coupler alignment on 34 express

Discussion in 'Classic Sea Rays' started by flash gordon, Mar 3, 2021.

  1. flash gordon

    flash gordon Member

    59
    Jul 5, 2013
    new york ny
    boatless
    boatless
    when i had my 84 34 express winterized last fall,,the marina left note taped to my steering wheel , that both motors ,350 hp crusauaders, needed alignment.
    so , i was talking tony, who owns swan creek harbor in fairhaven mi, and he said you are suppose to align boat motors when boat is in water????

    BY running the motors to winterize them , would you see if they are out of alignment???
    The boat ran fine ,,no shakes or vibrations,,,

    just trying to figure out....
    thanks for any advice
    gordo...........
     
  2. hottoddie

    hottoddie Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2012
    Boston/Cape Cod
    1986 Sea Ray 390 EC
    Garmin 4212 Chartplotter
    Garmin 24 HD Radar
    Garmin 546s Plotter
    454 Crusaders
    Bad alignment will normally cause a vibration. You can watch the prop shaft at idle when in gear to check for wobble. If no wobble and no vibration leave well enough alone.
     
  3. Yorkshirelad

    Yorkshirelad Active Member

    101
    Oct 21, 2017
    340 Searay 86
    454 Mercruisers with v drives
    Ray-marine radar and gps
    454 mercruisers
    I have an 86 EC, my mechanic turns the shafts by hand, if there is difficulty turning then the motor needs to be moved over to align the shafts. Took half hour last time.
    Cheers Rob
     
  4. Chip S

    Chip S Active Member

    316
    Jun 17, 2019
    Bordentown, NJ
    1993 Sea Ray 200 Overnighter
    1993 Mercury 150 hp Black Max Outboard
    Shaft alignment must be performed after the boat has been in the water for at least two weeks. The hull shape changes slightly when it is out of the water. Having the shaft alignment performed when the boat is out of the water will result in a ruined V drive (don't ask me how I know). :eek: If the boat was winterized when it was out of the water then the shaft alignment is most likely fine. It will come back into alignment once the boat is put back in the water.
     
  5. Bt Doctur

    Bt Doctur Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2010
    New Jersey
    Ex SRV 240 Weekender twin
    in between
    The correct way is to pull the boat,remove the coupler bolts, center the shaft in the shaft log, then align coupler to shaft. Check for any vibration when put back in the water
     
  6. hottoddie

    hottoddie Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2012
    Boston/Cape Cod
    1986 Sea Ray 390 EC
    Garmin 4212 Chartplotter
    Garmin 24 HD Radar
    Garmin 546s Plotter
    454 Crusaders
    That can also be caused by a tight cutlass. Of course it would be difficult to turn by hand when the shaft coupler is unbolted.
     
  7. Mark.60

    Mark.60 Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    196
    Sep 6, 2020
    Westbrook Connecticut
    2007 44 sedan bridge
    Cummins qsc 500
    To check alignment all you have to do is take a feeler gauge and check the gap around between coupler faces.adjust if required.
     
    techmitch likes this.
  8. flash gordon

    flash gordon Member

    59
    Jul 5, 2013
    new york ny
    boatless
    boatless
    hello,,,yes ,,this is what i have seen online how to check. i dont think the guy that winterized my motors did that.as i didnt pay to have shafts or alignment checked. and we all know its always about money. but ,,,boat ran fine ,,no vibrations..pushed motors up to 3500,,3800 a few times,,,ran great..
     
  9. flash gordon

    flash gordon Member

    59
    Jul 5, 2013
    new york ny
    boatless
    boatless
    hmmm,,,thanks rob...will try this in a few weeks after i uncover boat from winter storage..
     
  10. flash gordon

    flash gordon Member

    59
    Jul 5, 2013
    new york ny
    boatless
    boatless
    what is a cutlass???
     
  11. flash gordon

    flash gordon Member

    59
    Jul 5, 2013
    new york ny
    boatless
    boatless
    thanks all the info...!!!!!!!!!!!
    will get into this more in a few weeks when weather breaks here in michigan
     
  12. hottoddie

    hottoddie Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2012
    Boston/Cape Cod
    1986 Sea Ray 390 EC
    Garmin 4212 Chartplotter
    Garmin 24 HD Radar
    Garmin 546s Plotter
    454 Crusaders
    The cutlass bearing is located under the boat just before the prop. It is the rubber bearing that supports the prop shaft. Sometimes they swell up and cause the prop shaft to bind and they can also wear out and develop excessive play which can cause a vibration.
     
