Sunday, 8 March 2015

you win some, you lose some

Prop shaft now suitably disconnected from the gearbox.

The shaft has a flexible coupling, and I ended up undoing the gearbox end.... so will have fun once I can get in the engine compartment undoing the other side..... it was a tough nut to crack... and ended up with a large adjustable on one side to wedge against the hull, and a spanner on the other side with 'substantial' application of a hammer... but undone they came!

I had a few other things to deal with along the way. I wanted to drain the engine oil in order to remove the filter (which is remotely located, so needed removing to get the engine out), but cold engine oil vs hand pump left the oil the winner... so in the end I just gave up and cut the flexible pipes to the oil filter and caught any leaking oil as best I could in a saucepan!

I also disconnected the gearbox cable, which was easy, and the earth strap, which was also easy... and finally, the engine oil pressure guage, which was an old fashioned tube type, rather than electrical sender, so that also got the hacksaw treatment!

So, now engine is absolutely ready to remove.... I keep looking at the gap its got to come out of and gulping.... but the measurements say it'll fit..... It will need tilting in order to get the gearbox through, but it went in, so must come out!

Next job, was to remove the prop. This needs doing, so that I can slide the shaft past the rudder.... on this I failed. My hub puller just wasn't man enough for the job.... the  nut came off easily enough with the big adjustable and a hammer, but the prop refused to budge. I will ask the yard, as they'll have a more robust puller. I even tried putting it under loads of tension with the puller and using the hamer trick to shock it off... but clearly the keyway has welded itself solid.

I need to work out what my strategy is for the shaft.... The prop won't easily go on the shaft unless its pushed right forward, and I may not have room to do that with the new engine in.... equally, I may well (read, its a racing certainty) need work on the prop shaft to fit the new engine... it'll either need shortening, or replacing with a longer one, so need to work out how to do all of this without having to lift the rudder off, which would be a big job.... the fittings holding it on are enormous and won't come off easily, and the rudder itself is VERY heavy, so will need lifting gear.

Finally, I removed the remains of the old shaft seal. Under the previous one, the stern tube hab been fitted with a length of old exhaust hose, obviously to increase the diameter for the bellows... and this needed cutting off... easier said than done. The hose is pretty tough stuff, and I was working with my arms two feet below me in a narrow slot by the keel.... but off it came. I was finally able to measure everything so that I can order a new shaft seal... the shaft is 1 1/4" and the stern tube is 2". The cutlass bearing looks good and there is no play, so that's one less job to worry about.


  1. Neil, my thoughts on my cutlass were:
    Boat is hauled, engine and tranny are pretty much new, shaft has just been trued, brand new, propeller, might as well spend $50 on a new cutlass, and have 100% fresh drive train. Just my opinion, and you know what they say about those.....

  2. yeah, I hear you!.... however, two things.... firstly, it was replaced just 400nm ago, so pretty fresh.... and secondly, I've replaced a cutlass bearing before, and know how hard it is! :) i'd do it if I really thought it wasn't as good as new!