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Sheared prop shaft 2015 23LSV


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Snapped the prop shaft at the coupler yesterday - pretty sketchy situation until we figured out what had happened. Prop & shaft slid back into the rudder and we were taking on water through the shaft log. Cruising around 25mph when it happened and didn’t hit anything. 
 

Is this a common failure, or just my bad luck??

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Failure of the prop shaft at the coupler is often caused by poor engine alignment, but a previous impact could also cause it.  New prop shafts come with a coupler.  The prop shaft dripless seal could have also been damaged, so I would recommend replacing it and checking the condition of the shaft log and strut.

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6 minutes ago, csleaver said:

Failure of the prop shaft at the coupler is often caused by poor engine alignment, but a previous impact could also cause it.  New prop shafts come with a coupler.  The prop shaft dripless seal could have also been damaged, so I would recommend replacing it and checking the condition of the shaft log and strut.

Looking at ordering a shaft and I see that most come with the coupler. Any reason to replace the coupler? I don’t believe mine is damaged. 

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36 minutes ago, wdr said:

Did you snap the “shaft” or the coupler bolts? I reread the post and may retract some of my guidance.

Snapped the prop shaft. Coupler is fine. 

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pictures? I also have a '15, but haven't had any issues. The maintenance guide states that the shaft alignment should be checked "Every 300 hours, or annually." I know I the shaft alignment was never checked in my '02, but the coupler bolts came out in my '93. I can also state that the engine mount nuts/bolts in my '15 were only finger tight and I tightened the nuts on the top of the mount, holding the lower nuts in place so the alignment didn't drift.

Check the engine mounts, if they're loose it could explain the shaft snapping.

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1 hour ago, jmack said:

Looking at ordering a shaft and I see that most come with the coupler. Any reason to replace the coupler? I don’t believe mine is damaged. 

They come as a matched set and since the prop shaft already comes with a new coupler I would not recommend re-using your old one.

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Ouch, sorry to hear it. I would go with misalignment as well. The only bright side to this is it will be easy to get the coupler off of the shaft end. The last prop shaft I replaced on my friends Tige was an odd length that had him guessing until he actually measured it. He went through Skidim.com. From the sounds of it availability is an issue for a lot of things hopefully not this. His shaft came with a coupler and nut, but you might want to double check when you order. Wouldn’t want to get hung up trying to find one local or need to order one after the fact. I would consider replacing the cutlass bearings as well. The back of the shaft probably windmilled some which would of enlarged or ruined those 2 bearings. They were like $30 a pop at the time as I recall. Good luck

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1 hour ago, footndale said:

Hmm,

 

I know.  Bad luck* comes in threes, so somebody hasn't fessed up yet!

* Lack of maintenance isn't technically bad luck at all, but a lot of people seem to think that it is.

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2 hours ago, justgary said:

I know.  Bad luck* comes in threes, so somebody hasn't fessed up yet!

* Lack of maintenance isn't technically bad luck at all, but a lot of people seem to think that it is.

I agree with your point about lack of maintenance vs. bad luck, but I'd say that checking alignment is likely one of the most neglected maintenance items on inboards in general. Even with that being the case, it doesn't sound like breaking prop shafts is very common.

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1 hour ago, jmack said:

I agree with your point about lack of maintenance vs. bad luck, but I'd say that checking alignment is likely one of the most neglected maintenance items on inboards in general. Even with that being the case, it doesn't sound like breaking prop shafts is very common.

Isn't this on the dealership maintenance check list for hour based inspection/service? 

My thoughts are larger surf boats have way more Force than typical inboards.. and at some point the "larger" boats/props/engines have already mostly moved to larger diameter shafts.. 

Didnt the larger Malibu series move to 1.25"? And didn't nautiques have a bunch of these shaft problems back in 15/16? And then moved to larger 1.25"? 

Edited by The Hulk
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19 minutes ago, The Hulk said:

Isn't this on the dealership maintenance check list for hour based inspection/service? 

