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Old 16-12-2008, 02:19   #1
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Max Prop Lubrication

Boat is out of the water and I thought it would be a good idea to check the insides of my Max Prop to make sure it was well lubricated as per the destruction manual - well needless to say there was very little in the way of any grease in there.

The manual recommends the use of Lubraplate 130 AA grease - looks as though it is a US product & was wondering what Aust Max Prop owners are using...

Murphys law was alive and well taking the prop apart - I was being too careful as I wanted to note the pitch/blade settings and of course it all fell apart before I could check. At least the central gear stayed put & I could determine that the pitch is set to 26 degrees. Just hope I can put it back together properly before I relaunch tomorrow!! For some reason I am finding the instructions a bit hard to follow, but think I have it sorted.

The prop is pretty stuffed after 24 years of work - lots of electrolysis (thanks to PO - no zincs for a while I suspect) on the blade tips & there is a bit of play in the gears etc. I can't run the motor more than 2,100 rpm as the vibration from the out of balance prop get pretty bad. Just starting my search for a replacement - decisions decisions.....
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Old 16-12-2008, 02:34   #2
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We have the Max Prop 2 blade. Just make sure you positively identify the dots that need to line up. They are all but invisible with any crud on them. If you know the pinion was set for 26 the rest should be sorted. Make sure you work out the left hand/right hand rotation stuff too.

We also can not get the recommended grease here. We are using a blue prop grease from the chandlery that describes itself as water "proof."

The manual gives the impression that this stuff is thin grease but the stuff we are using is fairly thick. Its not axle grease mind you either. It works like a charm and no problems "shifting." BTW - I love this prop and wouldn't know why you'd switch.
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Old 16-12-2008, 04:58   #3
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Max-Prop Automatic Self-Feathering Sailing Propellers
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Old 16-12-2008, 05:02   #4
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Sorry, should have checked before I posted. There used to be a video link that was very nice about setting the prop. It was much easier than the directions, But I cant seem to find it
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Old 16-12-2008, 06:54   #5
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Here are the videos.

PYI Inc. Max-Prop PSS Shaft Seal Seaview Radar Mounts R&D
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Old 17-12-2008, 04:49   #6
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Thanks for the responses - the video was extremely helpful. Makes it much easier to visualise the job & confirm what it took an hour or so to figure out from the instrucitons.

Dan - I would dearly love to get another max prop, but with the Aust $$ very low to the US $$ it puts up to over $3K here, so I will probably be looking at a slipstream or autostream which are made in Aust, or a Kiwi prop.

I manged to get some "waterproof" grease (just happend to be blue!!) and put it all back together this morning. Amazing bit of engineering - I could rotate the prop from fwd to reverse with the lightest finger touch..
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Old 17-12-2008, 05:55   #7
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I have a feathering prop as well and would note that the Lubraplate 130AA that is recommended just does not hold up to use. While the label says it is not water soluable, I had reason to haul my boat after just a few months and noticed the prop was dry. This happened more than once. I do not believe this stuff works. I went with the turquoise stuff whose name I thought was Aqua Lube--but looking this up it seems this name is some kind of sexual lubricant. This turquoise stuff worked. I will look on my boat and get the name.
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Old 17-12-2008, 08:45   #8
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Have you discussed your Lubriplate problem with Maxprop? This is the only grease they recommend and I'm sure they would be interested in discussing your problem.
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Old 17-12-2008, 08:58   #9
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Quote:
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I do not believe this stuff works.
I have pulled apart more Max Props than you can shake a stick at and my experience is that the recommended lubricant works great and lasts for years.
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Old 17-12-2008, 10:01   #10
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Contact the guys at PYI, they're very helpful.

Your prop can be refurbished. My prop's blades had play in the rotating mechanism and they fixed it up. Corroded blades can be fixed or replaced.

John
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Old 17-12-2008, 12:27   #11
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Contact the guys at PYI, they're very helpful.

Your prop can be refurbished. My prop's blades had play in the rotating mechanism and they fixed it up. Corroded blades can be fixed or replaced.

John
Yes. And yes.

The guys at PYI are wicked cool. I took our maxprop up there because I was skeptical of the prop pitch. I spent a half hour talking with Fred while he showed me how to re-assemble the MaxProp. He also said they can re-condition your central cone gear or machine a new one for you if you have too much play in the prop. We'll have to do that in the next five years or so.

s/v hello world: max prop

Here's some before and after photos of our MaxProp after some desperately needed TLC:



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Old 17-12-2008, 16:27   #12
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We just had our Max-prop refurbished after about 6000 hours on it. The cost was about 40% of a new prop, and they promised they would keep it under 50%.

I agree that the recommended Lubriplate grease seems a bit thin for the job. Some of the best underwater grease I ever got was in Oz when my wife came back with some pink stuff they said was used in big excavation equipment--I never used it on the maxprop, but it worked great on the rudder bearings.
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Old 19-12-2008, 06:10   #13
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I have pulled apart more Max Props than you can shake a stick at and my experience is that the recommended lubricant works great and lasts for years.
I recall that FSTBTTMS is a diver in San Francisco who does underwater work for boats there and I would not dispute his observations. I only have my own experience with one prop over two years. Sailing and motoring 7000 miles SF (I had a boat there for 30 years) to Maine I hauled my boat twice and found the 130AA nearly gone both times (the first time I assumed I had done something wrong and packed it again). Maybe I got a bad batch of Lubriplate? Maybe the fact that 95% of the boats in SF Bay actually are out of the slip fewer than 6X a year--that is different from distance cruising and daily use? Maybe the tropical water temp or the fresh water of the Panama Canal is more challenging to it's properties?

I had some Lubraplate in my shop and just did an experiment I would invite others to try. Put a little on some metal and hold it under the faucet and make your own decision. Maybe I just got a bad batch, but based on what I saw, I would not use this again.
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Old 19-12-2008, 08:05   #14
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Maybe the fact that 95% of the boats in SF Bay actually are out of the slip fewer than 6X a year--that is different from distance cruising and daily use? Maybe the tropical water temp or the fresh water of the Panama Canal is more challenging to it's properties?
I don't know where you came up with your boat usage "fact" but PYI (the North American distributor of Max Prop) do not recommend the lubricant they do based on how often San Francisco boats leave their slips. They recommend it because it works. What I do know is that I have seen the insides of many, many more Max Props than you have (regardless of your decades of boating experience), some of which had gone a very long time without maintenance. I do not recall ever seeing one that had so little lubricant left that I was surprised by it. I suppse we have to take it on faith that you knew what you were doing when you twice lubricated your prop and had the grease wash out. For my part, I would never lubricate a Max Prop with anything but the manufacturer-recommended grease.
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Old 19-12-2008, 09:40   #15
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Not to argue the details, But you said you "packed it". Did you use the Zerk fittings to inject the lubraplate and rotate the prop through its motion to make sure it is completely full?? or did you just take it apart pack it and put it back together? You can get a lot more into it with a grease gun. just a thought.
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