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How to remove rusted strut bolts ('81 33)

RoyS

.
Jun 3, 2012
1,166
Hunter 33 Steamboat Wharf, Hull, MA
With regard to sealant: I recommend 3M 5200 Fast Cure for this project. Fast Cure will fully cure in 48 hours. Other sealants including regular 5200 may take a week or more before you can tighten the nuts fully. Removal can still be accomplished by cutting the sealant with a wire, should that become necessary.
 

Rabe

.
May 15, 2019
63
Hunter 33 - Cherubini Port Clinton, OH
I removed and rebedded the strut on my H37C years ago. I think you might have success getting the nuts off the machine screws (bolts) that hold your strut on. Clean out the area as best you can - shop vac, wire brush, etc. - and then hit the nuts with PB Blaster (or similar) a couple of times and let it soak in for a couple of hours. Then get a 6-point deep socket to fit the nuts (9/16"?) with a suitable extension and ratchet. Have a friend hold a large Phillips screw driver on the screw heads below while you apply torque. With a bit of luck you'll have the strut out within half an hour. Heating the strut with a heat gun or judiciously with a torch can help break the bond of the bedding material (sealant). Its something like 3M 4200 or 5200.
Thanks @Jim Legere There's a lot of good info there!
 
Jan 2, 2008
544
Hunter 33 (Cherubini design Forked River, Barnegat Bay, NJ
If you're still working this project take heed. The company that made the early struts for Hunter closed up shop YEARS ago. I bought the last "33" strut they had. Keyport, NJ. Poof... Gone, shop empty. I drove by and checked.

The job is laborious and time consuming, but not rediculous. Getting the old bolts out is not tough and simply takes mechanical work.

The big deal is the ENGINE absolutely MUST be aligned to the shaft tube before you set and align the strut. If you ever wondered what that banging was when you made major engine speed changes, it's the shaft banging on the tube. There's 1/4 inch of clearance, 1/8" annual. Must be the same at forward and aft ends of the tube. Once you have the engine set correctly you can set the strut. I jumped the size of the bolts up to half inch stainless. I think I glassed the bolt heads inside the hull. Drilled out the holes in the new strut to half inch clearance, nylon locking nuts outside. Now this is tricky. I coated the base of the strut and bolt threads with release agent, don't remember what, doesn't matter. Maybe petroleum jelly. Mixed up slow cure filled epoxy, bolted it into place in perfect alignment squeezing out excess. After cure I pulled it free, cleaned up and re- bolted. My strut can be removed at any time and easily put back in placestill in perfect alignment.

You're welcome to contact me if you need help. The old, bent strut is still on a shelf as decoration.
 
  • Like
Likes: Allan12210
Jan 22, 2008
1,587
Hunter 34 Alameda CA
If you're still working this project take heed. The company that made the early struts for Hunter closed up shop YEARS ago. I bought the last "33" strut they had. Keyport, NJ. Poof... Gone, shop empty. I drove by and checked.

The job is laborious and time consuming, but not rediculous. Getting the old bolts out is not tough and simply takes mechanical work.

The big deal is the ENGINE absolutely MUST be aligned to the shaft tube before you set and align the strut. If you ever wondered what that banging was when you made major engine speed changes, it's the shaft banging on the tube. There's 1/4 inch of clearance, 1/8" annual. Must be the same at forward and aft ends of the tube. Once you have the engine set correctly you can set the strut. I jumped the size of the bolts up to half inch stainless. I think I glassed the bolt heads inside the hull. Drilled out the holes in the new strut to half inch clearance, nylon locking nuts outside. Now this is tricky. I coated the base of the strut and bolt threads with release agent, don't remember what, doesn't matter. Maybe petroleum jelly. Mixed up slow cure filled epoxy, bolted it into place in perfect alignment squeezing out excess. After cure I pulled it free, cleaned up and re- bolted. My strut can be removed at any time and easily put back in placestill in perfect alignment.

You're welcome to contact me if you need help. The old, bent strut is still on a shelf as decoration.
Rabe,

There are excellent tips here. I had to re-bed my strut twice over the years. The first time was in 2000 when I thought at the time it wasn't installed correctly. The second time was in 2019 when it finally wore out due to a misaligned split coupling which caused the cutless to spin and wear out the bore of the strut. I bought a new one right here at the SBO store. It was a perfect match, but still needed realignment. I suspect my original one was bent. My first attempt at realigning it was just to correct for the bend.

Here are some of the steps I took in 2000, posted back in 2008:

The strut in my case was not bedded into the hull, just the holes were sealed with Sikaflex. In fact, you do not want to bed the strut to the hull, ever. It needs to be bolted to a hard surface so it can't move at all and therefore always stays in alignment. So, before removing the strut, undo the coupling at the transmission (you don't have to remove the coupling from the shaft, just separate the halves) and unscrew the packing nut so the shaft is free floating. Check and see that it passes directly through the center of the cutless and that it also passes directly through the center of the shaft log. You will have to support it with a little block of wood inside the boat just so it isn't drooping with gravity and you can tell if it wants to cant to one side or the other of the shaft log. If it is distorting the cutless up or down when held in the center, then you have an alignment problem anyway which can easily be fixed. Here is a link to my post when I had to realign the strut.

http://forums.hunter.sailboatowners.com/showthread.php?p=1026021&highlight=allan12210 strut

The second time went fairly easy as the strut came right off the bottom of the boat. I found a way to shim the strut for the proper angle was to stack some stainless steel washers on the mounting screws to achieve the proper alignment when they were tightened. This allowed a gap that could be filled with the correct amount of thickened epoxy when satisfied with the trial setup. Once I was happy with how it would come out, I wrapped the strut and screws and washers with Saran Wrap and mixed up the epoxy. Once troweled into the recess I tightened the screws enough to seat it against the washers and front edge of the strut to cure. The excess that squished out was trimmed while still rubbery. That makes a really hard surface to register against and there is no movement with a rubbery layer.

IMG_20190925_112529065.jpg
 
Jan 2, 2008
544
Hunter 33 (Cherubini design Forked River, Barnegat Bay, NJ
That is not the strut used on the Hunter 33. It was cast with H-33 on the arm. TWO BOLTS ONLY!. Mounting surface was curved. Made it very interesting . It would be neat if Hunter Owners offered a reasonable replacement for the H-33 piece. I remember it was used on a few other boats, maybe the 34, and or 36/37? It had a narrow two bolt mounting face to laaow it to mount to the narrow princess fairing.
 
Jan 2, 2008
544
Hunter 33 (Cherubini design Forked River, Barnegat Bay, NJ
Very good information! Happy to see it is not a lost cause! And at this point I have NO recollection how much I paid.
 
Jun 5, 2010
1,060
Hunter 25 Burlington NJ
I believe Dahmer Marine was the original manufacturer for a lot of the prop struts on the Cherubini Hunters. As Sam says, they are long gone, but the patterns were acquired by Miller Island Propeller and they can supply them (no idea as to cost...)
Miller's Island Propeller | Underwater Hardware
The original original foundry for New Jersey-based Hunter Marine was Miller’s in Morgan NJ. Last time I ran into Jacques Henriques he recognised me there and we had a hugfest. That was in 1980.