Aquadrive CV joint repair
Sometimes you just know you’re lucky!
Perhaps some companies don’t fully appreciate their employees or their skills. Perfect Sailing are very proud to have a great engineer on our staff, and so are our clients too.
A couple of weeks ago a fellow cruising friend called and asked if we could trace a noise in the engine compartment and a line of oil all around the compartment.
As ever we despatched our highly regarded engineer Huseyin to look at the problem.
A short while later Huseyin returned with a diagnosis. The CV joint had a big split in the rubber boot (which protects the joint from dirt and corrosion and also houses the grease) which had caused a line of grease to be ejected around the engine bay. The noise was caused by the loss of grease.
When the owners engine was recently replaced, including new prop, shaft and plumbing, it was decided not to replace the Aquadrive CV joint or driveshaft constant velocity joint. If you don’t know (and why should you), the Aquadrive CV joint is similar to the drive shafts in front wheel drive cars that change the angle of drive of a prop shaft, i.e. allows the front wheels to turn whilst maintaining drive. Think of how your wrist can adopt any angle, except this one rotates simultaneously as well.
The arrangement of the Aquadrive CV joint is shown in the picture below, our installation is exactly like this.
We contacted the suppliers, who also fitted the new engine. They explained the CV joint was very old and the boot was no longer available, a newer design CV joint would be required.
Naturally the owner was disappointed having spent a lot of money on a new engine and ancillaries, the company would accept no responsibility for their advice, not even offering to fit the replacement part as a gesture of goodwill.
So Perfect Sailing were given the job of replacement, and that’s when it all started to get tricky. First the joint had to be removed and then a replacement sought. Despite hours of pushing and heaving, a drenched (did I tell you its really hot here) Huseyin just couldn’t persuade the bits to divorce! By this time the owner had returned to England which left us several months to sort the problem. Never give up, never surrender, as they say on Galaxy Quest, the Star Trek spoof film. Undefeated Huseyn had another attempt, and this time succeeded. So far we are all happy, we have avoided a lift out, removal of the engine and propellor, and a trip to the workshop to separate the CV joint from the shaft. At least €1000 saved.
Next we confirmed that the ‘boot’ was no longer available, and the owner faced the cost of a new joint at around €1500. On close examination Huseyin said there was nothing wrong with the joint itself, just the torn boot (well it was 30 years old).
This is when Huseyin’s ingenuity sets in. A trip to town, a hunt round the various engine and engineering suppliers, revealed a boot from a Volvo marine drive shaft. It was the right diameter but more than twice as long as needed. He bought it anyway.
The problem now is the new boot has to be cut shorter, consequently removing the flange at one end which the jubilee clip should sit on. The boot (a tubular rubber bellows), needs a flat flange on both ends. One end has just been cut of to get the correct length required. Huseyin very cleverly slipped the jubilee clip over two of the high points of the new bellows, allowing him to clamp the boot at the cut end.
Lots of grease and a small fight with the joint to go back together, and we have a perfectly serviceable CV joint. In addition the redundant end of the new boot will make an excellent spare when needed in another 30 years.
So we now have a very happy customer whom we have saved more than €2500, and we are proud (again) to have Huseyn on our team.
This morning the Aquadrive CV joint was re installed, tested and all seems well.