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Strut Alignment - Help Needed

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Poorhouse View Drop Down
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    Posted: June-19-2017 at 9:47am
Replacing the prop shaft with an ARE.

See backstory here:
Link

I'm new to boating and boat ownership. So, I read everything I could on how to do this job and how to align engine to shaft. Prepared to knock this out on Saturday and water test Sunday. LOL, not so fast.

What I found is the shaft is very low in the log. I was hoping the cutlass bearing was worn out on the bottom, but it looks new.
This puts me in the position of having to align the strut.
I'm nervous about opening this can of worms.

With the front of the log supported I have 1/8" to 1/4" clearance at the bottom of the log.
I know the shaft should be centered, but would this work?
I've read it's possible to bend the strut in place to make up for slight misalignment.
Is this recommended (or realistic)?

If I need to pull the strut what is the correct process to align it? I've read about washers, epoxy wedges, grinding hull or grinding strut.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8122pbrainard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 10:23am
Jake,
I suggest some stainless washers between the strut base and hull at the aft end. It won't take many. One under each side will probably do it. Then after a dry fit, re bed the strut in 4200.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TRBenj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 10:31am
Presumably the place where you have the shaft supported to is where it spins freely in the strut? If so, then follow petes advice or shave the front end of the base to correct the angle.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Poorhouse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 10:56am
I figured it has to come out.
Is there a recess in the hull to locate the strut?
I'm worried I'll lose the alignment I have. It's good right to left.

To remove the strut I pull the 6 screws then pull it off.
I'm guessing it's going to really be stuck on there with the sealant. Any tricks to get it to release?
Do I need to clean out all the old sealant?

Once that's done dry fit with washers or grind strut to right angle and confirm fit in log.

Then permanently reinstall with 4200 (or 5200?) sealer.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gun-driver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 11:21am
I gave mine a kick to knock it loose😁
Yes to the other questions
No on the 5200 or you may not get it off next time without taking some gel with it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8122pbrainard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 11:49am
Originally posted by Poorhouse Poorhouse wrote:

I'm worried I'll lose the alignment I have.

This is why I recommended a dry fit before removing the strut again for bedding. With the 4200, you will have hours to play with the alignment before it starts to cure.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Poorhouse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 12:45pm
All right, I'll get some 4200 on order. How much do I need? I'm seeing it sold in 1/10 gallon size.

I suppose I'll do the cutlass bearing while the strut is off.
I bought a nylon replacement bearing ($$!) with the intent of replacing it now.
The cutlass in there is the rubber type and looks new. With the double taper shaft it would be easy to pull the shaft and check/replace the cutlass in a few years.

I test fit the nylon bearing and it is slightly loose on the shaft, maybe 1/32" or so. You can noticeably wiggle it. Is that correct fit?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hollywood Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 1:32pm
I "dry" fit with a few layers of masking tape. If you've ever taken a strut off you'll see there is a layer of sealant between the strut and the hull. So, a true metal to gelcoat contact would be closer than the real fit with sealant between.

The small 3oz tube will be plenty to reinstall the strut.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MrMcD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 5:22pm
Stop at your local Lowes or Home Depot and buy a package of wooden door shims.
These are 8" long about 1 1/4 wide and 1/4 inch thick on one end tapering to nearly zero thick on the thin end.
Tap a shim into the gap between boat and strut. If you get one shim started then start another next to it. Keep tapping them in and adding more shims as you go till it comes off.
Avoids bending or damaging your strut and hull. Got mine off in less than 5 minutes.
Mine took both a little sanding on the front and a couple washers at the rear to dial it in.
Buy several washers at the hardware store. Each varies a little in thickness and having several gives you options.   Get your strut straight then align the engine and trans to it.
Good luck
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fgroce Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 7:27pm
You can get the 4200 in a tube for a caulking gun.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8122pbrainard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 7:44pm
Originally posted by fgroce fgroce wrote:

You can get the 4200 in a tube for a caulking gun.

A 10oz. tube will do 10 struts!!
Originally posted by Hollywood Hollywood wrote:

The small 3oz tube will be plenty to reinstall the strut.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PLBC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 8:37pm
Might have to shim the entire strut? A little in front, more aft. Looks like the shaft is rubbing on the gel already heading into the log.

?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8122pbrainard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 8:47pm
Originally posted by PLBC PLBC wrote:

Might have to shim the entire strut? A little in front, more aft. Looks like the shaft is rubbing on the gel already heading into the log.

?

