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Air Force 1

Replacing the strut bushing

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Air Force 1

I have the engine out of the boat so I am thinking to take off the prop and loosen the packing box and pull the shaft from the strut from the engine side. Once I get the original bushings out I want to install the new XPV bearings instead. I have a 1994 malibu Euro F3 with the OEM strut. WHat I need to know is the Inside diameter of the strut so I can order the new XPV bearings. They come in 1-3/8" OD and 1-1/2" OD. I am out of town or I would just measure it myself, but want to get the bearings ordered as soon as possible because I am hoping to be done with the rebuild on my engine this weekend and don't want to have to wait on the bearings and cost me extra days on the lake.

If anyone has any good advise for the following I would appreciate it very much:

Shaft removal with motor out of boat

Inside Diameter dimensions of the Malibu OEM strut (circa 1994)

Removing the old bushings (heard its a pain in the a$$)

Thanks in advance

AF1 :unsure:

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beast

I actually just did mine the other day, it's not as hard as people make it out to be. If you have any mechanical skills whatsoever its cake. Since you have the motor out, it will be easier since you don't have to remove the shaft coupling on the transmission end, or drop the rudder. Just remove your prop, pull the shaft up from the engine compartment, no need to loosen packing. Loosen 2 set screws on strut. I cut the rear most bushing with a keyhole saw (or hacksaw blade) Then used a thin punch and/or small screwdriver & tapped it in under the bushing, curled it up where it was cut through & then grabbed it with some vice grips. For the front bushing I used a socket & an extension through the rear of the strut & tapped it through. Looking back it may have been easier to try & drive both bushings out the front of the strut from the rear, try that first. If you do end up cutting it out, make sure to cut all the way through the bushing before trying to pry it out.

Not sure on the size you need. Mine is a 1" shaft & bushings were 1 1/4" OD. Call skidim.com, they should know exactly what you need (although when I talked to him, he was positive mine was a 1 1/8" shaft, which it isn't.)

Good luck, the hard part is already done with the motor out

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M3Fan

Cutting the old bushings out can be a real PITA. Mine took a couple of hours. Keeping the hacksaw nice and level and having no idea whether you are cutting into the strut or not kept me going nice and slow. The press fit was so tight that they would have NEVER moved without being cut through 100%. One thing you might want to consider is getting OJ XPC strut bushings. They last 10X as long and run smoother than traditional bearings. You may have to get the XPC bearings directly from OJ for that size (1" x 1.25" OD). Throw a caliper on the strut and shaft to get the rough ID and OD needed.

I have an extra set of standard rubber/brass bearings that I didn't use because I got the OJ XPC ones. PM me if you want them.

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DIE2SURF

Not to hijack...but how do you know when the bushing needs to be replaced? Does it knock around a little bit? I just ask becasue my 'bu is approaching 10 years and I like to keep it in good operation.

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M3Fan

If you can wiggle your prop shaft around in the bushing, then it's time to replace. If they are worn unevenly, it's time to re-align, then replace.

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Air Force 1
If you can wiggle your prop shaft around in the bushing, then it's time to replace. If they are worn unevenly, it's time to re-align, then replace.

My wheel is hard to turn and hearing noise when I turn it.....

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Air Force 1
I actually just did mine the other day, it's not as hard as people make it out to be. If you have any mechanical skills whatsoever its cake. Since you have the motor out, it will be easier since you don't have to remove the shaft coupling on the transmission end, or drop the rudder. Just remove your prop, pull the shaft up from the engine compartment, no need to loosen packing. Loosen 2 set screws on strut. I cut the rear most bushing with a keyhole saw (or hacksaw blade) Then used a thin punch and/or small screwdriver & tapped it in under the bushing, curled it up where it was cut through & then grabbed it with some vice grips. For the front bushing I used a socket & an extension through the rear of the strut & tapped it through. Looking back it may have been easier to try & drive both bushings out the front of the strut from the rear, try that first. If you do end up cutting it out, make sure to cut all the way through the bushing before trying to pry it out.

Not sure on the size you need. Mine is a 1" shaft & bushings were 1 1/4" OD. Call skidim.com, they should know exactly what you need (although when I talked to him, he was positive mine was a 1 1/8" shaft, which it isn't.)

Good luck, the hard part is already done with the motor out

Thanks for the info bro. Have you had the boat in the water yet? Good results?

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beast
If you can wiggle your prop shaft around in the bushing, then it's time to replace. If they are worn unevenly, it's time to re-align, then replace.

My wheel is hard to turn and hearing noise when I turn it.....

Do you mean the prop is hard to turn & makes noise? If so, then your bushings are probably fine. It should make a noise when you turn the prop out of the water. The bushings are water lubed/cooled. But, since you've got the motor out it would take alot less time & trouble to do it now. Don't be intimidated by it, it's really easy. As far as cutting them, you can tell by feel when you've cut all the way through. If you nick the strut a little it's not going to hurt anything. My boat is 15yrs old & the rear one pushed right out. I'm sure I could have driven both of them out.

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Air Force 1
If you can wiggle your prop shaft around in the bushing, then it's time to replace. If they are worn unevenly, it's time to re-align, then replace.

My wheel is hard to turn and hearing noise when I turn it.....

Do you mean the prop is hard to turn & makes noise? If so, then your bushings are probably fine. It should make a noise when you turn the prop out of the water. The bushings are water lubed/cooled. But, since you've got the motor out it would take alot less time & trouble to do it now. Don't be intimidated by it, it's really easy. As far as cutting them, you can tell by feel when you've cut all the way through. If you nick the strut a little it's not going to hurt anything. My boat is 15yrs old & the rear one pushed right out. I'm sure I could have driven both of them out.

My bad.... I meant it makes noise when I turn the prop out of water. I am almost positive the bushings are bad. When I bought the boat a couple of months ago I noticed when I put it in forward gear and just idled there was a noise from the strut. SO...... Ordered the the XVP strut bearings from skidim and will install tomorrow or Saturday depending on when I can get back home...... WORK SUCKS!

Props to srintx for making calls and getting the correct dimensions for the bearings I needed. What a guy!!

AF1 Thumbup.gif

Edited by Air Force 1

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