Join Date: May 2007
Location: Half Moon Bay
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Old Bronze Quadrant Removal - Help!!!
HELP - how do you tear apart/remove an old bronze quadrant???
After being pinned down in a harbor (a pretty sweet harbor I must admit) for 10 years with a rotted keel mounted rudder, gudgeon and pintle assemblies that have more iron oxide than steel content and no haul-out facility, after diving 20 times to try to repair 'the one I have' and finding that road a nightmare, I am moving in the direction I have seen on other sailboats - stern mounted, flip-up rudder I can attach directly to a wind-vane and if it snags anything enroute, it kicks up and dumps the line, log or sandbar. The transom assembly is done and 100 times more solid than the old deadwood version, offering more leverage, but a larger turning radius - I'll live and the wheel will be lighter so I'll smile about it too.
Meanwhile the gorgeous quadrant on the rotted rudder continues to stick up through the floor of the aft cabin - luckily the rudder tube (reasonably intact steel pipe with threads) is well above the water line, so once removed I can either cap it off or use it for a manifold. That said REMOVING the quadrant has been a bit of a bear and any hints or help would be appreciated as it doesn't seem to want to 'let go' after removing all the bolts.
Here's what I've done:
a) removed the bolts that hold the top half of the outer body to the lower half which is bolted to the hull. The top half has a large disc in it that is 'rusted tight' to the old rudder post (1 inch sold steel rod), and I am not sure, but it looks like that 'disc' is part of the quadrant gear as well (or the upper part of a sandwiched disc set). With a crowbarI can slightly pry (.5MM) the upper body from the lower body, but it settles back quickly. I am assuming the weight of the old rudder (a water logged 3x5 slab) is pulling everything DOWN.
b) removed the master link (chain drive) eliminating tension and dropped the chain from the wheel off the 8 foot shaft that drives the quadrant worm gear, as well as remove all bolts holding the shaft bearings to various wood beams. I also removed a small/tiny locking bolt/pin (allen-wrench) that held that shaft to the quadrant's worm gear. I had hoped that by removing the tiny allen bolt it would 'break free' from the quadrant drive shaft on the worm gear, leaving only the quadrant arc and upper/lower body but it appears seized onto the quadrant drive and somehow locked within the sandwich created by the upper/lower body. This means the rotating shaft should (theory) possibly come forward off that worm gear drive bolt, but appears also rusted tight.
(I have sprayed plenty of WD-40 on everything as I go and the bronze housing bolts came off like a dream after 35 years - angels do smile on us now and then).
c) I have tried to crowbar the body up and down (.5MM above) and am going to rig a 2-ton come-along to literally LIFT the rudder post up 3 inches which will hopefully allow me to work the top housing body back and forth or look inside between the top/bottom housing to see if I can spot a lock bolt/key/pin that will allow the rudder post to 'drop' out of the bottom of the quadrant. While its currently a solid steel rusted rod at the moment, that looks well seated/frozen within that disc, I am hoping the weight of the rudder vs. the come-along tension will break that grip and let the rudder post start to move, breaking 4 decades of rust. A torch my be helpful as some of my friends have said to break anything rusted for 35 years is a lot easier after applying substantial heat to the equation.
d) I can supply digital photos to help identify QUADRANT TYPE etc., easily (and post them on the web etc.), and since I often develop online classes for kids, can even make a class of this (if anyone's interested), but any help from anyone who has stripped, assembled a quadrant would be greatly appreciated. I am not sure about any lock bolts or other housing tricks and am not sure how the 'disc' or arc portion has attached to the rudder post/shaft. Perhaps rotating the arc far enough will reveal bolts that can be loosened to un-clamp the quadrant from the rudder post.
The objective: remove, resize disc and put on rear rudder post which is done, ready to go, then move the bearings and shaft with sprockets to the new wheel assembly I have also already completed. This move actually frees up a substantial amount of room in my tiny cockpit as well after I rip out the bulkhead mounted plywood pedestal the original wheel shaft/bearings were/are mounted to.
Any takers want to help with what should be a simple job? Pizza is on me after I'm done and yes - I can probably order it in your city and have it delivered.