I GOT IT OUT!
One way to be able to press the old cutless bearing out would be to remove the whole shaft log and take it to a machine shop to have the bearing pressed out. I’ve been hesitant to do that since removing the shaft log seemed like major surgery to me. My friend James (Westsail 28, Narwhal) in Australia had removed his and told me all about it in an e-mail but it still seemed very daunting. Looked like it was glassed in to the hull. However, this morning I was reading about the operation in Bud Taplin’s Westsail Service Manual and he made it sound downright routine. So, armed with new confidence I headed over to Marina Seca to do the surgery.
The bottom nut on the flange at the outside end of the shaft log came off fine. The other one, of course, was stuck to the stud and just spun the whole thing. It never got loose enough to extract, just loose enough to basically do nothing except spin. I ultimately had to cut the nut off with my grinder. I still have to extricate the stump and replace it but after what I’ve been through with this cutless bearing, this doesn’t even show up as a blip on my “dreaded jobs” radar.
With the nuts off I was able to start levering the stern tube out. Once it was out further than screwdrivers could reach, I resorted to my large channel-lock pliers. The curve of the upper jaw and the long handle made them perfect to use as a pry bar. Had to use a few pieces of wood as a new fulcrum as the log got further out.
The outside of the log was coated with some sort of sealant. I’m so glad it wasn’t some super adhesive like 3M 5200. Within 30 minutes of starting the job, the log was laying on the ground.
Next, I got a ride into Guaymas with friends Mark & Katie (s/v Selkie). We stopped at the Truper ferreteria so I could replace my broken-tipped screwdrivers and then stopped at the Hernandez Brothers shop to see if Luis could press the rest of the cutless bearing out of the log. Luis looked it over and, for reasons unbeknownst to me, he decided to just try to drive it out rather than press it out. Far be it from me to argue with a top-notch machinist. He put the log in a vise and then fashioned the end of a steel rod to a shape that suited him. Inserted the rod and started hammering. The bearing started coming out nicely. At first. Then, progress stopped. Luis went back over to the grinder and reshaped the end of the rod again and resumed beating. A few more licks and the “bearing” popped out.
The bearing was a complete mess when it came out. There’s evidence of electrolysis on the inner end. The next step is to clean up the inside bore of the shaft log and then get a new bearing and either install it or have it installed. Seeing the electrolysis, I’d really like to find some of the nylon-type bearing material. I’ve got an e-mail in to a company that makes the stuff but haven’t heard back yet.
I am so happy to finally get the bearing extraction behind me. It was a little bit gratifying to see that even Luis had trouble getting the bearing out, and that’s with the parts on a workbench in a big vise. It wasn’t just me.
I’m getting to know the butt end of Siempre Sabado a lot better than I ever thought I would.
Now it’s time for a couple of cheladas at the Marina Cantina. We were told the other day, at the Cantina, that a “Michelada” is limón juice, ice, and beer in a salt-rimmed glass. A “Chelada” on the other hand is limón juice, ice, spicy Clamato juice, and beer in a salt-rimmed glass. Not sure if the nomenclature is wide-spread as we’ve ordered Micheladas and got the Clamato concoction before. But, who cares? By any name, they’d be tasty and refreshing. Lulu spent all morning doing laundry and schlepping beer, ice, and groceries back to Chamisa. You know how I spent my morning. We’ve earned a couple of Cheladas in the Cantina’s air-conditioned comfort. So, fix yourself a Chelada and join us. If you can’t come up with an argument justifying a Chelada right now, you haven’t been paying close enough attention to this blog.
Que la vaya bién.