Model Boat Mayhem

Technical, Techniques, Hints, and Tips => Other Technical Questions... => Topic started by: wombat on August 09, 2006, 10:15:37 PM

Title: Prop Shaft Lubrication
Post by: wombat on August 09, 2006, 10:15:37 PM
Hi All,

Because the local lake has lots of wild fowl - we were watching the goslings today, I am looking at using vaseline to lubricate the prop shafts. Is this OK, or do I need use something better.

Also, to get the shafts watertight, how much gunk do I need to use - do I need to fill the shaft, plug the ends or is it sufficient just to lubricate the bearing surfaces?

Tim the Wombat
Title: Re: Prop Shaft Lubrication
Post by: ambernblu on August 10, 2006, 06:44:51 AM
... The stuff I use is called Tri-Flow grease - it has a Teflon base. I think someone else has mentioned a similar material on another thread about oiling propshafts, as not only does this material 'do the job' with little noticeable drag, but it also prevents water coming backwards up the shaft - and as a bonus is still there months later.

I wouldn't know where to obtain any now, as I've had my small black plastic tub of it for quite a few years - it does seem to be indestructible.

Cheers, Brian
Title: Re: Prop Shaft Lubrication
Post by: Roger in France on August 10, 2006, 07:22:51 AM
Vaseline is water soluble. It does not dissolve instantly but does so fast enough to be of little use as a prop shaft lubricant (in my oppinion). Further more, if heat is generated close by then the dissolving speeds up. Try a Teflon or Silicone based grease, these are widely available. Robbe and Graupner also do a grease expressly intended for prop shafts, they also sell a small gun/pump to apply it. However, the cost of the grease from these sources is unnecessarily expensive. Halfords or any half decent car spares place will sell you a tub which will last you a life time.

If properly packed, little grease should enter the water and cause pollution. Remove the shaft; force in the grease; replace the shaft with the "exit end" over the grease tub so that the excess is expelled back where it belongs; wipe off all residues, thouroughly. Job done and your shaft is now lubricated and should resist any ingress of water. This process probably only needs doing at the start of each sailing season. If you cannot remove the tube, once building is complete, then greasing from the prop end is usually sufficient.

Some builders make and fit oiling tubes to their shafts. I have never bothered with this but I guess that if you run frequently and for long duration it is a help.

(P.S. Great Spell Checker, Martin, thanks).

Roger in France.
Title: Re: Prop Shaft Lubrication
Post by: Doc on August 10, 2006, 10:13:00 PM
Tim,
I guess it just depends on what's available locally (if you're lazy and cheap like me).  There's a lot of fishing around here so reel grease is pretty common.  It comes in a 'pointy' tube which makes getting it to where it is supposed to go is easier.  I'm not so sure there is a 'right' or 'wrong' way of doing it, if it works, it's right.  What I've found that works 'best' for me is to squirt the 'goo' in the stuffing box until it comes out the other end.  Insert the drive shaft, then clean up the mess.  I've got boats that were done several years ago that don't need re-greasing yet.  Probably several reasons for that, not necessarily because of the grease of how I did it, so take that for what it's worth.  Just another way of doing it...
 - 'Doc

(If I knew of any super low friction oil/grease I'd probably use it.  Considering the lazy/cheap thingy, and since I don't know what or where to get it, I'll stick with the stuff I've got.)

OH!  If you decide to try this and plan to put the un-used grease back in the 'pointy' tube, would you please take pictures??

Title: Re: Prop Shaft Lubrication
Post by: Shipmate60 on August 12, 2006, 09:11:05 PM
I agree with fishing reel grease, been using it a while now with no problems.
Dont use vaseline as this will harden with time and be a pigs ear to remove!!!
It also gets quite thick with lower temperatures and increases the drag on your motors.

Bob
Title: Re: Prop Shaft Lubrication
Post by: Tug on September 07, 2006, 06:39:01 PM
I fill an old syringe with what I consider enough then squirt it in, the nozzle of the syringe is just a nice fit to seal the prop tube preventing the mess? [plenty of spare syringes under the local bridge]
Title: Re: Prop Shaft Lubrication
Post by: chromedome on September 07, 2006, 07:08:59 PM

  a tube of motorbike chain lube...very viscous...been OK with me so far.


  chromedome
Title: Re: Prop Shaft Lubrication
Post by: DickyD on September 07, 2006, 08:53:40 PM
Halfords dont sell teflon or silicone grease, only the spray cans.

I use the Robbe shaft lubricant from www.pandanmodelboats.co.uk readily available and it works. Bit expensive but made for job and lasts for ages.

                                                                                                       Richard
Title: Re: Prop Shaft Lubrication
Post by: Shipmate60 on September 07, 2006, 09:55:29 PM
High melting point brake grease is also good in propshaft lubrication.
But
Almost everyone seems to have their own pet way, so if yours works tell us on here.