Kurt,
I don't see where the shaft is rubbing but it's not the best picture ether. Keep in mind this is a Supra.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Duane in Indy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 8:57pm
Originally posted by 8122pbrainard 8122pbrainard wrote:


I don't see where the shaft is rubbing but it's not the best picture ether.


Check your spelling Pete:     dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/ether
ether definition, meaning, what is ether: a clear liquid used, especially in the past, as an anaesthetic to make people sleep
Keep it as original as you want it
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JoeinNY Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 9:32pm
To me that shaft seems high in the back of the cutlass bearing - you got to replace it before you start aligning things, even if you think it looks new - sorry thats life, no work into old bearings - after that listen to these guys
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote OldSchoolBlue84 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-19-2017 at 10:00pm
I had the same issues when installing my ARE, added two washers (one each bolt) at the front bolts of the strut and was good to go. Good luck
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8122pbrainard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-20-2017 at 6:25am
Originally posted by Duane in Indy Duane in Indy wrote:

Originally posted by 8122pbrainard 8122pbrainard wrote:


I don't see where the shaft is rubbing but it's not the best picture ether.


Check your spelling Pete:     dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/ether
ether definition, meaning, what is ether: a clear liquid used, especially in the past, as an anaesthetic to make people sleep

Duane,
You got me! Damn spell check doesn't work when you spell correctly but use the wrong word! Actually, it took me a few tries to find "either"


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Poorhouse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-20-2017 at 8:32am
Originally posted by PLBC PLBC wrote:

Might have to shim the entire strut? A little in front, more aft. Looks like the shaft is rubbing on the gel already heading into the log.

?


It isn't rubbing but looks like maybe it was.
Here are some better pics.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Poorhouse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-20-2017 at 8:35am
Originally posted by JoeinNY JoeinNY wrote:

To me that shaft seems high in the back of the cutlass bearing - you got to replace it before you start aligning things, even if you think it looks new - sorry thats life, no work into old bearings - after that listen to these guys


Maybe I'll replace the bearing first and see where that puts me.

Any thoughts on the slight play on the new nylon bearing?
Normal?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 8122pbrainard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-20-2017 at 9:00am
Jake,
There have been reports of the plastic cutlass bearings having tolerance issues but, depending on the OD of the bearings and the ID of the strut bore, they may press in reducing the play on the shaft. Personally, I like the old fashioned brass and rubber but some members will say I'm old fashioned anyway!!


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fgroce Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-20-2017 at 6:49pm
I like the old fashion bearings, they seem to do just fine, I have read on this forum several times were people have had issues with the new improved versions, Either too tight or too loose.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TRBenj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-20-2017 at 8:04pm
^^all true stories. But when those vesconite bearings are toleranced properly... oh man are they sweet.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Poorhouse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June-28-2017 at 2:00pm
Cutlass bearing installed. Fit seems perfect.

Unfortunately it didn't help with the alignment.

The strut is going to have to come off. Dog house and back seat has to come out to access the lift up center floor section.
I don't think the gas tank will have to come out. I hope not, it's almost full.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Poorhouse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July-01-2017 at 10:47am
Removed engine cover and back seat for access to strut bolts.
Very easy and everything looks clean and tidy. Lots of 2007 markings on things.
I'm guessing to document when the restoration was done.

Removed the 6 bolts with no issue.

Going to put heat to the strut this morning to see if it will release.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Poorhouse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July-02-2017 at 8:00pm
Heated up strut for about 5 min and it popped right off.

Cleaned up and dry fit with 1/16" washer, dead center.

Will set tomorrow then move on to engine.

Edit - used MEK for clean up made quick work of whatever sealant was on there.

Took pics but photobucket isn't working.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Poorhouse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July-04-2017 at 5:49pm
Strut installed. Shaft position to log is good.

Engine is about 1/4" low. Got the front mount lock nut loose. Rears are a challenge. The nut is bigger than any of my wrenches. My big adjustable is to big to fit in the gap.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Poorhouse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July-20-2017 at 8:01am
Bought a set of big wrenches.
Once the lock nuts were loose the mounts moved easily.
Took about 20 minutes to get the engine raised and alignment to less than .003".
Not bad.

PSS installed. Hope to water test this weekend.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Poorhouse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July-24-2017 at 8:36am
Water test was successful.

Amazing to see no drips from the PSS. Instructions say there could be some light spray for up to an hour as the faces break in. I didn't get any spray.

No vibrations or other issues from alignment. Prop now turns with one finger.

Did note the rudder leaking a bit, about a drip every 2 seconds or so. Was able to snug the stuffing box 1/8 of a turn or so when I got home. That should slow it a bit. I'll repack it in the offseason.


Thanks for all the help.
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