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Arick

Prop Tough To Remove With Puller

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Arick

I just purchased my 07 Sunscape a few weeks ago and noticed a few of the blades on the prop are tweaked at the end.  I plan on upgrading this 537 prop to a surf prop here in the near future.  However for now I wanted to pull the current prop off and straighten the blades.  I've pulled props off my last two boats with a prop puller and it was a breeze.  Hook up the puller, give it a few turns and boom the prop falls off. That is not the case for this prop..

I hooked up the puller and tightened it down and nothing happened. I made sure not to over tighten as I've read stories about prop pullers breaking and having issues with threads.  I tightened it about as tight as I could get with one hand on a crescent wrench.  I sprayed some lubricant pretty much everywhere and let it sit.  The next day I went outside and grabbed my 5lb sledge.  I gave the puller a few hits on the end and was able to tighten about a 1/4 turn.  Rinse and repeat this about 5 times, I'm at a point where I'm getting 1/16th to 1/8th of a turn.  It seems to be getting more difficult.  I thought about using some sort of heat but the only I have is a propane torch and nothing else.

Now I'm questioning if I'm doing this right?  Do I have to worry about damaging anything?  

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Woodski

@Arick:  You are on the right path,  heat will help.  MAP gas is hotter than propane and available at hardware stores.  The heat should expand the prop and hopefully release it with the puller tight and some taps from the hammer.  I keep the nut on the shaft, loose so that the prop can pop free and not fall off and then you can back off the nut over the threads so that it will go back on easily. Check your key to make sure it is stainless or brass (I use brass), I have seen where a mild steel one corroded and made the prop difficult to remove.  I always put a dab of anti seize on the shaft to keep the corrosion at bay.

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saxton15

I backed off the nut, got behind the prop with a shorter 1x2 piece of wood and a hammer and tapped a couple times until it finally popped off.  No pulled needed, no damage.  

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Arick
22 minutes ago, Woodski said:

@Arick:  You are on the right path,  heat will help.  MAP gas is hotter than propane and available at hardware stores.  The heat should expand the prop and hopefully release it with the puller tight and some taps from the hammer.  I keep the nut on the shaft, loose so that the prop can pop free and not fall off and then you can back off the nut over the threads so that it will go back on easily. Check your key to make sure it is stainless or brass (I use brass), I have seen where a mild steel one corroded and made the prop difficult to remove.  I always put a dab of anti seize on the shaft to keep the corrosion at bay.

I'll stop after work and get some MAP gas and see how it goes.  If you had to guess, how long would I have to heat this to get a result?  Basically how long is too long to keep the heat on it?

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MLA
38 minutes ago, Arick said:

Now I'm questioning if I'm doing this right?

Yep, keep snugging up the puller and smacking the end. It will pop off.

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MadMan

Just remember when smacking it with a hammer, all that force is being transferred directly to the bearings in the v-drive.

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mikeo
40 minutes ago, MadMan said:

Just remember when smacking it with a hammer, all that force is being transferred directly to the bearings in the v-drive.

Yes, not great for the bearings, but better than the "harmonic pullers" that exist: essentially a large threaded piece of brass you hit with a hammer to get vibration on the prop shaft. A few whacks with a hammer (deadened by a chunk of wood) isn't horrible in comparison. Now if there was some form of slide-hammer that could slip on the propshaft to pop a stuck propeller off...

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Woodski

@Arick:  You should not have an issue with MAP gas, as you go around the hub you won't overheat the material.  Make sure you focus on the prop and not the shaft, as heating expands the material. As you heat, you will also want to snug the puller to keep a constant tension on the prop hub.

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saxton15
1 hour ago, MadMan said:

Just remember when smacking it with a hammer, all that force is being transferred directly to the bearings in the v-drive.

For sure, but at this point my coupler was disconnected and the taps were fairly light.  I definitely wouldn't recommend pounding away on the prop shaft/prop neck.  

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Arick
2 hours ago, MadMan said:

Just remember when smacking it with a hammer, all that force is being transferred directly to the bearings in the v-drive.

Noted.  I won't hit the prop puller anymore. I really can't get much of a swing at it.  What do I have to look for to tell if I damaged anything on the next time I take it out?

1 hour ago, Woodski said:

@Arick:  You should not have an issue with MAP gas, as you go around the hub you won't overheat the material.  Make sure you focus on the prop and not the shaft, as heating expands the material. As you heat, you will also want to snug the puller to keep a constant tension on the prop hub.

I'll give it a go tonight.  Thank you!

