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Old 27-03-2020, 11:00   #1
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Advice needed please - QL Bow Thruster Maintenance

I have a Volvo Penta QL Bow Thruster - model QL CT900. It has been in the boat since launch in 2003 and as far as I know it has the original toothed belt.

The belt failed some 9months ago but apparently the boat needs to be lifted to change the belt - Yes I know it seems daft to me too, that the cheap weak link repair needs an expensive lift to fit a new belt. So we put up with this non working thruster whilst we were cruising from N. Sicily up the East Coast of Italy to Venice where she is moored over winter.
She is due to be lifted and put on the hard at the end of April for the annual maintenance hull and to fix the bow thruster. There is no handbook for this model. It was originally designed and made by Engbo of Norway but they were bought out by Sleipner who it appears modified the design and sold it as EB90 which appears to have finished production soon after 2015. She details for this thruster on line but the shaft shown is very different to the drawings of the QL shaft. But only an exploded parts diagram of the QL CT900 model and no workshop manual or advice for this repair.

I have now sourced the toothed belt and a seal kit, plus just in case a bearing set for the shaft. BUT I have lots of questions about the right procedure for removal and refit. Does anyone know the Volvo Penta QL CT900 Bow Thruster?

I assume that the shaft must be pulled out with a slide hammer from inside the tunnel after removing the thruster prop, drive pin and circle, but am concerned about the toothed drive and key on the shaft clearing the bearing mounting / hole.
Is the bearing likely to come out with the shaft (I have some blind bearing puller fittings for the bearings if necessary)
When reinstalling, which way round do the the two seals fit. They have been sent as a kit without any instructions.

Would this be better if I remove the lower thruster assembly from the tunnel, but am concerned that as this is bonded as well as bolted onto the tunnel, that removal may damage the tunnel.

Obviously this repair is likely to be much later due to the Pandemic but I am trying very hard to get some advice to ensure I get it right. I would be happy to have a boatyard do this but so far no takers and this was all requested well before Italy's closedown (3months).

So it is down to me........ Any advice gratefully received
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Old 28-03-2020, 00:06   #2
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Re: Advice needed please - QL Bow Thruster Maintenance

You seem to have researched pretty thoroughly but did you come across threads on this unit on various forums?


https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ts-141925.html


https://www.justanswer.com/boat/cvbc...-wl-ct900.html


https://forums.ybw.com/index.php?thr...e-boat.481654/


https://manualzz.com/doc/9003447/ql-...hruster-manual


Best of luck!!
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Old 28-03-2020, 01:45   #3
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Re: Advice needed please - QL Bow Thruster Maintenance

Thanks Coopec43
The ybw thread is new to me but the rest I know and the just answers was my conversation with their mechanic.
Yes I have been researching and have even chased Volvo Penta, who were no help and confirmed they did not produce a workshop manual for it. The CT600 has a different and probably better shaft mounting arrangement.

I am not clear if the work can be done in the tunnel or if it has to be removed. The difficult bit being getting the assembly off the tunnel without damaging either, as the mastic / cement has been there for 16+ years
Just trying to be forewarned in case there is a particular issue or problem or trick that is know, especially as the boatyard has not been able to find a mechanic who can do this- yet! Or if I have to do it, who can get me out of trouble if needed! I am quite confident that it will be ok but there are several aspects of the design that are frankly poor. Guess that is why the QL brand ended quite quickly and Engbo were bought out by Sleipner. Took out a competitor!
Any tips and help gratefully received
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Old 28-03-2020, 05:05   #4
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Re: Advice needed please - QL Bow Thruster Maintenance

Have you seen this thread
https://www.maringuiden.se/forum/top...-bogpropeller/


Will need google translate. Looks like a Swedish forum, but might be worth joining. Certainly looks like someone on that thread replaced the belt.
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Old 30-03-2020, 09:51   #5
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Re: Advice needed please - QL Bow Thruster Maintenance

Thanks Nigel1
I have had a look and checked via Google Translate. Certainly throws up some interesting terms but I think as it is context related it seems to make sense. I think they were discussing the smaller thrusters of the Engbo XF range.
So I have asked a question about the larger thruster in English and hope they can understand - after all, and sad to say, most Scandinavians speak English, whereas most English people struggle with other languages.
Hopefully a Swedish / Norwegian boat owner has experience of this and can give me the benefit of their experience.
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Old 13-07-2020, 13:49   #6
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Re: Advice needed please - QL Bow Thruster Maintenance

Hi JonJG,

I hope you were able to service your bow thruster. I'm now facing the same situation myself, with a QL CT 900 as well. I lost the propeller at the beginning of this year. Luckily I've found a new propeller, but I also need to service the seals and maybe the bearings. Problem is I can't find information anywhere on how to disassemble the prop shaft and the seals.

I've also had to remove the whole unit from the tunnel, as the seal was leaking... Good thing is that it's easier to do any maintenance like this. ��

How did you end up servicing yours? Can you offer some advise on how to do it?

Thank you very much
iuri
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Old 14-07-2020, 01:01   #7
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Re: Advice needed please - QL Bow Thruster Maintenance

Hi Iuri

I am going out to Italy to do this job next week. If I can get the boat lifted!

