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Ten4x4

DIY shaft, rudder, strut replacement

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Ten4x4

I've had a string of bad luck. I just bought my Wakesetter a week ago and I already backed over my dock line. The line got caught in the prop while still cleated to the boat and I heard a loud pop as it snapped the rope in half. I took it out of the water quickly to unwrap the rope but after putting it back in I feel vibration and the steering is a little tough to turn to the left. Im thinking maybe a bent shaft, strut and or rudder. Im pretty handy when it comes to working on cars and im going to pull it out of the water tomorrow to look at. Would you guys suggest I dive into this myself or have a pro do the work. Every marina around her is booked for the next 3-4 weeks and summer is in full swing not to mention I just scraped together a lot of money to purchase this beast so the cash is a little tight. Luckily I took out insurance but with a $1k deductible.

 

Thanks guys and learn from my mistake. Double check your lines.

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wdr

Hopefully the vibration is from a bent prop blade or two, fairly easy to tell visually and about a $260 bill for 2 rolled tips for me a few years ago. The prop shaft and cutlass bearing replacement is a DIY job if you have the hand tools and the time. Replacing or fixing the rudder is a little more involved, but not much. Diagnosing where the damage is will be the hard part. I just did a friends '01 Tige and a new 1 1/8" dia x 48" long prop shaft if bent, will be @ $450 bucks to replace and the cutlass bearings were @ $30.00 from skidim.com. We didn't have to mess with the rudder thank god, because there is nada for room in that thing, but we were under his boat about 8 hours start to finish. Would of probably taken less time had we not of used his Fred Flinstone tools! ? Hard steering sounds like a rudder issue, but unless the rope was made of Stainless steel I can't image a standard dynema or poly rope bending a rudder, or a prop shaft but who knows if some crazy amount of leverage was applied! Hope this helps some. Bill

 

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Bozboat

If the prop is straight, grease the rudder and go for a test drive. If not too bad fix this after the kids go back to school.

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Ten4x4

Thanks for the help guys, I'm going to pull the boat tomorrow and dive into trying to diagnos the problem. What's the risk of running a bent drive shaft (assuming that's the problem) 2 miles to the launch at low rpm? 

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minnmarker
17 minutes ago, Ten4x4 said:

Thanks for the help guys, I'm going to pull the boat tomorrow and dive into trying to diagnos the problem. What's the risk of running a bent drive shaft (assuming that's the problem) 2 miles to the launch at low rpm? 

Get a tow. Not good to risk major damage to the drive train if you don't know what's wrong.  If you can take it out of the water again rotate the prop by hand.  If it turns evenly and freely that's good.  If not then don't run the boat.  Inspect the prop.  If it's bent then easy fix.  You should be able to use a carpenter's square or similar to see if the rudder is bent but a bent rudder should not be causing vibrations.  Try turning the rudder by hand.

I backed over the cross bar on my lift the second weekend I had the boat.  Bent the prop!  Hammer and anvil and propane took the worst of the bends out of the prop and saved the weekend for low speed fun.  Prop MD sold me a new prop on Monday and fixed the bent one up like new.

Hope you get back on the water soon.

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malibu2004

I don't think you could bend the strut with a rope. You could bend the prop with a rope or need to realign the shaft.

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minnmarker

If the rope spooled up on the shaft while attached to the rear cleat it could create enough sideways force to bend something down there.  If it doesn't look exactly straight and turn easily by hand I would not run it.

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malibu2004

Our friends wrapped a thick rope that holds docks in place around there shaft last year while driving and nothing happened to the boat shaft. I've wrapped a rope around my shaft between the strut and propeller. I'm not saying it can't happen but that strut is pretty tough. I would look at alignment while in the water before you move it because you can fix it while in the water. If that is good I would tow it to the ramp.  

