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  #1  
Old 10-24-2011
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Question Contemplating a drive line overhaul

My '87 O'day 35 has been hauled for the season. When I launched her, for the first time, this spring, I knew that the cutlass bearing was getting old. Toward the end of the sailing season I noticed that the engine vibrations were getting scary, and I believe that I had some knocking of the prop shaft on the strut.

When she was originally launched, she was equipped with a Universal M25 diesel, a transmission (that was replaced with a new HBW-50 in 2004), a 4" coupling, a 1" bronze prop shaft, a conventional stuffing box, a strut, and a Michigan 16" prop.

Here is a pic from this past spring:
Starting at the transmission


The stuffing box


The whole package


The shaft


The strut


And the prop


You can see that there ain't no way that I am going to get the coupling off that shaft and have either one of them survive, so I guess that I am on the hook for a new coupling and shaft.

FIRST QUESTION: Can you still find a 1" Bronze shaft anywhere?

I've googled around a bit, and come to the conclusion that you cannot. Therefore I am looking at replacing the bronze shaft with a stainless steel shaft. One vendor recommends something called "Aqualoy-22" for it's corrosion resistance (~$230). - I am not sure of the length, but I believe that it is 49".

That coupling IS toast. I am therefore looking at replacing it. My option is a regular coupling for ~$50 + ~$80 to machine the shaft, or a Vetus Bullflex 2 coupling, which will NOT require machining the shaft. I am told that this will compensate for a shaft that is up to 2º out of alignment, it will also help reduce engine vibration, and it will isolate the prop shaft from the bonding system, so I will not have to worry about galvanic corrosion from stray current in the marina. (I will still need a Nylon bore reducer to isolate the propeller from the shaft, however.)

SECOND QUESTION: Does anyone out there have experience with the Bullflex coupling? Is it really WORTH ~$450?!?!?

Then there is that ancient stuffing box... I have no idea how old it is, although I did repack it (successfully!) this spring. I fear that the hose will let go when am I least ready for it, and I'll find my boat at the bottom of the harbor. I am considering replacing it with a PSS Shaft seal.

THIRD QUESTION: Is the PSS Seal really worth ~$250, or should I continue to use the old stuffing box (this is getting expensive!).

Finally, before I hauled the boat, I was prompted to replace the zincs on the prop shaft and scrape the prop because the engine was vibrating a LOT. I watched in horror as the engine seemed to vibrate over ¼" under load. Also, while I believe that the motor mounts were new in '04, at least one of them looks questionable:


I have read elsewhere that the Vetus K75 mounts are a good fit for this engine. I would not want to have mismatched engine mounts, so I am looking at 4 Vetus K75 engine mounts.

FOURTH QUESTION: Does anyone have any experience, or advice, with these?

The last part (the part I NEED) is a Johnson Duramax cutlass bearing for ~$35...

All told, after shopping around, the total comes to about $1,200 in parts alone.

You may notice in the above picture that the oil pan looks questionable too. I just purchased a used Kubota pan for $25 on ebay (PN: 15371-01614), which, with some drilling, a gasket and some screws, will replace the Universal Pan that retails for $400. Heck, I may even be able to clean up the existing pan, but would prefer to have a backup - just in case.

Feedback welcome!

Last edited by eherlihy; 10-24-2011 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 10-24-2011
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It would be interesting to compare the photo of the shaft in the strut to one taken today...

btw... looks like you had Mainesail change out that through-hull for you!! Nice job!
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Old 10-24-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
It would be interesting to compare the photo of the shaft in the strut to one taken today...

btw... looks like you had Mainesail change out that through-hull for you!! Nice job!
The shaft in the strut would look very different. Shortly before she launched, I painted the whole underwater works with transducer paint. I believe that it helped, because I could only use the boat on weekends over the summer, and I only had to have the prop scraped in October.

Here is a pic;


And another;


MS didn't do the work on the through hull, but he did show me how.

Thank you!
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Last edited by eherlihy; 10-24-2011 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 10-25-2011
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Question

Hey Faster,

If you liked that through hull, you'll love this one for the sink drain;
Before:

It had a piece of painted marine ply for a backing plate, and gobs of 2 different color sealants on the outside flange. No big surprise that it rocked slightly. I was using those old calipers to measure the OD for the new base.

After:

Set on a G10 backing plate with black 4200 as sealant. I also used pipe dope with teflon to seal the tailpiece threads. I feel that I got the epoxy fillet just right on this one.

No comments on my proposed hardware upgrades (1" Bronze prop shaft, Vetus Bullflex Coupling experience, PSS Shaft seal, Vetus K75 Engine mounts) in the OP yet?

