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Old 04-14-2009
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Rudder Bearing Info - J/28

We finally got the rudder dropped yesterday from Compass Rose. As you may recall, I had a fair bit of lateral movement in the rudder, which I felt was due to failure of lower bearing. There are many documented cases of J/Boats whose oem Harken bearing have been replaced due to corrosion, etc. I've been researching options and trying to find out more information on the bearing installed in J/28; in the course, I spoke to J/Boats, Harken, TPI (Pearson), Waterline and a few others....no help at all.

More for the FYI of the other 70 J/28 hulls out there....this boat did not, repeat did not, have Harken bearings. Imagine my surprise (and a little dissapointed...not as sexy)....the 'bearing' is simply a stainless collar that turns in a delrin sleeve. There was zero grease remaining. I want to point out that the official "J" owners manual makes NO REFERENCE to the bearing system used or maintenance requirements for the bearings. So, owners...add this to your commission list.

From what I can tell, as we haven't put a micrometer on the surface to measure, the delrin surface has been worn, which is allowing the lateral movement. It's possibly out of round as I can feel some binding towards the ends of travel. There is some surface corrosion on stainless steel sleeve, but nothing that really concerns me at this point.

We have not come up with a solution, at this point.

I am thinking that the delrin sleeve needs to be replaced for sure. Probably will wait to see how the stainless sleeve cleans up. As much as I'd like to throw a roller bearing in there....I probably can't justify the $$$ for the part, plus the engineering costs.

Here are some of the pictures I took. You can visit for the entire library.Picasa Web Albums - Jason - Rudder_Bearing
Attached Thumbnails
Rudder Bearing Info - J/28-cimg1983.jpg   Rudder Bearing Info - J/28-cimg1969.jpg   Rudder Bearing Info - J/28-cimg1970.jpg   Rudder Bearing Info - J/28-cimg1980.jpg   Rudder Bearing Info - J/28-cimg1984.jpg  

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Old 04-14-2009
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You generally do not grease delrin nylon bearings. They're not designed to be used with grease, and if you grease them, they will generally gum up with dirt and dust and wear much faster. They're supposed to be rinsed occasionally, but not greased at all.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
You generally do not grease delrin nylon bearings. They're not designed to be used with grease, and if you grease them, they will generally gum up with dirt and dust and wear much faster. They're supposed to be rinsed occasionally, but not greased at all.
Interesting point. Thanks. If you look at the pictures, you can see the 'holes' in the delrin piece, along with the 'channel' between the two. There is a zerk fitting on each hole. On other J's of similar vintage these holes are occupied by set screws.

The delin part in question here is exposed, as it is below the waterline and below the packing flange that maintains the seal. Would this have any impact whether it is a greasable part? I can't imagine why the zerk fittings would be installed if the builder did not intend the bearing to receive grease.

Either way...we need to figure out how to fix...that is the next step!
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What size is the bearing ?

The bar stock is usally 1",2",3",4",5" Dia ect

Finding tubing in the right size is hit and miss

And then there are a LOT of grades like glass filled
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommays View Post
What size is the bearing ?

The bar stock is usally 1",2",3",4",5" Dia ect

Finding tubing in the right size is hit and miss

And then there are a LOT of grades like glass filled
I don't have the exact measurements, yet. But, I'd estimate the ID of the Delrin bearing is 5" to 5.75". I would expect the OD of the stainless sleeve to be close to the ID of the bearing...agree?

Do you have a recommendation on the proper grade to use?

What does the J/24 use? Do you know?
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J24 uses a SS pins off the transome

I really have no idea BUT i make a LOT of bearings for mixers out of normal delrin and it does fine

I also make a lot of valves spools out it which turn inside SS valve bodys



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Last edited by tommays; 04-14-2009 at 03:46 PM.
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The grease fittings might have been used to provide additional lubrication and to help exclude water from the rudder fitting, which would reduce the risk of the stainless steel corroding.

However, if the previous owner didn't use the zerk fittings to fill the area with grease on a regular basis, it would probably be worse for the stainless steel, since it would not displace the water and trap it against the stainless, leading to increased corrosion of the stainless steel.

Without a better view of the top of the rudder stock, where the stainless steel piece is, which does appear to be fairly corroded, it is hard to say what caused the problem. The band of corrosion does appear to line up with the channel in the delrin though.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
However, if the previous owner didn't use the zerk fittings to fill the area with grease on a regular basis, it would probably be worse for the stainless steel, since it would not displace the water and trap it against the stainless, leading to increased corrosion of the stainless steel.
It is my belief that the PO did not maintain the grease (probably because he did not know to do it).

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Without a better view of the top of the rudder stock, where the stainless steel piece is, which does appear to be fairly corroded, it is hard to say what caused the problem. The band of corrosion does appear to line up with the channel in the delrin though.
The best picture I have of the stock is here: Picasa Web Albums - Jason - Rudder_Bearing
and here:
Picasa Web Albums - Jason - Rudder_Bearing

There are 2 stainless sleeves on the rudderstock; I am dealing with the lower bearing and sleeve for now.

Thanks for the feedback. I think we can agree this was a maintenace failure. Any ideas to repair / replace?
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Do other J/28's have the zerk fittings? I'm guessing these were an after thought. It looks like you have a roller upper bearing, maybe a Harken on the post. The stainless sleeve you have on the post looks the same as the one that is used with lower roller bearings. Is it possible that the boat was built with a Harken lower bearing and that a previous owner wanted to to do a cheaper replacement and added the Delrin bearing and zerk fittings?

Paul L
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If you google "harken rudder bearing'

Jefa, imported by PYI comes up a lot as making copys of them


J40 Rudder Bearings
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