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19 Xstar center tab & strut issue

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  • 19 Xstar center tab & strut issue

    So, pulled in last night and found the center tab on my 19 xstar was hanging. Looks like it pulled the bracket off the boat. It seems like the hinge on the bracket was super tight - I'm guessing maybe the extra force trying to pull it in and out eventually pulled the screws out. Has anybody else experienced this?

    Also, while working under the boat, I noticed some wear on the strut where the shaft exits at the prop. See photo. Any idea what would cause this kind of wear? Is this something I should be worried about?
    Attached Files

  • #2
    The exact same thing happened on my ‘18 x46. I took out the engine divider in the port side and through bolted the triangle bracket back on with stainless hardware and some 5200. The original crappy course thread screws weren’t thick or long enough in my opinion.


    • #3


      • #4
        Now I remember that thread - thanks! Like i said, i think one contributor was the hinge being so tight - I could not move it w/ my hands prior to loosening.

        Anybody have any thoughts on the strut? should i be worried about that wear?


        • #5
          I'd definitely be concerned about the wear on the strut. It almost looks like somehow your prop was impacting it. Looking closely at the picture, there appears to be a ring around the prop shaft that might be caused by the prop working its way back to that point. That doesn't seem normal either, unless you loosened the prop nut and slid the prop back slightly to take the picture. I suppose if the prop nut wasn't snugged down at some point point, it could cause the prop to walk back and forth enough to damage the splines and eventually contact the struct. Are there any wear marks on the back of the prop that correspond with the damage on the strut?

          I'd also look at the shaft coupling to make sure everything there looks normal and there is no forward and back play.


          • #6
            LD 50 - thanks for the response. I was just about ready to do a 2nd post about the strut wear. There is no play on the prop, the splnes seem to be holding it where it should be, and there is no visible sign of ding/etc on the prop.

            I have had 2 instances of hitting debris and then needing to have my prop fixed. Neither was huge and damage was at the outer edge of one of the fins on the prop. So I'm not thinking that would be connected.

            Any other suggestions from the forum?

            I'll keep an eye on it.


            • #7
              It looks like your shaft is shifting forward under acceleration. You may have to remove the prop shaft to inspect for ware on the coupler/transmission end - coupler and shaft.
              05 ProStar 209, Navy Flake, Slate Gray, MCX 1:1 Sold
              15 X23 7.4 FOR SALE


              • #8
                Unless the picture is deceiving, it looks like the damage to the back of strut is concave. A prop hitting against it wouldn't do that. Maybe it was damaged before installed on the boat, or maybe someone pressed in a strut bushing with some kind of convex tool. The only other thought that comes to mind is that at some point someone got some steel cable tangled in the prop and it wrapped around the shaft between the prop and the strut. Rotating steel cable can grind away metal pretty effectively.

                If it's not getting worse, I don't think it'll cause a problem. But I'm not sure you'll get the strut bushing out if it ever needs to be replaced. But you can just replace the strut then if that's the case.

                Have you owned the boat since new? Or could a previous owner have caused the damage?
                Mastercraft ProStar 2019 5.7L - Current
                Mastercraft X25 2014 6.2L - Current
                Nautique 200 OB 2012 5.7L - Current


                • #9
                  Did you let a friend drive? This is the kind of thing you might expect from very abruptly + aggressively going full throttle in reverse while the boat is moving forward with a wave behind it.

                  The force would rip off the center tab because it wouldn’t have time to retract before the wall of water/force came back. All that force of the wave coming forwards and the sudden shift of the center tab breaking could allow the whole engine/trans/prop to shift enough to get this kind of strut damage.

                  I’ve taken to giving guest drivers a long orientation talk that focused on not using reverse unless it’s an emergency. Mainly because of the deploying and retracting of the tabs.

                  Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


                  • #10
                    Is the props hub marred up too behind the strut?


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Diesel View Post
                      It looks like your shaft is shifting forward under acceleration. You may have to remove the prop shaft to inspect for ware on the coupler/transmission end - coupler and shaft.
                      agreed, your coupler is backing off the shaft. I have a direct drive so when it happened to me the prop hit the rudder and I needed a new prop. Screwed the coupler back on with some blue Loctite, put on the extra prop and back in business in a few hours.
                      I know there have been other posts with the same issue. seems like that should be in the yearly maintenance check box.
                      CHEERS, Where we skiing tomorrow?

                      04 X7
                      99 205 ProStar LT1 sold


                      • #12
                        Yep, that ring on the shaft is probably from the cutless bearing when the shaft shifts forward. The only thing that doesn't make sense is that there no marks on prop if that is what caused it. Unless you're the second owner of the boat and the prop was changed out after the damage occurred. If that's the case, the issue at the coupler may have already been fixed and they decided not worry about the strut. I'd still dig a little further into it to make sure though.