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Stubborn cutlass bearing

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    Posted: May-11-2019 at 8:30am
On our 95SN, I am having a hard time getting the cutlass bearing out. I used a fine blade reciprocating saw and then grabbed a hacksaw to finish it. The bearing from the factory is in there and it looks like a single. It appears as if I have cut through it on each end but it surely doesn't want to tap or curl out. I ended up drilling out the set screws as they almost seem stripped out to begin with and wouldn't budge even with an easy out. How much is typically needed to cut into the strut? I'm guessing i'm in it about 0.010" now on each end. I looked through the FAQ's and several other threads regarding this topic. Any help is appreciated.

FYI, I ordered a ARE shaft as ours was out of spec at the taper once I bench tested it. The cutlass was so worn out I couldn't even do an alignment check. Boat has ~1400 hours and it is the factory bearing. Bought a new prop as well. Once all is back in I will check alignment and adjust accordingly.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gt40KS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-11-2019 at 12:39pm
I feel your pain Grant    I went through the same thing, exactly, a couple years ago. Yes, those factory bearings are stubborn, especially after 24 years. Even after I cut the bearing and was sure I'd gotten it all the way, when I finally got the thing out there was an area in the center that was still intact. Those set screws can really cause you an issue if you don't get 100% of it out. Best thing is to drill them out with a larger bit than the tapped threads and re-tap to a larger size after the fact. Then, if some solid raps on the bearing don't seem to dislodge the bearing you may have to use an extractor. I built my own, but there are a few like THIS ONE on the net.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jonny Quest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-12-2019 at 1:03am
I ended up removing the strut on my 1994 as I couldn't get the bearing out with the strut in place. Ended up being a good plan. I have a 20 ton press, and that did the trick with removing a 20+ year old bearing. I tried using the threaded rod and washers method, but I just wouldn't work for me. After removing the old bearing, I used a brake cylinder hone to lightly clean up the inside of the strut bearing. The new 6" bearing went in without issues.

I also went with an ARE drive shaft, so I cut the coupling off old drive shaft as it was rusted and frozen.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MrMcD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-12-2019 at 4:00am
I did my 95 5 years ago. Taking out the strut bearing was a chore. I was very afraid of cutting into the strut so I went slow and careful. Cost me extra time.   I ended up hitting it hard with a small tip chisel to get it to start to collapse in.   I had my strut off the boat at the time.
FYI: when you put the shaft in the cutlass and slide it up towards the engine the shaft has enough weight that it will sag before it reaches the coupler at the tranny.
To support it and avoid that sag I cut a short piece of 2x4, maybe 5" long. I cut a V in the top of the 2x4. Put the V on the shaft and slip the 2x4 back away from the tranny till the shaft is supported by the bottom of the boat with the 2x4. The happy spot where the shaft spins with the least resistance in the cutlass bearing is the spot you are looking for. The 2x4 was behind the coupling just enough to allow you to work.   You can take some measurements and make the 2x4 the right length..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcam4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-12-2019 at 9:36am
Thanks guys! I'm going to spray some penetrating oil on it today and let it soak for several days. I would rather not pull the strut if at all possible. I have access to basically any piece of shop equipment I would need for this so I think I will fab up a remover. I have plenty of steel to choose from! Regarding the ARE coupler, has anyone lapped it to the propshaft similar to how the prop would get lapped to the shaft? The coupler is electroless nickel coated so I'm kind worried about lapping that in because nickel is typically ~0.0004"-0.0008" thick.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Duane in Indy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-12-2019 at 1:07pm
Personally I see no reason to lap the coupling to the shaft. Both pieces were turned on CNC machinery. The tapers are programmed in for the exact taper both in length and diameter. With modern machinery you are not going to get them any better. For that matter the new CNC machined props are cut on the same accuracy machines as the other parts and I see no reason to lap them either.   In the "old" days before CNC machining then yes, there was reason to lap. Using reamers and turning the taper by setting the lathe on an angle and hand turning then, then yes there were variations on the angles. Not so in modern times.   Just my opinion here, others will vary. I only worked in the trade for 50 years so what do I know.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MrMcD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-12-2019 at 2:25pm
I would beg to differ on the CNC theory. I have installed 3 props on my ARE shaft now.
Each time you lap one in you can feel a difference in fit. Even the brand new Acme 422 I installed last year. I would certainly lap in the prop.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8122pbrainard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-12-2019 at 2:30pm
Originally posted by MrMcD MrMcD wrote:

I would beg to differ on the CNC theory.