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Ten4x4

So I pulled it out on the trailer today. No visible damage. The prop turned by hand no problem and nothing looked bent. I put it back in and used it for the day. I definitely feel vibration and a pulsing droning vibration at low speeds (5mph). I don't remember that being there before but I've only been on the boat a few times before this happened. The steering is noticibly harder to turn at certain speeds and at other speeds is smooth as can be. I'm really stumped on what's going on, if anything, or if it's all in my head.

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mikeo
3 minutes ago, Ten4x4 said:

So I pulled it out on the trailer today. No visible damage. The prop turned by hand no problem and nothing looked bent. I put it back in and used it for the day. I definitely feel vibration and a pulsing droning vibration at low speeds (5mph). I don't remember that being there before but I've only been on the boat a few times before this happened. The steering is noticibly harder to turn at certain speeds and at other speeds is smooth as can be. I'm really stumped on what's going on, if anything, or if it's all in my head.

Did you do the "wire test"? While on the trailer, take a piece of stiff wire and tape it to the hull and set it at a known location in relationship to what you're measuring/testing, now turn the prop & shaft. If the distance between the wire and the prop or shaft changes while you're rotating it then there is some level of damage that needs to be addressed.

I wouldn't run my boat with something vibrating that could cause major damage...

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minnmarker

It's not necessarily the rope wrapping around the shaft that can cause damage, it's the rope being pulled very tight between the spinning shaft and a stationary point like the rear cleat. You would not get that tension with a free floating rope wrapped around the shaft.

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Ten4x4

I agree, I think when the rope caught it tourqed my shaft enough to throw everything out of alignment. I'm thinking that because more water is flowing on one side of the rudder than the other, it's causing the steering to be tough.... Do you think re-aligning my drive shaft, strut (whatever it is) can be done by mom and pop boat mechanic down the road or should I take it 2.5 hours to a Malibu dealership?

Edited by Ten4x4

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EchelonMike

Wish you had more time with the boat before this happened to know what might be related to this incident and what might be how she was running before.

My $0.02 based on experience is the shaft is unbelievably strong.  It's also very smooth...a rope isn't going to get wrapped around the shaft.  The prop is actually pretty fragile and easy to damage.  You probably have an "ear" that was moved slightly out of true and that is causing the vibration.  If it's out a 1/16" or less...which you probably can't visually see...you will have vibration.

If you have a good prop shop in your area, I'd pull the prop off - easy job if you have a puller (or a large C-Clamp) and have a pro look at it.  Won't cost a lot of money.

The second thing I would check over is the rudder.  If you were in reverse, and the dock line went around the rudder on its way to the prop, and pulled the rudder hard before the rope broke, that could be the cause of your stiff steering.  However, it could also be the fact that your 2003 simply needs a new steering cable or a greased rudder, and since you had only used the boat a few times you might not have noticed it.  My 2002 steering went from good to lousy over the course of a few months and a new cable make it perfect again.

Vibration is not good for the drivetrain, so start with the prop and see if that fixes the vibration...the rest you can just live with until the off season.

Good luck!

 

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minnmarker

Yes,  of course check the prop and rudder but the rope can get wrapped around the shaft if it gets caught on the prop.  It'll get spooled up on the shaft.  Yes, the shaft is very strong but the strut is not designed to carry a big sideways load.  I would check the alignment between the V drive and prop shaft to make sure the strut was not bent sideways.  Your engine owners manual shows how to check the shaft alignment with a feeler gauge.  Search "prop shaft flange alignment."  Maybe also take a carpenters adjustable angle and make sure the strut is straight.  If you have bent the strut you do not want to be running the boat.  You'll start breaking more parts in short order.

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malibu2004
17 hours ago, malibu2004 said:

Our friends wrapped a thick rope that holds docks in place around there shaft last year while driving and nothing happened to the boat shaft. I've wrapped a rope around my shaft between the strut and propeller. I'm not saying it can't happen but that strut is pretty tough. I would look at alignment while in the water before you move it because you can fix it while in the water. If that is good I would tow it to the ramp.  

Dude check your alignment. Don't look at it get tools out and measure it. 

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