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HELP....... I can't get my prop shaft loose

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jbyers
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HELP....... I can't get my prop shaft loose

Post by jbyers » Fri Aug 14, 2015 7:52 pm

In my never ending quest to remove every moving part before I put the boat in the water to check for leaks, I decided to see if I could re-stuff the prop stuffing box tonight. I got the nut loose, but there is not enough clearance between the two halves to be able to remove the old cord and replace it with new cord. (See picture).

So next I decided to remove the shaft hoping to get more clearance and to change out the rubber hose while I was at it. If you remember, the shaft key was sticking out what appeared to be too far from the transmission flange. Well when I slid the packing nut up towards the transmission, it shoved the key all the way into the flange housing so I can not now remove it.

I removed the flange from the back of the transmission and soaked the holes that the set screws that go into the shaft were, but I still can't get the propeller shaft to come loose from the transmission collar, even after beating on the base of the propeller with a piece of wood and a 5 pound hammer.

Should I tap on the transmission flange (collar) with a hammer and see if it comes loose or is there another better way???

Of course you KNOW what comes next................ how do I remove and replace the old cutlass bearing if/when I get the prop shaft out the back of the boat???

I can just see you old veterans sitting there rolling your eyes and laughing.......... :mrgreen:

And the SAGA continues...............
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Katanna
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Re: HELP....... I can't get my prop shaft loose

Post by Katanna » Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:43 pm

You can take a drift and try to push the keyway out through the end of the flange. You will have to reinstall your packing nut and screw it down as much as possible to gain clearance. Reinstall the flange on the trans with a couple bolts (hand tight is fine) however space it out with a couple washers between the mating surfaces to allow room for the key to protrude out. This has worked for me in the past. Usually they loosen when the key starts to come out the front.
Steve

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DennyDowning
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Re: HELP....... I can't get my prop shaft loose

Post by DennyDowning » Sat Aug 15, 2015 7:43 am

Hey.....
You calling me old!

Back the truck up my friend.
I did kinda cringe a little when you said you wanted to replace the packing.
But I thought - well okay then - your going to be ckecking the alignment of the shaft to the engine.
This is most important.
A bad alignment will cause a leak and is hard on the entire drive train including the cutless.
So I thought.... this is good!
But then I kept reading and think you kinda missed something.
The set screws holding the flange on the shaft are not so much the issue.

I can tell you how I would aproach the problem.
Leave the set screws in and seperate the flange from the trans.
Pretty good chance they are kinda rusted together........
Get some good penatrating oil and put it on the flange.
Just keep hiting it with the penatrating oil.
Be patient my friend and save the 5 pound hammer for later.
What you want to do is seperate the flange first okay.
If you dont know there is a sholder on the inside of the flange that aligns the two parts.
The two parts actually fit together with a very close tolerance for which there is a reason.
The alignment of the trans and shaft is critical to you boat and drive train.

Remove the bolts from the flange and put penatrating oil in them as well.
Okay penatrating oil in bolt holes and around the flange joint and enough time to let the oil work.
You want to seperate the two but they need to come straight away from each other as the sholder is in there.
The sholder is about an eigth of an inch so get the pieces that that far apart and your good.
But now you also created more work.
This is good though and way more important then a leak - really.
Pay close attention to the shaft as you try to pull it back.
By the way, I have found tha turning parts apart is way better then banging them apart.
With the trans in gear try turning the prop and spinning them apart.
Okay....
"Patience Willow"
The best case is that the flange seperates parallel and perpendicular without any kind of popping.
If the shaft is not aligned to the trans she is going to go thunk and spring apart as the sholder comes out of the trans side.
Ahhh.... now we are getting somewhere.

Okay, now you should be able to seperate the shaft from the flange.
Again try turning them apart a couple pipe wrenches may loosen them up for you.
You know - squirt some Dawn dish soap on that cutless too before you start working for lubrication there.
It will be a lot easier on the cutless.
You can slide the shaft back and do the work you wanted to now.
Once you are satisfied the hose, packing, and cutless are all good then the fun starts.