My thoughts are larger surf boats have way more Force than typical inboards.. and at some point the "larger" boats/props/engines have already mostly moved to larger diameter shafts.. 

Didnt the larger Malibu series move to 1.25"? And didn't nautiques have a bunch of these shaft problems back in 15/16? And then moved to larger 1.25"? 

I think you’re right that Nautique had issues with the G series before moving to the 1.25” shafts. 
 

I still see lots of boats running heavy weights that don’t make it to the dealer for servicing very often, and I doubt that the owners are checking alignment, but I’ll admit that’s a bit of an assumption on my part. 

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  • 1 month later...

I bought a 2013 24 ft MXZ with 280 hrs. The owner lived on the lake and i doubt he made it to the dealer more than twice... boat is overall in good shape but maintenence wasnt a 1 st priority for sure. i snapped the prop shaft just cruising at 30 mph. I really thought i hit something as the prop was bent up (and i may have). being that all shops are 6 weeks out I did a little research and decided to change the shaft seal, shaft and prop myself. All seemed ok for about 3 weeks.. was on our 1 st surfing run on sunday had the ballast pretty loaded, i guess the load along with the different angle of the boat wasnt a winning combination and pop wheeee.... The on;y difference was that with the new shaft seal i put in it really didnt take on any water to speak of or that my bilge pump couldnt handle. The 1st time around it could have sunk easily...

I was told that the alignment was important and i thought it looked "ok".... Now I know that its not OK... Back to the dealer for another prop shaft and coupler.. this time around ill have my feeler gauges and will be making all the alignment adjustments needed to make sure this doesnt happen again.

Lesson learned

 

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On 7/21/2021 at 9:52 PM, dav4rlMXZ said:

I bought a 2013 24 ft MXZ with 280 hrs. The owner lived on the lake and i doubt he made it to the dealer more than twice... boat is overall in good shape but maintenence wasnt a 1 st priority for sure. i snapped the prop shaft just cruising at 30 mph. I really thought i hit something as the prop was bent up (and i may have). being that all shops are 6 weeks out I did a little research and decided to change the shaft seal, shaft and prop myself. All seemed ok for about 3 weeks.. was on our 1 st surfing run on sunday had the ballast pretty loaded, i guess the load along with the different angle of the boat wasnt a winning combination and pop wheeee.... The on;y difference was that with the new shaft seal i put in it really didnt take on any water to speak of or that my bilge pump couldnt handle. The 1st time around it could have sunk easily...

I was told that the alignment was important and i thought it looked "ok".... Now I know that its not OK... Back to the dealer for another prop shaft and coupler.. this time around ill have my feeler gauges and will be making all the alignment adjustments needed to make sure this doesnt happen again.

Lesson learned

 

I’m hoping that alignment was my issue. My strut was bent, so I replaced it, but don’t know if it was bent before my prop shaft broke. I got the alignment dialed to 0.001” when I reassembled it. 

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  • 1 year later...

Just experienced the same exact issue this last Saturday on my 2015 23 LSV.  Surfing at 11 mph when snap, things came to an immediate and abrupt halt.  I knew immediately something had broken with the shaft although I thought maybe the coupler bolts had sheared off.  Nope, it was the shaft up near the coupler.  A lot of water can come in very quickly through the hole that is left in the bottom of the boat.  The bilge pumps didn't even come close to keeping up with it.  No boat even near us when it happened and we were a mile off shore and about 1.5 miles from the marina.  No one could hear the emergency air horn I had.  With my kids and toddler grandson on board, we ended up calling emergency services.  While waiting for them to get to us, which they did very quickly in about 7 minutes from the time of our call, I was able to stuff a t-shirt in the hole and clamp it with my hand slowing the water enough that the pumps could stay ahead of it.  With my handheld fix in place they were able to tow us the marina and we were able to get the boat out of the water.  

