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Author Topic: Prop Shaft Replacement Experience / Recomendations...  (Read 1977 times)

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Bill Shreeves

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Prop Shaft Replacement Experience / Recomendations...
« on: January 23, 2017, 05:42:57 PM »

I'm replacing my bronze propeller shaft.  Are there any thoughts regarding A19 vs A22 and any vendors to buy from?

In intend to install a new Federal Flexible Coupling after I commission the boat in this spring.  I assume  the Federal coupling needs to be "fit" to the shaft so, I'm not sure how to go about that unless I buy one and take to a local place to buy the shaft and have them fit it unless someplace on-line sells both.  I hope to be able to remove the old hard coupling half from my bronze shaft and use it as an "alignment tool" by "slipping" it on the new shaft to align the engine after she's launched.

I'd appreciate any insight.
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Bill Shreeves
s/v "Begnnings" 1987 Shoal Draft #333
M25XPB, Worton Creek, MD

Noah

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Re: Prop Shaft Replacement Experience / Recomendations...
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2017, 07:19:22 PM »

After lots of "study" I went with A22; ordering shafting through a local waterfront machine shop. I purchased a Vetus Bullflex coupler from an online source, and a 3-blade Flexofold from the factory and brought both to the local waterfront machine shop to fit, match to shaft. That worked very well for me and was inline with best practices, as I understand them.

Addendum: the reason I opted to replace my "perfectly good" 30-year-old bronze shaft was driven by my concern that switching to a heavier, expensive, 3-blade Flexofold folding prop might stress/bend my older/softer/more flexible bronze shaft--plus the idea of a totally new drive train fit my budget and upgrade goals.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2017, 08:31:36 PM by Noah »
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1990 hull #1014, San Diego, CA,  Fin Keel,
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Roc

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Re: Prop Shaft Replacement Experience / Recomendations...
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2017, 03:42:56 AM »

Bill,
I had Lockwood Boat Works in South Amboy install a new SS shaft and Federal Flexible coupling on my boat.  They are the ones that suggested the Federal coupling.  They make the shafts in-house. You may want to check them out since you seem to be local to them.  I used to sail in NJ before moving to the Chesapeake.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2017, 03:43:58 AM by Roc »
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Braxton

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Re: Prop Shaft Replacement Experience / Recomendations...
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2017, 08:37:32 AM »

I just finished a similar project, I needed to replace my cutless bearing and while I had everything apart I had a new SS shaft built.

A few thoughts, first off, I have a Federal flexible coupling that I ended up not using.    I'd love to recoup some of my money.   If you end up going that way I'll sell it to you at a discount.   You'll save some money and I'll get some money back.   Let me know if you are interested.

First I'm going to have to take the fifth for A19 vs. A22.   I know we talked about it, I know I harrumphed a lot and tried to be knowledgeable in the conversation but I would have to go back and look at my invoice to refresh my memory on which we chose.

I used Tacoma Propeller.     They will do business through the mail and if you end up not going local I would highly recommend them.  However, I do second Roc's recommendation of going local.   The shaft is a custom made part that no one is going to want to take back.    It's worth it to have someone you can talk to face to face about the project and make sure that you are getting exactly what you need.

I am dubious about your plan to use the old coupling to do the alignment for the new shaft.   When I went to remove my old coupling the bolts holding the coupling to the shaft sheared off very easily.   (The bolts attaching the coupling to the transmission were fine).   I was ultimately unable to remove the coupling from the shaft.   To remove the shaft from the boat I ended cutting it into three parts (15 minutes of not hard manual labor with a hacksaw).   Once the shaft was out of the boat I could have drilled out the holes and had Tacoma propeller press it off the shaft but there seemed little point in going through with that.   The upshot is that my coupling would have been in no shape to reliably do the alignment, your mileage may vary and you may do better then me but I wouldn't count on it.

In the end I went with a split coupling on the recommendation of some local gurus who were helping me out.    To badly paraphrase their reasoning, if you do your alignment properly then the flexible is just adding unneeded complexity and the split coupling allows for easier disassembly when the inevitable future maintenance needs to be done.   Many highly respected people here recommend the flexible couplings (especially the Federal's)  but I was happy enough with the results I had with the split that I've fallen into the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" camp and I'm not planning on redoing it at this point.     I have added a new seasonal maintenance check of having to look and make sure the bolts on the split coupling are tight, but that takes all of 2 minutes so I'm not to worried about that.