I also beg to differ with Duane. I have first hand experience that lapping was needed on both an ARE and a General Propeller shaft to coupling as well as the prop end.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gt40KS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-12-2019 at 2:36pm
Well Mark I think Duane was speaking of the shaft to the coupler and assuming that they are both new, ARE pieces I might agree that it shouldn't be necessary. Having said that, both times I installed new shafts with their new couplers I did go ahead with lapping - one didn't need it really, the blue showed they were 90% mated or better. But the other one would have been risky IMO with 50% or less mated surface, so I'm certainly glad I did. Doesn't hurt to check it and it really only takes a few minutes anyway.   My 2 cents.

Props are a different matter ... I will always lap those every time   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8122pbrainard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-12-2019 at 3:13pm
Joe,
Since you mention percentages, I'll say the two ARE's I did were around 60% mated and the General Propeller was at 50% coupling to shaft. Yes, it sure doesn't take long to spin some lapping compound around to be sure.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcam4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-12-2019 at 4:58pm
Pete, do you feel you went thru the nickel coating at all on the coupler?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8122pbrainard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-12-2019 at 5:21pm
Grant,
I wouldn't worry about the electroless nickel. It's more for protection on the outside of the coupling. Even if it's removed in the taper bore, not much is going to get in there due to the lapped fit.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcam4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-12-2019 at 7:40pm
Thanks Pete! I'll lap them both in this week. Hopefully I'll have everything done by memorial day weekend. Gotta do shaft, steering cable, helm, tilt mechanism, rudder box, cutlass bearing, and cruise. I'll be busy...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcam4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-16-2019 at 1:47pm
Made a nice little bearing puller with some 1/2" plate and all thread. Worked like a charm. After removing the bearing it was apparent that I wasn't even close to cutting through it except for on either end. If anyone would like to borrow the tool I made let me know. Would be happy to loan it out.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gun-driver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-16-2019 at 9:58pm
Good deal. After reading your posts my guess was that you didn't cut all the way through, I've replaced several and I know it's a pain cutting them. I used a dowel on my last one that worked great but it was off the boat. Any pictures of the tool you made??

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcam4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-17-2019 at 10:12pm
I'll get a few pictures of it. It is basically two plates, two pcs of all thread, and a bearing pusher I machined.

I changed the bearings tonight. I quickly put the shaft in and there is more movement than i anticipated. I had to force the coupler up to the trans to line it up. The shaft was centered in log very well though. I know the shaft would naturally droop but I didnt expect to have to lift it as much as I did. The alignment was tight on the bottom but loose on the top. It was just a quick check but I figured it would be completely opposite to that. I'll do a proper alignment in the morning.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MrMcD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-18-2019 at 3:29pm
I don't remember exact sag in the prop shaft but I am guessing it was 1/2' to 3/4"
That was what made me use the 2x4 to help hold the happy location to align the engine to.
You want to bring the engine alignment directly to the happy spot of the shaft.
If the shaft is not in the right location you start at the shaft support and start aligning but that has to be done before it is glued in with 5,200 or 4,200.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8122pbrainard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-18-2019 at 5:51pm
Originally posted by gcam4 gcam4 wrote:

   The alignment was tight on the bottom but loose on the top. It was just a quick check .

