Cutlass bearing replacment - SailNet Community

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Old 03-22-2011
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Cutlass bearing replacment

After searching until my eyes have crossed can anyone tell me a simple way to tell if a cutlass bearing needs to be replaced. The boat is pulled and now would be the prefect time. I just don't want to do any unneeded work. Heaven knows I have enough to do anyway.
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Old 03-22-2011
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Can you wiggle your prop shaft ? Is there vibration when the engine is running ?
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Old 03-23-2011
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Lack of movement as posted. The shaft shoulf fit snugly in the cutlass. If it can be moved side to side it needs replacing. Easy to do usually.
Here's a link that might help.
Replacing A Cutlass Bearing Photo Gallery by Compass Marine at pbase.com
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Old 03-23-2011
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I've also found it easier to press in a new cutlass bearing that has been left in a freezer or on ice for a time before the task. A little contraction does wonders. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Thanks

Thanks for the replies so far. No vibration noted and only slight movement. I wasn't sure how much movement was normal due to the rubber. Mine is mounted in a stern tube and not a strut so I was a little worried about getting it out without doing any damage to the rest of the assembly. Should I take a better safe than sorry approach and just change it? I know it has not been changed in at least 10 years.
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Old 03-23-2011
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Cutlass bearings are best checked when in water or immediately after haul-out.
The should have no 'play'.
After storage one may experience a play as the bearing 'dries out'.
If possible post a pic and let us have a look.
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Old 03-23-2011
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I can't help myself. Can anyone tell me if 12 hours of labor sounds right to remove and replace a cutlass bearing with a hydraulic press (ie shaft did not have to be removed) and remove, clean and replace the max-prop? I was told that the cutlass bearing needed two holes tapped in it for the hold down screws.
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Old 03-23-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I can't help myself. Can anyone tell me if 12 hours of labor sounds right to remove and replace a cutlass bearing with a hydraulic press (ie shaft did not have to be removed) and remove, clean and replace the max-prop? I was told that the cutlass bearing needed two holes tapped in it for the hold down screws.
If your boat is like mine with a prop strut and spade rudder behind, 12 hours is about 3 times the time it took me to do similar work by myself in a rain storm. Seriously, using a "Strut-Pro" tool, I removed the prop, pressed out the old bearing (isn't it really a bushing?), pressed in the new bearing/bushing, cleaned the prop and reinstalled it, cleaned the prop shaft and replaced the zincs in about 4 hours working alone, under the boat in pouring rain. No doubt a Max Prop is more difficult to remove than my fixed prop, but it couldn't take that much longer.

As far as tapping holes for hold down screws I can't see why they'd be needed if the manufacturer designed the strut/bearing for a press in fit. My boat didn't have set screws though some boats apparently do. At any rate, it should only take a few minutes to drill and tap 2 holes.
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Old 03-23-2011
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midlife,

I totally agree. The worst part is they estimated the job at 4 to 6 hours, which I thought was on the high side, but didn't want to nit pick. Unlike most bearings, where the hold down screws just press against the bearing, these tap into it. Drilling and tapping should be pretty darn easy. Removing, cleaning the grease out of the max-prop and reinstalling should be about 90 mins. Just to clarify, the boat was already on the hard for all of this.

It was a complete rip-off and I was held hostage to pay it so I could get launched and move the boat to it's summer marina. I won't publish the name of the marina in the Bay (although I'm tempted), but will respond to anyone local that sends me a PM and wants to avoid it. They have a clear reputation for over billing hours, which is why I asked for the estimate. Obviously, I have no intention to winter there next year and am glad to spread the warning.
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