Strut Bushings Replacement no special tools
Hey guys, just thought I'd share what I found once I finally was able to get the prop off (a little heat and some pressure from a prop puller had her shoot right off)
The boat seemed to run just fine, and doesnít seem to have any excessive vibrations, though I donít really have anything to gauge the amount of vibrations off of. Regardless, itís not vibrating the screws loose.
Anyway, I was doing some checking last fall around the strut and prop, just looking, and found something that concerned me. It appears that there is no lower bushing in the strut. The upper bushing appears as I would expect it (thought I do see some small cracks in the rubber). But the lower bushing doesnít seem to be there. There is some sort of whitish/red fibrous material inside the strut further toward the engine, but, there isnít any support on the propeller end of the strut.
So, my plan is to pull the shaft coupling, pull the shaft, replace the bushings, reinstall the shaft and coupling, check alignement, and drink copious beers along the way (that is with the assumption that the shaft isn't bent).
I am not sure why the lower bushing would be missing, but it looks like the previous owner might have hit the prop on something once, as there are some minor grinding marks on the fore part of the 3 of the 4 blades. So, I don't know if the strut was replaced or removed or what previously... interesting to say the least!
Lesson of the Day - Don't Run Over Your Rope!!!
Well, an update as far as these bushings go. Spent about half of Saturday pulling the prop shaft and bushings out of the boat. Turns out the previous owner ran over a rope at one point. The previous photos that I posted, where you could see some red-ish material, well that was part of the rope. One we got the shaft out, there was actually more rope, inbetween the gap between the two bushings.
It appears when they ran over the rope, they didn't stop it immediately. The rope pushed the lower strut bushing further up into the strut, and somehow, got sucked in thru the lower bushing, and some got deposited in between the two. See the attached photos. The purple stuff was inbetween the two bushings, the other white/red material was near the prop end of the strut.
Pulling the prop shaft wasn't all that bad in fact. The retaining nut was 1-1/16". We just used a normal shallow socket to free the retaining nut, and used all-thread to pop the coupling off of the shaft. Pulled the shaft out, and used a brass drift to drive the old bushings out of the strut.
I put the new bushings in the freezer overnight to get them as cold as possible, and we drove them into the strut using a piece of all thread with large diameter washers on each end. Using a cordless drill, and open end wrench, and nuts on each end of the all-thread, pulled the bushings in one at a time. It worked out really really well, and was almost too easy!
Put everything back together, and alignment was still good to go! I would dare to say this was a fun project, and was a learning experience to say the least.
But the lesson of the day is know where your ski rope is at all times, and if you think you've run over it, kill the engine!!!