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