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Old 03-12-2017, 16:04   #1
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ProFurl Rebuild

When the forestay fitting broke we took a long hard look at the ProFurl gear that had been on the boat since new.
I was sure we would get (and I really wanted) a new furler. I looked at all the different manufacturers and units that would fit, and did some research into what we already had. The unit on the boat is an N52, which seems like overkill but our foretriangle was over 700sf. We didn't like the idea of downsizing, but the current version -- a C530 -- would cost over $7k, even with LaDonna's Pro discount.
Two riggers said we could go with the step down, a 43mm unit, but ProFurl's specs still said our foretriangle was so big it needed the bigger unit. LD being who she is, just picked up the phone and called ProFurl. She had a great talk with a woman there that made up our mind to rebuild rather that replace. We were told that as long as the bearing and seal surface were in good shape that they were rebuildable.
The ProFurl rebuild kit for this unit retails for $1200, so LD sourced the bearings and seals, and picked the paint. Reassembly was not easy. Two six hour days, not including the cleaning and painting. All told, this rebuild cost $200.

1. Old PF/w leaking seals
2.Drum and Swivel taken apart, salt had got into the drum.
3.D&S painted with the new bearings and seals.
4. My work bench.
%. The "new" unit.
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Old 04-12-2017, 18:53   #2
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Re: ProFurl Rebuild

"This Old Boat" magazine had an extensive article on rebuilding a Pro Furl unit. I could scan it in and post it but it would probably violate a bunch of copy-write laws. Any suggestions?
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Old 04-12-2017, 19:21   #3
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Re: ProFurl Rebuild

I'm curious, how many years of service before the rebiuld? Mine is a smaller unit (32) but the same design.

Also, I use the same "workbench", currently with a kanzaki vdrive scattered about it.
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Old 04-12-2017, 19:35   #4
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Re: ProFurl Rebuild

It came new on the boat in '89. Three transatlantic trips and up the west coast from Panama. We got the boat five years ago in worn out shape, but getting things sorted.
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Old 06-12-2017, 13:29   #5
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Re: ProFurl Rebuild

We recently sourced the parts for our 25 year old Profurl and brought the parts down to Tahiti. The rigger changed out the bearings and seals and said the originals were in perfect condition even after we have put a ton of miles on it. Changing the bearings / seals just seemed like it made good sense since I was replacing the head stay.

I am sure you will be glad to have it in working order and able to buy a few nice dinners with the money you saved

Cheers

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Old 06-12-2017, 16:26   #6
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Re: ProFurl Rebuild

I would put that unit at mid 90s by the style. Profurl has told me that the serial numbers on the units don't match up to anything.
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Old 22-11-2022, 15:23   #7
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Re: ProFurl Rebuild

Hi all,

So.. I got my Profurl C320 furler swivel almost back together again – after a bearing/seal/grease rebuild

Unfortunately the final oil seal is not seating correctly!
(I am slightly opening the seal lip to press it home)

Can anyone confirm if

* I put the spacer in the correct place? (See pic )

* if the top Circlip (1) should be be installed? ( I don’t remember)

Some lessons I learnt and might be of help to others;

(1) My medium sized (150mm) circlip pliers were not good enough for the job, specially as Circlip #2 as is very strong.
I would also not recommend circlip pliers that have shoulders (see pics)

(2) Use stiff plastic to prevent scratching of the oil seal surfaces (see pic)

(3) I drilled and then tapped 4 mm holes in the Top Oil seal and then 'pulled' out the seal.
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Old 22-11-2022, 16:10   #8
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Re: ProFurl Rebuild

Where would #1 clip go if not "installed"?

I would guess that spacer goes on the load side of rhe bearing to help reinforce the clip. Assume it's metal.
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Old 22-11-2022, 16:19   #9
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Re: ProFurl Rebuild

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Originally Posted by Boatguy30 View Post
Where would #1 clip go if not "installed"?

I would guess that spacer goes on the load side of the bearing to help reinforce the clip. Assume it's metal.

Yes, the spacer is an 5? mm aluminum ring, It's on the top side of the bearing (both sides are loaded) the bottom has a machined rim/bevel/seat for the bearing.

I cannot think of any other way the spacer could go in, but the top circlip #1 is too prone to allow the seal to seat properly so something is wrong.

I had mixed up lots of spare parts so it's possible that there was no top clip, But I do seem to remember one being under the seal.


Thanks
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Old 27-11-2022, 16:43   #10
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Re: ProFurl Rebuild

Mine were different models, but I remember there being parts in there that served no function whatsoever, possibly related to a "heavy duty upgrade" of dual row bearings that I think was an option. These units are AWFUL to rebuild, and include some really stupid design decisions. To anyone thinking of rebuilding- don't- unless they aren't working correctly. You will 99% make them worse by attempting to make them better.