Interesting thing is that I had a shaft alignment done just 5 weeks ago by the mechanic.  I'm not sure if it was weakness in the shaft caused from imbalance before the alignment or something that happened due to something the mechanic did incorrectly.   I'm planning on a new shaft/coupler, new dripless seal, shaft log and will also probably replace with a new strut just to be sure everything is straight.  I never want to have that experience again.

My v-drive is a velvet drive rather than the stock v-drive.  From my understanding. couplers are specific to the brand?  I think Velvet Drive is made by Borg Warner.  I'm debating on whether to do the fix myself over the winter as I have some mechanical abilities but I'm not an expert level mechanic or do I take it to the dealer?   Thoughts?

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25 minutes ago, Skiwampus said:

Just experienced the same exact issue this last Saturday on my 2015 23 LSV.  Surfing at 11 mph when snap, things came to an immediate and abrupt halt.  I knew immediately something had broken with the shaft although I thought maybe the coupler bolts had sheared off.  Nope, it was the shaft up near the coupler.  A lot of water can come in very quickly through the hole that is left in the bottom of the boat.  The bilge pumps didn't even come close to keeping up with it.  No boat even near us when it happened and we were a mile off shore and about 1.5 miles from the marina.  No one could hear the emergency air horn I had.  With my kids and toddler grandson on board, we ended up calling emergency services.  While waiting for them to get to us, which they did very quickly in about 7 minutes from the time of our call, I was able to stuff a t-shirt in the hole and clamp it with my hand slowing the water enough that the pumps could stay ahead of it.  With my handheld fix in place they were able to tow us the marina and we were able to get the boat out of the water.  

Interesting thing is that I had a shaft alignment done just 5 weeks ago by the mechanic.  I'm not sure if it was weakness in the shaft caused from imbalance before the alignment or something that happened due to something the mechanic did incorrectly.   I'm planning on a new shaft/coupler, new dripless seal, shaft log and will also probably replace with a new strut just to be sure everything is straight.  I never want to have that experience again.

My v-drive is a velvet drive rather than the stock v-drive.  From my understanding. couplers are specific to the brand?  I think Velvet Drive is made by Borg Warner.  I'm debating on whether to do the fix myself over the winter as I have some mechanical abilities but I'm not an expert level mechanic or do I take it to the dealer?   Thoughts?

Will you be filing a insurance claim?  If so, I would let a dealer cover the repairs and double check the alignment during your off season.  

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40 minutes ago, blk93jeepzj said:

Will you be filing a insurance claim?  If so, I would let a dealer cover the repairs and double check the alignment during your off season.  

No insurance claim as I was able to slow the water before it reached any parts and did any damage to the boat.  

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14 hours ago, Skiwampus said:

No insurance claim as I was able to slow the water before it reached any parts and did any damage to the boat.  

What did the tow cost?  Plus the new driveshaft, coupler, prop, prop nut?  I would think that you would be over the cost of a deductible and let a dealership handle the repairs.  

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1 hour ago, blk93jeepzj said:

What did the tow cost?  Plus the new driveshaft, coupler, prop, prop nut?  I would think that you would be over the cost of a deductible and let a dealership handle the repairs.  

You're absolutely right the costs will definitely be more than my deductible.  I would love to make it the insurance companies problem but with it being a mechanical issue with no resulting physical damage I'm not sure what the insurance angle would be?  I'm not shooting your idea down here, if you're seeing a way to make it their problem that I'm not seeing, I'd love to explore that.  No tow cost as the state parks officer towed us back because we were taking on water and it was considered an emergency.

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1 hour ago, Skiwampus said:

 

You're absolutely right the costs will definitely be more than my deductible.  I would love to make it the insurance companies problem but with it being a mechanical issue with no resulting physical damage I'm not sure what the insurance angle would be?  I'm not shooting your idea down here, if you're seeing a way to make it their problem that I'm not seeing, I'd love to explore that.  No tow cost as the state parks officer towed us back because we were taking on water and it was considered an emergency.

my insurance policy covers mechanical failure.

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