Bob
Title: Re: Prop Shaft Lubrication
Post by: warspite on September 07, 2006, 10:27:33 PM
I use this (the syringe is the nurofen type - for our overseas members, this is a paracetomol suspension given to children. they seem to enjoy sucking the stuff out of the tube for some reason).
Title: Re: Prop Shaft Lubrication
Post by: White Ensign on September 08, 2006, 08:45:34 AM
Tim, we have a similar "problem" at our lake and I find a thick silicone-oil the best lube for my propshafts. Anyway- You`ll need to have one which is waterresistant, but doesn`t harm the nature anyway.

Jörg
Title: Re: Prop Shaft Lubrication
Post by: wombat on September 08, 2006, 11:14:56 AM
Hi Jorg,

I had a look at the various greases on offer in Halfrauds - a lot of the silicone based greases had warning on them that they were harmful to the aquatic environment, so a definate non-starter.

I actually found a lithium based areosol grease designed for marine lubrication - used this to lubricate the bearing areas of the prop shaft and the rudder shaft. For the rest of the shafts, I packed with Castrol LM grease, which is insoluble in water and on the Haz-chem sheet states that it is not expected to be harmful to aquatic wildlife or to sewage bacteria, so that sems good to me. It is a high-melting point grease (250C) so it should not ooze out of the shafts in use.

EDIT: here is a link to the Castrol LM datasheet : http://www.dek.com/data/LM%20Grease%20(1631)%20SDS.pdf (http://www.dek.com/data/LM%20Grease%20(1631)%20SDS.pdf)

Tim the Wombat
Title: Re: Prop Shaft Lubrication
Post by: White Ensign on September 08, 2006, 11:34:26 AM
Hi Tim- thanks for the warning. I have been over the datasheet of the one used in our company (don`t tell the boss!!!!) - there was nothing mentioned about that. Could be that there are various types available.

Jörg
Title: Re: Prop Shaft Lubrication
Post by: warspite on September 08, 2006, 06:16:26 PM
mine states this on the back, so i suppose it's alright
Title: Re: Prop Shaft Lubrication
Post by: polaris on September 09, 2006, 12:42:57 AM
Hello All, I am new to your Site, but have read these particular Postings with interest. I am currently researching this aspect, and have found what I have so far personally proved to be a 'sound' compound for this appliciation, but I am continuing to test it before saying anything further. Further reasearch proving what I hope/believe, a 'product' will result... one that is efficient, lasting, and flexible at all speeds, but, more importantly, as water resistent as possible - not only for our vessels benefit but more importantly for the environment we sail our vessels in - a responsibilty all will agree with I'm sure. Present prop. shaft construction and 'greasing' technology leaves much to be desired as it stands, and, basically, in todays world, it is somewhat 'archaic' and basic to say the least: this is now being seriously 'looked at', and, the day is not far off, when innovative, more simple, easy, and
'modern' alternatives will be realised. Maybe present manufacturers are content to live in the past... but maybe it's time we moved on? Are there builders out there who would want to look and use viable new innovative alternatives? - if not, my ideas will keep... for the time being anyway! Patents can be excellent investments!
Title: Re: Prop Shaft Lubrication
Post by: DickyD on September 10, 2006, 08:21:36 PM


     oo-er
Title: Re: Prop Shaft Lubrication
Post by: chingdevil on October 04, 2006, 09:29:15 PM
We use Kluber Food Safe Grease at work, has the viscosity of thick oil but does not run too easily. It is also white so you can see where it has gone, I would think a syringe would get it into the prop shaft. If you know any one who works in the food industry, other than me, ask them very nicely for some because it is dam expensive

I will be borowing some of that when my puffer gets in the water.

The other Brian
Title: Re: Prop Shaft Lubrication
Post by: polaris on November 11, 2006, 07:03:03 PM

Dear Brian,

This sounds an interesting material as by it's nature of use it must be non toxic? - thus harmless in the environment I presume?

Thankyou for this info..

Regards, Bernard2
Title: Re: Prop Shaft Lubrication
Post by: Jonty on November 11, 2006, 09:21:31 PM
I quote from Model Steamers and Motor Boats, published by Percival Marshall (30s/40s?):

  The stern tube was filled with vaseline by placing a jar of that commodity in a basin of hot water and then sucking up the melted vaseline until the tube was full. This method will fully demonstrate the medical properties of vaseline taken internally!

By, they were dedicated in those days.
Title: Re: Prop Shaft Lubrication
Post by: chingdevil on November 19, 2006, 05:24:24 PM
Hi Polaris
Yes it is non-toxic it has to be to be food safe. The company ROCOL also do food safe lubricants they are cheeper than Kluber, if you know where there is a BSL branch they are a main agent for ROCOL.

The other Brian
Title: Re: Prop Shaft Lubrication
Post by: polaris on November 19, 2006, 09:17:24 PM

Dear "other Brian"!

Thankyou for your v.interesting post. Just a question of water solubility/viscosity (& a couple of other things!), so will get some of it and test.

Thankyou again,

Regards, Bernard2
Title: Re: Prop Shaft Lubrication
Post by: cbr900 on November 19, 2006, 11:42:45 PM
I have been given some grease by a mate who is from Germany, it is supposed to be 100% safe waterproof, it is called Autol, it is made by a company called Agip Schmiertechnik in Wurzeburg Germany, so far it has worked very well, and it sticks like sh-t to a blanket....



