Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cutlass Bearing Removal

     If the shafts are out, it is foolish not to replace the cutlass bearings at the same time. And my shafts are out.... The first picture is the removal tool I put together:
     The rod is a 16 inch long piece of 1/2" - 20 threaded rod, with a stack of 2 very thick bearing washers on one end, and a custom machined puller tool at the other. The tube is a machined piece of heavy wall stainless 2 1/2" tubing that was leftover from an automotive exhaust project. Once the set screws were loosened in the strut, I mounted the tool to the strut, as shown:
     I lubricated the nut, washers, and threaded rod with assembly lube, and started cranking. About 10 minutes and a sore arm later, the bearing was out. And that reminds me of one of the things about larger boats that can be so dismaying - you have to do everything twice!!!! So, I moved all the tools over to the other side, and pulled the other bearing as well. Both of them were quite worn. If you look closely in the pics below, it is just visible how one side of one of the bearing is more worn than the other - a clear sign of running with a misaligned shaft.

     So, before I can proceed further, I will be checking the strut alignment with the hull. Visually, it appears the starboard side strut needs a slight re-alignment, but I need to check. I will detail the re-alignment, if required, in a subsequent post.

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