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Prop Tube lubrication & sealing

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Stephen Garrad26/03/2021 22:25:40
14 forum posts
2 photos

I was chatting to an old chap recently who told me that he used to lubricate & seal his prop tubes by simply drilling a hole in the tube, heating up lard so it went liquid & using a syringe to fill the tube. The lard would then cool & solidify & give a good seal & lubrication. A bit of tape sealed the hole.

There seems a simple logic in that idea, any suggestions?

Colin Bishop27/03/2021 09:03:57
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4966 forum posts
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It sounds an excellent way of introducing unwanted friction into the driveline. I'm baffled why someone would want to fill the tube with congealed fat when oil and grease are readily available. I would imagine it would emulsify and go rancid and you would simply end up with an unpleasant slime.

There are many suggestions on this forum for lubricating propeller shafts. We also have an article on the subject of Drivelines by Glynn Guest which is very useful. Well worth a read.

**LINK**

Colin

ashley needham27/03/2021 09:06:57
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7318 forum posts
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No No No No no...the lard would set solid and the motor would burn out when trying to turn it....OR, if it didn’t then your esc would fry!

There is no consensus of opinion on this topic. What you do need, is to use nylon washers at either end of the tube and adjust the nuts so there is no discernible play in the shaft. Not tight, but getting there. This should minimise water coming down the tube.

Personally I would smear the prop-shaft with grease upon insertion, and give the inner bearings a drip of oil now and then. In theory the bottom bearing will be water lubricated effectively, so oil this less.

However, this is a bone of contention so stand by for alternative views if anyone posts with the same thing they have said10 times before!

Ashley

Charles Oates27/03/2021 09:28:40
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630 forum posts
51 photos

Oh dear lord no, let's not get into prop shaft lubrication again.

Lard? I've checked my calendar, April first is next week.

Stephen, I apologise for sounding so dismissive, sometimes old and experienced modelers have unusual ideas, this is one best avoided. Fit a lubrication tube to the prop tube by all means, many of us do, then use whatever proper lubricant you settle on. I'm not even going to re-open the subject again by mentioning my choice.

Chas

Dave Cooper 627/03/2021 13:41:39
305 forum posts
32 photos

Hi Stephen

I was looking into this just the other day. On my little RAF launch (16" I just arranged things so that the motor end of the prop shaft was above the water-line. Then removing the nylon bush, put a little 'vaseline' at the top end and replaced the bush. No problems with any water in the hull so far...and, the shaft spins freely.

For my Pilot Cutter (42", the thrust line may be a little more awkward. So, I'll probably buy a purpose made shaft complete with lubrication kit (syringe, grease etc). I think "Model Boat Bits" do them.

Happy modelling,

Dave C

Paul T27/03/2021 17:15:23
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A perennial question that sadly I can no longer argue with Dave M.

This season I was looking forward to in-depth discussions over PTFE grease.

Colin Bishop27/03/2021 17:44:30
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Years ago I bought a small pot of Tri Flow Grease with Teflon. I still have a tiny amount left. It seemed ideal for propshafts.

It does appear to be still available and particularly recommended for push bikes but it is a bit expensive. I was thinking of getting some more for my latest models.

**LINK**

Mine was made in Birmingham but it looks as if it is now sold by model shops under the Pronatur brand.

**LINK**

I shall order from the Leeds model shop I think.

Colin

ashley needham27/03/2021 17:47:20
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7318 forum posts
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I bought a tube of waterproof silicone grease for the jet drive shaft on the Stingray, and used a syringe to inject it ubtil it oozed out the end....(bearing in mind the "shaft2 is probably 30mm long)

HOWEVER, the grease is quite thin and may be suitable for propshafts.

Ashley

Stephen Garrad27/03/2021 20:41:39
14 forum posts
2 photos

I shan't mention it again if I see him then, he did say it was some years ago, perhaps it was an economy job. I don't think I would put lard in my real narrowboat stern tube, I've got a tin of grease for that!!

Stephen

ashley needham28/03/2021 14:07:11
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7318 forum posts
156 photos

Stephen.

People didn’t have the money we have nowadays to buy fancy waterproof dilithium greases and stuff, and used what they had!

No doubt other people probably used lard at some time although none are likely to admit it now.

Ashley

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