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J105 rudder bearings


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Looking at replacing the rudder bearings on our boat. It's a 1999 original tiller boat. A couple of questions. What are people using (I have been looking at the Jefa's)? Do I need to both the top and the bottom or can we get away with just the bottom bearing? 

 

There is definitely some play in the bottom bearing that you could se last time the boat was out of the water

 

Thanks

Ruckus USA 239

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It's an expensive job and more involved than you might think. Unless your bearing is really trashed (shaft wobble) I'd suggest trying to clean out the one you have. 

That being said, I replaced my lower bearing about 5 years ago - clunking sound when tacking traced to lack of balls. The yard did not have to touch the upper.

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I replaced the lower on my j35 last year. It was feeling a bit rough. It had a couple of flat rollers. Would have lasted some more but it was out of the water. The upper felt factory new. Figure the failure time is a very long time for the upper.

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We replaced ours about 5 years ago.  We bought both upper and lower Jefa bearings, but ended up just replacing the lower.  We did it ourselves.  It was not trivial but doable if you are handy.  We didn't know how bad ours was until replacing it.  The old one felt a little rough, but the impetus to change was that it actually locked up a couple of times in big ocean waves.  The new bearing made a big difference in how smooth the steering is (wheel boat).  If I remember correctly, the upper bearing was going to be more difficult than expected because mounting holes were not going line up.  

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What make are the stock bearings? We have Harken and while we had trouble with the upper (it fell apart, dropping all the ball bearings in the bilge), once rebuilt it again was very smooth. The issue we had should be rectified with loctite. It is a wheel boat, though, and I’m not sure if the bearings are different. 

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Thinking about just doing the lower. Last time we had the boat out of the water, almost 2 seasons ago, there was definitely some play in the rudder.  You couldn't feel it sailing but now I we're starting to get some vibration at speed and if there is anything at all on the rudder.

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I replaced the rudder on my 1986 Express 37.  It's a tiller boat that had Harken bearings top and bottom.  The aluminum races on the bottomHarken bearing were in the water and were trashed.  I had to destroy the bottom bearing to get the rudder out and replaced the lower bearing with a Jefa.  I replaced the Torlon balls in the top bearing, but with a micrometer accurate to 0.001", I couldn't detect any difference between the 30 year old Torlon balls and the new ones. The top bearing was solid.

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