E38-200 Rudder removal / bushing replacement

oceandreams89

Member II
Goodmorning All,

I am hoping some of you out there have had the experience of removing your rudder for bushing replacement on an E38-200, or similar. Our vessel is a 1989 model. I have a moderate amount of play in the rudder shaft noted first my a hardly noticable "clunking" while the boat was pitching or rolling in seas or at anchor. After haulout I noticed that the rudder can be moved back and fourth and side to side a moderate amount in its tube.

The yard was estimating a 10-12 hour repair to remove, replace the rudder and knock out the bushings for replacement. I would rather try myself first as I do 99% of the work on this boat myself and get great satisfaction out of it. (as does my bank account for not having to pay the yard. :egrin: )

Can anyone tell me the correct method for removing and replacing the rudder and the bushings? I figure I would have to have the yard make the bushings from delrin and perhaps press them in if there is a real trick to it. Any help anyone can offer would be great.

Thanks to all.
Todd
 

Dave G

Member II
Rudder Bushing Replacement

Todd,

I had the same symptoms on my E29, sloppy rudder, clunking sound, etc. During last springs haul out I dropped the rudder out. One trick is to make sure when the boat is set on stands that it is high enough off the ground to allow the rudder to drop out. For the 29 this meant the keel needed to be about 14" off the ground (with a nice solid block underneath to sdupport the weight). In my case the bottom bushing was really loose. I machined a new one from delrin, luckily I have access to a lathe. I machined it for a .002" press fit into the rudder tube and about .005" clearance on the rudder post. Presing it in was a simple matter of carfully tapping it in place. I also added a small delrin spacer/washer to ensure the top of the rudder would have adequate clearance with the hull. I smeared lots of grease on the rudder post and reinstalled. It would be a lot easier to have an extra set of hands to hold the rudder in place, I had to make do with some wood blocks.

The difference is amazing! It's like a new boat. Handles great, no more weird clunking sounds! Really a simple repair on my boat.

Dave G
E29 Spirit
 

ted_reshetiloff

Contributing Partner
How Much Play?

I am in the process of buying an 89' E 38-200 and have about 1/8" of play in the rudder. I do a lot of racing on other boats and while 1/8" would not be acceptable on a race boat it may be on what is to be a cruising boat for my family. I am curious to know how much play your E38 rudder post has and how you get on with removal of the rudder and more specifically the old bearings. I have a good friend who is amazing with a lathe and has access to delrin so making the new bearing is not too concerning. Once a long time ago I helped my father remove the rudder on our 35' Eldrige McGuinnes Yawl and I recall we had to dig a deep hole to be able to drop it far enough... Also how difficult is it to replace the steering cables?
 

oceandreams89

Member II
Thanks for the quick replies so far.

There is not much play in the rudder. I think less than 1/8 inch at this time. It seems to be just enough to be noticable, and there was no play at the beginning of last season. I could most likely get away with one more season, but I like to fix things early when I detect them before they get too bad.

As of yet I have not replaced the steering cables but it has been on my mind. There is a nice access panel in the aft cabin which allows access to the lower section of the pedestal, the shift/throttle cables and steering cables, and another removable panel at the aft end of the aft cabin allowing access to the open area under the helm seat. That job should not be too bad.

Does anyone know if there are diagrams of the rudder assembally available somewhere? I thought I had seen them somewhere at one time. That would help quite a bit I'm sure.

If I take off the steering quadrant will the rudder just drop out of the boat? or are there other bolts which hold the rudder shaft in place? This is one job I really want to get right the first time. Steering is a good thing......

Thanks guys. Keep the ideas coming....
Todd
 

oceandreams89

Member II
Well, today I looked over the rudder again out in the freezing cold. Seems it is moving around only about a 16th of an inch give or take. I went around the yard to the 3 other Ericson 38-200's and found 2 of them worse than ours by quite a bit. One was slightly tighter. So, with that said I think I will focus on more important upgrades than a slight movement in the rudder. Ahhhh winter and the idle time it brings.....

