View Full Version : Opps... Prop/Shaft damage

06-23-2011, 02:22 AM
Boat: 92 TriStar 22" w/ a 351, power slot transmission, and 14LH18 prop.

Well in Texas several of the lakes are lower than normal and a few weekends ago at the lake in a spot I go to all the time, we ran aground. I was driving and the second I felt something I put it in neutral and we can to a quick stop since the boat is higher out of the water when moving. After emptying the read fat sack we were able to get it back in deeper waters. When I hit we were doing about 18Mph. The rudder appears to be fine and when I bought the boat the bolt of the prop didn't line up perfectly with the rudder, it was about a inch off, but it drove fine and I have never had an issue the past few seasons.

I have removed the prop and it looks slightly bent, but nothing major. 1 of the 3 blades bent more than the other two i think since i put it in neutral and it dragged some. The strut doesn't appear to be any more out of alignment with the rudder than it use to be, but the shaft even after disconnecting it from the power slot is not able to be turned easily at all and when putting the boat in drive in the drive way it kills the engine. If you give it gas, it looks straight, so I'd assume its an strut issue if anything and not a bent shaft. If the shaft was bent wouldn't i see the "wobble effect" in the shaft or would it not be noticeable?


Is it time for a new 14LH18 prop or how can I tell if its balance able or repairable? (New one is http://www.skidim.com/prodinfo.asp?number=OJ1055)
Will a 3 blade vs 4 blade prop change the wake any? I wake board, wake skate and attempt to wake surf.
Buy a new strut since mine was already off from center to the rudder? The new strut will come with bushings right? I don't have a bearing puller and if I buy one, I might as well buy a strut ready to go since it will save me time. (http://www.skidim.com/prodinfo.asp?number=OJ2007)
I should replace the hose on the shaft (http://www.skidim.com/prodinfo.asp?number=R045005A) since I will be in the area, right? My current one doesn't leak, but it is old.

If I missed something or you have something I should add to my list, let me know. If anyone is local and willing to loan any of those "special" tools I need such as the shorter socket piece or bearing puller, I'd be happy to offer up a 6 pack of your favorite beer. I live on the SW side of Houston.

06-23-2011, 02:45 AM
About the prop shaft and the rudder lining up . . .
Inboards are designed with the rudder slightly off centre from the prop. This is to provide positive tracking control.

Your prop most likely can be fixed. I've messed up a couple quite seriously and my local prop shop gave them back balanced and looking like new.

If you cannot turn the prop shaft by hand (using the prop) and it stalls your engine in gear I would definitely suspect a strut issue. Here's a quick test: undo the prop shaft at the rear of the tranny and see where it wants to go to realign itself and see if it will then turn more easily. (Of course, the packing might keep if from completely realigning with the strut if it's bent significantly.)

If your packing isn't leaking and the shaft turns out to be OK, why replace it?

As for prop and wake, there are many posts on this board with lots of real-world advice. Or call the good people at OJ, Acme or SkiDim. They'll give you the straight scoop.

06-23-2011, 08:35 AM
The offset of the prop shaft from the rudder is by design. If they lined up exactly, you'd have to remove the rudder anytime you wanted to change you prop or remove the prop shaft.

A grounding bad enough to damage the prop probably damaged the strut as well, and likely the shaft as well.

06-23-2011, 09:34 AM
Don't run the prop out of the water - the bearing in the strut is water cooled and water lubricated.

If it were me, I'd pull the prop and send it out for repair. My experience with prop repair isn't so good - I'd send it to Acme or OJ (depending on who originally made it), and pay their $150 or whatever it is these days. Or consider trolling EBay for a replacement. If you call up Eric @ OJ Props (he's a member here; you can send him a PM), he'll be able to make a good suggestion on size.

With the prop off, do what Wheelerd suggested. You might want to consider looking at the "propshaft alignment" doc (http://www.mastercraft.com/teamtalk/showpost.php?p=701305&postcount=14) that's been floating around here for years - it'll have most of the steps you need to follow.

Assuming the propshaft doesn't hit the log after you remove the rubber host that holds the packing nut, the strut is fine. Adjust the alignment, replace the packing (the Gore-Tex sold by Ski-Dim works well), replace the hose if you wish (not necessary if it's in good condition), bolt it back together, do the fine alignment specified in the owners manual, and you're good to go - well, after you bolt the prop back on.

Good luck.


06-23-2011, 09:59 PM
So this afternoon, I took some pictures of the prop and disconnected the shaft from the transmission. The shaft has a strong pull downward to make the shaft rest on the bottom of the shaft log.
It does turn a little easier, so I would imagine my strut is part of my problem?
How hard should it be to turn the prop?
I have maybe 1 inch of room to work with between the transmission plate and the shaft plate that bolts to the transmission. Whats the recommended way to do this? I guess that little nut wrench thing is what i need to get?
Any recommendations of who to send the prop to and the time it will take? I'd like to get it back within 10 days or so. It is a Federal 14LH18, so is that a company who doesn't exist anymore?


06-24-2011, 02:27 AM
Your prop doesn't look as bad as I expected. Both of the repairs I've had done were much worse.
The weight of the coupling end of the shaft would cause it to drop a bit once you've disconnected it from the tranny so that in itself doesn't necessarily mean the strut is bent. I was thinking maybe it would want to spring to one side or the other when disconnected; that would definitely indicate a bent strut. Are there any fresh dings or scrapes on the strut that would indicate that it actually contacted something? I'm not sure if there are any surefire tests to actually confirm a bent strut when it's not obvious to the naked eye. I had to replace mine a couple of years ago and it was obvious when eyeballing it that it was bent. I guess you could just replace yours to be on the safe side. I got mine from Eric at OJ. (His contact info is mentioned in an earlier post.)

I've had my props redone at a local shop that specializes in prop repair. When I got them back they looked like they were brand new out of the box (and as I said they were in much worse shape than yours.)

As for the amount of force needed to turn the prop -- I can turn mine with one hand but I have to put some arm and/or back into it.

07-07-2011, 10:43 PM
I got the prop and strut back today and they looked perfect! Stopped by the store to buy some stainless steel bolts to replace the brass ones since I had to cut off two because they were locked tight. Once I got it all back together theres two problems... I will need to put washers between the strut bottom and the hull bottom, as seen in the picture below. There is also a sqeak, which I assume is from the new bushing I had put on the strut? Is the sqeak normal? About the strut, is there any way to find out if the shop got the angle or something wrong? I have seen thread on there with others putting washers or things to create a gap.

07-07-2011, 11:47 PM
The only reason I realigned my strut like you are showing in the pic is to make it go through the hull in center. If the shaft is off center of the hole it can make it difficult to install the seal. Look through my photo gallery (a link is in my signature ) to see how I built a wedge out of fiberglass resin. It may not be necessary unless you want to center the shaft. Then once you are happy with the shaft position... align the engine and transmission to the shaft.


Lots of good info here!

Good luck ( ;