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Cutlass bearing replacement

Posted: 13 Jan 2017 - By: Keith Jenner

Following my engine problems last year (blocked exhaust elbow) I am determined to fit the correct size propeller for this season and so I decided to start by replacing the cutlass bearing, a job I've not done before.

Before Christmas I tried removing the prop which I've had off several times in previous years but it refused to budge this year despite heat and not so gentle persuasion. The old prop is RH 16 x 12 and with my engine and gearbox, using the free design software indicates that I should have RH 16 x 9 - no wonder it wouldn't rev!

Well I say old, but it can't be that old because the shaft is metric - 25mm dia with a 1:10 taper so it must have been changed, probably when this engine was fitted in 2003.

So I made a puller and yesterday managed to remove it and get the cutlass bearing housing off too. I took some photos which may be of use to others which I have posted here:

although a few are out of focus (well it was cold and wet!) but even so may be of some help to anyone doing the same job.

On mine the housing is held by two bolts which were very loose and appeared to be held mainly by the many layers of antifouling. I'll investigate on re-assembly.

I tentatively started trying to unscrew it anticlockwise using a hammer and bit of wood but it was very hard going. It felt as though something was holding it and so I scraped all the paint off the fitting, wire brushed it, and discovered the two screws holding the bearing. Removing them didn't make it any easier.

I could see the gap gradually opening so I carried on. I used a lot of WD40 but it didn't seem to make any difference and I was still hammering hard until the last few threads.

Finally it freed off and slid off the shaft and I have it here ready to start the big task - removing the bearing from the housing!

I'll report on that in due course.


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