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Author Topic: Rudder play  (Read 4013 times)

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2ndwish

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Rudder play
« on: November 07, 2010, 09:54:03 PM »

We had noticed increased play in the rudder bearing recently (audible thuds on a port tack), lateral motion of the shaft.. Removed the post cap this weekend and installed a custom shim (aka mylar transparency film) per suggestion on another Catalina forum. We used some dry teflon lubricant and with a little fiddling, got the shim in the upper bearing. Went for a sail today in 15 knot wind 2-3ft seas, no thuds. Question for the forum- On my old Coronado 27, the rudder shaft had a zerk installed so it could be greased. It limited wear on the post/bearing and provided modest water penetration resistance. Has anyone tried this on a Catalina? Looks like it would be easy to drill and tap a small hole in upper bearing (when the rudder is out), screw in a zerk and grease as needed. Sound stupid?



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lazybone

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Re: Rudder play
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2010, 12:18:44 PM »

 We installed Zerk fittings in both the lower and upper rudder bearings shortly after we bought #677 in 1987 and have never noticed any play.  We attached a piece of grease gun hose to the lower bearing Zerk and lead it higher where we could easily access it.
I'm not sure if it was necessary but we dropped the whole rudder in order to drill the holes and clean out the crap drilling leaves.
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S/V LAZYBONES  #677

Ken Heyman

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Re: Rudder play
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2010, 01:47:34 PM »

What's a "Zerk"? What does it look like and how does it work? Perhaps you could include a link.

Thanks,

Ken
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Ken Heyman
1988 c34 #535
"Wholesailor"
Chicago, Il

Jeff Kaplan

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Re: Rudder play
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2010, 03:08:46 PM »

Ken, a zerk is just another name for a greese fitting, actually it's the correct name.  Tap a 1/4-20 hole for the standard size fittings.  Also availabe in 1/8 pipe which is much larger than a 1/4-20  . Also, greese fittings can be straight, 45 or 90 degrees. whatever works...Jeff
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#219, 1986 tall rig/shallow draft. "sedona sunset" atlantic-salem,ma

Ken Heyman

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Re: Rudder play
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2010, 03:44:18 PM »

Jeff,

Thanks,  I've had a tiny rudder shimmy for years. I'm able to push the rudder forward (when on the hard) a tiny bit which I think explains the movement. It is stable laterally. It is likely a minor bearing issue but it has stood the test of time.

Thanks again for the explanation,

Ken
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Ken Heyman
1988 c34 #535
"Wholesailor"
Chicago, Il

Ron Hill

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Re: Rudder play
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2010, 05:23:47 PM »

2nd : I can't remember if I wrote a Mainsheet article on rudder movement or not, maybe only a post ?!?

I had a similar problem and solved the vertical rudder column movement by adding another nylon bushing to the top (under the emergency rudder cap).  In fact I had to put the second bushing on a table sander because it was too thick.  That took care of the vertical movement.

When I asked Gerry Douglas about side to side lateral movement, here's what he recommend.  Take mylar drafting film and insert strips of either 5 or 7 mil strips between the stainless column and the PVC wall, which took up the play between the column and the outer wall. I did that to the top portion and the bottom portion under the rudder packing gland.
 
I'll have to look and see if I have a Catalina drawing on this topic.  Anyway, I did that over 18 years ago and that problem remains solved.   A few thoughts 
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2ndwish

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Re: Rudder play
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2010, 07:37:17 PM »

Thanks to all for the feedback.
lazybone- Does the grease from the upper bearing find its way out and make a mess or does it stay put? What grease do you use?

Ron- Your suggestion was the repair we made. The 4 mil mylar we used was laser printer transparency film available from Staples for $1 a sheet. Wrapped it around the shaft, marked it, cut it to the correct size, dry lubed both sides and worked it down between the shaft and tube. Should have taken a picture of it, 'cause now it is where it will never see the light of day. I looked for a Tech note, but didn't find one. A question for you though- You did mention in a Tech Note that you clamp the shaft below the quadrant to prevent an accident when removing the cap. I can't see how the shaft can move more than a couple of inches down with the quadrant in place. The upper bearing is almost a foot long, so the shaft can't go anywhere on our boat. Were there different configurations on the Mark I's?
Todd
« Last Edit: November 09, 2010, 07:26:37 AM by 2ndwish »
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lazybone

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Re: Rudder play
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2010, 05:07:30 PM »

Thanks to all for the feedback.
lazybone- Does the grease from the upper bearing find its way out and make a mess or does it stay put? What grease do you use?