Clean up the mating faces on both sides of your flange.
Make sure the fit together nicely the prop side should fit right in and spin them to be sure there are no burrs or obstructions.
Those parts should be about a perfect fit to each other.
Okay so far......
Now push you shaft back in with the packing nut back on the shaft but not screwed on yet.
Reattach the flange to the shaft - as it was.
The alignment from the cutless to the trans is absolutely critical.
They need to slip together and, the fun part, you will need a feeler gage to check the alignment of the flange parts.
They must be parallel and perpendicular to each other.
Use the feeler gage and check that no more then .003 difference in the faces around the primiter of the flanges.
If there is more then .003 you will need to, ahemm, align them by adjusting the engine mounts so they do align.
I guess the trickiest part here is making sure the prop shaft is parallel through the strut cutless as well or the cutless will fail.
This is a little difficult because of the weight of the shaft but be as precise as you can.
Then adjust the motor untill there is no more the .003 difference around around the primiter of the flange parts.
Do this with the the flange parts together and the sholder in.

Just a note here.....
She has been out of the water a while so she may have changed her shape a bit and will most likely change again when she goes back in the water.
So, you should get the idea how to do this as you will want to do it again after you soak her up.
It is most important for your boat to do this for several reasons.

Once you have them aligned properly bolt them back together.
Aren't you glad you wanted to replace that packing?
Just kidding, you are doing the right thing.
Now your alignment is correct too and you learned so much more.

Oh yea, don't tighten that packing nut too tight either.
Just snug her up you can always tighten it later and there is a break in period.
A little water coming through at first is good; means you did not over tighten.

Man, summer is getting past us here.
I hope to see some reports on how you like your boat once you get her in.
Us old timers need youngens like you to keep our dreams alive.
So keep doing just what your doing.

Denny

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DennyDowning
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Re: HELP....... I can't get my prop shaft loose

Post by DennyDowning » Sat Aug 15, 2015 7:43 am

Sorry about the repete....
Last edited by DennyDowning on Sat Aug 15, 2015 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jbyers
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Re: HELP....... I can't get my prop shaft loose

Post by jbyers » Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:16 am

OMG Denny. I'm in total panic. The two halves of the transmission flanges/hubs came apart cleanly. I am left with the shaft stuck to the hub. Won't a pipe wrench score the shaft??

I'll re read this a few times and hope I get it but I'm thinking this is way above my pay scale. :oops: :oops:

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DennyDowning
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Re: HELP....... I can't get my prop shaft loose

Post by DennyDowning » Sat Aug 15, 2015 12:23 pm

Hopefully the key came out easy.
I assuned it would as you indicated it pushed in.

Yea a pipe wrench will score.
I used to use a piece of leather around the parts.
Did it spring?
I assumed it was part of your issue geting the shaft out of the flange.

Okay, if the flanges still line up thread the bolts back; the key out.
Try turning the prop by hand with the trans in gear.
Little this way, a little that way.
Your almost there now.

Sometimes you need to let the penatrating oil work for a while.
Work on something else a while and come back in a couple hours and try again.
Perhaps go get hose and the rope packing you need - get four feet.
That should leave enough for you to make a bad cut or two.
Two schools on packing 1 piece spiraled in or 3 pieces cut in and offsetting the cuts.
I use the 3 piece method - as I found mine originally.
I use a teflon lubricant too.

Turning the prop by hand with bolts in the flange should work.
Boy it gets cramped and hot down in there.....

Let us know when you are ready to align the flanges.

Denny

jbyers
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Re: HELP....... I can't get my prop shaft loose

Post by jbyers » Sat Aug 15, 2015 5:04 pm

No luck at all Denny. I can't get the key out all the way out even though it is sliding freely. I tried twisting the shaft and the hub (of course with the key in, it won't move much if any). I tried beating the hell out of the flange with it loose from the tranny........ still nothing. I have soaked every possible opening with PB Blaster.

The key is binding as it get to the incline in the keyway on the back side of the shaft. Should I be able to pull it out past the incline???