Thanks again all
 

JORGE

Member III
MY rudder removal last weekend

E 32-2, (vintage 1971), last weekend, my son Nick and I removed the rudder. I was unhappy about the play on the rudder's lateral movements, and since I am replacing the fuel tank, (and engine), have decided to remove the rudder and check it out.

We lashed the rudder with some dockline to hold it up and also blocked it under. Retracted the eyebolts retaining the steering (Yacht Specialties)cables.

Next, the quadrant was detached;1 long pin --hex s/s bolt thru the quadrant and rudder shft, 4 set bolts that held the quadrant around the shaft. The stuffin box removed by 4, 3/8 hex bolts, The new teflon flax packing is under. At this point there is obviously a a bearing (bushing -washer) possibly bronze plate of 1/4", with a 2 3/8 diameter hole for the shaft, epoxy sealed within the rudder shaft (FBG) log.

The surrrounding area will be strengthened with some more epoxy soon. This is a higher stress point area. The bearing hole is not worn and is about a 1/32- 3/32" larger than the shaft. Look's good!

Next, the rudder head, (stress point), another holding pin, set r/h screw.
I have some water leakage below the rudder head plate too. The plate will have to be rebedded after the deck surface below is dry. The rudder was wiggled out from below.

From below, no bearing of any sort was revealed, just the hull bottom , 5/8" thickness, with a perfect hole for the rudder shaft. The hole is slightly larger than the actual shaft. However, aound the hole just above the hull thickness there is a startling 1/8" seam, which is(has opened), the FBG tube within the shaft log looks free of debris and solid. The seam will need a clean out and injected epoxy-reinforced to stop ingress of water into the hull.
There is very little allowance for a bearing to be fitted into the shaft log without enlarging the exit hole for the shaft. The rudder shaft bears on the hull surface as a bearing. My current plans are to follow the West System guide booklet on injecting an epoxy-silica-graphite mix into the shaft log. Their instructions are very clear. I will locate and fit a thin delrin washer just above the rudder, to make a smooth surface bwteen it and the hull. For the rudder head I'll look into the idea of a rubber/nylon gasket- mylar?, allowing for a grease fitting. Hope to diagram the situation soon.
 

ted_reshetiloff

Contributing Partner
I dropped the rudder on my 1989 e 38-200 today. I was a piece of cake. The boat is out of the water and I did not have to dig a hole or anything to get it out. I have the 6.5' keel. I undid the cables, then separated the quadrant, then lowered the rudder right out. The rudder post is stainless and there is a bronze bushing at the bottom of the shaft log hole, I think theres one near the top too. Has anyone ever tried to remove and replace the lower bushing? Looks like it could be done but I dont know how hard it will be to extract the old bushing. I have play in the rudder and am considering using some delrin shim material but would rather eplace the bushing if I can.
 

JORGE

Member III
After the removal of steering quadrant and rudder, I got inside and inspected the rudder shaft log bearing plate (like a large 4 1/2 " washer with 4 hole for the stuffing box cover), which lies on top of the shaft log(embeded in epoxy/glass). It's 30 years old and is "not" worn out, just needs teflon grease and teflon packing within the stuffing box cover plate. However, just below the bearing plate I noticed another split in betwn the plate and shaft log. I bet this draws in plenty of salt water, which would eventually leak through somewhere. Another injection of reinforced epoxy should fix it. Altogether there are 4 bearing surfaces for the rudder shaft.

