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Old     (breadbutta)      Join Date: Dec 2003       04-13-2005, 10:34 PM Reply   
I've searched the archives with no luck on this topic, I hope someone out there can help. The steering on my 2000 Centurion got stiff over the recent wet winter. I disconnected the cable and discovered it was the rudder/stuffing box assembly. I greased it with no luck and ended up removing it from the boat. Apparently, some one had done work on this part and replaced the expansion ring that holds the internal seal in place with an iron one. Needless to say there wasn't much left of it, and the corrosion had worked its way down into the brass fittings. Well, I've got it all cleaned up but I can't find a replacement rubber seal and retaining ring, it has a 1" internal openning and fits in the top of the brass stuffing box.
The worst part was I called Action Marine in Huntington Beach, they called Fineline Industries who said I need to buy the COMPLETE RUDDER ASSEMBLY. I guess they thought I was born yesterday.
Somebody, somewhere manufactures these seals. If my boat manufacturer wont support me on this where do I turn?
Sorry for the rant, just a little pissed about the availablity on this item.

I understand it' a rarely replaced part, but it should be available somewhere.

Comments, suggestions?

Old     (uga33)      Join Date: Jul 2003       04-14-2005, 7:54 AM Reply   
Take it to your dealer and let him be the judge if you need a whole assembly or not. Not a phone call to Fineline. There is no telling how your dealer described the problem to Fineline.
Old     (salty87)      Join Date: Jul 2002       04-14-2005, 11:04 AM Reply   
i'd try they are very helpful
Old     (guido)      Join Date: Jul 2002       04-14-2005, 1:27 PM Reply   
Seals are generally available generically. Do you have any pics. If it is a radial type seal a local auto parts store may have it.
Old     (breadbutta)      Join Date: Dec 2003       04-14-2005, 9:23 PM Reply   
I thought about that, unfortunately auto seals do not have brass inner springs and wouldn't last a season. Thanks for the input.
I called Fineline myself and left a message on the technical parts voice mail, I'll have to see how that pans out. I was able to find the complete rudder assembly for ONLY $295, wow.
BOAT=Break Out Another Thousand. What bothers me is I know I could fix it for about $20, if I could find the seal and retaining clip.
Old     (peter_c)      Join Date: Sep 2001       04-14-2005, 9:35 PM Reply   
Take the measurements off the seal, inside, outside, and depth, then start calling seal manufacturers. FYI most use metric. Of course with the numbers you could probably call an auto parts store and get one with a stainless spring. As to the retainer, again it is about measurements then find a supplier.

Use the internet...
Old     (rodmcinnis)      Join Date: Sep 2002       04-15-2005, 12:36 PM Reply   

Like CIE said, seals are usually a very generic thing. The rudder manufacturer wouldn't make their own seals, they buy them from a catalog.

The primary specifications for the seal are the inner / outer diameters and the "thickness" (height). Other issues are what the seal has to seal (air, oil, etc.). Believe me, boats are not the only application that needs a seal to operate against water.

My suggestion is to break out the phone book and look under "bearings" or "seals". (note: bearings are pretty generic things too). In most industrial areas there will be a number of retail shops that carry generic bearings and seals since there are LOTs of industrial machines that break down and needs replacements.

Another very good possibility is to try and get the numbers off the old seal. They are generally like a tire, they have the size information imprinted in the side wall.

The retaining ring is both easy and hard....
The easy part is that it is absolutely a catalog item. You just need to know the inner/outer diameter and thickness. If you have the old one, it is easy. If the old one has disintegrated then you need to take measurements. A mechanical engineer could tell you what you need by taking a couple of quick mearusrements.

Another approach would be to find out who actually made the rudder and contact them. I seriously doubt that Ski Centurion has a foudary that casts rudders, they buy them from someone. If you can spot a manufacturer name on the rudder try contacting them directly and getting the necessary replacement parts
Old     (breadbutta)      Join Date: Dec 2003       04-15-2005, 1:11 PM Reply   
Peter, Rod,

Thanks for the info. I'll take it into consideration. I dropped the housing off at Jim Wilkes Performance Marine, he will most likely find the parts. It's 80 degrees outside and the rudders off my boat...AAaahhh!
Old     (breadbutta)      Join Date: Dec 2003       04-24-2005, 8:55 PM Reply   
Well I picked up my rudder sleeve (stuffing box) from Wilkes marine. They were busy and Jim got called out of town on 'Hot Boat' business so I had to look else where for my fix. I'm sure they could have fixed it but it was nickle and dime for them and I jst had to have it now. I ended up over at Rex Marine in San Dimas, they had the seal, the retaining clip and silicone for under $13. Beats the $300 rudder replacement option. I got it all back together yesterday and I'm ready to hit it.


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