Beneteau First 367 Forum: Rudder bearings - Beneteau First 367 Forum

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Rudder bearings defective or troublesome

#1 User is offline   atlantic union 

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 03:22 PM

Has anyone else had to replace the bearings, especially the lower rudder bearing. My bootom bearing failed about 3 yrs ago when the boat was about 2 years old. It was the old style delrin bearing. We had to cut the rudder off just below the hull and pull the post out thru the top. It seems that the bearing had broken and become more like a wedge jamming the post inside. Beneteau was helpful after a bit of arguing and replaced the rudder and also sent us the new style bearing. Now after about 3 years I am having the same problems i.e. lots of friction in the rudder I am worried that the new bearing has failed also. If you have had any similar problems please let me know.

Paul Gillette
"Atlantic Union"
hull #4
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#2 User is offline   Claudio Martin 

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 03:41 PM

View Postatlantic union, on Aug 4 2008, 04:22 PM, said:

Has anyone else had to replace the bearings, especially the lower rudder bearing. My bootom bearing failed about 3 yrs ago when the boat was about 2 years old. It was the old style delrin bearing. We had to cut the rudder off just below the hull and pull the post out thru the top. It seems that the bearing had broken and become more like a wedge jamming the post inside. Beneteau was helpful after a bit of arguing and replaced the rudder and also sent us the new style bearing. Now after about 3 years I am having the same problems i.e. lots of friction in the rudder I am worried that the new bearing has failed also. If you have had any similar problems please let me know.

Paul Gillette
"Atlantic Union"
hull #4

Hull #30 - we replaced both top and bottom with the Jefa bearings purchased through Beneteau. No problems since.
Claudio Martin
EX Critical (Hull #30)
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#3 User is offline   WOF 

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 05:20 PM

View Postatlantic union, on Aug 4 2008, 04:22 PM, said:

Has anyone else had to replace the bearings, especially the lower rudder bearing. My bootom bearing failed about 3 yrs ago when the boat was about 2 years old. It was the old style delrin bearing. We had to cut the rudder off just below the hull and pull the post out thru the top. It seems that the bearing had broken and become more like a wedge jamming the post inside. Beneteau was helpful after a bit of arguing and replaced the rudder and also sent us the new style bearing. Now after about 3 years I am having the same problems i.e. lots of friction in the rudder I am worried that the new bearing has failed also. If you have had any similar problems please let me know.

Paul Gillette
"Atlantic Union"
hull #4

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#4 User is offline   Reservoir Dog 

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 10:35 AM

what are the symptoms of bearing failure? seems our rudder (hull #21) is stiffer when turning to port across the centreline than to stbd. we always suspected rudder bearings, and are about to do a haul-out so this might be the time to check it out.

what's the procedure /time involved to drop the rudder and replace the bearings? is it a specialized job or can any competent boatyard do it?
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#5 User is offline   amiano 

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 01:10 PM

On hull #13, I replaced the solid derlin top and bottom rudder bearings with the Jefa roller bearings in 2004. The Jefa part numbers you need are:

Jefa LS 2201640 - Bottom Bearing ($268.75 in 2004) - This is a simple retrofit for early hulls that allows you to keep your original aluminum bottom bearing housing. You slide out the old solid derlin bottom bearing and slide in the new roller bearing. See this link (http://members.cox.n...20Bearings.htm) and refer to the last picture to see what the retrofit bottom roller bearing looks like. You will need to carefully clean the internal surface of your original aluminum bottom bearing housing. If your original aluminum bottom bearing housing is severely affected by electrolysis, you may need to replace it with the new aluminum bottom housing and bearing combination as on the new hulls. The Beneteau part number for this is 057840, approx $406.93. Note that if you decide to replace the bottom aluminum housing, you will need to cut out the old aluminum housing and glass-in the new one.

Jefa LS 2201636 - Top Bearing plus aluminum housing ($363.00 in 2004) - This includes both the new top roller bearing and new top aluminum housing (they come as a pair). See this link (http://members.cox.n...20Bearings.htm) and refer to the next-to-last picture to see what the new top roller bearing land housing looks like. You must change the top bearing plus housing as a pair. You cannot simply replace the old top derlin bearing as you can with the retrofit bottom bearing. However this is a straight forward process as it entails unbolting the old top housing (only six bolts) and bolting in the new one. No glass-work is required. Replacing the bottom aluminum housing is best left to a competent professional.