Roy
Title: Re: Prop Shaft Lubrication
Post by: RickF on November 20, 2006, 12:24:57 AM
Damm (Moderated )  the ducks! We are over-run with them. They crap on my lawn, nest in my garden and eat everything green in my pond. It's time to get our own back - OIL A DUCK! GREASE A GOOSE!! ALIENATE  AN ANGLER!!!

Rick
Title: Re: Prop Shaft Lubrication
Post by: chromedome on November 20, 2006, 05:06:54 PM
Hello...try tallow!!


    chromedome
Title: Re: Prop Shaft Lubrication
Post by: DickyD on November 20, 2006, 05:14:34 PM

Why dont you just buy the stuff that they make for the job, or is that to easy. ???

I did, and guess what, a lubricated prop shaft and a perfectly dry boat although the internal shaft end is below the water line!! :)

Richard 8)
Title: Re: Prop Shaft Lubrication
Post by: polaris on November 20, 2006, 07:07:05 PM

Dear Richard,

I understand what you mean, but the answer to your question is yes! - it is too easy. Having 'run' heavy eqpt. for many years, I am well used to mfrs. trying to sell parts at grossly inflated prices. Caterpillar is the only case where you get value for money due to quality and speed of service, however, by example, a British machinery mfr. (that will remain nameless), recently tried to flog us two eng. oil and 1 hydraulic oil filter for £130 + Vat, but we found the same filters in Lucas for £44 + Vat!!! Having had the principal of 'self-sufficiency' (for want of a better word), in such things for many years, I never believe in going for the first thing to hand. Yes, we can get equiv. Cat. filters cheaper elsewhere, but we don't (this is the only exception to the rule), but with everything else I try to source wherever I think there is either better quality and/or better value. This preamble leads back to the original point, this being that whilst there may indeed be 'a product' available, it does not mean that it is the absolute solution, nor indeed that it is the best. It may indeed be good, and you may be satisfied with it, but many people use other things because they feel the same about their 'stuff', as you do about the prod. you use. I always believe there is always something better than what may be available (invariably at a lower cost as well)... it's just in my nature to seek it out!

Regards, Bernard2
Title: Re: Prop Shaft Lubrication
Post by: DickyD on November 20, 2006, 10:04:27 PM

Dear Bernhard2

I agree with you absolutely but my tube of grease cost about £6 and will see me out and I am sure you can see I have more important things to do than save on this by spending money experimenting with something that might not work.

Richard 8)
Title: Re: Prop Shaft Lubrication
Post by: polaris on November 21, 2006, 04:18:16 PM

Dear Richard,

I know what you mean, and I get your drift. Not long ago I made 1lb weight of what I use in about ten mins. with an actual materials used cost of about £1. However, whilst this works very well and certainly does the job, I am more concerned environmentally. I am not an econut or anything similar(!), but I do believe in looking after the environment wherever possible. My 'solution' being relatively 'friendly', leaves me looking for something else that, if questioned, I can say is as 'enviro-friendly' as it is possibly able to be - and know that it's true. I do like the idea of this foodsafe grease though, and maybe it might work out no more in cost than yours at the moment? - if so, it's the answer really - and I can stop my dabbling! ;D

Regards, Bernard2
Title: Re: Prop Shaft Lubrication
Post by: tobyker on November 21, 2006, 04:39:52 PM
This might be a little off topic, but it is about the toxicity (or otherwise) of greases. In the '20s, the Bentley Le Mans team pit crew were bothered by a gendarme who wouldn't stop pestering them until they fed him. In the end they gave him a water pump grease sandwich. He came back an hour later for another one!
Title: Re: Prop Shaft Lubrication
Post by: polaris on November 22, 2006, 09:31:14 AM

If they can eat snails they will eat anything!!! ;D
Title: Re: Prop Shaft Lubrication
Post by: tigertiger on November 22, 2006, 02:17:39 PM
This might be a little off topic, but it is about the toxicity (or otherwise) of greases. In the '20s, the Bentley Le Mans team pit crew were bothered by a gendarme who wouldn't stop pestering them until they fed him. In the end they gave him a water pump grease sandwich. He came back an hour later for another one!

Did it make him go faster  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Prop Shaft Lubrication
Post by: anmo on November 22, 2006, 02:22:11 PM
This might be a little off topic, but it is about the toxicity (or otherwise) of greases. In the '20s, the Bentley Le Mans team pit crew were bothered by a gendarme who wouldn't stop pestering them until they fed him. In the end they gave him a water pump grease sandwich. He came back an hour later for another one!

Did it make him go faster  ;D ;D ;D

Oeil d'une aiguille (eye of a needle), I shouldn't wonder, hope he made it to the loo in time.
Title: Re: Prop Shaft Lubrication
Post by: Ghost in the shell on November 22, 2006, 06:21:29 PM
My lubricant is Premier Sapphire grease or sometimes Castrol axle grease, :) no bovva!