Cutlass Bearings

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Cutlass Bearings

Postby Jastafford » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:57 pm

I was told the other day after an inspection that I should replace my cutlass bearings. According to the internet videos the process looks pretty straight forward. Question is where do I get the proper bearings and what about the tool?
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Re: Cutlass Bearings

Postby Jastafford » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:58 pm

Oh, I'm a 1972 42 classic. Each shaft has two bearings.
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Re: Cutlass Bearings

Postby Berger » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:33 pm

My 77 36' has 3 bearings per shaft.
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Re: Cutlass Bearings

Postby Jastafford » Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:50 pm

Right, one in the stuffing box also plus the two under the boat. I think I am only going to do the one on the prop end.
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Re: Cutlass Bearings

Postby Bob Lowe » Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:58 am

You can get the bearings at Fisheries Supply in Seattle.
Good luck,
Bob Lowe
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Re: Cutlass Bearings

Postby Jastafford » Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:53 pm

Thanks Bob, what do I need to know to order? I have not measured yet, is it a standard inch size or will it be metric. I doubt I can purchase by my year, model, etc. I called a few of my local guys and they can get me the bearing but do not rent out the tool to push out the old and push in the new. How do I get around that problem? I don't have the equipment at my disposal anymore to make one.
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Re: Cutlass Bearings

Postby Berger » Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:50 pm

The bearings are off the shelve Johnson measured by your shaft dia. and the strut inside dia. Getting the old out is the easy part using a sawzall. I purchased a 2" cylinder hone like the one used to rebuild engines to really clean the strut before installing the new bearing. Use dry ice to freeze the bearing and plenty of liquid soap. You will also need a hardwood block and large hammer. I also had 3/4" threaded rod with big thick washers to drive two of them that didn't want to move any further then 3".
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Re: Cutlass Bearings

Postby Jastafford » Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:57 pm

Sawzall? You must have pulled your shafts? Did you have the boat high enough to pull the shafts or did you dig a hole? So you used inch size bearings versus metric? I'm planning on pressing out and back in with the shafts in place using a double jack screw set up. There are lot of videos showing how to do it this way.
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Re: Cutlass Bearings

Postby Berger » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:27 am

Yes! I pulled the shafts and replaced all three per shaft. Not an easy job with the shafts removed so good luck trying to do it in place. Yes inch size bearings.
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Re: Cutlass Bearings

Postby Jastafford » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:56 pm

Thanks. About your bearings. Mine look to be just solid, constant ID bronze bearings. I see many cutlass bearings on the internet for sale that are either fluted and/or have a hard rubber fluted inner. I think so water can flow thru and keep them cool. I also saw some that were 100% rubber. What were your old and new ones like?
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Re: Cutlass Bearings

Postby Berger » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:34 pm

One was so badly worn that it was just bronze with the rubber gone. The new ones are bronze with the fluted rubber. How much play do you have? There should be none.
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Re: Cutlass Bearings

Postby denogail » Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:31 pm

Any boat yard will tell you that you DO NOT HAVE TO PULL YOUR SHAFTS! Boat yards have a hydraulic device with chains that attach to the strut and push the bearing out. Yes, a great deal of pressure is required...and there will be a "BANG" when the bearing starts to move....Remembering, to remove the set screws that hold the bearing in place. Then, the same tool, will push the new bearing in...

DenO
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Re: Cutlass Bearings

Postby GB42-267 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:10 pm

I have personally never seen a cutlass bearing being replaced without pulling the shaft. Even if the yard is able to do so, why would you?
The bearing area of the shafts can't be examined unless the shafts are removed. If your bearings are shot, you may also have worn shafts in the bearing areas. The shafts are subjected to a lot of wear in these areas, especially in muddy or silty water.
The shafts can also suffer from the dreadful crevice corrosion, especially in the stern tube area due to low flow and oxygen starved water. I have seen more than one shaft snapped in two, caused by pitting and worm holes due to crevice corrosion.
If your shafts have any problems of this nature it is highly advisable to deal with it while changing the cutlass bearing than having a shaft snap while out cruising, your choice. :|
Bjorn M
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Re: Cutlass Bearings

Postby OregonJim » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:35 pm

I had the cutlass bearings replaced on my '68 GB 32 last summer (2018) at Marine Sericecenter in Anacortes. They pulled the rudder, shaft, and bearing. Parts and labor for that part of the work was $1340. I didn't include the lift because they were doing other work as well. I was very pleased with all their work.
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Re: Cutlass Bearings

Postby denogail » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:23 pm

Actually, you are not exactly correct. Once the hydraulic "pusher has pushed out the bearing, there is enough "slop" to visual inspect the shaft in that area. If you can "giggle" the propeller shaft in the bearing, the rubber is worn out. I was in Spanish Wells, bringing my own bearings, and even they had the hydraulic bearing "pusher". My shafts are original, 1988, and showed only signs of smoothness, with 6600 hours on the engines. What a lot of boat owners do not realize, is if your boat sits for months on end, in waters that does have a lot of marine growth, before starting the engines and sticking the transmissions in gear, to go down in the engine room and take a pipe wrench and "GENTLY" rotate the shafts back and forth to break out the growths that are in the "veins" of the rubber bearing. Thus avoiding the sandpaper effect and eating of the rubber insert.

Any full service boat yard has a cutlass bearing puller...and here is a link to show you what it looks like. Actually several different types...

https://strutpro.com/
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Last edited by denogail on Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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