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Posted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 9:07pm

Post Subject: Rudder lubrication

Hi - I wonder if you can help solve my rudder "noise". It sounds like it needs some grease, but I don't know where to start! The boat was built last year by Northwich, and the rudder arm is marked "TR F208".


Posted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 8:27am

Post Subject: Rudder lubrication

Dear Rob, this is a very hard one to solve. First we need to decide the type of noise - squeaking, growling, grinding. Then we have to identify the type of top rudder bearing fitted (if any) and how the stock (shaft) fits onto/into the skeg. You also need to think back to see if there is any chance you have caught the rudder on a lock cill or something and bent the stock so it is now binding on the shaft. If the rudder squeaks and it sits in a cup on the skeg dropping an old penny (d not p), old halfpenny, or large brass/copper washer into the cup so the stock sits on it has been known to stop the squeal. If the rudder stock runs through a fairly close fitting tube no top bearing you could try working some engine oil down the tube. If there is an actual top bearing bolted onto deck then inspect it. It may have a plastic/nylon bearing in it. If so it is does not normally require lubrication but you could try something thin with a dry lubricant in it, possibly like WD40. The bearing assembly might have a ball bearing in it with an oil seal fitted. This will look like a rubber ring between the fixes and moving parts. If its like this and there is no grease nipple fitted in the caseing then I am afraid it is supposed to be lubricated & sealed for life. Once you can assure yourself the noise is coming from the bearing you could try cutting or drilling the rubber seal so you can pour something thick like gear oil into it. This would need re-lubricating every few weeks. Finally the upper bearing may have a grease nipple fitted, but if it did I expect you would have recognised it as such. It will be a little rounded tube thing standing out by perhaps 1/4 to 1/2" with a hexagon base screwed into the bearing caseing. You force grease into this with a grease gun while you move the rudder from side to side. When grease oozes from the top the job is done save for smearing the grease around the bearing. If this is no help please take some photos of the area and email them to me AFTER the 19/9/09 together with a description of the noise and how the rudder feels when the noise occurs. ( Tony Brooks

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