Author Topic: Prop shaft pulled?  (Read 1484 times)

Doug Vaughn

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Prop shaft pulled?
« on: January 01, 2017, 05:22:57 PM »
Anyone ever pulled the prop shaft on a straight drive in a 44? I'm thinking of checking my 1 1/2" shaft for any bend as well as replacing the cutlass bearing and testing the prop while I'm in the yard. Ideas? Cautions? Tips and tricks?
Thanks and Happy New Year to All!

Soggy Paws

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Re: Prop shaft pulled?
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2017, 07:34:38 PM »
Doug, the below info is from an earlier post that appears to have been lost since we were using Topica for this forum.  I'm including it in its entirety because it includes other useful information.  Hope it is useful to you.

The most difficult part of pulling your shaft is removing the tmission/shaft flange and prop.  If you don't have a prop puller you should get one.  Once done with those and loosening the stuffing box the shaft should pull right out.  If your shaft has been scored by the stuffing you might be able to cut a small bit off the forward end in order to reposition the scored part outside the stuffing box.  It would also be worthwhile to check the balance of the prop while it is off.

The construction of the 44s should be the same in the shaft area.  The fglas stern tubes are all made separately and of the same dimensions.   The factory installed the stern tube and most boats still have the original.  They are available and replaceable, though maybe a bigger job than you are contemplating.  Ours (and yours), according to the plans, should be flush with the aft end of the short stub keel area that holds the shaft and cutlass bearing.

Your cutlass bearing has probably been changed multiple times since original.  Whoever installs the cutlass bearing determines whether or not it protrudes and how much.  However, there is a compromise to be made here.  Less is probably better as anything sticking out will not be supported, but no protrusion also makes it more difficult to remove the bearing.  You certainly would not want to leave it out more than an inch.  I found and have continued to leave ours sticking out about 5/8", just enough to grab with a pipe wrench. 

There are several ways to install the cutlass, some easier to remove than others.  The first time I removed mine in 1999 it took me over 2 hours to get it out with a pipe wrench and a lot of twisting.  Maybe it could have been done faster with a fine saw blade, but that also seemed like a lot of work.

Since then I have used the following method from a pro installer from CA:
-Thoroughly clean the inside of the stern tube's aft 6" of all foreign material and ensure it is round and smooth.
-Carefully hand sand the new cutlass bearing until it is a snug fit, not tight or loose.  This shouldn't take more than 15 minutes or something might be wrong with the tube or bearing.
-Coat the outside of the BEARING ONLY with Marine Silicone and slide it into the stern tube until about 5/8" proud.  Twist the bearing 1/4 turn.
-Let the Silicone set overnight.
-Reinstall the set screws by dimpling the bearing from outside, being careful not to damage the fiberglass threads.  I use 1/4" Pan Head machine screws.  If you have none, take the time to install them.
-Consider installing a clam scoop to lubricate the bearing through one side of the stern tube if you have none.  It will significantly increase the life of the cutlass bearing.
-I've had no problems with this arrangement during 14 years of use, and can remove the old bearing in less than 5 minutes with an easy twist with a pipe wrench.  It now takes longer to remove the set screws than the bearing.  Once you start the twist the silicone's slipperyness facilitates the bearing's removal.
-For a bearing's long life it is important that it have good water lubrication, proper shaft alignment and the protruding shaft be no longer than 6" from stern tube to front of the prop hub.  Mine is still tight now on the shaft after 7 years.  Prior to this last installation, I made all three of the above mistakes, causing premature bearing failure.

Re the Spurs installation, Ed Marill of Siesta almost flooded his boat a few years ago when he hit a piece of wood that ripped the hull mounted Spurs piece out of the hull leaving the open screw holes.   Maybe a different shaft mounted line cutter would be a better choice.  We used one of the circular ones that fit over the shaft for many years with success and no leaks.

Formerly CSY 44 WT SV Soggy Paws 1 (Now under new ownership, located in Perth Australia)
Now St. Francis 44 MK II Catamaran, in Samal Island Philippines
« Last Edit: January 01, 2017, 09:21:21 PM by Soggy Geek »
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Doug Vaughn

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Re: Prop shaft pulled?
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2017, 08:54:48 PM »
Always a treasure trove of good stuff!, Thanks for the good info Dave.

Mike Zofchak

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Re: Prop shaft pulled?
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2017, 10:21:54 AM »
Hello Doug,

A couple of thoughts about the cutlass, shaft and prop based on prior experience:

•   Borrow or rent a good prop remover. I rented one from a local prop guy and it was worth the money. It was super tight to begin with but the puller did exactly what it was suppose to do without any damage. You do not want to pound on it or pry in any way. Use the proper puller.

•   If you are changing the cutlass I would highly recommend changing the shaft if it is original. It is probably worn and/or out of balance.

•   Have your prop balanced at the same time.

•   Soggy Paws is right on about getting water over the darn thing as well.
Capt. Mike Zofchak
Land Locked S/V Buckeye Queen