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Discussion Starter #21
Good suggestion on calling PSC and seeing if they have recommendations. I have called Whitlock (now Lewmar) on steering and B&G on drive unit. Some support but a lot of putting the pieces together for one's self.
 

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Is this the gudgeon (red arrow pointing to it). If so, approximately where is the small hole I can add lubricant to?
The gudgeon is the heavy piece of bronze at the bottom of the skeg that supports the rudder. In the drawing, it is the small rectangle at the bottom of the rudder. It should have a zinc on it. The hole is in the bottom of the gudgeon. It may be a bit larger than a pencil, but it's pretty easy to insert a grease gun and inject grease all around.
 

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Dear Seacurves,

I had the same stiffness problem and, after trying to grease this or that, finally dropped the rudder and discovered that the rudder shaft itself was rubbing on what I suppose must be called the rudder tube (the fiber glass tube inside which the rudder post runs and turns). Some judicious grinding by a very talented metal worker (not me!) plus lots of heavy grease and the problem was gone.

I'm not sure this is the same as the problem you face because in my case the stiffness was there 24/7, not just underway.

Good luck finding and fixing it, Jay

PSC 37 Kenlanu
 

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FYI in the interest of reducing another possible source of friction

From a previous post called “C37 Rudder Maintenance” I mentioned rudder thrust bearings. They are about 5/16” thick with an ID that fits the rudder stock and an OD about 3 1/2”.

“Don Kohlman recommended and sold me two Orcot thrust bearings to put above and below the rudder. I was able to put the lower one on the bronze gudgeon but there was not enough room for the upper one. Since PSC sold them to me I am guessing they became standard on boats after 1999.”

NB: Don Kohlman was a previous company owner in SoCal.

John
s/v Pelagic
1980 C37 Yawl
 

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Discussion Starter #25
There is a small hole at the bottom of the gudgeon that you can squirt grease into with a grease gun. Initially it won't do much, but the grease will eventually work its way down the shaft lubricating it.
So this seemed like a very promising direction. However, I called PSC and chatted with Thumper and he suggested there was no hole in the bottom of the gudgeon for grease to be squirted into. He asked I take pics of the rudder when out of the water to confirm the bushings between the top and bottom of rudder were still in place. I took the pics and sent to him. Nonetheless, the bushings looked fine.

Just to be clear, the noise is when we are not moving, just turning the wheel. When we are moving too many other noises to distinguish this one. But very clear rubbing, scraping when we move the wheel at dock. And quite stiff steering.

Getting back to Thumper's recommendation thus far, the grease nipple at the bottom of the steering pedestal is a likely problem point. Very hard to get to and really just a hole not a grease nipple per se (I will try to attach a pic of it). So maybe at least part of the problem??? On the other hand the rudder pole (not sure of correct name) is a very interesting possibility.

I will try to connect with Thumper this week and get further input and post accordingly.

BTW, thank you sailnet.com buddies and PSC owners! Once our equipment is older it takes a village to figure this stuff out! No longer mechanics that are familiar or tech support lines that care, etc. Really appreciate the ideas and conversation.
 

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Thanks for the update. Where was the picture of the grease nipple taken? Is that from inside the boat looking up at the pedestal? I grease the various bearings in the pedestal every year, but don't know about a grease nipple at the bottom of the pedestal. There is a small hole in the bottom of the gudgeon (at least on my boat), although squirting in grease may not have been its intended purpose originally.
 

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al brazzi
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So this seemed like a very promising direction. However, I called PSC and chatted with Thumper and he suggested there was no hole in the bottom of the gudgeon for grease to be squirted into. He asked I take pics of the rudder when out of the water to confirm the bushings between the top and bottom of rudder were still in place. I took the pics and sent to him. Nonetheless, the bushings looked fine.

Just to be clear, the noise is when we are not moving, just turning the wheel. When we are moving too many other noises to distinguish this one. But very clear rubbing, scraping when we move the wheel at dock. And quite stiff steering.

Getting back to Thumper's recommendation thus far, the grease nipple at the bottom of the steering pedestal is a likely problem point. Very hard to get to and really just a hole not a grease nipple per se (I will try to attach a pic of it). So maybe at least part of the problem??? On the other hand the rudder pole (not sure of correct name) is a very interesting possibility.

