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Easy way to remove a stuck prop

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  • Easy way to remove a stuck prop

    Buddy of mine brought his boat over to remove his acme 1235 keyed prop last weekend so I could rebalance it. So I put a prop puller on it and it would not budge. I then hit the prop with a map gas torch with no luck either so I brought out my oxygen acetylene torch and heated the crap out of it with again no luck. I also Tried beating on the prop with a block of wood and a hammer with the puller attached too and it still would not budge. So I told him your going to have to take this one into the shop because it’s above my skill level. Fast forward to last nights I came up with one last ditch effort. I told him to bring his boat and meet me at the ramp. What I did was loosened the big prop shaft nut as far as It would go until it touched the cotter pin then I jumped in the boat and had him back the trailer in the water a little less than what he would normally back in to launch a boat. I started the engine and told him to hold his trucks brakes tight and I threw the boat in reverse and throttled down hard about 4 or five times hard. After that we pulled the boat out and using the puller the prop came loose with just barely half a turn. Worked like a Charm and Just thought I would share this in case anyone else ever encounters a stuck keyed prop.

  • #2
    Nice trick. Did you have the puller attached with tension when you were heating the prop? That worked for me, but it was a splined prop.
    Prior boats - (3) X14's, (3) Prostars, and a Tristar.

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    • #3
      Some heat should have popped it off. Same as JohnE for me. Little bit of tension and a couple minutes with a torch.

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      • #4
        Feels like one step removed from a boat ramp blooper highlight.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by JohnE View Post
          Nice trick. Did you have the puller attached with tension when you were heating the prop? That worked for me, but it was a splined prop.
          I had that puller tighter than a bango string while heating and my buddy banging it with a wood block at the same time. That baby was stuck. Was worried the puller was going to break because of how tight it was

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          • #6
            Originally posted by JohnE View Post
            Nice trick. Did you have the puller attached with tension when you were heating the prop? That worked for me, but it was a splined prop.
            Splined props also come off much easier. On my x2 I’m usually able to pull it off by hand.

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            • #7
              Click image for larger version

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              I have a slotted shaft on my 77 S&S. After many years of saltwater use, yea I know, it wouldn't budge. I tried heating it and borrowed a prop puller. Next tool of choice, angle grinder and cutoff wheel.



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              • #8
                Originally posted by gwozhog View Post

                Splined props also come off much easier. On my x2 I’m usually able to pull it off by hand.
                Yep, splined props for the win. I don't know if there's a performance (dis)advantage, but they're sure easy to swap.

                Back on topic, that is a cool trick. I would have never thought to do that
                -Tolman
                '22 XT23 "Big Kahuna"
                '06 X30 (Sold)

                "Sometimes my genius, it's almost frightening" -JC

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ONTHECOAST View Post
                  Click image for larger version

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                  I have a slotted shaft on my 77 S&S. After many years of saltwater use, yea I know, it wouldn't budge. I tried heating it and borrowed a prop puller. Next tool of choice, angle grinder and cutoff wheel.


                  Had to take a grinder once to get my water pump off the harmonic balancer pulley. The grinder always comes out when you just don’t give a F how much it’s going to cost you and you just want the problem to go away 😂

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                  • #10
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                    Had this brand new shiny prop and that baby was getting installed no matter what.

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                    • #11
                      I've had great luck with a heat gun and a bag of ice, bag of ice sits on the shaft in front of the strut then go at it with the heat gun and focus on the hub with some tension on the puller. Goal is that shaft gets nice and cold and then you heat the nibral not the stainless.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by gwozhog View Post
                        I had that puller tighter than a bango string while heating and my buddy banging it with a wood block at the same time. That baby was stuck. Was worried the puller was going to break because of how tight it was
                        Kind of thought so, just thought I'd ask.
                        Prior boats - (3) X14's, (3) Prostars, and a Tristar.

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