Some Final Notes:
1.) I do all the work myself. This implies the job is straight forward and does not require any special tools/skills. However, you will need a second person to pull the top pin when you drop the rudder. The rudder itself is fairly light at ~60-70lbs and can be easily held/carried by one person. Make sure one person holds the rudder when the top pin is pulled.

2.) A little percussion maintenance/persuasion may be required depending on how long it has been since you cleaned the rudder bearings or how stiff your steering has become.

3.) I have owned hull #13 since new in 2002 and make dropping the rudder and cleaning the bearings and housing an annual maintenance event. I do this to ensure that the steering remains as light and responsive as you would find on a tiller steered boat with a transom hung rudder.

4.) I would be happy to talk anyone through the process if you need assistance. You can reach me on e-mail as I always have the BlackBerry at my side. I'm also willing to discuss directly via mobile (e-mail for number).

I purchased my Jefa bearings from PYI Inc.
PYI Inc.
12532 Beverly Park Rd.
Lynnwood, WA 98087-1524
Telephone: 425-355-3669
Toll Free: 800-523-7558
Fax: 425-355-3661
www.pyiinc.com
Contact was Phil Quartararo
E-mail: quartararo@pyiinc.com

My contact at Jefa was:
Armin Geisler
Jefa sales director, Holland
Tel: +31 475 537760
Fax: +31 475 537759
E-mail: sales@jefa.com

Fair winds,
Alan Miano
Hull #13
Newport, RI
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#6 User is offline   Skip 

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 04:30 PM

Any idea when Beneteau started using the Jefa bearing ? I own hull 147 (2004) and am wondering if there is a jefa bearing or the "older" beneteau part. Seems like the Jefa is a better product.

Also, if the Jefa is now standard on the 36.7 I wonder if it is available from Beneteau ?
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#7 User is offline   amiano 

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 08:58 PM

Beneteau started using the new Jefa roller bearings on hull #47. That means you already have the new roller bearings. If your steering is stiff, then you need to:

1.) Disconnect and drop the rudder. You will need to dig a 12-18 inch deep hole to remove the rudder.
2.) Remove the roller bearing. To do this, rotate the bearing 90 degrees and slide it out via the cutouts.
3.) Clean the roller bearing. To do this, take it home and soak it overnight in a pan of mild dish detergent.
4.) Inspect and clean the inner surface of the aluminum housing in the bottom of the hull.
5.) Inspect and clean the stainless-steel bearing collars (top & bottom) that are attached to the rudder. Any good metal polish will work.
5.) Replace the roller bearing in the boat. Do not use any grease/lubricant on the rollers of the roller bearing. You can use a thin film of grease on the surface of the aluminum housing that contacts the white outside surface of the roller bearing. Again, do not put any type of lubricant/grease on the rollers of the roller bearing.
6.) Reinstall the rudder.
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#8 User is offline   Skip 

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 07:31 AM

Thank you ! May take a look at it this year; steering doesnt feel still but I am hearing a bit of a "squeek" when the wheel is turned over. Is disconnecting the rudder a difficult task ?
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#9 User is offline   Aaron 

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 12:28 AM

I have much to say about the Jefa bearing and the housing in which it sets....please stay tuned...I just replaced both. I'll post photos and rational when I have time to tell you about all the fun...took 4 weeks to get this steering issues resolved, not good.

DO NOT REINSTALL THE ALUMINUM HOUSING...two words...galvanic corrosion

I had a new housing made from 316 SS. I have a machine shop that has already rendered the line drawings and can make additional housings for about the same costs of the Jefa's faulty housing.

More to come...

Aaron
"The only thing constant is change"
www.aycalientesailing.com
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#10 User is offline   amiano 

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 09:56 PM

View PostSkip, on Mar 10 2009, 08:31 AM, said:

Thank you ! May take a look at it this year; steering doesnt feel still but I am hearing a bit of a "squeek" when the wheel is turned over. Is disconnecting the rudder a difficult task ?


Disconnecting and removing the rudder is a straight-forward procedure. However, access to the steering linkage is a bit awkward and cramped. I access everything through the access panel in the port aft cabin. Depending on your physical stature and flexibility, you may prefer to perform some of the procedures through the starboard cockpit locker, or better yet, enlist your smallest crew member for the task. Always a good idea to take a picture before you disassemble anything so you can return things to their original position.

