Shaft/gearbox coming away from engine!! - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 14 Old 10-13-2013 Thread Starter
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Shaft/gearbox coming away from engine!!

Has anyone had this happen??

It just happened to us. Out for a pleasant weekend sailing, go to motor off the anchor and the engine won't go into gear. Strange crunching and metal noises. Have a look in the engine bay and the gearbox/shaft has come off the(now cracked) casing thingy.

Very annoying.

Had my shaft seal(a pss dripless) replaced recently...and the engine lifted to better align. hmmmm could that have caused the engine and gearbox to no longer be friends?

At the moment we are happily anchored in a delightful, wonderful little anchorage. 500 nm from the mechanic that did the work.

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Last edited by chall03; 10-13-2013 at 03:49 AM.
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post #2 of 14 Old 10-13-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Shaft/gearbox coming away from engine!!

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post #3 of 14 Old 10-13-2013
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Re: Shaft/gearbox coming away from engine!!

the people that did the shaft work and new PSS will claim 'NOTHING WE DID"! were bolts missing from the flange? One bolt missing would cause it stress the rest of the mounting plate. Did you get back to port ok?

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post #4 of 14 Old 10-13-2013
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Re: Shaft/gearbox coming away from engine!!

Wow... amazed at the degree of failure of that mounting flange. Must have been subjected to some stresses unless it was a faulty casting to begin with.

Did the dripless seal hold still?

Ron

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post #5 of 14 Old 10-13-2013
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Re: Shaft/gearbox coming away from engine!!

Well

The cracks i can see are BRAND NEW and i do NOT see any OLD cracks which would have lost that shiny new look pretty fast

i only see TWO bolts in place and two or more empty holes ?

It does look the crack started on top and speaking of the top were is it ?

i guess the good news is it only looks like the flange is damaged

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Last edited by tommays; 10-13-2013 at 10:55 AM.
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post #6 of 14 Old 10-13-2013
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Re: Shaft/gearbox coming away from engine!!

Chall, I would guess it was an alignment problem that caused this. If the shaft and engine had been in perfect alignment the forces on the bolts and flange are minimal (there is no force trying to push the flange sideways). Being 500nm away from the guys who aligned your engine makes going after them a bit harder ... I also question why they didn't replace the bolts with new ones- anyone who doesn't replace rusty bolts is obviously not very thorough in my opinion. I hope you can get it fixed where you are.

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post #7 of 14 Old 10-13-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Shaft/gearbox coming away from engine!!

Thanks all for advice and encouragement.
The dripless seal did hold, but I do have to sail a few miles to get us back I am concerned about shaft movement and the seal giving way.

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Last edited by chall03; 10-13-2013 at 05:10 PM.
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post #8 of 14 Old 10-13-2013
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Re: Shaft/gearbox coming away from engine!!

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Originally Posted by chall03 View Post
Thanks all for advice and encouragement.
The dripless seal did hold, but I do have to sail a few miles to get us back I am concerned about shaft movement and the seal giving way.
Chall... I'd wrap the collar and the bellows end ring wth some decent tape before you start bouncing around under sail.. if those two rings shift from each other they leak a lot...

Ron

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post #9 of 14 Old 10-13-2013
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Re: Shaft/gearbox coming away from engine!!

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Originally Posted by copacabana View Post
Chall, I would guess it was an alignment problem that caused this. If the shaft and engine had been in perfect alignment the forces on the bolts and flange are minimal (there is no force trying to push the flange sideways). Being 500nm away from the guys who aligned your engine makes going after them a bit harder ... I also question why they didn't replace the bolts with new ones- anyone who doesn't replace rusty bolts is obviously not very thorough in my opinion. I hope you can get it fixed where you are.
I can't imagine why a re-alignment of engine/shaft would require the bolts holding the bellhousing (cracked part) to the engine to be removed.

I can imagine that a serious misalignment would cause the housing to eventually break but by then anyone in the boat would have to have their teeth seen to after having them rattle loose.

Maybe the lifting of the engine/transmission from the back could have cracked the housing if the engine was lifted far enough to come in contact with something else on the way up ( like a bulkhead). As Tommays says, those cracks are clearly brand new so something recent has changed to cause this.

Did the contractor replace any engine mounts? Maybe that required a higher lift that usual. A simple re-aligment would not require a very high lift of the assembly, maybe a few millimetres.

Sure is strange
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post #10 of 14 Old 10-13-2013
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Re: Shaft/gearbox coming away from engine!!

CH .... all I can say is erk. We've had something similar happen on two occasions. After installing new shaft seal the mechanic firstly failed to properly fit the clamps. As soon as she went into gear the entire thing simply ripped away. Nearly lost her over that. Secondly, they had failed to properly tighten the connection from shaft to gearbox so that it simply separated itself and the shaft tried to exit stage rear. Thankfully the only damage we suffered was to my poor skinned knuckles as I tried to reattach the bloody thing while we were still moving.

btw .. what Fast said. You need to stabilise the shaft before you go for a sail. You do not want the damn thing moving about or even sliding out and possibly getting tangled up in your rudder. Obviously that would depend on where you rudder is in relation to your prop.

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