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Old 20-01-2016, 08:46   #1
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Removing Stubborn FlexOFold Hub

This will be the seventh time I've removed these two props, with no previous trouble whatsoever, so was surprised when one was determined to stay in place. Usually this is done after 20 to 22 months in the water; this time it has been more like 30 months. The first hub slid off easily.

But the second is giving me a real fight. I've used a good sized gear puller that actually caused some rubber to bulge out (later, it popped back in).

And it HAS to come off so I can replace the zinc.

Heat should help, but that rubber bushing between the splined sleeve and the outer hub makes a torch risky and less effective.

I've thought using a Steam Jenny (are those still around?) or a hot water pressure washer might help, or (easier to do) wrapping with a rag and pouring kettles of hot water on it while the gear puller is in place. The rubber will still insulate, but maybe enough heat will pass to make the difference.

Any other ideas?

I learned from FOF that some time prior to the build of my boat (2000), they had switched from aluminum splines to bronze, so perhaps I have one of each. Could mean bad news.
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Old 20-01-2016, 09:52   #2
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Re: Removing Stubborn FlexOFold Hub

There are some good tools & tips in this thread, with some images of perhaps a different type of puller than you're using now, down somewhere near post #23.
Propeller Removal Preparation

Also, why can't you just put a split (2-part) zinc onto the shaft?
And if you think that one of the splines might be aluminum, have you considered submerging everything in a bucket of vinegar for a few days? That, or something similar, to "melt" a bit of said offending metal away.

Plus, while I'd talk to the prop's manufacturer first, to ensure that it wont damage the rubber. Maybe consider submerging everything in transmission fluid (with or without the acetone blended into it 50/50) as a penetrating oil.

Oh, & to some degree, you may be able to rig some heat sinks, so as to protect the rubber, if you have to resort to a torch.
But then again, it might pay to try some dry ice & a CO2 fire extinguisher first. Given how much rubber contracts with cold. That might take some of the pressure off of the metal bits, knock on wood.
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Old 20-01-2016, 21:03   #3
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Re: Removing Stubborn FlexOFold Hub

Thanks for your thoughts.

Actually I looked at that thread before I posted. Thank goodness I'm not working under water!

Looking back at my post I see I made a serious OMISSION. This prop is on a sail drive. So no going to a split zinc, if I wanted to, until I remove the prop. And not much to smack a hammer on, other than the gear puller.

I'd be afraid to subject the rubber to either vinegar or oil. But if further attempts are not successful, I'm debating about the cost/benefit/difficulty of the destruction of the hub vs. the destruction of the prop shaft. I'm just hoping that if I can heat up the hub some, with the shaft cold in this weather, that might make a difference.
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Old 20-01-2016, 21:34   #4
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Re: Removing Stubborn FlexOFold Hub

Here's something I've seen done on shaft drive props when the hub does not want to slide off: you get two small sledges about the same weight, and wallop the hub on both sides at the same moment. I think it is the shock waves that break it loose. If the first time didn't budge it, try again for a while. Now, obviously, if you have something fragile right there, you're going to want to try a different method. You need to be able to get a reasonable swing at it, but not ferocious.

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Old 21-01-2016, 04:43   #5
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Re: Removing Stubborn FlexOFold Hub

Quote:
Originally Posted by ggray View Post
.

Any other ideas?
.
Did you loosen the setscrew over the shaft key?
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Old 21-01-2016, 06:16   #6
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Re: Removing Stubborn FlexOFold Hub

Sorry, my mistake in first post by not stating that this folding prop is on a sail drive.

So no setscrew, and nothing to strike on to drive the hub off.

Other than using some "light" heat, I'm wondering if perhaps after 15 years the splines may have become worn in such a way that there was a certain misalignment and that my efforts so far have caused a bind. I'll try driving it back--if I have moved it at all-- and then twisting back and forth to see if that loosens anything. But I'm really grasping here.
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Old 21-01-2016, 06:20   #7
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Re: Removing Stubborn FlexOFold Hub

Quote:
Originally Posted by ggray View Post
Sorry, my mistake in first post by not stating that this folding prop is on a sail drive.

So no setscrew, and nothing to strike on to drive the hub off.

Other than using some "light" heat, I'm wondering if perhaps after 15 years the splines may have become worn in such a way that there was a certain misalignment and that my efforts so far have caused a bind. I'll try driving it back--if I have moved it at all-- and then twisting back and forth to see if that loosens anything. But I'm really grasping here.
Well I don't know anything about a saildrive. But I've never seen any type of hub that slides onto a shaft not having a key. What keeps the FOF from just spinning on the saildrive shaft?
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Old 21-01-2016, 06:24   #8
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Re: Removing Stubborn FlexOFold Hub

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
Well I don't know anything about a saildrive. But I've never seen any type of hub that slides onto a shaft not having a key. What keeps the FOF from just spinning on the saildrive shaft?

Spline shaft just like an outboard.


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Old 21-01-2016, 15:12   #9
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Re: Removing Stubborn FlexOFold Hub

What I suggested with the sledges is not for the splined prop situation, only with tapered thread. Sorry, guys.

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Old 21-01-2016, 16:03   #10
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Re: Removing Stubborn FlexOFold Hub

If there's room to fit a bearing separator - like
eBay item number:262204777197
behind the prop maybe you could cut a very short piece of pipe to press directly on the spline collar.

The short piece of pipe would need to be halved like the bearing separator to place it between the separator and the spline collar.

I'm at a bit of a disadvantage never having seen a flexofold on a saildrive, hope this isn't nonsense...

Good luck with it
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Old 21-01-2016, 16:11   #11
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Re: Removing Stubborn FlexOFold Hub

Should have mentioned that the 3-jaw puller is much more effective when it pulls on the bearing separator.

Do I need to change my Chrome settings to avoid being asked to log in time after time?

Thanks!
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Old 21-01-2016, 23:44   #12
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Re: Removing Stubborn FlexOFold Hub

Uncle Mack,

There's a little box to the right of where you log on that says "Remember me" that you can click on and it puts a tick on the box. Then you won't have to log on all the time.
It will also give you "cookies" on your computer, if that matters to you.

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Old 22-01-2016, 07:40   #13
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Re: Removing Stubborn FlexOFold Hub

Thanks Ann, good advice but it turned out the site was being updated - some others had the same issue.
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Old 14-06-2017, 07:40   #14
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Re: Removing Stubborn FlexOFold Hub

I had problems pulling my two blade Flexofold prop off the shaft and when I wrote to the Danish headquarters, they sold me this tool. 80 euros...including the outrageous Danish VAT and a very high shipping fee considering the tool only had to go from Denmark to Germany.

Haven't received it yet, but there are instructions on the FOF website.

Prop Puller - MISCELLANEOUS - Flexofold Sailboat Propellers
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