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mwrohde 06-17-2007 09:51 PM

'nother rudder question
Cal 3-27, wheel steering. The rudder post passes through the hull through a fiberglass tower. On the side of this tower or tube is a zirc fitting. I assume, based on the presence of this zirc fitting, that I should apply grease.

The question is what kind and how much?


mwrohde 06-18-2007 01:34 PM

Bumping back up - hoping one more pass through someone will have an answer . . .

Idiens 06-18-2007 03:18 PM

Any chance of a picture?

mwrohde 06-18-2007 03:25 PM


Originally Posted by Idiens
Any chance of a picture?

I was afraid someone would ask that. My camera sucks so bad it won't capture a picture in the engine room.

Picture this. It looks just like the tower Richard Dreyfuss made out of his mashed potatoes in "Close Encounters", except with a zirc fitting on the side. It's molded fiberglass, about 10" tall. At the base it's about 4" or 5" in diameter. At the top it's about 3" in diameter.

If that stunning description is lacking I'll grab somebody's camera and snap a pic.

Idiens 06-18-2007 03:38 PM

OK zirc = zerk. The usual suggestion on the tractor forum is to pump grease in until you see it coming out somewhere. It might work for rudders too, but probably only on the hard, as the grease may choose the route down instead of up. I would squirt 5 fives, waggle the rudder and maybe squirt five more. If your using a good grease gun and after a couple of squirts it goes hard (not the first one, its breaking the seal on the zerk) stop pumping or you may break a shaft seal somewhere.

Cruisingdad 06-18-2007 03:41 PM

In general, squirt until you see it. However, some fittings are sealed and overgreasing will blow the seal. Don't ask me how I know... I SAID DONT ASK.

mwrohde 06-18-2007 04:38 PM

Any particular kind of grease?

Sorry about my spelling. I thought I'd seen z-i-r-c. Even googled it and got some hits. So, away I went.

I'd be surprised if this is a sealed fitting. The boat is 24 years old. Seems to me sealed chassis in cars came much later than that.

Thanks for the help.

sailingdog 06-18-2007 07:23 PM


How do you know... ;)

Goodnewsboy 06-18-2007 08:50 PM

Use a waterproof grease that you can get at the auto parts store. It is commonly used in boat trailer wheel bearings.

Zerk fittings are not a good idea in this application in my opinion. They invite overpressuring the grease containment. Most manual grease guns can generate 5-10 THOUSAND pounds (psi) of pressure. Much safer to use a grease cup if you have any say in the matter. You just give the cup a turn or two a couple of times a season and the problem is taken care of.

Here's a picture of a grease cup:
Grease Cups

Here's another device that has pressure relief:
GUN-filŪ LUBRICATORS : Lube Devices

mwrohde 06-18-2007 10:10 PM

Thanks, folks. I'll get some grease, soon. Zerk fitting is already installed. It's been there 24 years I expect.

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