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Straightening a rudder


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Good afternoon.  I am about to purchase a new rudder assembly to replace a bent rudder (bent at the rod where exits the boat), and was wondering if anyone has tried straightening the assembly with luck?  I do believe it is made of brass and was thinking about taking to a welding shop to see if they could heat it up and straighten it, before spending that much on a new rudder.  Anyone ever tried this or have any advice/experience with this?  

 

Thanks,

Brian

 

 

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I'm not sure if it is all brass or a mix of something else, but a big hydraulic press can straighten most anything.  I would get hold of the folks at marinehardware.com - they made a lot of Malibu's OEM hardware.

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Bent there done that. I didn’t bother messing with it although it would of saved me $800 dollars at the time. NiBrAl rudder with a stainless shaft. Not much to it and providing the rudder doesn’t separate from the shaft doable I would imagine. It doesn’t have to be within NASA spec either the rudder casting looked like an 8th grade art project on my 2010 and little better on my 19.7952E27B-0E7C-41F8-AC98-EAB3A62255E0.thumb.jpeg.92140636be0d42b088e238f0caaac6cd.jpeg

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I would try straightening it first.  Nothing lost if it doesn't work, and everything gained if it does.  Chuck the rudder in a good vise and use a long, stout pipe to bend the shaft.  

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20 minutes ago, justgary said:

I would try straightening it first.  Nothing lost if it doesn't work, and everything gained if it does.  Chuck the rudder in a good vise and use a long, stout pipe to bend the shaft.  

I was going to say the same thing. If you are already ok with buying a new one, why not try. I guess the only fear I’d have is if you weaken it at all

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Just now, ahopkinsVTX said:

I was going to say the same thing. If you are already ok with buying a new one, why not try. I guess the only fear I’d have is if you weaken it at all

Even if you weaken it a bit, it would still take another big strike to bend it again or break it off.  Stainless is pretty tough.

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23 hours ago, wdr said:

Bent there done that.

I just wanted to let you know that I did notice how you did that.  Good one!

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I can laugh about it now, but I got so lucky that I only had what little damage that I did. Th submerged log I hit was an inch or so below the surface middle of the river and was about 3’ in diameter and was probably heavier than the boat ballasted, which was a good thing. Hit it at @ 20mph at a right angle, the keel guard slid right on to it pushed the log down enough that the both fins, prop strut and shaft cleared it. The rudder took most of the abuse and 2 blades on the prop. To the day I sold it you couldn’t find a blemish on the bottom of the hull. Shame me if you will, but I love me some keel guard on my wb boats. Final damage was $800 for the rudder, which the weighted tiller arm probably drove that cost up. $280 for the prop fix and another $200ish for the new keel guard.

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thanks for the quick responses.  The fact that the shaft is stainless, I agree should make is easier to possibly bend back in a vice.  I am thinking with the vice idea and a cheater pipe I would not have to heat it up either.  I was a little worried about heating is as I am not sure what all metals are in there.  I will definitely try that before spending the 800 bucks on a new rudder.  

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28 minutes ago, Bseib said:

thanks for the quick responses.  The fact that the shaft is stainless, I agree should make is easier to possibly bend back in a vice.  I am thinking with the vice idea and a cheater pipe I would not have to heat it up either.  I was a little worried about heating is as I am not sure what all metals are in there.  I will definitely try that before spending the 800 bucks on a new rudder.  

Exactly.  I would try it without heat first.  A long enough bar will do it.  The question is whether your vise can hold it. 

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Very true - I need to find someone with a vise mounted on their truck like a welder's truck.  lol  Will let you know how it goes.  :)

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11 minutes ago, Bseib said:

Very true - I need to find someone with a vise mounted on their truck like a welder's truck.  lol  Will let you know how it goes.  :)

Or if you can find someone with a shop press.  I'd put that in my 12 ton press before trying to brute strength it in a video.

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53 minutes ago, oldjeep said:

Or if you can find someone with a shop press.  I'd put that in my 12 ton press before trying to brute strength it in a video.

The main problem with a press is trying to get the rudder edge to stay put while you press with the force directly at the bend.  It can be done, surely, but some people would find the fixturing pesky at best.

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steps for removing the rudder.  I removed the set screw and the clamp bolt, but cannot get the rudder to drop so I am assuming I am missing a step :)   I did not want to start prying the clamp apart with a screwdriver before asking if there are more steps needed or if I just need to pry the clamp open.  

 

Thanks for the help.

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It is possible that the bend is holding it in the bushing, so it may need some persuasion to drop out.  Gently prying on something should be OK, just don't get carried away.  If you have everything lose and it won't go down, that's when you hit it with your big purse.

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3 hours ago, Bseib said:

steps for removing the rudder.  I removed the set screw and the clamp bolt, but cannot get the rudder to drop so I am assuming I am missing a step :)   I did not want to start prying the clamp apart with a screwdriver before asking if there are more steps needed or if I just need to pry the clamp open.  

 

Thanks for the help.

Have you got the steering arm off the rudder?  I assume that is what you are referring to as the clamp.  To remove the arm from the shaft I would use a 2 arm gear puller.

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No sir I have not.  I have tried to nudge it out of the steering arm with a small rod and light hammering (tapping) but no luck.  I will try with a gear puller now.  Was not thinking it would be locked in that tight, but makes sense.  Appreciate the help.    

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Yeah, you don't want to try to knock it out the bottom untill the arm and key are removed.  That key will make a mess of the bushing if you try to drive it through still in the shaft.

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can you describe the 'Key' that you are referring to?  Once I pull the arm with the puller is there a another part (key) to be removed?

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Bseib said:

can you describe the 'Key' that you are referring to?  Once I pull the arm with the puller is there a another part (key) to be removed?

 

 

 

Normal square key like is on your prop.  If you look at the picture WDR posted you can see the key slot at the top of the rudder shaft.

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If you have a prop guard center mass under the rudder and the guard interferes with dropping the rudder, you will have to loosen or remove the rudder housing to be able to swing the assembly to one side of the guard. I blocked between the rudder and the guard and hit the housing with a dead blow hammer to get it to separate from the hull. That was almost as much fun as pulling the prop shaft couplers. 🤬

Edited by wdr
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I would check with your local prop shop on straightening the rudder if you are looking for a source.  They may have a jig for just that type of repair given they fix the other part that gets damaged and probably have done a few.

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