Right now, I am leaning away from the Bronze shaft because the PSS seal is stainless, and the seal and the shaft would be in direct contact. I believe that a stainless prop shaft is OK because there is a Nylon reducing bushing between the bronze prop and the shaft, and a rubber cutlass bearing between the shaft and the bronze strut. Make sense?
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Old 10-25-2011
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Looks just like my boat Eh! The shaft on mine is stainless but the prop is bronze so I wonder bout that. I have the PSS seal and love it When we did the cutless bearing We used a hack saw blade then the sawzall to cut it long ways inside. Then using a round sharp pointed awl pried it inward enough that it could be pulled out. Only after were we able to get the set screws out. The hub was real PITA, but after more then a few hours of using longer bolts a piece of steel with a socket between it and the shaft end, and lots of PB blaster it did slowly come off. There wasn't room for a puller. The Prop was really hard to get off the shaft! Finally a friend had a super strong and large "snap on" 3 jaw puller that worked with a the shock from a hammer.

I would suggest getting the prop and shaft balanced and trued. maybe even the new shaft, should you get one. Mine has a vibration at a higher rpm but not enough to be scary.
Gotta love the new sea valves!

ps; Yes, the rudder needs to be dropped
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Old 10-25-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post



You can see that there ain't no way that I am going to get the coupling off that shaft and have either one of them survive, so I guess that I am on the hook for a new coupling and shaft.
With a bronze shaft use a sawzall with 14TPI metal blade. You will cut through it in under 2 minutes with no messy dust.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
FIRST QUESTION: Can you still find a 1" Bronze shaft anywhere?

First answer no, and a question, why? The AQ 22 shafts are far better in nearly all regards especially with newer graphite impregnated packings, which bronze shafts REALLY dislike. The term "bronze" is a misnomer anyway. They are basically up to 40% zinc and are more of a manganese bronze than a true marine bronze. They were called Tobin bronze but it has a very high zinc content. No one is making bronze shafts anymore and if anyone tries to sell you one it is not shafting bronze but rather rod stock...

Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
I've googled around a bit, and come to the conclusion that you cannot. Therefore I am looking at replacing the bronze shaft with a stainless steel shaft. One vendor recommends something called "Aqualoy-22" for it's corrosion resistance (~$230). - I am not sure of the length, but I believe that it is 49".
Try to avoid buying shafting on-line. You have two EXCELLENT shafting shops in your area Roses in Glocester and New England Propeller/Ron Peck. The on-line shafting work I have seen has been JUNK and not to industry spec. Sloppy coupling fits, no spooning of the keyway, no shaft spotting, runout of more than what is acceptable, incorrect lengths etc. etc.. You may get lucky but why bother with two excellent shops so close by who will 100% stand behind their work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
That coupling IS toast. I am therefore looking at replacing it. My option is a regular coupling for ~$50 + ~$80 to machine the shaft, or a Vetus Bullflex 2 coupling, which will NOT require machining the shaft. I am told that this will compensate for a shaft that is up to 2º out of alignment, it will also help reduce engine vibration, and it will isolate the prop shaft from the bonding system, so I will not have to worry about galvanic corrosion from stray current in the marina. (I will still need a Nylon bore reducer to isolate the propeller from the shaft, however.)
If your engine is your earth ground it is required under ABYC P-06 to jump across any isolating shaft spacer or coupling to keep this earth potential. On top of that your engine WILL NOT be isolated as you are still connected to earth via the cooling system intake. Stick with a regular split coupling of go with the Vetus but do not try and isolate it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
SECOND QUESTION: Does anyone out there have experience with the Bullflex coupling? Is it really WORTH ~$450?!?!?
Yes I do and no I don't feel it is worth anywhere near what they sell for. You can buy a Buck Algonquin split coupling for about $65.00 and a good shafting shop will fit and face it anyway in the price of the shaft and coupling. You then align the boat and away you go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post

