View Full Version : Center bearing problems

07-14-2007, 02:08 PM
We've been having trouble with the center bearing back by the prop. on our 75 stars and stripes. At least "center bearing" is what I think it is called. It was binding up and actualling causing the engine to stall when engaging the transmission especially into reverse. And at low speed the boat would even shake a little. We got it to free up by driving slow in forward, reverse, forward, reverse for a couple hours on a river. And now with the boat on the trailer it spins freely by hand once again, but we are worried since it was chattering that it could cause trouble again and possibly over heat and seize up at high speed which seems like it could cause catostrophic damage. Could anyone tell me if it is difficult to replace it, or just the bearings and how much we could expect it to cost ??? We just got the boat last fall and are still learning the ins and outs of it. I was reading that it takes a prop. puller just to get the prop. off. Then it looks like four screws mount the bearing strut to the bottom of the hull. Is that it? Should it come off then or will it probably take some persuasion. Are there any tricks to putting the new parts on??? Thanks

07-14-2007, 03:12 PM
Commonly known as, Strut Bearing/Bushing or Cutlass Bearing.
Your local MC dealer has/or can get them and install them, Eric @ OJ Props manufactures and sells them, Elbert's @ www.elberts.com or e-mail [email protected], sells them, www.skidim.com sells them and most should include a installation guide and have customer service persons who can help.

07-14-2007, 03:55 PM
Thanks, for the information. We have no local MC dealer, but we are heading to a lake in another state next week that has one. We can have them check it out and see what they say I guess. We're just trying to learn more about it and see if there is anything we could do ourselves in the mean time. It seems to be working OK right now, we're just not sure if we can trust it. Is it possible that the rubber seals were just dried out? When it was binding up if you would turn the prop backwards on the trailer by hand it would make an awful screach that sounded like the rubber was dry. We sprayed it with wd40 and rotated it a lot and the noise went away. Since it got freed up it spins both ways by hand nicely and makes no noise. If it's just a brass bushing maybe we don't even need to do anything else. It doesn't seem loose and spins freely so maybe we got what ever junk out of it that was binding it up. But maybe the rubber seals need to be replaced or it's just going to happen again. The one I remember seeing on the prop side looked all dried out and cracked. At least now we know it's called the strut bearing/bushing . Thanks again

07-14-2007, 05:00 PM
Do you get WaterSki magazine, if so in the July issue, page 78 you will see the OJ advertisement and the 2 white rings above the prop from the bottom left are their new composite strut bearings and that is what their's looks like.
Or click on this link and see the strut bushings from Discount Inboard Marine (Skidim), which have a nylon/rubber/plastic bushing inside a brass/bronze sleeve and they also have a propshaft and bushing puller tool too, http://www.skidim.comInsert "strut bearing and or strut bushing" in the search box.

Most times these bushing can be installed by placing them in the freezer for an hour, for them to contract a bit and then driven into the strut from each end with a deadblow hammer (brass/lead/nylon/rubber) till flush with the face of the strut tube.

07-15-2007, 08:44 AM
Upon closer inspection of the strut it looks like I have brass bushings with a plastic type inner liner and the plastic part looks all cracked and missing pieces. So I guess I'll plan on replacing them as soon as possible. I'll check with the MC dealer where I'll be next week and see if they will have time to do them, but doubt it will happen on short notice this time of year. It looks like they have everything I will need to do it myself on the web site you provided so I can probably get it all on order and get it done when I get back home. Thanks again. :)
This was a difficult problem to diagnose. For the longest time we thought it was a problem with our engine or transmission because the engine would stumble and stammer off idle and even sometimes stall when put into gear. The boat was new to us but ran great when we bought it last fall. We did the usual like tune the engine up by replacing the fuel filter, plugs, cap, rotor, even got the Holley rebuilt, and switched it over to a pointless ignition system but still had issues. So at least now when we get this fixed it should run great for a while, because everything else is new.