I have not tried reconnecting the hub to the tranny yet as you suggest, but with the key still in I can't see much good coming of that method.

Am I missing something here? It's as if something is still holding the hub on the shaft. It just won't budge.........

HELP................ !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jbyers
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Re: HELP....... I can't get my prop shaft loose

Post by jbyers » Sat Aug 15, 2015 5:12 pm

Sorry Steve I missed your post. Which direction are you talking about pushing the key though towards??? The engine side or the prop side???

When I try to pull it out towards the prop, it hits on the incline on the prop side of the keyway and binds up into the hub and won't come out any further...... So I hope you mean pushing it back through towards the engine..........

joanroy
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Re: HELP....... I can't get my prop shaft loose

Post by joanroy » Sat Aug 15, 2015 5:30 pm

All great advice from Denny.

So your shaft is separated from the trans and now you have to get the shaft pulled out of the shaft coupling. Slide the shaft back. You may have to cut the stuffing box hose out of the way for clearance. Lock the shaft back with vise grips or a C clamp behind the strut to keep it from going forward then use a brass drift and a hammer to tap the coupling off the end of the shaft. Now unless your rudder is in the way, you should be able to pull the shaft all the way out. My boat has a hole in the rudders to pull the shafts thru, but the prop has to be removed first. Strip all the paint off your strut. There should be set screws in the side of the Cutlass bearing housing that lock it in place. After removing the screws the easiest way to remove the bearing is to cut thru it in two places. You can do this with a sawzall or a hack saw blade on a handle. Make sure you cut just thru the cutlass bearing and not into the inside of the strut. Once its cut in half you can easily remove the two sides. A new bearing is lined up and pressed in or tapped in using a block of wood and a hammer until flush on both end. Install set screws and put it all back together the reverse of taking it apart. Check your shaft alignment before tightening the shaft coupling to trans.

jbyers
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Re: HELP....... I can't get my prop shaft loose

Post by jbyers » Sat Aug 15, 2015 5:44 pm

Thanks Joanroy. I already cut the hose off. I used a vice grip to hold the shaft back just like you said. I used a block of wood and a five pound hammer and the shaft did not budge. I'll try a drift but I don't think it will budge. It's as if something else is holding the shaft in the hub. Driving me nuts.

joanroy
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Re: HELP....... I can't get my prop shaft loose

Post by joanroy » Sat Aug 15, 2015 6:14 pm

I the shaft is back far enough you might be able to get a puller on the coupling. The trick is finding the right one that will hook over the back of the flange and getting the thread to tighten up against the shaft end in the flange. If you have a good boat yard near by you might want to talk it over with their head mechanic. They could have a puller that will work.

jbyers
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Re: HELP....... I can't get my prop shaft loose

Post by jbyers » Sat Aug 15, 2015 6:30 pm

Got the key out the front end as suggested. Coupled the flange back up to the transmission but when I turn the prop, the transmission won't hold tight....... hope that isn't my NEXT post....

Took the flange loose and beat on it some more....... still no luck. I'm done for the night....... I'll look for a gear puller tomorrow..........GEEZE People........... :oops:

Katanna
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Re: HELP....... I can't get my prop shaft loose

Post by Katanna » Sat Aug 15, 2015 7:29 pm

With the key out you can try tapping the flange further onto the shaft. Get it to come through the front of the flange enough so you can sand or lightly file the end. It sounds like the end of it is mushroomed. Next put a couple flange bolts back in but just hand tight! Nor take a block of wood and a hammer and hit the prop back only at the base of the prop against the shaft. Keep spinning and tapping on opposite sides. You should not have to hit it too hard.

Steve

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DennyDowning
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Re: HELP....... I can't get my prop shaft loose

Post by DennyDowning » Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:40 pm

Sorry your having so much fun.
You need to do this though.
Steve's suggestion of trying to tap the flange further on the shaft and filing the brass end is excellent.
If it moves back a little say 1/8 to 1/4; it will shurly move forward.
You might try turning it again as well.

