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  #1  
Old 09-07-2009
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Drive shaft bearing

Hello. I have a Columbia 8.3. The drive shaft is a little sloppy in the bearing or seal where it emerges from the hull. Can someone tell me what is involved in replacing the seal or bearing or is the shaft supposed to be loose in this area. Thanks
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Old 09-11-2009
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I replaced the cutlass bearing on my 8.7 last winter. I don't know the differences between the 8.3 and the 8.7 so some of this may not apply. It is a big job. However, I had to pull and replace the shaft any way so as long as I was that far into it I replaced the bearing. I had thrown the shaft on the way into winter storage and bent it. As the boat was being hauled I had them take it as high as possible on the travel lift. That allowed me to drop the rudder out without having to dig a hole to drop it into. Then, while on the stands I pulled the shaft and replaced the bearing. Hint: the bearing is a simple jam fit. While you are at it repack your stuffing box. Carefully check your engine mounts for cracks. I had to get 2 welded. Then reverse the process. Hint: get a set of extra long bolts for the rudder post flanges. We had the boat back up on the travel lift when we realized the old bolts had been cut to fit after compression and needed longer ones to catch the thread. The yard manager was totally pissed when it took 2 hours to locate the bolts and we had his lift tied up on a busy Spring Sunday.

BTW, anyone know of an 8.7 that is being scrapped. I need a pair of the stern chocks.

Good luck with your shaft bearing.

BTW, I just started a 3 plus week solo cruise around Door County WI. The weather is fantastic but it took 25 hours under power to get up from Chicago in a north wind.

Jim Haring
Chi Lin 8.7 # 179
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Old 09-12-2009
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Thanks Jim. This is good information. Do I need to remove the shaft in order to remove the cutlass bearing and can you tell me where you got the new bearing. Thanks again.
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Old 01-15-2010
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Originally Posted by weephee View Post
Thanks Jim. This is good information. Do I need to remove the shaft in order to remove the cutlass bearing and can you tell me where you got the new bearing. Thanks again.
ya don't necessarily have to remove the shaft, but the props gotta go. once that's done you should be able to remove the bearing housing. the bearing sleeve is pressed into this. at this point check the shaft where it works in the bearing for wear. if badly worn, more than a one thirty second of an inch step, then you should replace the shaft also........
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Old 01-17-2010
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Thanks ssneade for your reply. The replacement bearing is 3 inches long. How do I get the old one out without removing the shaft. Do I just chip away at the outer sleeve until I can get onto it with some vice grips and pull or is there another way. Thanks
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Old 01-17-2010
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Originally Posted by weephee View Post
Thanks ssneade for your reply. The replacement bearing is 3 inches long. How do I get the old one out without removing the shaft. Do I just chip away at the outer sleeve until I can get onto it with some vice grips and pull or is there another way. Thanks
normally the bearing housing is bolted to the keel which requires only unbolting it and sliding it off the shaft. then you can better examine the housing to see if the sleeve is pressed or bradded in. if not, shaft removal may be necessary......

shaft removal is not that big of a job. soak the coupling down with some good quality penetrating oil and let it sit a few days. loosen the coupling set screws, then remove the coupling bolts from the clutch. back shaft away from the clutch and spray again with penetrating oil. tap on the coupling where it fits on the shaft with a ball peen hammer (ball side) slide the shaft all the way to the stuffing box and apply some locking pliers to the shaft exposed outside against the cutlass bearing. then tap the flange side of the coupling from side to side to work the coupling from the shaft. remove the key from the shaft if it didn't come off with the coupling and slide it out of the keel. do not get discouraged. there is not much room to work in there, but it can be done............

at this point you can service yer stuffing box as well.........
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Old 02-07-2010
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Thanks again for your response In order to remove the shaft, I will also have to remove the rudder I think. That looks like an even bigger job. I can't do anything until spring but it sure would be nice to get the bearing out without removing the shaft
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