I was able to see where the shaft, which angled forward, went right through a FBG sub-deck( 3/4" plywood), and has been wearing the hole a bit. On the backside is a FBG composite-wrapped around that part of the shaft. What a nifty idea to hold a rudder shaft...(not). The Fbg wrap is wearing and loosening. I plan on using Delrin, 3/8-1/2" plate mounted just below the sub-deck as a guide bearing instead of FBG, and a thinner delrin washer outside at the bottom of the ruddershaft. Found a supplier also...http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/product.asp). The website has the specs for all kinds of material, explaining UV, tensile, water absorbancy, etc... By the way the deck core just below the rudder-head plate is nice and wet too.
 

ted_reshetiloff

Contributing Partner
Rudder Bearing for E 38-200

Jorge,
In reading your post I realized that you must have a different boat. I looked and see you have an E-32. I dont have any of the symptoms you mention. The stuffing box packing does need replacing but my rudder does not have the 4 bearing surfaces your seems to have. I just have an upper and a lower bearing. Both are bronze about 3/16 thick and maybe 4 inches long. They are glued (?) to the inside of the shaft tube. One at the bottom and one near the top. I measured both with a caliper and found the bottom one to be about .25" out. I have ordered bronze shim stock from mcmaster carr (awesome site) in the .10" size. This will leave me with .05" clearance which with grease should work nicely. I will be regreasing all of the Edson gear and possibly replacing the cables too. I 'll try a take some photos next time I'm at the boat. I was considering the delrin route myself until I discussed with a buddy in the business. His shop and all others he has seen use bronze shim stock in these applications. The rudder post is stainless and the bearing bronze so it made sense to me. He did mention that on newer boats with actual nylon or delrin bearings they remove and replace. Something that could be done in this case but it looks like a PITA to get the old bushing out without buggering up the shaft log. I guess you would remove it like an old cutlass bearing by carefully cutting it and collapsing it in, but I dont think I'm ready to go that far...
 

ted_reshetiloff

Contributing Partner
E 38-200 Rudder Bear Completed

Finished yeaterday. No play left at all. Lubed everything up and reassembled. I still have left over shim stock if anyone wants a piece. The hardest part was reinstalling the rudder. Once I cut the shim stock to fit leaving a gap of about .02" I started the rudder post up into the hole. When I got about 6" from all the way I slid in the shim. It was a tight fit and getting the rudder the rest of the way in was very tough by myself. I used an automobile jack stand as a rest. Rudder is rather heavy and I would advise having a helper next time. Now that its done the steering is like new. No noticeable play in the rudder at all and smooth turning of the wheel with one finger.
 

Al Emondi

Member II
E32-3 Rudder Play

I will be attempting the rudder bushing repair in the near future. Based on what I have read so far, I think I will opt for the delrin bushing. The West Epoxy Graphite Injection technique seems a reasonable fall back. My only concern with that is that if you epoxy in above the existing bearing (as the West Epoxy instructs) then there is no getting that bearing out later if you needed to. So I see the West Epoxy fix as a one way street, after that you are committed. I’ll try and take pictures and document this so it will be of use in the future. If the manual is correct (see attached pic), there should be a bushing at the bottom of the Rudder Post Tube. I’ll see soon enough if the manual represents my actual situation.
 

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ted_reshetiloff

Contributing Partner
There is a bronze bearing (bushing actually) One at the bottom and one at top. I chose to shim with bronze shim stock as my measured tolerance was .25". I went with .10" shim stock for an ending tolerance of .05". The upper bushing was still within .05". I chose this method due to ease of installation. The lower bushing did not look like it would come out easily. I would imagine you would remove it like an old cutlass bearing by carefully cutting a slice then folding it in on itself. Looked to me like a golden opportunity to open up a big can of worms... The shim stock was cheap from McMaster Carr. They have a number of sizes too. My lower bushing was worn pretty evenly too. I guess I would opt for the removal replacement if the bushing was really chewed up. By shimming I am just putting back bronze that was lost over the years of not lubricating properly. If you take a caliper to the bushing and compare with your rudder post you will see what the tolerance is. Let me know if you would like a piece of the shim stock. I have plenty of .10" left and would be happy to mail you a piece, assuming thats the size you need.
 

Al Emondi

Member II
Shim Material

Ted,
I appreciate your offer on shim stock. It isn't clear to me me how you shimmed the lower bushing. Do you cram this stuff in between the old bushing and rudder post. How do you secure it in place to make sure it doesn't slip through. I guess from reading your previous posts, the top of the rudder itself holds everything in place.
 
