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Strut bearing removal ( the hacksaw method )

April 22 2007 at 10:51 PM
Paul  (no login)

Response to * Update on the 20' fiberglass Sea Skiff project (an "almost Commander")

I attempted to pull the strut bearing out with a large threaded rod but it just wouldn't budge. I had to resort to the ole hack saw trick. I would NEVER (EVER) use a sawsall on a strut bearing.

Even in the hands of a surgeon, a sawsall could eat so much soft bronze away so fast, you could be in trouble. Some things are just better done by hand. Yes, I have a sawsall but I used a hack saw for the start, and I finished the job holding the blade with my hands. I just could not get the feel of what I was cutting or how deep I was cutting, by holding onto the saw handle. I put a piece of carpet down and got a nice comfortable pillow, and just took my time sawing gently. As a result, I got two nice cuts into the bearing shell at 180-degrees from one another, one on top and one on the bottom side. One side of the bearing shell was cut all the way though, and the other side was cut down to a paper thin piece of metal that still held the shell together. I was careful not to cut into the bronze strut itself. A light tap with a screwdriver blade and out it came. It was a 1-1/4" x 4" holding a 1" shaft, in case anyone wants to know.

Here’s what the strut looked like as I was cutting. Yes, it took time, but not all that much time. Once I got that pillow it was a piece of cake.

Here’s the bearing as it came out. Note the paper thin piece of metal still holding the shell together. I used a hack saw blade by hand for the final cutting, and that adjustable clamp wrench was used to hold the end of the blade.

The bearing shell on this particular installation was so thin, I couldn’t get a grip on it to pull it out using the threaded rod technique. Cutting seemed to be the only way.

Regards, Paul

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