Edited by Arick

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minnmarker
14 minutes ago, Arick said:

Noted.  I won't hit the prop puller anymore.  What do I have to look for to tell if I damaged anything on the next time I take it out?

I'll give it a go tonight.  Thank you!

You should try "tapping" the prop itself - not the puller.  Put the puller on, tighten it a bit, then hit the prop.  I've had good luck hitting it on the side both near the nut and also the leading edge.  Obviously, do not take a big swing at it.  You're just creating some vibrations.

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oldjeep

Hit it with your purse.  

Typically i smack the side of the puller, not the bolt. 

And I'm going  to disagree with woodski for the first time ever.  Antiseize does not belong on a taper, nor does any other form of lubricant. 

Edited by oldjeep

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Woodski

@oldjeep:  I agree in most cases, I use it sparingly as it does keep the prop from sticking on and since the prop drives itself on to the taper with forward motion I have found no ill effects, at least so far.  The ill effect would be the prop would shear the key due to the key taking all the load v. the taper doing its job.  I have found if the taper has been galled or slightly damaged it (obviously) tends to lead to more difficulty in removing the prop.  Do you have an alternate option to minimize removal difficulty?  One being don't overtighten the nut.

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oldjeep
2 hours ago, Woodski said:

@oldjeep:  I agree in most cases, I use it sparingly as it does keep the prop from sticking on and since the prop drives itself on to the taper with forward motion I have found no ill effects, at least so far.  The ill effect would be the prop would shear the key due to the key taking all the load v. the taper doing its job.  I have found if the taper has been galled or slightly damaged it (obviously) tends to lead to more difficulty in removing the prop.  Do you have an alternate option to minimize removal difficulty?  One being don't overtighten the nut.

I've only had trouble getting one prop off - it was one that I did for a crew member after he bent his puller.  I heated up the prop hub with a map torch - which is something I don't typically do and then hit the puller hard on the side twice - usually only takes once.  But I don't tap, I smack it hard.

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MadMan

I pull my prop once a year just to keep it from seizing.

 

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bbattiste247
9 hours ago, Woodski said:

@Arick:  You are on the right path,  heat will help.  MAP gas is hotter than propane and available at hardware stores.  The heat should expand the prop and hopefully release it with the puller tight and some taps from the hammer.  I keep the nut on the shaft, loose so that the prop can pop free and not fall off and then you can back off the nut over the threads so that it will go back on easily. Check your key to make sure it is stainless or brass (I use brass), I have seen where a mild steel one corroded and made the prop difficult to remove.  I always put a dab of anti seize on the shaft to keep the corrosion at bay.

Just took off my prop this week after 150 hours. No luck with prop puller, but a lot of heat from a torch made it easier. One hit with a hammer after about a minute of heat and it popped right off.

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Arick

Well I got the prop off after heating for quite a while with some MAP gas.  I think I see part of the problem..

 

 

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mgb1974

Yup same thing happened to me. Had to heat it up also.

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oldjeep

Oddly enough that is typically caused by the prop being too loose, or you hit something really hard.  Make sure to inspect the taper on the shaft for damage. 

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MadMan
31 minutes ago, oldjeep said:

Oddly enough that is typically caused by the prop being too loose, or you hit something really hard.  Make sure to inspect the taper on the shaft for damage. 

Seems like most props I've remove were too loose.

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oldjeep
39 minutes ago, MadMan said:

Seems like most props I've remove were too loose.

Yeah, you really need to check them after the first time you use boat since the prop will tend to push itself on tighter. 

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Woodski

Another item to watch upon reassembly is to make sure the key does not ride up in the slot and keep the prop from properly seating.  It is good practice to do a bolt torque check after you run the boat for a bit after prop installation, same applies to your trailer wheels after a flat or change.

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Slurpee
13 hours ago, Arick said:

Well I got the prop off after heating for quite a while with some MAP gas.  I think I see part of the problem..

Yup. That's happened to be twice.  Both times from hitting something hard.  Once was a submerged railroad tie.  The second time was a roller that put my prop into the trailer.

The first time I was deflecting the puller enough that I feared braking it.  You could see the flex.  I could see that the key had sheared like yours and spun about 150 degrees around the shaft and locked up.  I ended up very carefully drilling out the prop half of the sheared key to get the material out.  Then it came off eventually.

What did it for me wasn't heat.  I used propane.  What worked was moving the prop puller in 90 degree increments around the prop to make slight changes to the load on the prop.  Kind of wiggled it off.

The second time I got lucky, and it just took a propane torch on the prop to pop it off.

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