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How To Install a Cutlass Bearing

Water Lubricated Cutless Sleeve Bearings
Marine Bearing - Propeller Shaft Bearing Installation

1. Replace the Cutlass Bearing:

When 1/2 of the V water groove in the interior nitrile rubber has been worn away.

(or earlier if you intend to Drydock the vessel in the distant future)

Cutless Bearing Clearance

2.  Order a new cutless (cutlass) bearing from Pacific Marine & Industrial

- provide the inside diameter of the stern tube or measure the outside diameter of the old cutless bearing.

3.  The new bearing will be oversized by the amount shown in the table below.  Put the bearing in the freezer overnight to shrink the bearing down.  DO NOT use dry ice.  Dry ice will cool the cutlass marine bearing too fast and cause the nitrile rubber to separate from the naval brass or non metallic shell.

4.  Remove the old bearing.  The old cutlass bearing can be cut out.  You can also rig up a cutlass bearing puller using all thread rod, nuts, and steel plate.  Prepare the interior of the stern tube as necessary to be sure that the new bearing will install smoothly. 

5.  Once the bearing is cooled down (shrunk in size) you can install it into the stern tube.  Use a rubber mallet gently if needed.  Be careful not to damage the nitrile rubber interior.  Be sure the water lubrication grooves are clean and clear before installation of the shaft.

6.  Some installations use set screws.  Be sure the set screw does not bore into the nitrile rubber interior of the bearing. 

Bearings Tolerances:

The following are the standards established by the US Navy, according to BuShips plan number 810-1385664:

Shaft or Sleeve Tolerances

Shaft or Sleeve Size (inches)

Shaft Clearance (inches)

3/4"

thru

1 3/8"

+.003

to

+.008

1 7/16"

thru

1 7/8"

+.004

to

+.010

2"

thru

2 3/8"

+.006

to

+.012

2 1/2"

thru

3"

+.007

to

+.014

3 1/8"

thru

3 3/4"

+.008

to

+.015

3 7/8"

thru

4 1/4"

+.010

to

+.017

4 3/8"

thru

4 7/8"

+.012

to

+.019

5"

thru

5 3/8"

+.015

to

+.023

5 1/2"

thru

5 7/8"

+.017

to

+.015

6"

thru

6 3/8"

+.020

to

+.029

6 1/2"

thru

6 7/8"

+.022

to

+.032

7"

thru

7 3/8"

+.024

to

+.034

7 1/2"

thru

7 3/8"

+.025

to

+.035

8"

thru

8 3/8"

+.027

to

+.037

8 1/2"

thru

8 7/8"

+.028

to

+.040

9"

thru

9 7/8"

+.030

to

+.042

10"

thru

10 7/8"

+.032

to

+.044

11"

thru

11 3/8"

+.034

to

+.048

11 1/2"

thru

12 3/4"

+.035

to

+.050

12 7/8"

thru

13 3/8"

+.037

to

+.052

13 1/2"

thru

14 1/2"

+.040

to

+.055

14 5/8"

thru

15"

+.042

to

+.058

Bearing OD Tolerances:

Bearing OD

Tolerance

1 1/4"

thru

2"

+.001

to

-.001

2"

thru

6"

+.002

to

-.001

6"

thru

7 1/2"

+.002

to

-.002

7 3/4"

thru

12"

+.005

to

-.005

12"

thru

16"

+.006

to

-.006

16"

thru

18"

+.008

to

-.008


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