I also thought that heating the flange with a tourch (being very carful) will cause expansion of the flange slightly.
It could break lose some oxidation between the steel flange and the brass shaft.
Heat evenly around and use more penatrating oil.
I smiled at the idea of a drift... I called it a pickle fork!
That is the correct way as the forces pushing forward are equal on both sides oh the flange.
I remember my first time, when it was rough, and that is basically what I did though I only had some hard Maple wedges.

If it makes you feel better my first time took about three days.
This is how I learned.
You are doing the right thing and you will get it.
When you go to buy supplies - the hose and hemp shaft packing buy a new key too.
It should be stainless steel and the right size - I suspect the one you have may have been a little small.
Doesn't seem like it should have been loose.
Perhaps take the flange with you as the key should fit pretty snugly as if made for each other.

You had to do this anyway..... Really.
It is important to check the alignment of the shaft to the engine and trans.
A mis alingment can cause a big problem and the only way to check it is how you are doing it.
Also keep in mind this will likely not be the last time you need to do it.


Denny

jbyers
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Re: HELP....... I can't get my prop shaft loose

Post by jbyers » Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:11 pm

Not the last time Denny??????? I sure hope so.

I got to thinking about the gear puller idea. I looked in my tool cart and found an old steering wheel puller (see pictures). I think I can find a shorter center bolts so that I can get a wrench on it in the small clearance between the face of the two hubs and run two bolts with nuts on them through the open arms of the puller and through the holes in the hub and see if I can break it loose. Of course if the end of the shaft has mushroomed then that's a different story. I hope and think it hasn't as it is already about a 1/4 of an inch or so into the forward opening of the center of the hub. Maybe I can get enough torque on it to break it loose..........

Wish me luck tomorrow.........

# McIver......... :roll:
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DennyDowning
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Re: HELP....... I can't get my prop shaft loose

Post by DennyDowning » Sun Aug 16, 2015 4:46 am

Hey great!
Looks like a plan.
I suggest putting a steel washer or three on the end of the brass shaft where the bolt will be pressing/pushing to avoid damage to the brass.

Denny

joanroy
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Re: HELP....... I can't get my prop shaft loose

Post by joanroy » Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:22 am

I used a puller on one now that I think back. Crank that sucker as tight as you can get it and give the coupling a good whack. It should pop. I guess I should define what I call a drift. Mine is as chunk of bronze 1 1/4 inch prop shaft. I think it came out of a shaft that wouldn't come apart and had to get cut out. I'm confident that if you keep at it you'll have success and you won't have to turn your shaft into bronze drifts. Carry On!

martinfeletto
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Re: HELP....... I can't get my prop shaft loose

Post by martinfeletto » Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:46 am

You can bolt the coupler back up to the reverse gear and use a slide hammer on the prop end. Another way is to use longer coupler bolts and place a spacer between the prop and output shaft of the reverse gear. Then evenly tighten the coupler bolts so that the spacer pushes the shaft out. Heat helps sometimes also.

jnbailey71
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Re: HELP....... I can't get my prop shaft loose

Post by jnbailey71 » Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:58 am

I have had some of the similar issues Jerry- just a side note about PB Blaster I think it's good stuff but I recently got turned onto this stuff (http://www.amazon.com/ACDelco-10-4020-R ... B008I2H55U) AC Delco Heat valve spray. You can get it at any GM dealer. I have had tremendous success on this project getting seized parts to come apart.
Josh Bailey
1958 15' Chris-Craft Cavalier Utility K95

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Pete DeVito
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Re: HELP....... I can't get my prop shaft loose