Grant,
As Mark mentioned you what to maintain the "happy spot" (turns freely) with the shaft pretty close to center in the log. From your description of the shaft being tight on the bottom and loose on the top, is that in the cutlass?. And if so, do you mean the shaft is on an angle (not parallel with the bore) through the cutlass? Again if so, you can use some stainless flat washers between the strut base and hull ether at the two forward bolts or at the two aft. Dry fit to see what happens and report back if needed.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcam4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-18-2019 at 10:54pm
Thank you Mrmcd, I may resort to that.

Pete, I was talking about at the coupler.   I used the rubber hose in the log trick. Is the wooden vblock a better method?

I got the alignment within 0.0015-0.002. What I found odd was that I needed to lower the rear of the engine to get the alignment within spec. I figured I would need to raise the rear. The boat is 24 years old and it has never had an alignment except at the factory.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FLCaptain Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-18-2019 at 11:13pm
Think about the body. We slump and our legs get sore as we age. Boats sag in the back an the bow with age. Mostly the back.   So the hull slumps. Then the strut follows. The. The motor must too. But your alignment sounds good.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8122pbrainard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-19-2019 at 4:41am
Originally posted by gcam4 gcam4 wrote:


Pete, I was talking about at the coupler.   I used the rubber hose in the log trick. Is the wooden vblock a better method?

Grant,
Thanks for the clarification. What was "loose" and what was "tight" wasn't clear but at the coupling did cross my mind.

I prefer laying the shaft on something to support the weight over using a spacer (rubber hose) in the log because the former allows you to still check to see if the shaft turns freely. Did you find that the shaft was free to turn when it was centered in the log? Keep in mind alignment starts at the strut and not just aligning the engine to the shaft.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcam4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-19-2019 at 8:41am
Mods, feel free to change the name of this thread as it has morphed into other topics besides the title.

Pete,
The shaft spun freely with the shaft on the rubber hose and even spun better when I lifted it slightly. I'll cut a piece of wood to support it and see how it feels. I put a dripless stuffing box on, will I need to move that forward? I'll recheck alignment then as well. Do most people reuse the coupler bolts or buy new? Another oddity was that one of the motor mount jam nuts was completely loose and the other was loose enough to adjust it. What size are they? 1.5" or 1.4375"? I ordered both crowsfoot wrenches last night to be double sure I had the right one.

Also, when I was cleaning the rudder port I noticed some issues around the rudder box on the bottom of the hull. What would you guys do there? There is obviously some fiberglass damage. I'm thinking I should seal that up with some gelcoat and or sealant repair. The damage is on the trailing edge. Thoughts? I have no idea where anything like that would have come from. My parents bought the boat new ans it has basically been on a private lake it's whole life. Other than some minor minor dings on the prop I know of no hits that the boat has taken in it's life. The rudder is in perfect condition.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8122pbrainard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-19-2019 at 9:36am
Grant,
I wouldn't worry too much about the jam nut being loose on the mount as long as the actual jack bolt was tight sharing the engine load.

The gel at the rudder port looks like it's just cosmetic probably from cavitation at the rudder. .


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcam4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-19-2019 at 1:24pm
Looks like I have a larger issue than originally thought. Using the wooden block method and moving it around until the shaft was happiest left me with this. Not sure what to do other than look at the strut. The shaft spins free when I center it in the log, it does have more resistance than where it is with the wooden block. It isn't touching the log but it is shifted to the right side. If it is bent, I'm not sure what would have caused it. Thanks guys for all the help!





Here is a picture of the cutlass bearing puller. I also used a piece of the threaded rod to get the new bearings in.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MrMcD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-19-2019 at 3:10pm
Since you have a new prop shaft you might have the old one on hand still.
The old shaft makes a nice tool to tweak the strut the right direction.
It is a 5' persuader if needed. It looks like you need a twist to get where you need to be.
For a minor adjustment If your strut is firmly glued into place this can work.
If your strut is still loose you can pull the bolts and add washers where needed to get the correct angle.
To get mine where it needed to be I changed the angle of the base plate by setting it on my 4" sander and removing some material to get dialed in, even with that I had to add stainless washers in the rear.   I bought a handful of washers, measured each and marked them for size. They each varied in thickness by .001 or more. It took some time but worked.
I chose 5200 because my strut was adjusted by washers and did not touch the hull in the back. I think the 5200 is tougher and helps hold the alignment. It will be hard to remove in the future and that is Ok by me.

