View Full Version : Finishing Shaft Alignment, Need Help

04-19-2007, 12:35 AM
1997 Maristar 225: Trying To Finish Shaft Alignment. I Have Already Replaced The Strut And Had The Shaft Checked. I Adjusted The Engine To The Shaft And Got It Within .002 (thats As Thin As My Feeler Gage Goes). This Created A New Problem. Where The Shaft Passes Through The Log The Shaft Is Of Center Enough That It Almost Touches The Log! I Took A Close Look From Underneath The Boat And Found The Log Itself Is Off Center. Is This Unusual? Can I Re-align The Log? Does It Have Any Play While Installing It? I Could Really Use Some Help.

04-19-2007, 05:23 PM
bump for you...

04-19-2007, 07:46 PM
Make sure your shaft is aligned with your strut first by making sure everything is loose around the shaft log (nothing touching the shaft). If this puts the shaft too far off center of the log, then I would thing your strut is not aligned. The shaft doesn't have to be perfectly centered in the log as the short hose will help with any offset. You definitely don't want the shaft touching the log. Hope this helps.

04-19-2007, 08:59 PM
When I Aligned The Engine I Took The Shaft Seal Loose So It Wouldn't Interfere. Is The Strut Adjustable? I Replace Mine And Unfortunately I Didn't Pay Attention To Whether It Could Be "moved". I Just Bolted The New One On.

04-19-2007, 09:01 PM

04-19-2007, 10:46 PM
I haven't installed a strut firsthand; but I would think that you want to ensure the strut is aligned to the shaft log by installing the shaft through the strut and log before tightening the bolts on the strut. There should be a slight amount of play in the strut when the bolts are loose before the sealant has cured.
Which means you would have to remove the strut, reinstall sealant, etc.

04-20-2007, 12:13 AM

I just went through the exact same thing you are dealing with on my PS 205. I have not seen the bottom of a Maristar but would assume yours is the same. The strut will seat in a flat square area on the bottom and has very little adjustment.

I called three dealers. Although all were very nice and seemed honestly concerned and willing to help, we did not get a solid "yes it is common and here is what you do" response. My shaft was just barely laying on the log at about the 7 o'clock position. After thinking it over and over and over and over..... I decided I had to move the log hole in the fiberglass to make it right. Mine was also cut with a holesaw off center from the factory.

Working from inside the bilge with my dad's hands as extra help I :

1. Took out the log and cleaned all the silicon off it and the bottom of the log hole.
2. Out of 1/4" plywood made a template of the log as it mounts to the bottom of the boat. Looks like a triangle.
3. Marked the bolt holes in the wood template and drilled them out. Do not cut out the hole that would represent where the shaft passes through the log, but trace it out.
4. Mark the center of the template where the shaft would pass through.
5. Now decide how much I needed to move the hole in order to center the shaft in the log. (For mine it was about 1/4" to the starboard side.
6. Measured 1/4" from the center mark on the template and drilled a pilot hole.
7. Now the fun stuff. Bolt the template to the bottomf of the boat just as if it were you were bolting the log back up. Use the correct size hole saw (2" I think - measure to use the same size as existing hole). Insert the pilot bit in the new pilot hole 1/4" over from previous center point and run it down until it gets to the fiberglass. With the drill running in reverse you should only be cutting a cresent shape out of the hole to enlarge it by 1/4 inch with one side of the holesaw.
8. I then put the log back up to the hole and pushed it over as far as I could and marked the new bolt holes. I was able to use the top hole and rotate the bottom of the log over like a pendulum and mark the two new bottom holes. You may need to move them all.
9. Fill the old holes with fiberglass and resin and let harden and the grind down level with the Dremel tool.
10. Drill out the new holes. Cover the log with lots of silicon and bolt her back up.
I was going to add back the cresent I cut out but it was such a small space that the silicon filled it nicely and the new bolt holes held it all in place.
I tested it the next day with no leaks and the shaft is almost perfectly centered in the log now. The reason I went the the trouble to get it centered is because the hose that holds the packing gland and nut in place had put a pulling type pressure on the shaft causing it to wear in a spot.

I just reread this and you may now be throughly confused, but it solved my problem. If you are more confused, PM me and and we can discuss it further. Good luck.

04-20-2007, 10:00 AM
Call Discount Inboard Marine and ask Vince. He should be able to tell you exactly what to do.