Post by Pete DeVito » Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:08 pm

I had the same problem and this is what happened in my story. I pulled out the setscrew and soaked it through the hole for about a week. I never could get the bronze shaft to release so I lifted the engine up a little and used a puller which ended up warping the coupler and finally broke it. After all was done I lifted the engine up enough to pull the shaft out completely and took it to my press to get the coupling off. I can tell you that I would have never removed the coupling without putting it in the press. If I would have pulled the complete shaft and coupling out first, I may have saved the coupling. All of these parts have to align and a hammer is the last tool to use. If you beat on the coupling while attached to the transmission that all gets transferred up stream to the internals of the transmission. The same goes for the prop.
At the end of the day I ended up putting a new stn. stl. shaft replacing the bronze shaft that was worn and installed new packing and cutless bearing and it all works great now.
Good luck!
Past Project 1948 17' Deluxe
Past Project 1957 19' Capri
Future Project 1955 17' Special Sportsman

jbyers
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Re: HELP....... I can't get my prop shaft loose

Post by jbyers » Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:16 pm

All great ideas..... Martin, I thought yours sounded particularly good considering nothing else has worked for me. WHAT could go wrong I said???? Well I already knew the answer to that one.

I used a socket of the shaft diameter to sit between the end of the shaft and the shaft in the hub of the transmission and got some extra long bolts. I kept tightening down on each one evenly and there was a Small movement in the shaft, but then POP !!!!!!

One of the threads in the hub on the transmission side stripped out partially....... I tried with the remaining three bolts and got maybe a quarter inch movement in the shaft but that was it. I heated it with a heat gun since I don't have a torch, and still nothing.

Lord help me if I can't tap those stripped threads adequately.....

I put it in gear and tried to turn the prop........ STILL no luck.

I wacked it with the five pound hammer and a block of wood at the base of the hub........ and still nothing.

I have left it with some more PB Blaster to sit until sunset when I get a second wind and I will try again......

I am REAL close to calling Uncle or as Ronda Rousey's opponents would say, Tapping Out and towing it to the local boat shop and opening my pocket book........

Any other words of wisdom are greatly appreciated. I just can't see how I got a quarter inch of movement in the shaft and it won't go any further. Maybe the PB Blaster will find a better path this time.......

Any other words of wisdom are greatly appreciated..........

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DennyDowning
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Re: HELP....... I can't get my prop shaft loose

Post by DennyDowning » Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:31 pm

Man........
I agree a 1/4 movement..
It should go.
A heat gun is not enough heat.

A bad thread on the trans hub should not hurt to much.
Chase the thread with a tap.
Someone said to use good pressure with the puller and then tap turn tap turn tighten tap turn......

Worst case is a new (or used) shaft.
May well be, since it is not coming apart , it is bent and needs replacing.
Probably less expense then the boat shop.
That is kinda what I was thinking when I said you may need to do this again.
But next time it will come apart much easier.
Don't forget the anti-size lube.

Denny

jbyers
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Re: HELP....... I can't get my prop shaft loose

Post by jbyers » Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:52 pm

I forgot the taps when I had pressure on it. I may go ahead this evening and put the three good bolts back in and tighten it up and tap it a few times........ At this point if I had a torch I'd cut the shaft in half just for revenge........... It sure doesn't look like brass to me though or I could cut it with a saws all, but not as much fun as a torch............

jim g
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Re: HELP....... I can't get my prop shaft loose

Post by jim g » Sun Aug 16, 2015 6:22 pm

Heres what you need. Although you can probably buy a new shaft for the cost of the tool. I've got on it makes life easy.

https://www.generalpropeller.com/minder ... aft-puller

jbyers
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Re: HELP....... I can't get my prop shaft loose

Post by jbyers » Sun Aug 16, 2015 6:28 pm

IMG_1106.JPG
OK, so Somebody had a little throw down with the prop shaft tonight and only ONE of us walked away in one piece...........
Now for the hard part. There doesn't seem to be a lot of crud either on the end of the shaft or the inside the hub, but still it would have to be beaten back on the fit is so tight. Can I clean those areas up with a dremmel tool, or should I take them to a machine shop???

Second, I see no set screw in the casing holding the cutlass bearing in place. Do they all have set screws???

The cutless bearing is about 1 1/4 inches shorter than the length of the shaft casing (whatever they call it). Is this correct or should it run the entire length?

And last, should I paint or coat the opening in the wood where the prop shaft goes through the hull with fiberglass resin or something else to keep the wood from rotting. It looks pretty clean and in good shape as is, but I want to preserve it if I can.

