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Old     (nick_in_ssp)      Join Date: Aug 2006       05-17-2014, 2:17 PM Reply   
My shaft has some play at the prop and it is time for some new bearing/bushing. Anyone have some experience with changing one out? Is it as easy as breaking lose the shaft from the coupler at the tranny, sliding it out, taking out the old bushings, replacing with new bushings, and putting back the shaft?
Old     (baitkiller)      Join Date: Jan 2010       05-17-2014, 4:10 PM Reply   
If you have a Mastercraft with a splined shaft, yes.
If not, then not so much.
Some have puled the strut off instead of the in-boat coupling simply because its easier in the end. The boat is determining factor.
Do you know what engine and shaft alignment is? That will be required as well.
Old     (Pad1Tai)      Join Date: Jan 2013       05-17-2014, 7:23 PM Reply   
I think it's easier to take the 6 or 8 screws and nuts off the strut and take it off.. It's a whole lot easier removing the bronze bushing on the bench... if you have the plastic ones already in there.. they are easier but still think it's still easier pulling the strut than pulling the prop shaft...
Old     (nick_in_ssp)      Join Date: Aug 2006       05-18-2014, 3:50 AM Reply   
I did think about pulling the strut but didn't know if that was something people did. Yes I have heard it would have to be re aligned and that is something I will have to look into a little more. I did see a write up a couple years ago about realigning the shaft with the tranny I will have to search around for that also.
Old     (Pad1Tai)      Join Date: Jan 2013       05-18-2014, 6:27 AM Reply   
Actually nick... there is no adjustment for realigning the shaft on the strut mount... It's all done on the engine and trans mounts.. But having the strut loose with no bolts, as you slide it on, its the good way to determine if the engine alignment is off... when you slide the strut up to the mount points.. if the bolts don't line up almost perfect, then the engine alignment is off...
Old     (nick_in_ssp)      Join Date: Aug 2006       05-18-2014, 2:27 PM Reply   
I was talking about the coupler at the tranny. The shaft should '"align" the strut automaticly unless there is a bend in the shaft.
Old     (Pad1Tai)      Join Date: Jan 2013       05-18-2014, 8:20 PM Reply   
Like I said.. If the strut does not align unloaded for the 6 or 8 thru hull bolts.. then the engine is miss aligned... At that point you have the option of 2 procedures... Adjust the engine/trans mounts with the coupler connected and torqued, to align the strut.... Or you can uncouple the shaft from the trans, bolt the strut back in place.. now the misalignment will show up at the coupler and you can adjust engine/trans mount accordingly..either way will align the engine/trans/strut alignment..
Old     (baitkiller)      Join Date: Jan 2010       05-19-2014, 4:05 AM Reply   
Or the strut is bent
Old     (Iceberg)      Join Date: Dec 2011       05-21-2014, 9:08 PM Reply   
What a timely post as I just finished mine this morning. Mine started out as a probable bent shaft that had a minor vibration for about 2 years. The aft most bearing was showing signs of wear. The problem I had was the coupler would not release.After a few hours of trying different techniques (pullers/heat/etc), including bending a 5 ton small puller, I cut the shaft off at the coupler. Since I suspected the shaft was bent, I just ordered a new shaft and coupler. As it turned out, it had spun on the shaft and the shaft was bent at the prop end from a previous damage. The interesting part was it was bent inside the strut! FWIW, it took a 20 ton press (and it almost didn't separate) to pop the end out of the coupler as it was cold welded from the spin.

As far as removing the strut bearings, mine were brass/metal with a plastic/hard rubber ridged liner. The forward one came out reasonably well with a large punch. The rear one was a PITA as it would not budge. It ended up folding over on itself as the punch was hit. I eventually used a Dremel and a saw blade to cut it free. The new vesconite bearings went in fairly easily with a hammer and block of soft wood. The shaft spins so much easier by hand with the new bearings. The alignment is very good. I bought a new dripless seal for the through hull joint (V-drive), just in case. The original OJ unit and seal looks good, but I will give it a test this weekend. If it leaks, I will go back in and replace the seal. It should be a fairly easy job with everything new.

I wouldn't recommend taking the strut off the boat unless it is easy to get to the nuts. Mine sit right under the motor and it would be difficult to reach. As well, you would need to re-align the strut and reseal the hull.

If everything goes well it could easily be less than an hour to do it all.

Last edited by Iceberg; 05-21-2014 at 9:11 PM.
Old     (nick_in_ssp)      Join Date: Aug 2006       05-22-2014, 3:51 PM Reply   
I will have to take a look at it this weekend and decide if I want to mess with the shaft or just do the strut.
Old     (Iceberg)      Join Date: Dec 2011       05-22-2014, 8:30 PM Reply   
Unless it is damaged like mine was, it should separate easily with a puller; this is the best way to do it. At some point you may have to separate it, but perhaps not this time. You can use a hack-saw blade or reciprocating saw to make easy work when removing the bearings if they causes problems. My problem was the one that moved easily jambed up on the one that wouldn't move, so to do it again i would just make to linear cuts and it would literally fall out.
Old     (nick_in_ssp)      Join Date: Aug 2006       05-27-2014, 4:17 PM Reply   
Well, I decided to take off my strut. I didn't have a puller of any sort and it is super tight under the v drive. The strut is held on by 6 bolts with a screw slot on the head. Had someone under the boat while I had a wrench on the nuts under the engine and it all came apart really nice. Couple of the nuts were a pain in the butt to get off but it wasn't to bad. The strut slide right off of the shaft, now to order the correct bushings and re install.
Old     (Pad1Tai)      Join Date: Jan 2013       05-28-2014, 6:43 AM Reply   
Nick.. did the bolt holes line up when you took the last screw out?.. or did the strut shift to the side?.. vertical alignment is checked with the strut flange flush against the hull.. That'll tell you about alignment.. check it with new bushings.. (Cutlass Bearings)
Old     (nick_in_ssp)      Join Date: Aug 2006       05-28-2014, 3:42 PM Reply   
I didn't check that but with the play in the strut I don't think that would be very accurate. The real test will be when I get the new bushings in the strut. Then if it lines up and I can push the bolts in through the fiberglass I should be good to go, or I will have to go from there and see what will have to be done.
Old     (nick_in_ssp)      Join Date: Aug 2006       06-02-2014, 4:34 PM Reply   
Well, got the strut back on, sealed with silicone, and all hardware pushed in by hand and tightened. I used the XPC bushings and the shaft sure turns nice in them, absolutely no play.
Old     (Pad1Tai)      Join Date: Jan 2013       06-03-2014, 6:49 AM Reply   
Then you're good to go Nick.. You wouldn't believe the torque twist a prop load puts on a shaft under load.. Your old bushing just plain wore out..
Old     (nick_in_ssp)      Join Date: Aug 2006       06-03-2014, 6:44 PM Reply   
Thanks for some of the pointers. The boat has 900 hours on it so I imagine it was about due.


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