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2003 wakesetter vlx Prop shaft shaft fell out


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I have a 2003 wakesetter vlx Vdrive which I have owned for 2 years.  We were surfing with ballast bags full. Boat lost propulsion without hitting anything. The engine would rev up but not go anywhere.  There was no vibration prior to this. I Checked the prop shaft coupler and the shaft was backed out of the coupler by about an inch or two. The threads on the shaft appear undamaged but the key was sheared in two, one part in the coupler and the other half still on the shaft.  The prop has a ding from hitting the rudder but no other prop damage.

my question is 1. what likely caused this, 2. Can I put the coupler back on with a new key and fixed prop and check engine alignment, or do I need to get the prop shaft checked or just replace it (I don’t have a tool to check for bent prop shaft.) 3. Any other helpful insights you could give me regarding this situation 

I would like to try and fix it myself assuming I will not be able to get any shop to fix it before the end of summer

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I would try to redo the coupler and key, make it tight, make sure the set screw is in it, check alignment. Maybe have a helper spin prop and shaft to check for bad wobble, then put it back together with alignment check and keep boating. Maybe the coupler was loose on the shaft causing an impact on the key. Make sure you inspect threading. Maybe have to use a new nut. Maybe even thread lock. The set screw would need to be in good shape as well. 

Edited by williemon
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On 8/1/2021 at 1:55 PM, williemon said:

I would try to redo the coupler and key, make it tight, make sure the set screw is in it, check alignment. Maybe have a helper spin prop and shaft to check for bad wobble, then put it back together with alignment check and keep boating. Maybe the coupler was loose on the shaft causing an impact on the key. Make sure you inspect threading. Maybe have to use a new nut. Maybe even thread lock. The set screw would need to be in good shape as well. 

Thanks, I think I will do that. 
 by the way how tight should the shaft nut be? I can’t find any sort of torque spec for it. Also not sure how to get it tight- I was thinking maybe putting something between the prop so the shaft doesn’t spin. Or maybe a pipe wrench on the actual shaft. There’s a lot of videos on shaft removal and surprisingly I can’t find any videos on installation. 

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I can’t remember if I ever saw a torque spec, but I would think 35 to 50 ft lbs would work. Make sure the coupler is not worn to bad out of shape. If using a pipe wrench, only put it between prop and strut so if it gets gouged, it isn’t in an area that has to slide through the strut or s log when pulling shaft. Check coupler after each outing. Maybe pull completely and redo coupler and strut during winter if you want

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1 hour ago, williemon said:

I would think 35 to 50 ft lbs would work

I don't think that is near enough.  You can look up torque specifications based on the thread size of the fastener.  I don't know the exact size we are dealing with here, but I'll assume for now that it is a 3/4"-10 thread.  If that is the case, the spec is 125 ft-lbs dry or 113 ft-lbs if the thread is lubricated (even thread locker counts).  This is from the Stainless Steel section of the following chart (in the lower right corner).  Measure your thread, then look up the torque.

https://www.fastenal.com/content/merch_rules/images/fcom/content-library/Torque-Tension Reference Guide.pdf

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