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Old 06-04-2009, 21:47   #1
Han
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Minimum Distance Between Cutlass Bearing and Shaft Zinc

Hi All,

Another question for everyone.

When we installed our engine (Beta 28) the guy who sold us a prop said that we need a minimum of 1/4" clearance between the cutlass bearing and the shaft zinc - which is flush up against the forward edge of the propeller

We recently discussed with another boat owner and he figures this is much too small, as the engine might ride forward slightly on its mounts when underway, causing the zinc to rub up against the cutlass bearing, restricting water flow and causing all sorts of problems.

In the "acceptable clearances" section of this link it recommends at least 1/2 inch for a smaller engine than ours. Parts

Any experts out there who can set us straight here? I haven't been able to find much online at all. Our prop sits in an aperature with no strut at all. Total shaft length is very short, approximately 24 inches.

This picture isn't the best angle, but it gives the idea.



Thanks.
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Old 06-04-2009, 22:19   #2
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No! That zinc will block the flow of water thru the bearing eventually burning up your bearing.

You need a zinc nut which attaches behind the nut on your prop.

Do you know if your cutlass bearing is pressure fed or from inlet holes in the side of the keel wood? Pressure fed will have a hose attached behind the shaft packing and running to the raw water pump.

If so, a 1/2" gap maybe acceptable.

For strut hung cutlass the distance is 1-1/2 the shaft diameter and with no zinc between.
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Old 07-04-2009, 04:53   #3
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I have a small space as well between the front of the hub of the prop and the cutlass bearing. I can fit a standard doughnut, but this prevents lubrication of the cutlass bearing. Also your prep will pull your shaft forward a bit when motoring forward.

What I do is have the yard machine away some of the doughnut to allow 1/4" in front of the doughnut zinc.

This lasts a year until I haul out and replace. I have had no problems with overheating / burning up the cutlass bearing.

If you have trouble with the prop nut solution, this will work.

Give it a try!

Here are pics w and w/o the zinc installed:
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Old 07-04-2009, 09:21   #4
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At 90 bucks an hour, paying the yard to put the zinc on a lathe and shave it down might get expensive.

I would be more inclined to use the fairwater "cone" zinc that fits over the propeller nut. You want proper flow of water inside the cutlass bearing. Use a little blue Threadlock on the machine screw that secures the cone zinc onto the nut. The machine screw can come loose as the anode loses material from electrolysis.
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Old 07-04-2009, 22:26   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
At 90 bucks an hour, paying the yard to put the zinc on a lathe and shave it down might get expensive.

I would be more inclined to use the fairwater "cone" zinc that fits over the propeller nut. You want proper flow of water inside the cutlass bearing. Use a little blue Threadlock on the machine screw that secures the cone zinc onto the nut. The machine screw can come loose as the anode loses material from electrolysis.
A lot of the cone zinc's I've seen has a slot in it for a cotter key.
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:57   #6
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If you don't already have a shaft flexible coupling, measure to see if you have enough room to add one. It would push the shaft back by the thickness of the coupling.
That's what I did.

Steve B.
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Old 09-04-2009, 08:04   #7
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the general rule is that the clearence should be the double axle diameter. If this is not possible put a prop nut anod instead or as in most cases donīt use any since the axle and prop material is very close in the electrical chain. if you donīt put zinc the prop will give some copper away and there wonīt be any shells growing.
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Old 18-05-2011, 04:17   #8
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Re: Minimum distance between cutlass bearning and shaft zinc

As a bearing supplier and stern gear/gap advisor when fitting quicKutters with over 10 years experience and many 100's of vessels from 1" to over 8" shafts.

Maximum fore and aft shaft movement we have seen is 18.00mm (25.40mm=1")

That's 9.00mm fore and 9.00mm aft, we advise a min gap of 12.00mm on new cutter fittings as we instal a spool on the prop hub which reduces the existing gap. So the 6.35 (1/4") gap you have is tight it is likely th eanode will contact the bearing carrier and it could at that point in time restrict water exiting the bearing, measure the engine position/movement (strap a marker pen to the rear of the engine so that it presses on a pad of paper) if it only moves 3.00mm it is OK to have a 6.00mm gap.

We came to this figure as we are happy with 3.00mm for water to exit the bearing and allow for the 9.00mm of shaft movement towards the bearing. In some cases we have installed systems with 7.00mm gaps and have seen the spool touch the bearing carrier but it is only momentary as the drive is engaged, under steady motoring you don't see this much movement probably 4-5.00mm.

The gap is not really related to shaft size as we don't see much greater movement in bigger shafts and ideally you want to keep this gap as small as possible to reduced shaft flex aft of bearing.
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Old 18-05-2011, 04:28   #9
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Re: Minimum distance between cutlass bearning and shaft zinc

--or you can fit a shaft brush inside, between the coupling and the stuffing box.
My boat has similar clearance problems to yours, and thats what I did.

PS love those gudgeons and pintles
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