I hope that my thruster leg comes out of the tunnel as easily. I fear it may be a difficult removal and may damage the tunnel. Hearing yours was easy is good news. Any tips please?

If I were you I would also change the toothed belt too as you need to all this to get to the belt. Ridiculous but true. Best to take the details from the belt and go direct to an industrial supplier. Apparently it is a standard tooth belt originally made in Aberdeen, Scotland. Naturally the product has been updated and a new part number but looks good. You shouldn’t have to spend €180 for a new belt - just €30 plus postage.

Where are you based?

I chased Volvo Penta repeatedly for the workshop manual but there was never one produced as they considered it basic mechanics and rely on the exploded diagram For boatyard technicians. Don’t use the CT600 diagram as it has a different bearing mounting which looks easier to dissemble and reassemble.

I have a slide hammer / blind bearing puller that may be needed to take out the shaft and bearing but I fear that May not be as easy as it should be as the outer bearing is sealed in place with a bearing mounting Loctite so may be tough to remove despite a blind puller.

Perhaps we can compare notes as we progress.

Regards
Jonathan
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Old 18-07-2020, 02:27   #8
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Re: Advice needed please - QL Bow Thruster Maintenance

Hi Jonathan,

The motor came out easy from the tunnel. It was sealed with just silicone, so it only needed a bit of patience with a flat screw driver.

Removing the shaft has been a real nightmare though. We've tried with a slide hammer and pulling with a long screw. We even applied some heat, but it hasn't even moved ...

Not sure what else to try anymore. The problem is that the seals are broken, and probably the bearings are in bad shape as well, so I can't really use it as it is now.

I'm considering mounting a new thruster altogether, we'll see.

I hope you have more luck with yours.

I'm based in Spain btw, in the coast of Barcelona.

Best regards,
iuri
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Old 18-07-2020, 13:45   #9
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Re: Advice needed please - QL Bow Thruster Maintenance

Hi Iuri
Sounds tough. Apologies if these are the obvious questions.
1. Have you removed both seals ?
/and the Circlip?
My yard have Hussaina
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Old 18-07-2020, 21:52   #10
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Re: Advice needed please - QL Bow Thruster Maintenance

Hi Iuri
Sounds tough. Apologies if these are the obvious questions.
1. Have you removed both seals
2. The retaining circlip
3. Does the toothed pulley move on the keyed shaft.

The fact you have applied heat suggests you have done some of the above.

My boatyard lifted the boat a few days ago and now won’t lend the access tower to get to the thruster tunnel. Can’t see me getting a chance to do the thruster until next lift in November - somewhere else!

What will you change the thruster to - and would that also mean a new tunnel?
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Old 19-07-2020, 04:00   #11
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Re: Advice needed please - QL Bow Thruster Maintenance

Hi Jonathan,

The outer seal was already gone. I lost the propeller somewhere in January and apparently the outer seal and retaining clip went with it. The inner retainer is still there but it's in bad shape. Problem is that it's behind a metal plate, which I assume it's a bearing, and I can't really remove it.

The toothed pulley doesn't move much, but it moves along with the shaft, so I assume the bearings are also in bad shape.

I'll try a few more things, but if I can't get it disassembled I'll look for a new thruster that can fit in the same tunnel. I hope I just need to adapt the hole slightly...

Problem is that I forgot to measure the tunnel diameter, so I can't really order a new thruster until I go back to the boat next week. Do you happen to know the diameter of your tunnel?

Regards,
iuri
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Old 19-07-2020, 10:47   #12
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Re: Advice needed please - QL Bow Thruster Maintenance

I think the CT900 is a 185mm tunnel.
Will check on my iPad and email some documents - sadly non describe how to withdraw the shaft.

Corrosion from sea water and between metals is such a huge problem, especially as manufacturers will not use barrier pastes. Assuming that this is the problem.

Jonathan
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Old 19-07-2020, 12:29   #13
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Re: Advice needed please - QL Bow Thruster Maintenance

Iuri
Can you send me an email address so I can email some documents.
Some from Engbo (Norway Company but taken over long ago).
Regards
Jonathan
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Old 19-07-2020, 12:32   #14
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Re: Advice needed please - QL Bow Thruster Maintenance

Else link here https://www.manualslib.com/manual/18...ce-Series.html
The XF90 is the version that Volvo Penta took on and called the CT900.
Page 40, Confirms 185mm inner diameter. 190mm outside diameter. A common size but an unusual mounting dimension (I think).
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Old 19-07-2020, 14:13   #15
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Re: Advice needed please - QL Bow Thruster Maintenance

Thanks a lot for the info, it indeed seems that it uses the 185mm tunnel, I saw it too in here https://www.marinepartseurope.com/es...463-ct900.aspx

I've looked up at some options for new units and it looks like the two most popular brands are Quick and Side-power, but both have quite different mounting systems. So I'll probably need to glass the current holes in the tunnel to mount the new unit.

Tomorrow a friend of mine who has a workshop will give it a go at removing the shaft, let's hope he succeeds.
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