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Old 29-03-2011, 19:50   #1
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Stuck rudder

My rudder feel has always felt pretty terrible since I bought my boat, BUt i just chaulked it up to worn out old boat I recent replaced the steering cables and guides and thought it would make an improvement.....it didnt. So I dug a little deeper and found that the stuffing box for the rudder was turning with the shaft inside of the rubber coupling. So now Im going to find out why. I have the quadrent removed and the stuffing box opened but cannot get the stuffing box to break free of the rudder. I have a hammered it, pb blasted it and bolted a chain to one of the bolts and wraped the other end around the pedestal and turned with the emergency tiller I cant get any movement. I soaked it with pb blaster for the night.
Any body have any ideas ?
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Old 29-03-2011, 19:53   #2
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Re: Stuck rudder

Yikes! I HOPE you're on the hard!

Sounds like time to start cutting!
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Old 29-03-2011, 19:56   #3
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Re: Stuck rudder

capengo beat me to my thoughts: I sure hope you're not doing this in the water.

tell us the exact make of your boat, and there's a chance someone has dealt with this same problem before.
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Old 29-03-2011, 20:04   #4
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Re: Stuck rudder

Boat is a 1980 us 30, I doubt anyone has been there. The boat is in the water but the rudder enters the hull about 3 inchs above the water line so the boat wont take on any water when the rudder is dropped.
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Old 29-03-2011, 20:04   #5
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Re: Stuck rudder

Did you try heating it evenly?

Also, you probably already have, but make sure you are turning it the correct way.
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Old 29-03-2011, 20:08   #6
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Re: Stuck rudder

Back in my younger days, working on cars, a bag of dry ice applied to the coupling sometimes did the trick.

Rich
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Old 29-03-2011, 20:20   #7
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Re: Stuck rudder

I've used that too, now a days I go get a can of computer cleaner, turn it upside down, fill a cup (using gloves) with the liquid from the can and pour it on rags wrapped around the offending piece.

That has worked about 50% of the time.
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Old 29-03-2011, 20:33   #8
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Re: Stuck rudder

Oyoyoy .... lift the boat, remove the whole set ...

looks ugly

b.
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Old 29-03-2011, 21:23   #9
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Re: Stuck rudder

Yes, get the boat out of the water. It looks like you are going to have to dismount the rudder bearing/seal and then cut the whole thing off the rudder. The rudder stock looks very badly corroded and has probably corrosion welded itself to the rudder bearing/seal.
- - The you will need to refinish/clean/or replace the upper portion of the rudder stock and install a new rudder bearing/seal unit.
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Old 29-03-2011, 21:41   #10
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Re: Stuck rudder

blow torch till it bubbles then dribble in engine oil.
repeat till free.
have a damp cloth handy if it flames
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Old 30-03-2011, 01:03   #11
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Re: Stuck rudder

Have someone check to see if while you are hovering over the rudder the boat doesn't trim stern down enough to push the rudder port under the LWL.

That's a bronze port, likely now married to the shaft with hammer blow distortions and corrosion. If it was me, I would haul the boat and cut the port off, by slitting it down the side with an air chisel or body saw. Most folks screw around, hoping for some luck, when the best thing you can do is be grateful it's held up so long without spitting your rudder out in 4,000' of water.

You can continue "playing" around with it, heat and cold cycling can sometimes be helpful, but you need serious heat and cold, like a blue tipped wrench and dry ice. Me, I'd just cut the damn thing off and be done with the hard part in a few minutes.
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Old 30-03-2011, 05:01   #12
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Re: Stuck rudder

Quote:
Originally Posted by atoll View Post
blow torch till it bubbles then dribble in engine oil.
repeat till free.
have a damp cloth handy if it flames
NOOOOOOOO!

Not while in the water, and NOT if there is a direct metal to fiberglass contact!
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Old 30-03-2011, 06:52   #13
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Re: Stuck rudder

ideally out the water,but some times bush mechanics are the only option.

i once had to reweld a p-bracket back to the hull with just the stern lifted out the water,sitting in a dingy underneath the 45ft yacht in the cape verdes...........
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Old 04-04-2011, 05:43   #14
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Re: Stuck rudder

MIssion acomplished. I was unable to break it free from the rudder post and had to resort to cutting the stuffing box and finaly splitting it with a chisel. After itwasloose I found the reason for being stuck. Someone had tried to build up the worn bearing using epxoy and had instead epoxyed the bearing to the shaft. So after 2 hours of scaping sanding and chipping off epoxy I had clean bare metal and I was able to lower the rudder down (into the water) . I then had to replace the hose that had held the stuffing box in position with the hull. Its too bad that no one makes 3.75 id hose. I ended up following edsons instructions for fiberglassing the stufing box to the hull. After that was complete I was able to continue my orignal intentions of using westsystem epoxy/graphite to rebuild the upper rudder bearing. And the verdict of the repair..... Worth every penny and hour, The helm feels light and I now get excellent feed back, it no longer feels like im steering an old truck with no power steering.
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