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Compass Marine How To | all galleries >> Welcome To >> Replacing A Cutlass Bearing (Sleeve Bearing) > Grease Between Washers
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Grease Between Washers

Grease Between Washers

A couple of tips from this photo. I use a spark plug wrench to slide over the threaded rod and a deep drive socket on the other end. There is tremendous force required to press a properly fitting bearing into a strut. You can use two heavy duty washers with the smooth sides facing each other. Most all washers have a smooth side and a rough side.

Between these two washers I apply some wheel grease so they rotate on each other easily. This prevents the washer from wanting to turn on the face of the cutlass bearing and really makes it much easier to tighten and press the cutlass into the strut. If you can find a bronze washer you can sandwich it in between two steel washers and make a nice lubed bronze thrust washer.

Please do yourself a favor and use thick washers, and multiples if you need to. Cheap washers can bend or dish and can destroy the cutlass bearing by flaring the end. Also remember to use at least 1/2" threaded rod. 1/2" should be the minimum size not maximum.. This is not a job for wimpy threaded rod and 3/4" would be a better option.

It should be noted that the pressure of pressing this bearing in destroyed the threads on this threaded rod. A bearing with a true press fit will ideally require 3/4" or more diameter threaded rod..

Nikon D200
1/60s f/4.8 at 34.0mm iso360 full exif

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D. Ward 29-Apr-2014 16:10
Great article. I have a 1 inch shaft, so I will use the largest rod that the hole will accommodate. Any thoughts on throwing the bearing in ice water and heating the cutlass? Although with your methodology, that may not even be worth the effort. Thanks again
Dan 16-Nov-2012 03:52
Thanks for posting this series; it gave me the courage to tackle the job on my boat. I added a large nylon washer between the two washers and that seemed to help reduce the friction. Still needed to use the long handled crescent spud wrench.