  13. flash gordon

    flash gordon Member

    59
    Jul 5, 2013
    new york ny
    boatless
    boatless
    ahhh,,,ok,,,and you can replace the standard bearing with a water cooled unit,,correct???
    my other 34 SD had a water cooled bearing ..
    again thanks ,,will look at in few weeks
     
  14. Mark.60

    Mark.60 Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    196
    Sep 6, 2020
    Westbrook Connecticut
    2007 44 sedan bridge
    Cummins qsc 500
    Hopefully the alignment is good. You can check the coupler gap now so in the future you know what to look for if you suspect an alignment problem. Its better to practice when there is no problem.
     
  15. SKybolt

    SKybolt Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    850
    Nov 11, 2014
    Kent Narrows, MD
    1988 460 EC
    Detroit 6v92TA
    (Low profile's)
    Alison Gears
    Westerbeke
    12.5kw Genset
    Actually, it must be done in the water and a feeler gauge is used to determine the alignment. The coupler bolts are removed and the shaft couple is backed off just out of the trans coupler and put back in by hand and then a feeler gauge is used to see that the coupler faces are no more then 2-3 thousands out of parallel. Then four engine mounts are adjusted accordingly to obtain a parallel coupling surface. The shaft should drop a bit when backed off as that is normal.

    Older boats lose their shape a bit when on blocks out of the water, enough that proper shaft alignment is next to impossible.
     
  16. SKybolt

    SKybolt Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    850
    Nov 11, 2014
    Kent Narrows, MD
    1988 460 EC
    Detroit 6v92TA
    (Low profile's)
    Alison Gears
    Westerbeke
    12.5kw Genset
    I think you are confusing a few things. The cutlass bearing is located in the strut that holds the shaft and is located a few inches in front of the prop. As mentioned the bearing does wear out and should be checked for excessive play. The bearing when new has a bit of play in it to begin with so have someone with experience check the play.

    The water cooled your referring too is the shaft log (stuffing box) where the shaft enters the boat.
     
  17. flash gordon

    flash gordon Member

    59
    Jul 5, 2013
    new york ny
    boatless
    boatless
    ahhh ok...so cutlass in down in water,,,and bearing is where exit or enter boat...think i got it..thanks..had a 87 34 SD for 5 years ,,never had issue,,this EC i got last summer ,,but boat ran great...so i really wonder about this ,,,want to get right as i must sell boat..thanks again
    ps.. i have owned many sea rays ,,really never any issues,,,but i have done alot of work on my 38 scarab with 547 motors..pulled motors rebuilt motors etc..but u expect to have to wrench on a preformance boat..
     
  18. techmitch

    techmitch Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    May 1, 2008
    Chesapeake Bay, Middle River/Frog Mortar Creek MD.
    1999 270 DA
    Twin 4.3s W/Alpa I Gen II's
    The cutlass bearing is in the strut that supports the shaft below the boat.
    The shaft packing gland or shaft seal is at the end of the tube where the shaft passes through the hull.
     
    SKybolt likes this.
  19. SKybolt

    SKybolt Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    850
    Nov 11, 2014
    Kent Narrows, MD
    1988 460 EC
    Detroit 6v92TA
    (Low profile's)
    Alison Gears
    Westerbeke
    12.5kw Genset
    Almost... As myself and @techmitch have said, the Cutlass BEARING is located in the strut under water. The Shaft Log/Stuffing Box (sort of bearing), is in the tube that enters the boat. It use to be called a stuffing box because before dripless "bearings" there was a nut and collar that had thick twine (1/4-3/8") that was wrapped around the shaft and then sandwiched between the collar and nut.

    I don't mean to be a stickler but if you ask questions, you need to know what to reference for people to know how to respond.
     

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