• smithsmarine


Well here we are again I hope you have been ok during this stormy weather we have been having. We have been trying to do as many of the rebuild jobs we have stacked up as posible and one of the more interesting ones to come through the door is an Enfield outdrive.

Now most people will recognise these as there are so many about but nobody seems to want to touch them anymore due to being totaly imperial (which seems to scare people for some reason) Now with a new outdrive leg being totaly unavalible It pays to try and keep what is on the boat going as its a really big job to refit a different outdrive unit to the one first fitted.

These are actually really good outdrive legs compared to a modern unit , with side swivle and vertical lift offering a space saving option due to twisting sideways as well as lifting up so you can moor in shallow water in shorter spaces than if you could only lift the leg verticaly this is somthing that is not seen on modern outdrive legs anymore.

This particular out drive leg came off a classic lifeboat that is currently being restored by RW Davis's yard at Saul Junction on the sharpness canal.

We had just done two outdrives in this yard one was a volvo 270 and the othe a Enfield like this one. On seeing our work Phill asked us if we could come and have a look at one that was seized solid on the back of a boat he had in one of his sheds

Upon opening up the bottom casing it soon became apparant why it was seized.

there was not a drop of oil in the leg at all just this waxy rusty sludge that had formed in the casings and not just that, there were many other things wrong as well as someone had taken out the bottom pivot pin ( it actually say DO NOT REMOVE on it ) .

This causes the gear selector fork to drop in the bottom of the skeg casing getting damaged and distorted if you try to select gear.

In addition to this all the bearings were solid and two of the bottom bevel gears had broken teeth (due to broken bits of bearing floating round the inside of the casings) not only that but the transom shield swivel was locked solid meaning the leg couldn't be lowerd in to the water because the corrosion on the back of the bearing was causing the swivel mount casting to burst the bottom off its bearing seat.

all the casings were really coroded but we have the ability to repair these to be stronger than new.

we have a very special metal resin that we use to repair broken keyways in crankshafts (Its a bit like chemical metal but on steroids ) It can take 12,000 psi in compresive pressure when cured with the correct procedure and we have just repaired a beta43 crankshaft with it with great sucsess It means that we can repair things like this in situe instead of having to remove the whole engine and then strip it down to get the crank out to have a new keyway cut in to it. But it's not cheap at £100 for a very small kit (about an enough to make a small egg sized lump).

it is fantastic for repairing broken castings where its not posible to weld or if your not sure of the base alloy or its too rare to risk welding or distortion is an issue like in this case

After a full chemical clean to remove any corrosion and any remaining paint The hidden damage around the swivle housing becomes visible and it is very bad, affecting the threads in the casting as well as having made the casting porous and very pitted which will only acelerate any further corrosion but it's ok as this can all be repaired, and with new threads cut and an engineerd flat surface acheived on the mating surfaces with out any risk of damaging or distorting the casting making it better than it was when it was new as this compound wont corrode under any conditions. so once this is repaired it will see another 70 years of service quite happily.

So If you have a boat project that has become a never ending nightmare give us a call we can help from missing parts to a engine in bits we've got what you need to get you back on the water with short advice sessions where we visit your boat to help organise the project and point you in the right direction right down to stage payments for those really big projects which helps keep costs under control and stops them running away, one of the biggest causes of a broken dream and unfinished projects.

so until next time

Happy Boating

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