You have some serious skills, That strut tool is the bomb!   It could be sold to Boat shops.
Maybe you can rent it out to Forum members in need.   Have a very high deposit because you want it back each time.   Nice work.

At your rudder port a little gel coat can fix it up or if you remove the port you could put it back on with 5200 and fill in the bad spot with it also. That stuff dries tough.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8122pbrainard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-19-2019 at 7:28pm
Grant,
Yes, it looks like some tweaking of the strut is needed. Mark is correct that minor adjustments of the strut can be done in place. An old shaft in the cutlass can be used but to avoid damaging the new rubber, I prefer A large pipe wrench (and cheater pipe) on the strut web. It won't take much of a twist to get the strut back.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcam4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-19-2019 at 11:09pm
Mark,
Thanks for the suggestions and complements. I will likely try to to tweak the strut some. I trigged it out and I think I need to defect the front ~0.030"-0.040" in order to get it centered in the log. The puller is just made from some scrap 2.5" X 1/2" 1018 plate and some all thread. I turned down a piece of DOM tubing to about 0.988" to have some clearance but still have good fit to the bore. I'll be happy to loan it out, I hope I won't have to use it for a long time. I will say that my boss gives me access to anything in the shop where I work. That is really the reason why I was able to make the puller. Even though we have awesome equipment, it wouldn't matter if I didn't have an awesome owner/boss/friend that let me use the equipment for government work!

Pete,
Thanks for the encouragement! I will get a pipe wrench and tweak it some with a piece of pipe. We have plenty of that laying around the shop! Is there a tolerance of the shaft to log clearance? I'm going to judge it with some dill bits to get a good idea of where I'm at. I'm sure I won't be able to get it perfect but I think I can tweak it within reason.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MrMcD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-20-2019 at 1:17pm
If you get it close the engine can be adjusted quickly to match.
BTW: Pete is our resident expert on alignment. Listen to him and he will get you squared away. Most of what I shared was learned on this site 5 years ago when I did the same job.
!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcam4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-20-2019 at 1:39pm
Mark,
Sounds good. I'm going to pull the shaft tonight and get a plumb bob and mark the strut where it and try to tweak it. I've got a 18" cresent wrench and a 12' cheater bar to attach to it. I'll do my best to slowly sneak up on it using the plumb bob and the shaft to check. If I cannot get it right, it appears I will be pulling the strut. To all of those that have to do this work, do yourself a favor and get an ARE shaft! The time savings alone pay for it!

Yeah, I watched Pete's video several times but must have missed it where he said to use a vblock to support the shaft until it finds it's happy spot. I'll check my concentricity to the log with drill bits and I'm thinking if I can get it within 1/16" side to side I'll be good. I feel that lateral movement is much more important since it's more difficult to get the engine to cooperate laterally. My thoughts may be incorrect though.

Do most people put a two piece safety collar on the shaft? I don't like the idea of marring up the new shaft with the old collar. But, I also don't like that the split ones are technically not balanced.

Thanks again to all those that have chimed in.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcam4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May-20-2019 at 11:06pm
Mark and Pete,
I tweaked my strut tonight and feel like I got it as good as possible next to pulling the strut. a 12 ft long piece of pipe sure can put some torque on some things! The shaft is centered left to right within ~1/32". It is still low in the log, but has ~1/8" clearance still. I don't see a way to get that better without pulling the strut. Do y'all think those clearances are acceptable? It is much much better than I originally had. I will likely need to adjust all four engine mounts to get the alignment correct now though. Pardon the bad lighting, I didn't pay attention until I had pulled the boat out of the shop and covered it up.

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