Then there is that ancient stuffing box... I have no idea how old it is, although I did repack it (successfully!) this spring. I fear that the hose will let go when am I least ready for it, and I'll find my boat at the bottom of the harbor. I am considering replacing it with a PSS Shaft seal.
When you get the shaft out take it to your bench grinder with a brass wheel in it and clean it. The thing will clean up as good as new. It is 85-5-5-5 bronze and will likely outlast you and the boat. A new hose is about $8.00. That is a Spartan stuffing box and they are one of the best built. You can buy the wrenches for it directly from Spartan Bronze.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
THIRD QUESTION: Is the PSS Seal really worth ~$250, or should I continue to use the old stuffing box (this is getting expensive!).
If you had a v-drive I might say yes but with the new packings you are fine sticking with what you have and $8.00 for a new 6 ply Buck Algonquin stuffing box hose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
Finally, before I hauled the boat, I was prompted to replace the zincs on the prop shaft and scrape the prop because the engine was vibrating a LOT. I watched in horror as the engine seemed to vibrate over ¼" under load. Also, while I believe that the motor mounts were new in '04, at least one of them looks questionable:
I have never been a fan of the Bushings Inc. mounts and I would never have them on my own boat.. The factory Westerbeke/Universal mounts are far quieter, considerably better built and will transmit a LOT LESS noise and vibration to your hull. The drawback is the hole centers are longer on the factory mounts. Motors DO MOVE under load that is why they are not hard bolted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
I have read elsewhere that the Vetus K75 mounts are a good fit for this engine. I would not want to have mismatched engine mounts, so I am looking at 4 Vetus K75 engine mounts.
I have worked on boats with the K-75's and while slightly better than the Bushing's Inc. mounts I still would choose the factory mount every time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
FOURTH QUESTION: Does anyone have any experience, or advice, with these?
If the hole centers are the same try them PYI's mounts are also decent and I like them better than the K-75 but still not as good as factory Westerbeke.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
The last part (the part I NEED) is a Johnson Duramax cutlass bearing for ~$35...

All told, after shopping around, the total comes to about $1,200 in parts alone.
Go with a local shafting shop, which will be more money, but lose the PSS, Bull Flex and other unnecessary items and you'll be good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
You may notice in the above picture that the oil pan looks questionable too. I just purchased a used Kubota pan for $25 on ebay (PN: 15371-01614), which, with some drilling, a gasket and some screws, will replace the Universal Pan that retails for $400. Heck, I may even be able to clean up the existing pan, but would prefer to have a backup - just in case.

Feedback welcome!
I've seen pans a LOT worse. Once put my finger through one...

Dezincification like this, on bronze shafts, is not unusual. I removed this shaft last Monday and found his shaft was literally FLAKING off under the packing. No wonder it leaked.. It was also dezincified under the prop and cutlass.. While it did last about 25 years this shaft has passed by "safe for use" a number of years ago...



The dezincification was not just on the "surface"... (cut with a sawzall BTW)


It also extended down the shaft as well.
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 10-25-2011 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 10-25-2011
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Awesome - thank you Denise and MS.

Denise, I think that I can squeak by the rudder (I hope so!). My boat is a 35, and I believe that I have more room between the shaft log and the rudder.

I just got off the phone with New England Propeller. They believe that the total for the shaft & work will be in the $600 range, and probably $70 for a bearing.

I know that the Bullflex coupling only accommodates a 2º shaft misalignment MAX. You've convinced me to forgo it.

The OEM Mounts are $165 each!!!

What are they; impregnated with Gold?

The mount that you see (rusted) is a Dual-Flex 206;


What I don't like about either of these is that the top acts like a cup and retains any water that comes into it, thus the corrosion.

The Vetus mounts look like this;


and should shed any liquid that splashes on them..
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Old 10-25-2011
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I've bought stuff from these guys several times - shaft, bearings, zincs, etc. Happy with their service and products.

Boat Propellers, Inboard Propellers, Cutlass Bearings, Zinc Anodes, Boat Shafts, Shaft Seals and so much more...
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Old 10-25-2011
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Check Bushing Inc for your isolators/mounts...and go2marine for pricing, I found them for much less than what I saw at Torrensens
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Old 10-25-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
Awesome - thank you Denise and MS.

Denise, I think that I can squeak by the rudder (I hope so!). My boat is a 35, and I believe that I have more room between the shaft log and the rudder.

I just got off the phone with New England Propeller. They believe that the total for the shaft & work will be in the $600 range, and probably $70 for a bearing.

I know that the Bullflex coupling only accommodates a 2º shaft misalignment MAX. You've convinced me to forgo it.

The OEM Mounts are $165 each!!!

What are they; impregnated with Gold?

The mount that you see (rusted) is a Dual-Flex 206;


What I don't like about either of these is that the top acts like a cup and retains any water that comes into it, thus the corrosion.

The Vetus mounts look like this;


and should shed any liquid that splashes on them..
The red colored mount is the OEM style I am referring to not the Bushing's Inc. mounts. Universal used to use Bushing's Inc mounts but they really are a poor mount.

If you want to replace the Bushings Inc. type mounts DO NOT buy them from the dealer they can be had for a lot less and much closer to what they might be worth.

The new Universals ship with the red style mounts though they now have a solid cap cover. They are an excellent design if not inexpensive..


The red mount on the right was replaced at 2800 hours and was still working fine. The two failed Bushings Inc. mounts at 640 hours....
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