The basic procedure is outlined below (I have not included steps to disconnected an autopilot as they will vary based on the installation).

1.) Disconnect the drag ink where it attaches to the rudder steering arm. You will need a 15/16 in wrench to remove the single nut. You can only access this through the access panel in the port aft cabin. Once the draglink is disconnected, you can grab the rudder arm and move the rudder back-n-forth manual to determine how stiff the movement is. You can also move the rudder from below the boat. The rudder should move freely, if there is any stiffness, binding, or noises, the lower bearing needs to be removed and cleaned. If you let this go too long, you will have a very difficult time removing the rudder.

2.) Remove the rudder stop arm. This is the arm that limits the rudder movement port and starboard and sits below the rudder steering arm. You will need an 8 mm hex key to remove the 4 bolts holding the halves of the rudder stop arm together. Make note of how the U-groove in the arm aligns with the pin in the rudder stock.

3.) Remove the rudder steering arm from the rudder stock. You will need a 3/4 in socket and 3/4 in wrench to remove the long bolt that goes through the rudder steering arm. You will also need a 9/16 in socket to remove the 4 bolts holding the halves of the rudder steering arm together.

4.) Depending on your hull number, you will have either a rubber sealing washer (hull 1 76) of rubber gaiter (hull 77+) to prevent water ingress through the rudder tube. For the rubber sealing, simply lift the washer to the top tapered part of the rudder stock. For the gaiter, remove the band clamps.

5.) Now that all components are disconnected from the rudder stock, you are ready to remove the rudder. First, make sure you have a 12-18 inch hole dug beneath the rudder. I recommend you wrap some protective foam/padding around the rudder tip to prevent any accidental damage during removal. Remove the cover for the rudder head (the cover behind the steering wheel). Have one crew member hold and support the rudder while a second crew member pulls the pin from the collar securing the top of the rudder stock. Wiggle the rudder and it should slide easily out of the boat. Place the rudder on a padded surface.

Good luck,
Alan
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#11 User is offline   Kevin Spainhour 

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 06:50 PM

I just finished replacing the solid bearings for the new roller bearings on Concussion Hull#2. Didn't have much choice in the matter as the rudder froze solid. It got stiff over time then just locked up. Had to be towed to shipyard. Spent 2 weeks in shipyard because I couldn't get the rudder off. After only 1 day of trying I realized that I ran out of talent and my sledgehammer added a high risk of damage so I let the pros at the shipyard do it. At our shipyard, if they do the work you don't pay laydays. The pros tinkered with it for about 10 days with lube and forced movements. I didn't want to accept the cutting it off option. Finally, after much discussion they built an Ibeam cage around the transom, supported the hull around the rudder and used a 40 ton hydraulic ram to press it out. I attached photos. First it moved about an inch and got stuck again. Then they had the 40 ton ram at full capacity and beat the top with a sledge hammer to get it out the rest of the way. It took all that pressure just to get the rudder to slide through the lower bearing only. I had already removed the upper.

After all the time and money spent, the original lower bearing was in "good shape"? Very strange. No cracks or anything. On the surface between the bearing and the rudder, no damage at all. The only issue was the aluminum housing for the lower bearing. It had suffered mildly from galvanic corrosion.

The steering is now amazing.

Good news is the shipyard total bill for everything was just at $2,200. I did all the work with the exception of pressing out the rudder. Cost for tow of 7 miles from marina to shipyard, FREE because I am a vessel assist member.

If anyone has hull #46 or below, It would be a good idea to do the retrofit before the rudder freezes. It will save a whole lot of time.

Attached File(s)


Kevin Spainhour
"Concussion" 56100, Hull #2

I do this for fun!
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#12 User is offline   OC 103 

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 01:47 PM

Is it only the older boats having these problems? We have #224, is this something to look for in a few years?
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#13 User is offline   mtn50 

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 02:47 PM

Beneteau started using the new Jefa roller bearings on hull #47, not an issue.
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#14 User is offline   OC 103 

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 12:36 PM

View Postmtn50, on Oct 6 2009, 03:47 PM, said:

Beneteau started using the new Jefa roller bearings on hull #47, not an issue.



Yet.
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