How Can I Fix Rudder Pintle Pin Slop?

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by andyatos, Feb 9, 2017.

  1. andyatos

    andyatos Active Member

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    I've got quite an old rudder cheek assembly that has enough slop where the pintle pin goes through the upper hole to kind of annoy me. Here's a picture of where the slop is.

    [​IMG]

    The main thing that bugs me is the forward and back slop makes it hard to set a precise height that the forward end of the tiller is above the deck. Could I remove the pintle and put something like J-B Weld into the worn upper aluminum hole the re-drill the hole to eliminate the slop?

    I also think I remember reading that removing the pintle and spring then putting them back can be a real pain. Any and all suggestions are, as usual, very welcome!

    - Andy
     
  2. Sailflow

    Sailflow Member

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    I would check the tiller straps for wear. They do wear and this will lower the tiller handle so it drags on the deck
     
  3. Webfoot1

    Webfoot1 Active Member

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    A new pin is $6.50. I'd start from that point and then address
    hole size if needed.
     
  4. andyatos

    andyatos Active Member

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    Yup... already got that handled. It's the forward and back rocking motion from the slop where a 16th of an inch movement forward or back, for a total movement of an 8th inch, translates into a very large movement up and down by the time you are all the way out at the forward end of the tiller.

    So, when you are at enough sailing speed and the force on the rudder blade rocks the cheek assembly fully forward, the forward end of the tiller is at its lowest point. But when the speeds are slower, the cheek assembly is rocked fully back the the end of the tiller is now higher.

    Eliminating the slop at the pin would take care of this issue and allow me to mount the tiller so it clears the deck without having to mount it higher that necessary. That's what I'm after.

    Thanks,

    - Andy
     
  5. andyatos

    andyatos Active Member

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    How common is it for the pin... which I'm assuming is stainless steel... to wear down when the cheek assembly that has the hole is aluminum? Meaning, wouldn't almost all the wear be at the softer aluminum hole?

    After inspecting the pin close up, it "looks like" the upper section of the pin is still true. Ie, not worn down.

    Cheers,

    - Andy
     
  6. Webfoot1

    Webfoot1 Active Member

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    Because if you have brand new pin you know it's to factory spec. so you
    have a starting reference. Then you can find or get a bushing made for the hole.
    Without a new pin for reference and the used of calipers you can't tell how much the old pin is worn vs. how much the
    hole is worn. Or, you can just take the pin to the hardware store and look for a
    stock bushing.
     
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  7. beldar boathead

    beldar boathead Well-Known Member

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    Have you tried just tightening the rudder pivot bolt to be a lot tighter? And I concur on worn rudder straps being a problem even with a repaired pintle hole.
     
  8. andyatos

    andyatos Active Member

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    Excellent. A bushing is a great idea. Way easier than trying to "fill" and re-drill a new hole.

    Thanks,

    - Andy
     
  9. andyatos

    andyatos Active Member

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    Got another question. A couple of years ago, after sending my brother in law all the parts he needed as well as detailed photos on how to do the process, he did a full rudder blade, cheek assembly and gudgeon upgrade on one of our Sunfishes back east. But less than a week after doing the upgrade, my sister severely bent the brand new pintle pin. As in, rendered it completely unusable.

    So I quickly ordered and drop shipped my brother in law a new pintle pin and told him to simply replace the pin and he'd be good to go. Well, my brother in law... who used to build houses for a living (ie, quite mechanically inclined)... emailed me back and said he wasn't able to swap out the pin because it looked like he needed a special tool in order to compress the spring/get at the washers/etc.

    Eventually, with his brother's help, he was able to Macgyver it with multiple tools and 4 hands and swap out the pin. But he said the process was a total pain in the rear end. By the way Webfoot, that's why I appear to be resistant to getting new pin.

    So... anyone swapped out a pintle pin? Is there a special tool that really helps? Seems like such a simple process... but not according to my brother in law.