When Tacoma Propeller built the shaft they had my prop hub (a 3 blade flex-o-fold that they had to press off the old shaft), the new coupling, and the shaft so that they could do all the lapping and fitting that was needed.     It is possible to do that yourself but in my case I decided to leave it to the experts.

A few other thoughts.    The standard way to do all of this is to remove the rudder so that you can slide your old shaft out.    It is worth testing the bolts that hold the steering quadrant together to see if you are going to be able to get them out easily.   If they are seized up now you may want to put some PB Blaster or similar product on them to make removal easier.   This is also a good time to figure out if you have the ability to climb into the lazarette or the endurance standing on your head to take the quadrant apart.   While you are down there check all the parts on the quadrant, when you are putting things back together is the time to replace them so that you don't have to do this all a second time.



« Last Edit: January 24, 2017, 08:46:02 AM by Braxton »
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Braxton Allport
1988 #805, Ballou - Tacoma WA

Noah

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Re: Prop Shaft Replacement Experience / Recomendations...
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2017, 09:15:49 AM »

I disagree with your statement: "The standard way to do all of this is to remove the rudder so that you can slide your old shaft out."    This is not necessary. If you remove your prop and cutless bearing first, the shaft will slide past the rudder.
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Braxton

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Re: Prop Shaft Replacement Experience / Recomendations...
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2017, 09:39:37 AM »

I think we may be splitting hairs.   I stand by my statement, removing the rudder is the standard way, an alternative way is to press out the bearing out and slide the shaft out past the rudder.    I wasn't able to test whether this would have been possible on my boat because of my coupling and propeller hub being seized to the shaft.   But when doing a crude test once everything was apart it did not appear that mine would have fit past the rudder.

Bill, if you do go with Noah's recommendation to remove the bearing and try and slide the shaft past the rudder then KWKloeber has a nifty tool to press the bearing off and on with the shaft installed.   Other people have made their own and there are expensive professional tools available, but KWKloeber's is nice and easy to use and the price he charges to rent it is low enough that you won't notice it once it's swallowed up by the rest of the expenses.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2017, 09:51:37 AM by Braxton »
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Braxton Allport
1988 #805, Ballou - Tacoma WA

Noah

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Re: Prop Shaft Replacement Experience / Recomendations...
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2017, 01:57:41 PM »

Again I disagree. Not splitting hairs at all. Removing rudder is a very unecessary hassle--for prop shaft removal. If prop was "seized" to the shaft (very unusual it couldn't be removed with a proper prop puller) why didn't you just cut the shaft behind prop? Removing cutless bearing is an easy task with any quality yard having the proper tool to press out the bearing in 15 min.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2017, 02:14:13 PM by Noah »
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1990 hull #1014, San Diego, CA,  Fin Keel,
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Ron Hill

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Re: Prop Shaft Replacement Experience / Recomendations...
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2017, 02:28:36 PM »

Bill : Been there/Done that!!  I agree with Noah that you don't need to remove the rudder - that would be crazy!! 
Get the cutless out and the shaft slides right by the rudder or cut the shaft and remove the shaft and cutless. If your cutless is worn enough just shine it up with light sand paper, grease it and slide it past the rudder in one piece.  Many different ways to "skin that cat" beside dropping the rudder!!!

You can make your own cutless tool or see if there's a marina that has a removal tool to loan or do the job or join C34 Fleet 12 and borrow their cutless tool and do it yourself.

Many thoughts

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Bill Shreeves

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Re: Prop Shaft Replacement Experience / Recomendations...
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2017, 07:59:25 PM »

Great info guys! I love reading about your experiences, opinions and different thoughts so THANK YOU!

I'm borrowing a tool from another member to install the cutlass after my new shaft is in so I don't have to drop rudder for this.  The rudder has very little play, feels good and I figure that'll be for another off-season.  I have enough on my plate for my first off season with this or any boat other than my Hobie 16 back in the mid-80s.  This is all new to me.  Still not over the thrill of owning this boat and may never!  Even the work isn't work!

I contacted the local prop shop (Atlantis Propeller) today that I decided to take my prop to for scanning, re-pitching etc. about shaft replacement.  BTW, they loaned me a prop puller and it couldn't have been easier with it.  Heavily spraying the prop with 50/50 tranny fluid/acetone mix as penetrating oil the week before may have "greased the ways".