To O.P.- I would suggest making sure all the bearings are locked axially in place, and that the seals have been installed "squarely" and to the right depth so that they engage the shaft where you want. Some of the seals in my unit had nothing to bottom out on, so it helps to make a tool of sorts to push them in squarely and to a good depth. High friction can be caused by pressing them too deep into the housing, for example, so that the circlip on the shaft starts rubbing on the lip seal. Beyond these purposes, there is no need for additional clips and spacers.
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Old 28-11-2022, 11:19   #11
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Re: ProFurl Rebuild

[QUOTE=markxengineerin;3711656] These units are AWFUL to rebuild, and include some really stupid design decisions. To anyone thinking of rebuilding- don't- unless they aren't working correctly. You will 99% make them worse by attempting to make them better.

I totally agree I was lured into having a go by the lack of any posts describing this job as "VERY DIFFICULT" . -


Anyone reading this be warned, replacing the bearings, seals It is extremely tricky! (perhaps the second time around I might be able to avoid the mistakes I made but not sure)

Other issues: When I opened the circlips they bent slightly out of flat alignment and had to be pushed flat into the seat, that damaged the edge of the seat: (soft aluminum) the plastic helped a bit there, with a risk they will pop out under heavy load.

I scratched the oil seal surfaces( It's almost impossible not to) now it's unlikely the seal will survive, sanding out the scratch gets you to an aluminum surface which profurl suggest will require replacement

I didn't try to press out the ball bearing oil 'nipple' like things (I would like to have replaced with a grub screw) this meant without opening the lip of the seal it would be impossible to press the final oil seal in: To get around that I polished the handle of a teaspoon to incredibly smooth and had that inserted into the seal opening the lips while I used a press ( from a local mechanic) to push down the seal evenly, the grease could get out the the seal could be pressed in.

If if get time at some point in the future, I would like to get a new central shaft machined up in stainless..
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Old 28-11-2022, 11:27   #12
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Re: ProFurl Rebuild

I scratched the surfaces too- laser welded them to fill in, then turned on lathe back to size, then Moly coated to try to provide a little bit longer life now that the anodizing is gone. I don't know how long it will last, and in the end I'm certain I shortened the life rather than extended it, doh. Teaspoon idea is similar to what I did, but used welding rod. That part went well.
Why they feel the need to use such massive snap rings, and to use pressed in ball bearings instead of a simple screw, I do not know. Also question the custom ($$$) and completely unnecessary titanium fasteners used in many spots. If the snap rings are spec'd for commonality, they totally switched philosophies w/ the fasteners. I replaced many of them with stainless steel parts I made myself, coated with Tefgel, as I didn't feel like spending $50 per screw. They seize up and strip out just like stainless anyway when not TefGelled
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Old 03-02-2023, 13:05   #13
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Re: ProFurl Rebuild

So I'm rebuilding my Profurl, I read up on all the techniques how to rebuild and the parts. My question is - Can we replace the bearings with Sealed ones? Wouldn't that solve lot of issues? The originals are open and just packed with grease. Why put bearings that are open back in that will rust again in future. I'm sure I'm missing something but if anyone has info on this I would appreciate it. Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-02-2023, 13:19   #14
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Re: ProFurl Rebuild

Quote:
Originally Posted by valve79 View Post
So I'm rebuilding my Profurl, I read up on all the techniques how to rebuild and the parts. My question is - Can we replace the bearings with Sealed ones? Wouldn't that solve lot of issues? The originals are open and just packed with grease. Why put bearings that are open back in that will rust again in future. I'm sure I'm missing something but if anyone has info on this I would appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

G'day

My rebuild failed last week and had to buy new.1 boat dollar $1000:
The circlip must have pulled out of the grove when the swivel was loaded co axially..I never noticed how badly designed/loaded it it is until I pulled up the new one and had a a close look at the top..

Yes I replaced the bearing with a sealed unit, presume it would help the longevity - if also stainless ..or the bearing would just rust

I finally received my ratcheting large circlip pliers from aliexpress - might pull the failed swivel apart and see exactly where it failed - it's been sitting on the bench broken since the new one arrived - shame aftermarket replacement parts are not available in stainless would be trivial to spin up a stainless version on a lathe.
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Old 03-02-2023, 13:20   #15
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Re: ProFurl Rebuild

You will the have a lot less grease for when water does get in there. Sealed bearing are not particularly waterproof in my experience. Seem to wear out faster on Mopar trucks as well.
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