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Old 10-24-2011
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Question Contemplating a drive line overhaul

My '87 O'day 35 has been hauled for the season. When I launched her, for the first time, this spring, I knew that the cutlass bearing was getting old. Toward the end of the sailing season I noticed that the engine vibrations were getting scary, and I believe that I had some knocking of the prop shaft on the strut.

When she was originally launched, she was equipped with a Universal M25 diesel, a transmission (that was replaced with a new HBW-50 in 2004), a 4" coupling, a 1" bronze prop shaft, a conventional stuffing box, a strut, and a Michigan 16" prop.

Here is a pic from this past spring:
Starting at the transmission


The stuffing box


The whole package


The shaft


The strut


And the prop


You can see that there ain't no way that I am going to get the coupling off that shaft and have either one of them survive, so I guess that I am on the hook for a new coupling and shaft.

FIRST QUESTION: Can you still find a 1" Bronze shaft anywhere?

I've googled around a bit, and come to the conclusion that you cannot. Therefore I am looking at replacing the bronze shaft with a stainless steel shaft. One vendor recommends something called "Aqualoy-22" for it's corrosion resistance (~$230). - I am not sure of the length, but I believe that it is 49".

That coupling IS toast. I am therefore looking at replacing it. My option is a regular coupling for ~$50 + ~$80 to machine the shaft, or a Vetus Bullflex 2 coupling, which will NOT require machining the shaft. I am told that this will compensate for a shaft that is up to 2º out of alignment, it will also help reduce engine vibration, and it will isolate the prop shaft from the bonding system, so I will not have to worry about galvanic corrosion from stray current in the marina. (I will still need a Nylon bore reducer to isolate the propeller from the shaft, however.)

SECOND QUESTION: Does anyone out there have experience with the Bullflex coupling? Is it really WORTH ~$450?!?!?

Then there is that ancient stuffing box... I have no idea how old it is, although I did repack it (successfully!) this spring. I fear that the hose will let go when am I least ready for it, and I'll find my boat at the bottom of the harbor. I am considering replacing it with a PSS Shaft seal.

THIRD QUESTION: Is the PSS Seal really worth ~$250, or should I continue to use the old stuffing box (this is getting expensive!).

Finally, before I hauled the boat, I was prompted to replace the zincs on the prop shaft and scrape the prop because the engine was vibrating a LOT. I watched in horror as the engine seemed to vibrate over ¼" under load. Also, while I believe that the motor mounts were new in '04, at least one of them looks questionable:


I have read elsewhere that the Vetus K75 mounts are a good fit for this engine. I would not want to have mismatched engine mounts, so I am looking at 4 Vetus K75 engine mounts.

FOURTH QUESTION: Does anyone have any experience, or advice, with these?

The last part (the part I NEED) is a Johnson Duramax cutlass bearing for ~$35...

All told, after shopping around, the total comes to about $1,200 in parts alone.

You may notice in the above picture that the oil pan looks questionable too. I just purchased a used Kubota pan for $25 on ebay (PN: 15371-01614), which, with some drilling, a gasket and some screws, will replace the Universal Pan that retails for $400. Heck, I may even be able to clean up the existing pan, but would prefer to have a backup - just in case.

Feedback welcome!

Last edited by eherlihy; 10-24-2011 at 09:30 PM.
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