Atlantis no longer does shaft work on premises but they've been working directly with West Branch Metals for the shaft work for several years with great success.  The owner of Atlantis tells me West Branch is one of the largest marine shaft shop mfg and suppliers on the east coast and it seems to be a good way to go.  I got what I think it is a good price for a A19 SS shaft today.  I'm told West Branch has a relationship with Federal and they're going to get me a price for including it and fitting to the shaft.

I talked to Atlantis about A19 vs A22 SS.  The owner thinks that given the shaft size, a 26 HP engine, use on a cruising sailboat etc. that I'd probably get better value spending the difference in cost between A19 to A22 on something other than the upgrade but, he'd be more than happy to sell me A22 if I want it.  I think A19 is certainly far stronger than the bronze shaft that's serviced the boat well for 29 years, I'm staying with the 3-blade fixed prop and between that and other reading, I think A19 is a good fit for me.

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The only thing that always works on an old boat is the owner...

Bill Shreeves
s/v "Begnnings" 1987 Shoal Draft #333
M25XPB, Worton Creek, MD

Roc

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Re: Prop Shaft Replacement Experience / Recomendations...
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2017, 04:11:43 AM »

Does Atlantis Propeller use "Prop Scan" technology?  Where are they located?
« Last Edit: January 25, 2017, 04:12:12 AM by Roc »
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Ron Hill

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Re: Prop Shaft Replacement Experience / Recomendations...
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2017, 02:53:45 PM »

Bill : As Roc mentioned ONLY have your prop repitched by a shop that uses Prop Scan like Black Dog Props (on the eastern shore across from Annapolis Md.) 

Look in the Mainsheet tech notes as I wrote an extensive article on that very topic!!!!!

An important thought!! 
« Last Edit: January 25, 2017, 02:55:55 PM by Ron Hill »
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Bill Shreeves

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Re: Prop Shaft Replacement Experience / Recomendations...
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2017, 03:08:04 PM »



Does Atlantis Propeller use "Prop Scan" technology?  Where are they located?[/quote]]
Quote
Does Atlantis Propeller use "Prop Scan" technology?  Where are they located?
[/ftp]

Yes, they use Prop Scan.  They are located in Cinnaminson NJ, not far from Cherubini Yachts on the Delaware.  I understand they've worked with  Cherubini for many years.  I exchanged several emails with the owner, Ray, a few weeks ago when inquiring about having them evaluate my prop and he was very responsive and helpful.  I've since talked to one of the shop guys when I borrowed the prop puller and had a few conversations with Ray.  They've been very helpful.

http://atlantisprop.com/
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The only thing that always works on an old boat is the owner...

Bill Shreeves
s/v "Begnnings" 1987 Shoal Draft #333
M25XPB, Worton Creek, MD

Bill Shreeves

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Re: Prop Shaft Replacement Experience / Recomendations...
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2017, 03:11:32 PM »

Quote
Bill : As Roc mentioned ONLY have your prop repitched by a shop that uses Prop Scan like Black Dog Props (on the eastern shore across from Annapolis Md.) 

Look in the Mainsheet tech notes as I wrote an extensive article on that very topic!!!!!

An important thought!!

Ron,
I looked specifically for that after having read your article as well as other articles.  Thank you for all the info you share!
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The only thing that always works on an old boat is the owner...

Bill Shreeves
s/v "Begnnings" 1987 Shoal Draft #333
M25XPB, Worton Creek, MD

cmainprize

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Re: Prop Shaft Replacement Experience / Recomendations...
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2017, 04:06:32 PM »

We did a cutlass bearing, federal coupling, and Feathering  J prop upgrade 4 years ago.  In hindsight I should have done the shaft at the same time.  Not sure what boats are able to get the shaft past the rudder, but I can tell you on my fin keel MK11 it was not going to happen.  The extra 1/4 of play I got by pushing out the bearing first made it closer but still a long way from "sliding past"  I read the articles first saying it could be done as well!  I would like to hear from a MK11 boat that made it work.  The worst part about dropping the rudder is digging the hole.  If you are on pavement your kinda screwed.  Once you dig a hole deep enough to clear the rudder shaft, it's a 30 minute job to drop the rudder.  Gives you a good reason to do a full steering system inspection while you are jammed into the aft lockers.

Cheers,

CM
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Cory Mainnprize
Mystic
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Midland Ontario

Noah

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Re: Prop Shaft Replacement Experience / Recomendations...
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2017, 04:49:53 PM »

I can only speak to my 1990 MKI with standard, non-elliptical OEM rudder--and it worked fine.
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