I will try to connect with Thumper this week and get further input and post accordingly.

BTW, thank you sailnet.com buddies and PSC owners! Once our equipment is older it takes a village to figure this stuff out! No longer mechanics that are familiar or tech support lines that care, etc. Really appreciate the ideas and conversation.
I need to look at mine again, as I said I have the same pedestal, is this a ball bearing at the base or a bronze bushing? Regardless if it's that rough grease alone might not do the job, some seizing or galling might have taken over. Please post conclusion when you find it.
 

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Thanks for the update. Where was the picture of the grease nipple taken? Is that from inside the boat looking up at the pedestal? I grease the various bearings in the pedestal every year, but don't know about a grease nipple at the bottom of the pedestal. There is a small hole in the bottom of the gudgeon (at least on my boat), although squirting in grease may not have been its intended purpose originally.
Never mind - I just noticed you have a different pedestal - no wonder i didn't recognize that part...
 

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This opinion is coming from a sailor with no direct experience with wheel steering. However, from other situations involving noises and binding, I know that a stethoscope can sometimes work to narrow down the problem components. Where the part may be difficult to access, a long stick can be employed as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Yes, I won't leave this stiff steering problem open-ended. I definitely appreciate when things can come to a well-founded conclusion and I can just read about it on sailnet.com versus write the blow-by-blow discovery process. I guess this time is my turn to do the discovery with you all helping! :)
 

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So this seemed like a very promising direction. However, I called PSC and chatted with Thumper and he suggested there was no hole in the bottom of the gudgeon for grease to be squirted into.
There is a hole in the bottom of the lower gudgeon of my PSC34.

There is another lower gudgeon on sale on ebay right now with several good pictures. https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Bronze-Gudgeon-for-Pacific-Seacraft-34-or-37/271603123939?hash=item3f3ccec6e3:g:NRIAAOSwVFlUEKe5


Bill Murdoch
1988 PSC34
Irish Eyes
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Okay Bill Murdoch of Irish Eyes, I am sure there is a gudgeon hole now. Thanks for the excellent reference pic. Hmmmm... I need to call PSC when open next!
 

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The waterproof grease needs to be added when the boat is out of the water, preferably on a warm day (although heat can be added with a torch) so that the grease works its way in to the mating surfaces between the rudder post and the gudgeon. I always did this whenever I hauled out: lots of grease and lots of working the rudder back and forth. If you add it when the boat is in the water (diving down), the grease will just float to the surface inside the shaft (waterline).

Dave
 

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al brazzi
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The waterproof grease needs to be added when the boat is out of the water, preferably on a warm day (although heat can be added with a torch) so that the grease works its way in to the mating surfaces between the rudder post and the gudgeon. I always did this whenever I hauled out: lots of grease and lots of working the rudder back and forth. If you add it when the boat is in the water (diving down), the grease will just float to the surface inside the shaft (waterline).

Dave
You must be greasing what I call the shaft log, the top where it penetrates the hull. I think technically the "Gudgeon" is at the bottom on your rudder and is a small area, and (I think) would not hold any grease. My skeg hung rudder had the equivalent to your Gudgeon and its up high, where a spade would have no other bearing than in the hull. Now that this thread came up, I need to look at how my rudder bearing is made, in a following sea the quadrant will be below the water line and whatever bearing is in there would let some water in especially if worn. Not to hijack but I'm pretty sure I have a hard plastic or teflon sleeve in the area you are greasing on your rudder and again the Gudgeon does not get grease its completely underwater and usually a pretty small surface and surely if you got grease in there it wouldn't last, so basically a wet Bronze to stainless surface. I see it loosening before seizing or galling, but I have never seen either one so, I defer to someone who knows more.
 

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Thanks, Bill. It is, indeed, the rudder gudgeon I'm talking about, not the "shaft log" (packing gland), and greasing it with waterproof grease every haul out really did help keep the rudder free moving. Also, both times I needed to pull the gudgeon during my ownership, I found the gob of waterproof silicon grease I had put there previously was still in place, doing its job, thanks to Bill Crealock's ingenious design.

Dave.
 
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