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ted_reshetiloff

Contributing Partner
The shim stock is just .10" thick bronze sheet metal. It comes in a roll and is 6" wide. It slides in between the rudder post and the existing bushing. Once the rudder is installed and the shim in place it does not move around. I know others in the yard who have used this method and have not had any problems with the shim needing to be secured. The rudder movement is back and forth and not up and down so the shim seems to stay in place on its own. I got the rudder post slid up into place until there was about 7" left to go. Then I carefully slid the shim into place and then finished working the rudder up into position. It will be removed annually to regrease as I dont think the little zerk fittings Ericson put in really work very well. There is one on the upper bearing which is great and one on the deck fitting for the emergency tiller. There is a third one in about the middle of the rudder post which is midway between the upper and lower bushing. Not sure what if anything pumping that section full of grease would do as its would never reach the lower bushing, which coincidentally is the one that seems to wear out for everyone. There does not appear to be enough room to install a fitting on the lower bushing at least not on my boat, so I will inspect and grease annually, Its not that hard to drop the rudder.
 

jreddington

Member III
Noticed some clunking from the rudder of my E-28 this summer. It came out of the water for the season today and I confirmed between a 1/16" and 1/8" play in the rudder.

Saw in the Ericson manual references to shims and think I understand how shims for the lower bushing are installed. But how do you accomplish this for the upper bushings?

Anyone done this with some pictures to publish? Sounds like a great topic for Owners and Projects.
 

EGregerson

Member III
shim

I've got definite play in the rudder. Ted; I'd like to try some of that .10 bronze shim material. My rudder post is 3 1/2" (3.48 according to some diagram i have). I gather from your description that is doesn't matter what rudder post size you have, you cut the shim stock to fit. Does this solution assume that the existing rudder post opening has worn evenly? That the worn hold remains perfectly (or sufficiently) round? That inserting the shim material will provide an even clearance (of .05) all around? If that's the way is works I'll take a slice of bushing material. :rolleyes:
 

Brookelise

Member II
Installing shim stock

How are the shims installed? Do you need to remove the rudder, or can you just drop it a few inches? If the bronze or Delrin shim stock comes in a roll, one could just cut it to the right size, wrap it around the rudder when it's been dropped a few inches, and then slide it up the rudder post to the bushing -- right?

-- Brooke
 

Brookelise

Member II
Bronze shim stock

Hi, Ted,

We're planning to order some bronze shim stock to repair a sloppy rudder on our Ericson 34. Could you tell me exactly which shim stock you ordered from McMaster Carr? You said you used .10 shim stock, but I can't find any that thick. They seem to be listed from .01 to .04 at mcmaster.com.

Thanks for your help,

Brooke:confused:
 

ted_reshetiloff

Contributing Partner
The .10" thick bronze shim stock from McMaster is PN: 9020K43. More important though is for you to determine how out of spec YOUR rudder post/ lower bearing is. Drop the rudder. Use a set of calipers and measure the diameter of the rudder post at the lower bearing area and also the diameter of the lower bearing. The difference between these 2 measurements will give the tolerance you have to fix. In my case it was .25" or 1/4" I used .10" shim stock and cut enough to wrap completely around the rudder post one time. That made the new tolerance .05" which is about as tight as you are going to want it to be able to easily reinstall the rudder. McMaster has other thicknesses as well I list below.

.005" 9020K41
.008" 9020K42
.010" 9020K43
.013" 9020K44
.016" 9020K45
.020" 9020K46
.025" 9020K47
 

Brookelise

Member II
Bronze shim stock

Thanks, Ted. Your help is much appreciated.

Did you wrap a 6-inch piece of shim stock around the rudder post?

Jim Reddington asked in a previous post in this thread about the upper bushing? Do we have to add any shim stock there?

"Saw in the Ericson manual references to shims and think I understand how shims for the lower bushing are installed. But how do you accomplish this for the upper bushings?"

-- Brooke
 
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