How do re-install the prop? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 17 Old 07-27-2017 Thread Starter
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How do re-install the prop?

Hey everyone, I need to remove my propeller and I'm wondering how I am going to re-install it. It's a press fit and it feels fairly tight. What is the best way to put the prop back on the shaft without removing the shaft from the boat?
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post #2 of 17 Old 07-27-2017
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Re: How do re-install the prop?

Good question. Not sure I want to be back there with a wrench turning the engine over and have her start. Maybe a big strap wrench around the coupling to hold it still. Of course I would flip the decompression levers on and pull the stop knob out and have the transmission in neutral. I want to hear what the experts say about this.

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post #3 of 17 Old 07-27-2017
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Re: How do re-install the prop?

Most propellor shafts are a tapered shaft on the prop end. never seen a press fit straight shaft on a prop. Use a prop puller to remove and reinstall on the taper and torque the nut when reinstalling
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post #4 of 17 Old 07-27-2017
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Re: How do re-install the prop?

You first have to tell us if the prop is on a 'tapered' shaft or a 'straight' shaft.

• tapered shaft - the prop shaft is of noticeably larger diameter at the 'fore' end of the shaft where the prop is attached, and with a noticeably or visibly smaller diameter where the prop nut is attached. (Most common attachment nowadays.)

• Straight shaft --- the section of the shaft diameter at the threads of 'prop nut' is only slightly smaller than the diameter of shaft 'in front of' the propeller. (Uncommon; but not so uncommon, in 'older' boats.)

Assuming a 'tapered' shaft -
Get/rent/borrow a gear puller ... you'll need to match the number of 'arms' on the gear puller to the number blades on the prop.
Removal:
• Back off the prop nut - just a few turns.
• Apply the gear puller with the 'arms' of puller firmly engaged with the 'front' end/surface of the props hub ... NOT on the blades! The end of the 'screw' assembly of the puller must be exactly centered on the end of the shaft. You can 'back off the nut' to help hold the screw assembly centered on the end of the shaft.
• Turn the jack screw on the 'puller' as tight as you can (by hand) .... if the prop become loosened during the tightening of the gear puller, the prop nut will stop the prop from coming off when the prop 'pops' off the tapered shaft.
• If no 'pop', then get an assistant, a large weight/mass (sledgehammer will do) and large copper or lead hammer. Have your assistant hold the large mass 'tight' against the shaft or strut or whatever is closest to prop; With the gear puller strained to maximum 'hand tight', give the HUB of the prop increasingly sharp and more powerful 'WHACKS' (perpendicular to the long axis of the shaft) until the prop 'pops' off. Remove the nut, slip off the prop, preserve the shaft 'key' for when you reinstall.

Reinstallation:
( you may want to search Mainsail's Compass Marine website for honing/lapping a prop and prop shaft) for 'best' installation for a tapered shaft.)

• Make sure the prop shaft taper and internal surfaces of the prop hub are clean and 'bright'. Use industrial fine 'crocus cloth' (an industrial fabric based type of sand paper - from a hardware store, etc.) to polish the taper and the internal taper of the prop.
• Install the 'key' in the keyway, Apply a very light coat of oil to the taper AND the shaft threads, Attach the prop, attach the nut. Make sure that the 'key' stays in place during this installation ...
• Measure the diameter of section of shaft that has threads, measure to the closest 1/16"
• Get a torque wrench, a deep socket to fit the nut ... then go to https://www.boltdepot.com/fastener-i...ed-Torque.aspx .... match the size listed there to the measurement made for the diameter of the THREADS, as above. These values are in 'foot-pounds' or ft.-lb. Choose the torque value based on thread diameter AND material ... if the nut is bronze, choose bronze torque values, etc.
•Hold the prop blades to prevent rotation, and apply the proper torque ... when close to the torque value - 'whack' the hub with the bronze hammer, etc. to help 'seat' the prop to the shaft taper. Then 'back-off' the nut until loose and repeat torquing & whacking (2-3 times), apply the cotter pin. etc. You can 'back off the nut' up to one-half turn in order to fit the cotter into the castellations on the nut; but, ONLY if you properly torqued the nut when forcing the prop onto the shaft taper.

Note - if you don't have a torque wrench, use a '6-point' 'box' wrench for the proper size for the 'nut' AND a box wrench for the closest size of the diameter of the 'threads'. Put the 'thread sized' wrench on top of the 'nut sized' wrench ... and make a 'mark' of the length of the thread diameter sized wrench .... Use the nut sized wrench on the nut while holding the blades ..... BUT your hand may not be on that wrench 'above' that 'mark' ... and tighten the nut as 'reasonably as hard as you can' with your body strength. This assumes youre not a 98 pound wussy nor a 'monster'; just don't 'over do' it.
The 'length' of wrenches are designed so that the 'average' (5'-10", 160-170 lb.) man will be applying a close approximation of proper 'hand tight' torque to NON-METRIC bolts, etc. Don't do this if the nut and threads are 'metric' ... which are inferior to the thread strength and torque bearing ability of 'english' (Whitworth/BSW, SAE, ANSI, etc.) bolts, etc. Sir Joseph Whitworth (1803–1887) was an absolute genius!

Get back to us if this is an old-style 'straight' bore press fit or 'interference fit'.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by RichH; 07-27-2017 at 01:58 PM.
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post #5 of 17 Old 07-27-2017
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Re: How do re-install the prop?

I try to make sure the key is on the upside when removing the prop. Usually on a tidal grid with a gravel /mud floor. Reinstall with white lead and nut will pull the tapered bits home.
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Re: How do re-install the prop?

White lead [paste] is a superior recommendation for when press fitting any metal parts .... IF you can find any.
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post #7 of 17 Old 07-27-2017 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info! I just checked and it is a tapered shaft, so it shouldn't be the mess that I thought it was going to be
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post #8 of 17 Old 07-28-2017
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Re: How do re-install the prop?

I've been told not to use a lubricant on the shaft when reinstalling. Supposedly lubricant would allow the prop to be forced too far onto the shaft and cause issues to get it off when that time comes.
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Re: How do re-install the prop?

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
I've been told not to use a lubricant on the shaft when reinstalling.....
Same here. A good mated surface is desirable and any lubricant keeps that from happening as well.

Can't say if white lead is (or was) considered an exception in the industry for some reason. However, I believe the stuff was banned as toxic. You can absorb it through your skin.


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post #10 of 17 Old 07-30-2017
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Re: How do re-install the prop?

No grese! The tapers have close tolerances that do not allow for anything in between them. You could prevent proper seating of the prop. Further, the prop is not supposed to be easily removed. The whole idea is to make sure it stays on the shaft.
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