    - Andy
     
  10. andyatos

    andyatos Active Member

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    Hi Beldar!

    Maybe I'm missing something but I don't understand how tightening the rudder pivot bolt would help. I've currently got it quite snug... but not so snug that the rudder can still rotate against the circular plastic bushings between it and the cheeks.
    Oh, boy... worn rudder straps! When I got the boat the rudder straps were a complete disaster. They hadn't been properly lined up with the top edges of the cheeks for some time and as a result had been high point loaded, dented, crushed, etc. So I spent some time filing them down until they had a perfect dog leg match with the top of each rudder cheek.

    But then I noticed that those older rudder straps were a bit played out because I wasn't getting a nice straight line from the tiller through to the rudder blade when having to hold some turn with the rudder during moments of weathered helm. Go to 2 minutes, 5 seconds in this video to see one of Andy's, "Ok... I definitely need another set of rudder straps" moments.

    So, I got some new rudder straps that I'll install when I've completed my new vertically oriented rudder.

    Best,

    - Andy
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2017
  11. Webfoot1

    Webfoot1 Active Member

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    If you're a Gear-Head springs and spring retainers are just another day in the shop. It's replacing those #$%!@# recoil
    springs on outboards that drives me crazy.

    I can't remember how I did it on my rudder but I believe if you put the bottom of the pin in the padded jaws of a vice
    you should only need two hands to compress the spring and one to insert the cotter pin. That's one hand less then four.
    It's a small spring anyway so it should not require any type of spring compressor. I'll have to go over to my mom's house
    this week to look at my rudders and see if what I pulled of the top of my head makes any sense.
     
  12. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    That's an awesome amount of wear! :eek: I suspect the previous owner beached his Sunfish and left the rudder in the water. (Causing it to saw back and forth).

    A bushing (or sleeve) can be made from a fired cartridge case. A firing range might be able to help. I'm guessing that 40 caliber might work, and that .38 caliber is probably too small. They're tapered inside, so you can select how much to cut off for a desirable "interference fit".

    I think what you're looking for are "C-Clip" pliers:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Charles Howard

    Charles Howard Member

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    Your always going to get side to side deflection on the rudder straps with the aluminum colored ones. Racers would double up the aluminum colored ones so it would deflect less. They made black ones that were thicker.

    So I spent some time filing them down until they had a perfect dog leg match with the top of each rudder cheek.
    This is one of your issue. If you have a new set you will see there is more material vertically on the new straps than on your worn ones that have been filed down. This is lowered your tiller to the deck, with new ones your tiller handle will be off the deck.

    "C-Clip" pliers are the tool
     
  14. andyatos

    andyatos Active Member

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    Great info and suggestions. Thank you one and all! :cool:

    - Andy
     
  15. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Andy. 'Just wanted to place this photo in the correct thread.

    This is the way I handled a tiller that was too low—causing "deck rash". (The tiller is inverted for the photograph).

    I'm working on another project now using epoxy resin, so I'll reinforce the Fix-All waterproof cement that's holding the contoured shims in place shortly. (Also filling the empty spaces marked "worn areas"). The "shims" were made from pieces of discarded standard auto windshield wipers—which are a very fine grade of stainless steel. :)

    [​IMG]

    That "other project" is covering rusted-away holes in the bed of my pickup truck. I dragged out a gallon container of West epoxy resin, and left it in the sun for two days. Even though that gallon of West System epoxy is 8-12 years old—and the container leaks out the bottom seam—the epoxy still worked great! :) (The top of the pump broke, but those pumps are troublesome anyway). :rolleyes:
     
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  16. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    Just noticed that a previous owner had skipped the C-clip replacement part. He'd used S/S wire instead:

    Photos 3212017 70119 AM.bmp.jpg

    Not trusting that "fix", I used the "cut-off disc" previously mentioned to cut a new slot for fatter S/S wire:

    Photos 3212017 70018 AM.bmp.jpg

    .
     

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