Cutless bearing removal with drive shaft in

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Sep 25, 2008
CS 30 Toronto
The cutless bearing was replaced due to excessive play and vibration. A bearing press was manufactured to get the job done. There is no need to remove the drive shaft. Remove the set screws from the strut. There should be 2 setscrews inside each hole. Soak the contact point between the bearing and strut with penetrating oil such as PBlast. May take days.

Need two flanges and a threaded 1” x 6” black iron pipe from Home Depot. The inside diameter of the black iron pipe is slightly bigger than 1”. Cut one end off and make square. Screw the one end onto a flange. Use a new cutless bearing as guide, have a machine shop turn down the black iron pipe to slightly smaller than the bearing.

The second flange, use a file or grinder stone to grind away the threads. Make sure it is bigger than the outside diameter of the cutless bearing. Cut a slot about 1” to slide over the drive shaft. Enlarge the holes on the flange to 3/8”.

Get 3 x 3/8” x 12” threaded rods and 9 nuts. Use the threaded rod to press out the old bearing. Grease the rod will help. Start with 3 rods. Once the old bearing moved, you can go down to just 2 rods. Heat the outside of the strut with a blow torch may help the penetrating oil to loosen the bond.

Once the bearing is pushed out of the strut, use an angle grinder with a cutter blade to cut a slit (carefully). Install the new bearing using the same press. Use a hose clamp to ensure the bearing and the press is aligned. The old bearing is uses as a shield for the drive shaft. Put some anti-seize compound on the bearing to ease effort for the next time. Remove the old bearing afterwards.


Dec 12, 2009
C & C 33 Mk1 Charleston, SC
Thanks for the great photos. How can I find out the outside diameter of a new cutlass bearing before I haul the boat? Owner's manual says shaft is 1" but nothing else. Thanks for any help!
Dec 2, 2003
Hunter 376 Warsash, England --
My Way

See photo.
Get an old bearing from any yard.
Hacksaw a 1" slot along its length.
Lay it over the propshaft.
Remove the prop.
Unscrew the grubscrew holding the existing bearing in position.
Repeatedly slide something heavy along shaft to strike the end of the slotted bearing to hammer the old bearing out.
Mine needed only a little force to make this happen - nothing like enough to damage the strut or its joint to the hull.
All quite simple really - see photo.
But you do need one with a brass/bronze shell as I doubt a fragile fibre shelled or plastic bearing would do.


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