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SOVT 07-20-2013 06:36 PM

Cutlass bearing replacement
Ok, it's time to replace the cutlass bearing. A search indicates that most of Fuji's yachts have grub screws to secure the bearing.

On my boat however....

The bearing sits inside a fiberglass tube. As far as I can determine there are no grub screws. There is a somewhat soft material fairing the tube to the hull. I removed a piece thinking that there might be screws underneath - no luck.

What do you guys think, just an interference fit?

CalebD 07-20-2013 07:07 PM

Re: Cutlass bearing replacement
There could be a set screw inside the boat.
You will find out when you go to remove the old cutless bearing...

Did you cut your shaft to do this? Definitely the easier way to go.

SOVT 07-20-2013 07:39 PM

Re: Cutlass bearing replacement
I did cut the shaft. There was spalling aft of the cutlass bearing and a healthy groove at the stuffing box.

I guess I will find out later however, I was hoping that someone could tell me that since the housing was fiberglass that bit was probably unlikely.

Hopefully they are not on the inside. It is a real tough spot to get into.

CalebD 07-20-2013 08:48 PM

Re: Cutlass bearing replacement
We did this job back in winter of 2011/12. Our cutless bearing was similar to yours, eg., in the dead wood of the keel, in a cutaway of the rudder. It had no set screws.
We tried forcing the press fit out using the threaded rod, washers, nuts, curses and sweat method - no joy. We had to resort to Plan B of using a Sawzall with a fresh metal blade. It wasn't pretty but it came out with minimal damage to the stern tube. If you go this route make sure to clean out the stern tube well before trying to press in the new bearing. I've read that freezing the new cutless in dry ice can help shrink it when you go to install. We didn't try this. We didn't even use dish soap which would have helped. Pressing the new bearing in was a bytch.

We also cut our shaft inside the boat, behind the engine. Made getting both the prop and coupling a lot easier to remove from the shaft pieces.

Long winded version here: 2011, November 30th. Begin drive train rebuild | Odalisque

smurphny 07-21-2013 07:47 AM

Re: Cutlass bearing replacement
On my A35, the fiberglass surrounding the cutlass has set screws in both sides, tapped right into the glass. They HAVE loosened in the past. I have built up the glass around them to give the allen screws a better bite. Yours may be buried in the glass. Maybe grind the area clean so you can see them. When inserting a new cutlass, mark where any set screws contact the bronze tube of the bearing, then remove the cutlass and drill an inset depression for the set screws to go into. It may pay to set the screws in epoxy and even epoxy them in completely. They can always be drilled out easily.

JimsCAL 07-21-2013 08:28 AM

Re: Cutlass bearing replacement
You're going to have to do it anyway, so just remove the rest of the shaft. Even if there are setscrews that are buried that you can't find at this point, you should be able to remove the bearing by splitting it into pieces and/or collapsing it.

SOVT 07-21-2013 02:53 PM

Re: Cutlass bearing replacement
Thanks all for the great responses.

I have a couple of days off this week and am going to dive into this.

Thanks again

Kutter 07-31-2013 04:45 AM

Re: Cutlass bearing replacement
Why don't you just bed bearings on epoxy as a clearance fit? no press required. This is done on many bearing installations. Removal is also easier, if it's in a metal carrier just heat the carrier and the epoxy softens, if it's in GRP or wood you can coat the bearing in release wax before it's fitted then it can be split away from the carrier with a sharp narrow chisel. This method is proven to be quick, easy and reliable.

SOVT 08-09-2013 09:51 PM

Re: Cutlass bearing replacement
Ok, some gentle surgery with a sawsall got the bearing loose enought to see the grub screws. Another couple of questions.

There are a number of cutlass bearings that meet the size specs. Any recommendations as to make and model?

The grub screws were bedded in a brown putty like material. Any idea what this might be?

Thanks again

CalebD 08-09-2013 10:09 PM

Re: Cutlass bearing replacement

You need a bearing that fits your stern tube and shaft diameter (sounds kinda dirty no?).
Choose one of these and be done with it unless you want a fancier composite Cutless bearing: Cutlass Bearings - Johnson Duramax Cutless Bearing - Naval Brass Inch
4" seems to be a fairly standard size length for these bearings.

Brown stuff: could be old polyester resin? Who knows. Replace it with thickened epoxy.

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