better than what it was.

20160602_153323.jpg
The water bottle that gave its life for my Morgan.

20160602_154727.jpg
The formed bushing.
20160602_154740.jpg


Assembled with a random pipe I had.
20160602_154856.jpg
 

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Warren Holybee

Active Member
Warren
I found that Lanocote has a tendency to harden to stone like consistencies. If you can't fine the Tefgel, a good hardware store will carry "Never Seize" or an electrical supply will carry "Coppercoat" or Penetrox". They will all serve the same purpose of not allowing the two surfaces to bond together. It will allow the parts to be removed at a later date.
What is the thickness and the outside diameter of the thrust bearing that is on your rudder?

Jim
The outside diameter is 4", and the thickness is about 1/4" or so. I didn't measure the thickness, but I think that is a close guess. There is enough room it could be much thicker.
 

bluesbyrd

Chris Langton
Not having much luck finding plastic for the rudder shaft bushing. There is a model store one town over that I think sells various plastics in 6" x 12" sheets

TAP Plastics in San Rafael!

They've got everything plastic, will fabricate all sorts of custom stuff, .... And, they are great folks!

Tapplastics.com

900 Andersen Drive
San Rafael, CA 94901

Email: tap26@tapplastics.com

Open: Mon-Fri 8:30 to 5:30, Sat 9 to 5.

Phone: 415.454.6393
Fax: 415.454.8385


Chris
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Warren
If the thickness is 1/4", you could use King Starboard. I have some 1/4" Starboard. I'll try manufacturing a bearing tomorrow. Let you know How it works.

Jim
 

Warren Holybee

Active Member
TAP Plastics in San Rafael!

They've got everything plastic, will fabricate all sorts of custom stuff, .... And, they are great folks!

Tapplastics.com

900 Andersen Drive
San Rafael, CA 94901

Email: tap26@tapplastics.com

Open: Mon-Fri 8:30 to 5:30, Sat 9 to 5.

Phone: 415.454.6393
Fax: 415.454.8385


Chris

Yes, I've used them for non boat related stuff before. Great company. I'm just determined to get this completed and back together tomorrow and there is no way I would have made it to San Rafael today, and certainly couldn't wait for something to be fabricated. The plastic water bottle actually seems about perfect. There were shreds of plastic that fell out, and I think it is very close to what was there.
 

Warren Holybee

Active Member
My interpretation of Jeff's cutless bearing puller. Bolted together as a box, so hopefully I can handle it quickly without any fuss. Off the shelf washers that have a slip fit in 2" I.D. pipe. I hope to get it pulled first thing in the am tomorrow and get right back on putting it all back together.

20160602_175408.jpg
 

svpilgrim

Jeff Lovett
Warren, Looks like a good evolution of the cutlass puller.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record... be sure to use some type of anti-seize / lubricant (tefgel, 3/1 oil, etc) on the threads when using the puller. The heat generated at rotating nut can easily cause galling.

You will need two nuts at the aft end tightened against each other. These nuts are held stationary with a wrench to keep the entire rod from spinning. Not sure if you accounted for this as it is not pictured in the image above.

Happy pulling...
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
A quick project this morning with the help of Warren's dimensions. Photo 1= 1/4" thick Starboard x4 1/2" wide, enough for a few bearings. Photo 2= Drilling out a disk with a 4" OD hole saw. Photo 3= Drilling out the center with a 1 3/4" hole saw. Photo 4= Finishing the edges with a 1/4 roundover router bit. Photo 5= Cutting the slot on the band saw. Photo 6= Finished product, top view. Photo 7= Finished product, angle view. The finished dimensions are 3 3/4" OD, 1 3/4" ID, 1/4" thick. I think the Starboard will be strong enough to take the pressure of the rudder. Its flexible enough to be able to twist it into place with the rudder out of the gudgeon. The project took all of a 1/2 hour to finish.

Jim
 

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jimcleary

James M. Cleary
I just finished making a bunch of the bushings from the stock I had left. One I'm sending to Tommy McNulty. That leaves four more that are available. If you want one, send me a snail mail address to my email address: saildana382@msn.com. It will probably cost 2 bucks to ship. The first four addresses can have them.

Jim
 

Warren Holybee

Active Member
Well it's done, more or less. The puller tool worked great. The yard guy was really impressed, although he says he is really good and really fast at cutting them out. So he still wouldn't use it. But he did think the puller was technically the better way. One thing with the tool, is that there was lots of scale on the inside of the shaft log. Enough to scare me I might damage the shaft log. But after removing the tool and looking through the log, I figured its best to let the tool clean that all out, so it doesn't wind up in the new cutless bearing. So after the tool pulled out a huge pile of debris along with the bearing, I ran a wet rag through the log to pickup any dust left behind.

The new bearing went in with no issue. It slid in halfway by hand. I used a wood block and a small hammer to gently tap it in the rest of the way. There were 3 set screws. One was smaller and was probably added during a previous change. I drilled dimples in the bearing and inserted the set screws. I didn't tighten them very much.

The rudder washer, which I originally thought was some sort of fiber board, turned out that it just had so much scale on it I didn't know what it was. It cleaned up pretty well and was in good shape underneath. So I reused it as is. I used a piece of plastic cut from a squirt bottle (HDPE) as bushing material around the shaft. It was a tight fit, I think perfect. The rudder has no play at all.

I do have a shaft alignment issue. With the new cutless in place, The shaft was about 1/4" out of alignment both horizontally and vertically. I was able to raise the engine and get the vertical alignment about perfect, and move the engine to starboard and get the horizontal very close. It is close enough that I trust it to motor to the engine guy the yard recommends. I didn't bother checking the coupler with feeler gauges. It is sufficient that I know the alignment is bad, and I want a pro to do that part.
 

datswite

Ken Ferrari
Are you sure the shaft log is misaligned? How old are your engine mounts? When I replaced my shaft, I had a similar misalignment. My mounts were shot! Two of four were frozen, and all had severely degraded rubber isolators. Swapping them out was relatively easy. I'd had finished the job in two hours, but one of the mounts was so corroded, I couldn't get it off the the engine bracket without a torch and lots of swearing.
 
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