See "General Method", halfway down
Remove the Shaft First.
Subj: Re: [C34] Replace cutlass Bearing & Shaft
From: email@example.com (James R. Hill)
I've been watching the traffic on this topic with interest. I wrote
an article on that subject in the Feb.97 Mainsheet so please
check the online Tech. notes.
As far as I know the factory uses a strut for a C34 that requires
the cutless (not cutlass-as in sword) that has NO
set screws and must be pressed in.
A number of Fleet 12 owners have replaced theirs by pulling the
shaft out past the rudder.
Just remember to shine and grease the shaft on the engine side of
the strut or you'll have a tough time getting the shaft to slide
thru the rubber cutless bearing.
Always hacksaw the TOP of the bearing to collapse it for removal.
(If you are using this method)
Although I've never tried it, I understand that if you freeze the
cutless bearing (stay above +10 degrees F.) and submerse the strut
in boiling water for a few minutes before assembling. The bearing
will press in much easier.
When you have the shaft out , check its round by rolling it on a
pool table or another flat surface. Also check the shaft wear at the
cutless position with a micrometer and make sure you won't have a
sloppy fit with the new bearing. In either case if it's questionable
replace it with a stainless shaft. Call Marvin at Catalina parts and
give him the length of the 1" ss. shaft you need by measuring
the old one (believe it'll be about 55").
Ron, APACHE #788
Subj: Re: [C34] Replace cutlass Bearing & Shaft
Gary Wiseman wrote:
Yes the shaft will come out past the rudder....BUT........the main
point is you do not have to remove the shaft to change the bearing!
Undo the set screws and slide the bearing out .... little persuasion
.... reverse procedure to install. If you do have to remove the
shaft for another reason then it is best to remove the bearing first
to give the extra clearance past the rudder. Same procedure either
Gary Wiseman, Up Spirits #894
General Method: by Toivo
Mykkanen, Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
After pulling the shaft, another way of removing the bearing is
by using a long threaded rod as a puller to force the cutlass
bearing into a 6 inch piece of pipe on the end of the strut. The
threaded rod goes through a deep well socket, through the cutlass
bearing, and through the pipe. Turning the nuts on each end of the
threaded rod push the cutlass bearing into the pipe. Very slick.
By now you should really be enjoying that beer! I used this same
method to slide the new one on. Just put grease on the new bearing
and it slides right in. No worries about what might have cracked
with pounding, so have another beer!
- Remove the Prop and the Cutlass Set Screw (if there is one).
- Remove the Prop Shaft. If you have the flange frozen to the
shaft refere to method of removal at the below web site. See the
Flange Removal method at http://www.pyiinc.com/pss_inst.htm
- Inspect the Prop Shaft. If it is galled at the cutlass
interface, it will need to be replaced. Go for Stainless Steel as
it is sweet! This might also be a good time to upgrade to the PSS
Shaft Seal. (I did that and have not seen a drop of water come
through it! ) (PYI has shafts and seals. Very good customer
- Spray Triflow or WD40 in the strut set screw hole and on the
ends, and let it set a day if you can.
- Find a one-half inch drive deepwell socket that is bigger than
the outside of the cutlass bearing, but smaller than the bore of
the strut opening. (This socket will push the cutlass bearing out.
It should hit the metal of the bearing, but be smaller than the
strut bore.) Also buy a 6 inch piece of pipe with an inside
diameter bigger than the cutlass bearing. I bought a threaded
piece of 1.5 inch inner diameter water pipe.
- Buy two feet of threaded rod. Use the biggest size that will fit
through the half-inch drive deep well socket. (I used 5/16) Also
buy 3 or 4 nuts that fit the rod, and a collection of washers that
are slightly smaller than the size of the deepwell socket. You
will also need one washer that is bigger than the inside of the
pipe, and possibly additional washers to get you up that size.
Assembling the Puller:
- On one end of the threaded rod, jam two nuts tightly together to
form a jam nut.
- Slide increasing size washers on the rod until you put on the
- Slide on the pipe. The biggest washer should keep it from
- Slide the rod and pipe combination into the cutlass bearing.
- Now slide on the deep well socket.
- Add the washers smaller than the socket and a nut.
- Put a touch of triflow or grease on the rod, and then put
wrenches on each end of the rod. Start tightening down. You will
have to keep the contraption aligned until it is under tension.
This is the only slightly tricky part.
- As the cutlass bearing start to slide out, you may need to add
some extension sockets to push the cutlass all the way out. This
is because the deep well socket is not as long as the cutlass
bearing and strut.
Another Method for Removing and Installing
the Bearing, "Pound Free":
Capt Al, #55 C34, "Kindred Spirit"
Very important to remember to shine and grease the shaft on the
engine side of the strut or you'll have a tough time getting the
shaft to slide thru the rubber cutless bearing as Ron said. I tried
it without any grease and it would not pass by the rudder...too much
friction. I slid it back in and greased it up and tried again...wow
it came out so fast that I ended up on my ass.
I chose to hacksaw the TOP of the bearing and collapsed it for
removal. This worked great. Make sure that you do not cut into the
Installing the new Bearing.
I used a simple threaded rod, washers, nuts and a socket wrench
to install the bearing. It was pressed in on the engine side by
tightening up the nut on the rudder side. Important to keep
everything STRAIGHT as it is being installed. See the picture below.
This was done after freezing it and assuming it would slide in
with a few pounds of the hammer. That method did not work, so...use
the threaded rod...no pounding or freezing required.
Commercial Products for
Removing the Cutless Bearing
Global Marine Industries, Inc. makes a tool to help remove the
cutless bearing. To get more information, please see their web
Important: The opinions expressed here are
those of the individual contributors to this page, and not those of
the Catalina 34 National Association or Catalina Yachts, Inc.
Additionally, this material has not been reviewed by Catalina
Yachts, Inc. for technical accuracy. This page's maintainer cannot
guarantee the accuracy of this information or the desirability of
suggested modifications or upgrades. Please obtain assistance from a
competent marine mechanic or boatyard prior to making any
significant modifications to your vessel.
visitors since June 28, 1999. Last modified by Mark
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