I use boat trailer bearing grease, which is very waterproof.  I usually give the grease gun a squeeze or two (while someone else turns the wheel back and forth)until I notice just a bit oozing out.  I wipe up the excess and all is well until the following year.
 
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S/V LAZYBONES  #677

Ron Hill

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Re: Rudder play
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2010, 05:45:53 PM »

Todd : You mentioned that I put a "C" clamp on the rudder column (while you are in the water) MK I boats with a standard transom.  
Yes, I did - that just above the rudder packing gland so the rudder couldn't slip down -- so you can get the bolt to realign again with the emergency tiller cap/rudder column hole!
  
I found that the rudder would stay in place as long as you didn't turn the wheel !!  So the solution is "don't touch the wheel" after you have the emergency tiller cap removed, because if you do the rudder WILL slip down a couple of inches.  
Did that once, reinstalled the bolt, attached a 4:1 soft vang bolt to the backstay split to the bolt, pulled on the vang while wiggling the wheel and the rudder came back up!!   SO, Don't wiggle the wheel!!!!!

Lazybones : If you look at the top of the steering quadrant I'm sure that you will find some grease as that PVC pipe just below the tiller cap had a center section cut out - specifically for the Edson steering quadrant.  Then it has the rudder packing gland on the lower section.   In the heat of the summer the best grease goes somewhere from the top section and I suspect it is down!!  Especially if you overgreased that area.

The mylar film doesn't really need any lube, but I did shoot some Teflon in there anyway.  Haven't had a problem in 17(?) years again.   A few thoughts  
« Last Edit: November 10, 2010, 02:50:55 PM by Ron Hill »
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Ron, Apache #788

Wayne

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Re: Rudder play
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2010, 07:52:28 PM »

For what it is worth my steering has developed an annoying squeak.  The guy at the boat yard suggested dropping the rudder and greasing the rudder shaft.  This was after my last bottom job . . . after the boat was back into the water.  He suggested an experiment of removing the ss plate and pouring some water down the hole to see if the squeak went away.  It did, for a few weeks.  So next time my boat is out of the water I think I'll go with some marine grease.
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2006 MKII Hull # 1762
San Francisco, Ca

Jim Hardesty

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Re: Rudder play
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2010, 04:50:17 AM »

Wayne,
My MKll also gets a stearing squeek.  I read somewhere that no lube was to be used on the rudder post due to delrin bearings.  So I thought that it must just be dirty.  I took off the emergency rudder cap and pored a few cupfulls of fresh water onto the rudder post while working the stearing back and forth.  It worked, no squeek.  I think the real longterm fix is getting a good seal on the e-rudder cap.  I'm working on that.
Six months to sailing season.... :cry4`
Jim
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Jim Hardesty
2001 MKII hull #1570 M35BC  "Shamrock"
sailing Lake Erie
from Commodore Perry Yacht Club
Erie, PA

lazybone

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Re: Rudder play
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2010, 05:30:45 AM »

Lazybones : If you look at the top of the steering quadrant I'm sure that you will find some grease as that PVC pipe just below the tiller cap had a center section cut out - specifically for the Edson steering quadrant.  Then it has the rudder packing gland on the lower section.   In the heat of the summer the best grease goes somewhere from the top section and I suspect it is down!!


As I said, after I wipe off the initial small squeezed out bit of grease it stays clean.  Maybe wheel bearing grease doesn't doesn't act like you say?  If wheel bearing grease changed viscosity so easily why doesn't it do so in auto wheel bearings that get so hot the devil would chafe.  It's been about 19yrs so  :donno:
« Last Edit: November 10, 2010, 06:12:45 AM by lazybone »
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S/V LAZYBONES  #677
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