Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Early season post

Howdy folks.

Rough winter huh? I spent some of it down in ole' Mexico. We got lucky and missed the cold spell & huge dump of white crap that hit our lil' part of the world. :-)  It was back to reality & the freezer this week though. While I was in Mexico I ordered the propeller shaft & some replacement CV joints for the Python Drive.

Here's what happened to the Python Drive.

When I extended the hull I planned to use a Python Drive and extended shaft. The company was really nice to deal with and sent me the extended shaft (1m). The instructions they provided, a set of photos, illustrated how to remove the CV joints and install the longer shaft. What they didn't show was how to deal with the thread locker (Loctite???) they used to secure the splines to the CV joint.
Cracked bearing race
My local mechanic tried to press out the shaft and maxed out his 20 tonne press. I took the unit to the local marine machine shop and after a couple weeks of waiting no word so I stopped in and managed to catch a guy who would give it a shot. He followed the directions and we ended up destroying the CV joint. The force placed on the shaft was transferred by the ball bearings to the bearing race which eventually broke it. It snapped at 24,000 lbs pressure.

So long story short I contacted the company expressing my displeasure in their directions. They offered no consolation at all. They were willing to sell me two new CV's at 200 euros each!

I went to work on the ole' Interwebs using my marine engineering logistics background and identified the CV joints as being the exact same ones used in mid-late 90's Jeep Liberties & Cherokee's. Next came eBay and Google and I located a pair for under $40 USD each! They were waiting the same day I picked up the prop shaft.
New Jeep CV joint
The new CV's were a perfect match. I was a little worried with dimensions on the Python being metric and the Jeep CV's in standard.
Mating CV to shaft
The CV's were fitted with thread locker as per instructions. The dust boots were slipped on beforehand.
Dust boots slid on the shaft
I'll try to get a pic of the whole unit once the thread locker has set and I get the dust boots in place. Grease will be added as well.

That's about it for now. Going to try to dig myself into the boat shed this week. Need to take some measurements for the skeg & rudder shaft. I'm not going to use the welded aluminum skeg thinking the heavy stainless channel being a better choice.