I just removed my prop shaft from my E-42. I thought I would need to completely remove the rudder to do this. The shaft hits the rudder before coming completely out of the stern tube.
I carefully lowered the rudder using a floor jack. There is a pivit point about 1/3 down the rudder, the lowest attachment point of the rudder. I lowered the rudder so that spot lined up with the shaft and the shaft just barely came out. Barely was close enough!
I first cut the flange off the shaft for removal. www.marineengineering.com
makes them. I bought a new flange for $65. The reason for pulling the shaft out was to mate the shaft to the flange. Tollerences are too tight to expect a good fit with every shaft/flange. For $35 I'll get the flange perfectly sized to the shaft at a machine shop. Talking .001 tolerances.
Why do all this in the first place? 2 reasons...
The hose on the stuffing box was beginning to swell and was going to need replacement.
Second is that the drip was very slow, the stuffing box was working fine. But the little drip I have was going right onto my new SS fuel tank. I'm putting on a new PSS dripless shaft seal. I'll be keeping the keel sump bone dry.