E35-2 Rudder Bearing Replacement


Member III
Blogs Author
Hi all,

I'm going through the surveyor's findings and recommendations on a 35-2 I'm considering purchase of, and the survey include the replacement of upper and lower rudder beariings. After speaking with a yard about this, it's clear more information is needed. So, how does one go about this job, and what would be a range of cost for doing the replacement (assuming a yard does it)? I was able to find the threads below, but thought I'd post anyway.



Monty Beed

Member I
Rudder Bearings?

I just pulled the rudder on my E35-2. Thre are no rudder "bearings" to replace. The top of the rudder shaft fits into the steering head where there is a grease fitting. The bottom portion of the shaft has a fiberglass bushing on the shaft that turns inside the lower rudder support. IF you have excessive play you can build up the glassed portion yourself, keeping in mind that when you are done it needs to be smooth and round. I can send you a picture of mine if you like. I am doing a complete rebuild in preps for cruising. Make sure you also inspect the steering gear support in the stern as these are just tabbed in steel that rusts. I just got through cutting all mine out. What a mess and not the best of designs. Also, inspect your steel engine bed, mine was rusted away to paper thin metal so I cut it all out and have to rebuild the engine bed. While I like the atomic four I am replacing it with a 24HP electric drive. If you would like to chat, let me know. My e-mail is svchilote@gmail.com. Thanks.


Member III

There is a rudder bearing, of sorts. On Voice of Reason, we were getting slop in the rudder. What we ended up doing is redoing or augmenting the rudder bearing that was there. We drilled holes in the shaft tube from the outside. We created a mixture of epoxy and graphite powder (marine grade, purchased everything at West Marine) and then used syringes to inject the mixture into the rudder tube. We had to drop the rudder, burnish the rudder shaft and wax it repeatedly, and then let the epoxy firm up. It was freaky when the rudder wouldn't turn after the epoxy set up, but we worked it free (that's why you wax the shaft -- so that it breaks free from the epoxy). Once done, we dropped the shaft out and sanded the new bearing until the rudder moved easily without any wobble. To sand it, we used a plastic pipe just slightly less in diameter than the rudder shaft, and then wrapped a piece of 400 grit sandpaper around it. It was a hassle but the rudder works like magic now.

Jim McCone
Voice of Reason E-32, Hull #134
Redondo Beach, CA