THANK you all for your helpful suggestions and support. I was just about to throw in the towel.........
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jbyers
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Re: HELP....... I can't get my prop shaft loose

Post by jbyers » Sun Aug 16, 2015 6:49 pm

Actually Jim, after I failed to get the shaft all the way out by any other means, I used a block of wood to do the same thing at the base of the prop and that was what finally freed it........

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DennyDowning
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Re: HELP....... I can't get my prop shaft loose

Post by DennyDowning » Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:15 pm

Yip'eeee :)
I like the smile on your face.
WELCOME TO THE CLUB !!!!

You know that does look like a stainless shaft in the picture.
If so, nice because it is likely not warped at all.
That will be great!

Is that ridges I see in your picture around where the set screws went in?
If so, even a little ridge, and if it is stainless then I understand the difficulty.
The ridges around the set screw made the shaft bigger there.

The tolerance is very close indeed.
I wold not use a Dremel tool but a hand file to knock off the ridges on the shaft.
Even better a wood block with silicon carbide, black wet ot dry 100 grit, would work well.
The sandpaper will work nicely in the hub hole as well.
You should be able to push them together by hand and turn them and it should be tight - hand tight.
Nice job my friend.
You don't look like such a young'en anymore !!!!

In my strut the cutlass is full length.
Mine was however pressed in; no set screw.
I had to take the strut into the machine shop to have it installed.
I don't think you want to take off the strut.
I would guess being short is okay based on the size if the strut.
Again guessing, the cutless is about 4" long on my boat.
If the shaft was tight and not wobbling in the cutless I think I would leave it alone.
More experienced others might suggest something different there.
The main thing is the alignment so makes sense if it is wobbley in cutless bearing the alignment will never be right.

Just a passing thought......
Check that the slot for the key is the same size in both the shaft and the flange.
Still something going on there I think.

Far as the shaft hole in the bottom and preserving it.
I am against epoxy for anything on wood really - old wood guy.
My 1929 had no epoxy and lasted 50 years before the transom started rotting because of leaking under the shaft log the result of a bad alignmentand but the shaft hole was just fine.
Epoxy will not prevent water from getting into the wood.
The water will get in no matter what.
The Epoxy will only prevent the water from escaping from the wood - thus rot - just my 2 cents.
Use the paint you use on the bottom.
Having said that - thirty years ago I had a piece of 1.5" brass pipe used under a kitchen sink, a long tailpiece, you know the kind that goes to a sink trap - very thin brass.
It fit pretty tight in the hole and I drove it in and sanded off the ends.

A very good all around sealer for my boat is BoatLife.
Unlike epoxy or 5200 this stuff sands and paints better and if you do have to take something apart you can.
BoatLife_Life_Seal_Sealant - 400.jpg
BoatLife_Life_Seal_Sealant - 400.jpg (31.48 KiB) Viewed 1755 times
Here is an old picture of my first one finished.
Rear Engine.jpg
Great Job!

Denny

Greg Wallace
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Re: HELP....... I can't get my prop shaft loose

Post by Greg Wallace » Mon Aug 17, 2015 9:05 am

One or two cuts with a hack saw will get the old one out with out a fuss. Freeze the new one and lube the strut bore. if you can carefully get it started far enough to maintain alignment you can drive it on in with a hammer and wood block. Make sure the bore is clean and polished smooth. Act quickly before bearing warms up and expands. I have had them slide right in then get tight once warmed but usually need a little persuasion.
Greg Wallace 23 Custom 22166 former Chris-Craft dealer Russells Point, Oh.

jbyers
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Re: HELP....... I can't get my prop shaft loose

Post by jbyers » Mon Aug 17, 2015 9:19 am

Good idea Greg..........

martinfeletto
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Re: HELP....... I can't get my prop shaft loose

Post by martinfeletto » Mon Aug 17, 2015 11:16 am

What was just described is exactly how to get the new cutlass bearing in. Freeze the hell out of it and it will go in. Glad you got the shaft out

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