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Old 11-10-2019, 17:08   #1
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Bottom rudder bearing is worn out

Hi all

My bottom rudder bearing is basically a stainless steel bolt that is bolted through a double "ear" fitting from the Hull and allows the single "ear" fitting from the rudder to turn around it. These fittings connect the skeg and the rudder and are made of bronze. The bolt diameter is about 15.5mm and the hole in the rudder fitting has worn out and now an elips and is between 19- 21mm.

Wondering the best way to fix this. I am considering either drilling a bigger hole through it all and getting a bigger bolt or just drilling the single rudder fitting hole so its round again and then putting a sort of sleeve inside it to downside it. Not sure what would be the right material for the job

All ideas welcome!

Cheers
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sailor Martin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2019, 17:16   #2
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Re: Bottom rudder bearing is worn out

I would increase the diameter of holes in the fitting. Then machine a bushing that fill the space between the hole and the bolt. Bushing will wear out over time. But it will be much easier to change bushing than new fittings.
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Old 12-10-2019, 06:20   #3
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Re: Bottom rudder bearing is worn out

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Originally Posted by Oceansailor View Post
I would increase the diameter of holes in the fitting. Then machine a bushing that fill the space between the hole and the bolt. Bushing will wear out over time. But it will be much easier to change bushing than new fittings.
Bushing made of what?
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Old 12-10-2019, 06:40   #4
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Bottom rudder bearing is worn out

There are many materials that can be used. I have successfully used vesconite.
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Old 12-10-2019, 07:17   #5
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Re: Bottom rudder bearing is worn out

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oceansailor View Post
I would increase the diameter of holes in the fitting. Then machine a bushing that fill the space between the hole and the bolt. Bushing will wear out over time. But it will be much easier to change bushing than new fittings.
The bushing is likely to make a hole as large or larger than you might make for a larger bolt. I suspect a larger bolt will out last you. Larger bolt also increases the area of loading. If you do this make sure the threads cannot move against the bore.

If you wish to bush, also a perfectly good option, you can buy commercially produced oil impregnated or plain bronze bushings of standard size. You could also have the hole bronze brazed smaller for re-drilling to original size. Another alternate is to use IGUS press in plastic bushings either flanged or plain in a variety of engineering polymers.

https://www.igus.com/iglide/plain-bearing

https://www.mcmaster.com/bronze-bushings
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Old 12-10-2019, 09:03   #6
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Re: Bottom rudder bearing is worn out

My first thought is how old is the boat...how long did it take to get to this point? Rather than bush the holes why not just bore out to slightly larger size bolt to get rid of the play and call it good? Plenty of meat there and no risk of bushings possibly moving etc. KISS is your friend here. Also you still have option to bore out & bush in 15...20...30 years when its time for a redo.
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