I replaced my original bronze shaft with a stainless steel shaft a few years ago. I cut the bronze shaft out, but was able to insert the new shaft without dropping the rudder. It was really tight and I was a little concerned as to whether it would fit, but did. Note that the shaft goes in before installing a new cutlass bearing, or the shaft won’t get by the rudder. My bearing had been replaced a few times earlier and slid out smoothly. Make sure that the set screws are backed off though.
Northwind #676 2000
Date: Tue, 26 Apr 2022 16:18:59 +0100
From: Graeme Clark <c...@skyflyer.co.uk
Subject: Re: [C320-list] Cutless bearing replacement
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Well, I made my own bearing puller using 1/4 in steel plate and three 3/8 in threaded rods. Couldn?t shift it at all. In the end the plates started to bend!
So the plan is to soldier on with the existing bearing which will hopefully last one more season and replace next year, using a beefed up Mk2 puller with thicker plates and larger rods!
As far as I know the bearing on my boat is original (1996) so it?s had a long time to corrode in place!
My question to anyone who has done this job before, using the loaner puller, is whether the bearing slides out gradually or releases suddenly with a pop or a bang? I?m really not sure how much pressure to put it under and be safe!
Plan B is remove the shaft and cut out the bearing from the inside, but that is a job for next winter. Does anyone know what clearance is needed beneath the keel in order to drop the rudder?