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Oday 272LE Squealing From Shaft

Oct 15, 2020
2
Oday 272LE Lake Keowee
Hi everyone, I just purchased a 1978 Oday 272 LE with the Westerbeke 10-2. The boat is current in, and has spent most of it's life in fresh water. It appears previous owners have taken well care of it, I did find some flax while going through compartments so I would imagine someone at some point has replaced the stuffing box, though I can't confirm this.

The motor runs great, purrs along and starts without hesitation at idle. When putting it in gear, it'll do fine for a short bit then I am noticing some vibration, followed by a high pitched squealing from somewhere under the pedestal area, followed by more vibration and finally the engine shuts off. If I fiddle with it a few times, I can get it to run without cutting off at full throttle, but returning back to the dock, if I pull it down to low throttle or switch to reverse, the squeal returns followed by the shut off.

I dove under yesterday and confirmed nothing was wrapped around the prop or shaft. I scrubbed the shaft with a brush, there was nothing major on it, I did get some algae to come off it, but again it didn't seem like enough to be clogging anything up.

I did check the transmission fluid through the bolt at the rear of the engine, it was low, but not empty, I filled it back up to the proper level.

I checked the stuffing box, and there was a couple of drops under it in the bilge, but I cannot confirm if it is dripping while it is running or not.

Would the Cutlass Bearing be making the squealing noise I'm hearing, or maybe the stuffing box needs to be repacked again, engine allignment? Has anyone experienced this problem before and what should I be checking?
 
Nov 6, 2006
8,812
Hunter 34 Mandeville Louisiana
I might suspect the alternator and belt, given that you’ve looked at the shaft and presumably turned it by hand.
 
Jul 5, 2011
536
Oday 28 Madison, CT
That would be my first question. Does that shaft really turn freely by hand in neutral? A couple of drops of water under the stuffing box is a red flag for me. If you have had it out running and no slow drips at least that sounds too tight to me. In such a situtation the shaft will get hot too, not good at all.
 
Oct 15, 2020
2
Oday 272LE Lake Keowee
I took a mechanic friend of mine out with me this afternoon. He said it was not the alternator and that the belt on the alternator was fairly new and the right size.

I backed off on the lock nut on the stuffing box so that I got some slow drips when it was in gear. It still made the vibration, followed by a squeal and finally the engine shutting off.

The noise is not coming from the engine itself, as best I can tell it seems to be either coming from past the black rubber boot somewhere in the tube to the outside. Oddly I would swear it's coming from the right storage compartment in the cockpit area under the little access panel in the floor area.

I'm starting to think its gotta be the Cutlass bearing. Would the shaft vibrating around cause the engine to shut itself down?
 
Jan 5, 2017
1,823
Beneteau First 38 Lyall Harbour Saturna Island
I took a mechanic friend of mine out with me this afternoon. He said it was not the alternator and that the belt on the alternator was fairly new and the right size.

I backed off on the lock nut on the stuffing box so that I got some slow drips when it was in gear. It still made the vibration, followed by a squeal and finally the engine shutting off.

The noise is not coming from the engine itself, as best I can tell it seems to be either coming from past the black rubber boot somewhere in the tube to the outside. Oddly I would swear it's coming from the right storage compartment in the cockpit area under the little access panel in the floor area.

I'm starting to think its gotta be the Cutlass bearing. Would the shaft vibrating around cause the engine to shut itself down?
If it will run all day in neutral and only squeals when in gear it’s got to be gear box, cutlass bearing or something wrapped on your prop. Oddly enough the Perkins 4-108 I am currently working on has a little red box attached to it that shuts it down for excess vibration. I had never seen one before, always learning something new.
 
Jul 5, 2011
536
Oday 28 Madison, CT
This does start to sound like a bearing or shaft issue. When my cutlass bearing went it gave no squealing notice and just started clunking loudly, but maybe yours is not as far gone.