1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Installing the Props

Well, the Prussian blue finally came in. Time to lap the props to the shafts and get these babies installed.

Tools of the trade

Tools of the trade

Apply a smooth coat of Prussian blue to the taper

Apply a smooth coat of Prussian blue to the taper

Latex gloves are helpful when working with Prussian blue. A little bit of that stuff goes a loooooong ways, and it can get all over everything in no time. Once there’s a thin, smooth coat across the taper, install the prop and rotate, then carefully remove the prop.

 

Install the prop and rotate, then remove

Wherever you see blue, there’s sub-optimal contact

This taper and prop, having just been machined, have very good contact. But a touch of valve grinding compound will make it even better.

Shaft taper lapped with valve grinding compound

Shaft taper lapped with valve grinding compound

There’s a limit to how much lapping you can do. Don’t want the prop bore to get too big!

After cleaning up the grinding compound on both the shaft and in the prop bore, it was time to mark the shaft.

Without the key installed, use a Sharpie to mark the shaft

Without the key installed, push the prop home and use a Sharpie to mark the shaft

This step tells you where the prop should seat with the key in place. Sometimes a prop can get hung up on the key before it’s fully seated on the taper.  If that happens, the nuts will feel like they’re torqued properly, but the prop might be nowhere near seated. Marking with a sharpie helps ensure the prop fully seats. The last step was to remove the prop again and installed the key, then carefully re-install the prop for the last time.

Use the big nut to seat the prop onto the taper

Use the big nut to seat the prop onto the taper

I ordered a 2″ socket online ($5…gotta love ebay) specifically so I could torque the nuts to the 100ft/lbs recommended by the prop shop. Once the torquing was done, I removed the big nut and installed the small nut to the same torque, followed by the big nut as the locknut.

Prop installed properly

Prop installed properly

It looks like these props were made for Chris Craft in March 1969.

Without the key installed, use a Sharpie to mark the shaft

With the key installed and the prop nuts torqued, the prop fully seats, covering the Sharpie mark

With the props installed, I can now get serious about installing the engines. Until now, I haven’t had a fixed point indicating where the engines need to go. With the props installed, I can set their position relative to the struts and then go move the engines so the gear output coupler mates up with the new shaft couplers I’ll install. But that’s down the road just a bit.

Next up on our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Recycling the Old Toe Rail Mahogany

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4 comments on “1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Installing the Props

  1. Doug says:

    Nice job and looks like a great fit. On Michigan Wheel props, I could always slide the key into the keyway from the back of the slot after the props were already on the shaft and just a little loose.
    Next summer splashing?

    Doug

    • 1969roamer46 says:

      Thanks, Doug! I’d really like to splash next summer. There are all sorts of jobs teed up right now, with all of the parts and materials ready to be installed. But that theft in May is still giving me grief.
      Keeping my fingers crossed…
      Cheers,
      Q

  2. Scott Horslin says:

    Great pics, love the detail and the explanations. Thx. ! Keep it coming!

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