04-20-2007, 11:21 PM
I Have Had A Little Experience With This , Just Not In A Boat. I Will Remove The Shaft And The Log And Measure The Hole Cut By The Factory. If It Is Off I Will Correct It. If It Is Not I Will Remove The Strut And Try To Re Align It That Way. If That Fails I Will Call Discount Inboard Marine, Thanks For The Tip Bryan. I May Try To Get A Camera And Post Pics!

04-22-2007, 05:19 PM
My was off so I had no choice. Went as far as comparing the new strut with another and it was fine. I just had no other choice if I wanted it more to the center. I would not have done it had it been off by a marginal amount. But that was not the case. One of the dealers did say that some times you have to bolt it all up, put the old shaft in and give it a yank in the right direction to set the strut. I hope it works out easy for you.

04-22-2007, 06:02 PM
During rigging at the factory, the strut is siliconed and set in place, then bolted down solid along with the steering cable bracket in holes drilled from a template. Then a fake shaft with a marker on the end of the shaft is placed in the strut and the center of the hole for the shaft log and seal is marked on the hull where it will come thru the hull, then drilled. The real shaft is then placed in the strut, thru the shaft log/hull and the coupler flange is bolted on the V-Drive or transmission end of the shaft and a prop is installed on the other end. Then the engine/transmission or engine/transmission/V-drive are placed in the stringers, then the engine is mated and aligned to the shaft/strut setup. They DO NOT align the strut and shaft to the engine/ transmission. That is why the engine mounts are adjustable and the strut is not.

04-22-2007, 10:09 PM
I agree TMCNo1. The whole yanking the strut around did not seem like the best idea to me. Seems you could bust the gel easily that way. It was one of two things with mine. It was close off from the factory, or the new strut was different from the old one before it got bent. I bought the boat with the shaft, strut and prop in way bad shape so I knew going in those would have to be replaced. I dont know what it might have looked like in the log before the damage, but the new strut was putting the shaft too close to the log for my comfort. It is good now and ready for summer time.

04-23-2007, 01:07 AM
Decided To Take Your Advise And Move The "log Hole" Check Out How Much This Is Off, This Doesn't Seem Like A "precision Factory Installation". The Dude That Cut It Out Must Of Been Hung Over Or Something. This Is What I Did. Screwed Some Plywood To The Inside Of The Boat. Used A 2" Hole Saw In The Factory Hole To Drill The Pilot Hole. Then Unscrewed The Plywood And Moved The Hole About 1/4" To The Right And Slightly Down. Screwed The Wood Back Down Tight And Re Drilled The 2" Hole. Then Forgot To Take A Picture (sorry). I Will Take One Tomorrow. This Egged Out The Hole Nicely And I Installed The Log. It Seemed To Do The Trick!

04-23-2007, 01:08 AM
Here Are The Rest Of The Piccs

04-23-2007, 12:17 PM
Man that looks familiar. Your way was easier to do and explain. I wish you had had the problem first. Glad you got it fixed.

04-28-2007, 01:54 AM
Ok. Every Thing Is Put Back Together. And I Am Going To Take It Out Tomorrow. The Only Question Is The Actual Engine Alignment. I Pushed The Couplers Together And Checked With The Feeler Gage, Then Moved The Engine. I Repeated This Until I Couldn't Shove The .002 Anywhere Around The Couplings. I Hope This Is Correct. God I Hope This Is The Last Time I Have To Mess With This For A While. By The Way, How Many Hours Before I Have To Check The Alignment Again?

04-28-2007, 09:00 AM
The fact you got it to .002 is awesome. It's well within spec now, and should be smooth as silk. It is possible to get it even tighter than that, but I know the feeling you describe.

04-28-2007, 09:02 AM
Regarding the time between alignments...as long as everything was snugged down tight (engine mounts, strut) it should theoretically stay there. One of the guys here commented that once he'd aligned his, it stayed in spec for years.

04-29-2007, 09:29 PM
Finally Finished The Shaft Alignment/log Re-adjustment. I Took The Boat Out Today And It Ran Great. No Vibration, No Pulling. It Ran Perfect ! Thank You All For The Advise, I Couldn't Have Figured It Out Without The Help. Thanks Again. Posted Some Pics. The Water Was Freeeeezing!!!