Author Topic: Worn Rudder Pivot plate  (Read 256 times)

libertyflyer

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Worn Rudder Pivot plate
« on: November 20, 2019, 06:09:54 AM »
Hello, towards the end of the season I felt a bit of play in the steering, especially down wind. I did notice a slight change in her pointing ability as well, and maybe felt a clunk when tacking.

I figured loose cables since we had done some wiring work last winter on the pedestal, where I had to loosen the cables to move the pedestal chain out of the way.  But it was late in the season, and visual inspection of the cables didn’t give me any concern, so we let it go until she was out on the hard.

Now she’s out and I can move the rudder back and forth about 1/4” at the lower pivot point where the rudder pin goes through the plate at the bottom of the small skeg.

I plan to remove the plate and have the material filled in by a welder, and redrill the center pivot hole.  It does not look like in need to drop the rudder to get the plate out.  We will see.

Has anyone experienced this before and have any tips?

I will post pics this weekend.  Thank you.

libertyflyer

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Re: Worn Rudder Pivot plate
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2019, 04:31:56 PM »
Posting some photos as I go of the lower rudder pivot.  Sorry for the sideways photos.  I sanded some of the paint off today to get a better idea of the size and the attachment points.  Appears to be only 3 large screws, and maybe some epoxy between the plate and the skeg bottom.

I gave the screws a twist and they didn't budge.  Sprayed some PB Blaster on them, and will come back with some Freeze-off spray, and an impact driver tomorrow.

Clearly visible is the worn pivot hole where the rudder pins sits.  This is the clunk when tacking, or slop in the wheel when downwind and following seas.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2019, 04:43:20 PM by libertyflyer »

libertyflyer

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Re: Worn Rudder Pivot plate
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2019, 09:27:01 AM »
The three brass screws have made me think twice about this necessary project. I soaked them, banged them, soaked them, used and manual hammer driven impact driver, and didn’t get them to budge.

Came back a week later(yesterday), used the same process and brought my Makita impact gun and got them all to move about an 1/8 to a 1/4 inch left and right.  Going back today for another round.

Dolce_Vita

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Re: Worn Rudder Pivot plate
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2019, 01:50:38 PM »
Good luck.  Once they're moving, penetrant (like Kroil or PBBlaster) should be able to find its way in.  Slow and steady wins the race.  Can't tell you how many times I've gotten impatient and pushed a little too hard or too fast and sheared-off a screwhead!

Not to nit-pik, but I'm pretty sure they're Bronze, not Brass.  Brass should never be used below the waterline due to it's high Zinc content (not to mention its low strength).
@(^.^)@  Ed
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with rebuilt Atomic-4

libertyflyer

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Re: Worn Rudder Pivot plate
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2019, 07:53:09 PM »
Good luck.  Once they're moving, penetrant (like Kroil or PBBlaster) should be able to find its way in.  Slow and steady wins the race.  Can't tell you how many times I've gotten impatient and pushed a little too hard or too fast and sheared-off a screwhead!

Not to nit-pik, but I'm pretty sure they're Bronze, not Brass.  Brass should never be used below the waterline due to it's high Zinc content (not to mention its low strength).

thanks for the advice, and the correction on the Bronze vs Brass snafu, much appreciated.   Slow and steady is the plan... Many other winter projects to tackle. so I mess with the screws for a few minutes until my arms get tired of holding the gun up, then go fiddle with the other things on the list.  She'll come off.  Any idea on the length of the screw?

Dolce_Vita

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Re: Worn Rudder Pivot plate
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2019, 08:32:48 AM »
...  Any idea on the length of the screw?

No, sorry.
@(^.^)@  Ed
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libertyflyer

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Re: Worn Rudder Pivot plate
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2019, 03:25:58 PM »
Not going as planned.  Soaked the screws a few weeks in back to back. Used my makita hammer drill to start to work then loose. Turns out they just broke free and spin freely without coming out.   Had to drill off the heads and remove the plate. Getting deeper... ugh.

Update: read the later posts about looking inside the skeg and finding thr other end of the screws.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2020, 09:09:39 PM by libertyflyer »

libertyflyer

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Re: Worn Rudder Pivot plate
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2020, 09:58:53 AM »
I've been reading a bit more on this as I get deeper into the unknown.  The lower "plate" as I referred to it is more commonly called the "shoe".  I was thinking that I should change the lower rudder bearing while the shoe is off, but come to find out, it is also considered the lower rudder bearing on this boat.  Interesting and good to know before I drop the rudder to find out there is no other bearing besides the top bearing.

Let's face it, it's just mechanical, and I could just go about it, braze it, and reattach with some new screws, but my curiosity to learn as I go, plus its winter so I have some time, lets me do more digging than is probably needed, but that's also part of the fun.  Plus, sharing this may help another sailor who is in a bit of a rush, learn from my journey, and cut his/her time in half.

More to come.  Plan to stop by the local shipyard and ask about brazing the "shoe".  I have a friend who was a professional welder, and will do it once it warms up a bit.  But he is not a sailor, so I will go get a sailors opinion before taking the next step.



Dolce_Vita

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Re: Worn Rudder Pivot plate
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2020, 01:20:19 PM »
Another possibility is to have a replacement fabricated.  It's a fairly simple piece.   Bristol Bronze, located in RI, used to do this kind of work:

http://bristolbronze.com/ContactInfo.php

I have no idea of the price.
@(^.^)@  Ed
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with rebuilt Atomic-4

libertyflyer

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Re: Worn Rudder Pivot plate
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2020, 09:21:12 PM »
Another possibility is to have a replacement fabricated.  It's a fairly simple piece.   Bristol Bronze, located in RI, used to do this kind of work:

http://bristolbronze.com/ContactInfo.php

I have no idea of the price.

Good suggestion.  I went to the shipyard today and they suggested the same. They put me in contact with a welder/fabricator, and he ps going to give me an estimate after he picks up the piece.  Will post the results when I get them. 

libertyflyer

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Re: Worn Rudder Pivot plate
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2020, 08:53:55 PM »
Here's a picture from inside the well of the rudder skeg.  Probably should have looked in here first and may have had a chance to remove the nuts and salvage the screws if I soaked the properly.   I did remove one of the screws by pushing it up from outside.  I later soaked the screw and was able to remove the nut. However, even with that accomplished, there is enough corrosion that I will replace the screws anyway.  So no loss, except for time.

The shipyard guy recommended Jamestown distributors, and I was able to locate the correct replacement screw very easily on their website.

« Last Edit: January 06, 2020, 09:04:00 PM by libertyflyer »