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Old 06-01-2008
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Replacing rudder bearings,

I'm replacing the rudder bearings on the P 33-2, the originals were quite worn. I manufactured two new Derlin bearings with an o/d of 3" and an i/d of 2.350" both 4" long. The problem is how to install the new ones.
The old bearings were also Delrin and were pressed into the fiberglass tube at the top and the bottom. I tried pressing them out but they wouldn't budge, so I tried to cut them out in two sections, they still wouldent budge. Finally I made four cuts and pried them out.
I was surprised to see that they were installed by drilling 2 small holes, (1/4)" 1.5" up from the bottom of the bearing going through the bearing and into the glass tube then injecting epoxy? to create a sort of dowell. I have no clue how they did this as it was done from inside the derlin bearing, and I dont know of any right angle drill small enough to fit inside the bearing. There is no access to outside of the glass tube to try and go at it in the other direction, It has to be done from inside the bearing.
Has anyone seen this before? Any thoughts on how to fasten them?
I'm thinking about drilling a small hole, vertically, on either side of the bottom bearing, half in the glass tube and half in the bearing then tapping it and setting some machine screws with a dab of epoxy. It's the upper bearing that poses the biggest problem because there's almost no access.
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Old 06-01-2008
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It sounds as if the rudder post tube was pre-assembled before they installed in in the hull. Without thought of those bearings needing replacement far down the time line of the vessel's life.
As you install the new bearings. See if you can put in a Zerk fitting on each bearing for a monthly shot of grease. Zerk fittings come in all sizes and shapes and there could be one that can be used as retaining screw also.
So far it sounds as if you have a good plan. If it is a press fit you may want to have a long threaded rod running through the tube and with over-sized washers and nuts you can slowly press the bearings in place.
The upper one you may want to predrill and tap and have the retaining set screws entering from the inside and into the wall of the tubing with the heads below the level of the inner diameter of the bearing.
Consulting with a good marine machinist will help here in that he has the experience necessary for such work.
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Old 06-02-2008
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Thanks for the ideas Boasun. I like the idea of being able to lubricate them once in a while.
I re examined the upper part of the tube yesterday and I think I'll be able to access the last 1/4" of it. My plan now it to cut several shallow slots on the outside of the upper bearing, insert it into the fiberglass sleeve then inject thickened epoxy into the slots. The epoxy will adhere to the sleeve creating a key way, then I'll place two small machine screws through that last 1/4" of glass into the new bearing, as a fail safe. Does this sound resonable?
What a miserable design.
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