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Old 09-10-2009
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Drive shaft bearing

Hello. I had this question in the Columbia site but didn't get an answer so I'm hoping other types of sailboats have a similar set-up. I have a Columbia 8.3. The drive shaft is a little sloppy in the bearing or seal where it emerges from the hull. Can someone tell me what is involved in replacing the seal or bearing or is the shaft supposed to be loose in this area. Thanks
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Old 09-10-2009
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The rubber bearing material should be in contact with the shaft all the way around (an interference fit). I've only replaced the cutlass bearing on boats with a bearing strut. In those circumstances, there is usually an allen head set screw that you loosen and they you use a bearing press to push it out or a sawz all to cut the bearing in half and pull it out. I'm not sure what holds the bearing in place when its in the hull.
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Old 09-10-2009
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A little play in the cutlass bearing is OK. With a new one it should be essentially zero. Wear in the shaft will also result in additional play. A search on this site will result in lots of info on replacing the bearing if you need to. Maine Sailing has some good info on his Boat Projects site.
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Drive shaft bearing

Thanks for the replies. I think the bearing should definitely be replaced. Now that I know what it's called, I''ll look it up and see what I need to get it out. Thanks again
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