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Thread: Torqedo owners - Heads Up!

  1. #1
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    Default Torqedo owners - Heads Up!

    I've discovered something about my Torqeedo outboard (model 1003), the hard way..... On Monday, when leaving the festival harbor in Port Townsend, I was running out through the entrance and suddenly lost nearly all propulsion. This was quite unfortunate because there was a good breeze in my face and a barnacle encrusted jetty to our lee. Emily Ruth suffered mostly cosmetic damage after banging a couple of times before I could paddle us, then sail us, back into the harbor. I think that I was more the worse for wear but only psychologically.

    Yesterday I dug into the motor to fully determine the failure and, as I had suspected, the culprit turned out to be the shear pin. For those of you with Torqeedos and who have never removed the prop, please heed this advice: Take the prop off now and examine the shear pin. As provided by the manufacturer, it appears to be carbon steel. It rusts. The broken pin ruptured the surrounding plastic recess:

    Torqeedo, broken prop - 1.jpg

    You can see the broken pin intruding into the adjacent plastic cell at about the the 4 to 5 o'clock position. Also note the rust deposits within the slot that holds the pin.

    An examination of the pin using a magnifying lens seems to indicate that it has been, at least, partially ruptured for some time. So a final failure was inevitable.

    The owners manual cautions one to rinse the motor with fresh water after use. This is a difficult task for me to accomplish as my motor resides on the boat which is on a mooring. Additionally, a surface rinse will not flush out the salt water from inside the prop where the shear pin is located. Only dunking it into a bucket of water would help.

    I'm left with lots of questions and uncertainty. I wonder if shear pins on outboard motors are usually made of material that will rust. That seems like a poor choice when I'm sure there are other materials more suited for the purpose. My internet searching has revealed no alternative to the Torqeedo supplied pins, so I guess I'm stuck with them. Using something I make myself would be a foolhardy, I think, since I don't know what sort of forces are at work and could damage the motor and gears. So my plan for now is to embark on a proactive maintenance schedule:

    I'll certainly change the pins out at the beginning of each season
    I will apply a good dollop of marine waterproof grease when installing the shear pin.
    Rinse whenever I can, and throughly by removing the prop.

    If anyone has had a similar experience and has found solutions I'd very much appreciate hearing about them.

    Jeff

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Torqedo owners - Heads Up!

    Shear pins come in stainless. ( Which may still rust in the confines of such a recess)

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Torqedo owners - Heads Up!

    Ooo. That's a good heads-up. Thank you. I would have assumed Torqeedo would have developed a better / more durable system for motors that are likely to live in place on salt water boats.

    Sorry to hear you and ER found the education traumatic, though. That's upsetting. I hope you both recover completely.

    Alex

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Torqedo owners - Heads Up!

    A shear pin has to be sacrificial, that's why its a shear and not a cotter. The fact yours became even weaker, granted, is a sign you have acknowledged of needing to change it out for a new one regularly. Dont replace it with stainless or something you make up yourself, or live with the fact that when its supposed to do its intended job , and fail, and it doesn't, you will have more expensive consequences.
    'C'est la vie' say the old folks it goes to show you never can tell

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Torqedo owners - Heads Up!

    Wouldn't aluminum be a good choice when mating parts are thermo plastic? I seem to remember aluminum shear pins from some point in my past. The only motor I've used since the early 1980's had a rotary slip assembly instead of a shear pin.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Torqedo owners - Heads Up!

    Quote Originally Posted by jonboy View Post
    A shear pin has to be sacrificial, that's why its a shear and not a cotter. The fact yours became even weaker, granted, is a sign you have acknowledged of needing to change it out for a new one regularly. Dont replace it with stainless or something you make up yourself, or live with the fact that when its supposed to do its intended job , and fail, and it doesn't, you will have more expensive consequences.
    "sacrificial" in the sense that it will shear under an excessive load, not deterioration, the SS pins will last much longer and provide the shear load protection to the drive train with the caveat that they meet the mfgr's spec's.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Torqedo owners - Heads Up!

    Pretty sure the ones in my small OMC outboards have been brass.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Torqedo owners - Heads Up!

    Quote Originally Posted by woodpile View Post
    "sacrificial" in the sense that it will shear under an excessive load, not deterioration, the SS pins will last much longer and provide the shear load protection to the drive train with the caveat that they meet the mfgr's spec's.
    If the manufacturer specifies a ss pin as alternative equipment… maybe. On big HP motors possibly , but a plastic propped trolling motor, its not going to happen Can't see a ss pin of the size in the op shearing before the whole plastic surround goes west… I d go for a plastic shear pin if I was going to deviate from OEM .
    'C'est la vie' say the old folks it goes to show you never can tell

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Torqedo owners - Heads Up!

    I don't intend to deviate from an OEM shear pin. This thread is part rant and partly a caution to other Torqeedo owners. Never in my dreams did I expect that the shear pin in this unit was made of a material that would rust. Then again, considering the other details on the motor that I consider sub-par, I shouldn't be too surprised. It's an expensive piece of equipment and it ought to be better than it is. For instance.... what would it cost the company to simply tell an owner to service this area seasonally? There is nothing in the owners manual explaining how to change out the shear pin. In fact, the manual is completely mute on the device.

    Thanks for taking an interest.

    Jeff

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Torqedo owners - Heads Up!

    the shear pin on my 2-stroke nissan is brass..
    they turn green but not much else happens.
    i can make about ten from a piece of 1/8" rod for the same price as buying just one oem part.
    i don't think the forces acting on it are very mysterious

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Torqedo owners - Heads Up!

    Appreciate the heads up.Those of us in salt can't do the fresh water rinse.
    Ben Fuller
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Torqedo owners - Heads Up!

    Quote Originally Posted by coelcanth View Post
    the shear pin on my 2-stroke nissan is brass..
    they turn green but not much else happens.
    i can make about ten from a piece of 1/8" rod for the same price as buying just one oem part.
    i don't think the forces acting on it are very mysterious
    Likewise the shear pin on my ancient 1-1/2 hp Johnson is brass. It is so old it has a wrap the cord starter on an exposed flywheel. No gear shift or neutral.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Torqedo owners - Heads Up!

    Thanks for the notice, this is what I found when I checked mine. Motor is 4 years old, rinsed after use (after a few days to a week of use), but I don't think you could rinse the pin unless you pulled the prop.
    This will be on my annual check list and carry a spare. The pin is 3 X 27 material is not mentioned on the Torqeedo web site. available at defenders marine in packs of 5.
    Torqeedo shear pin by M Jones J Powers, on Flickr
    Last edited by MW Jones; 09-13-2018 at 07:52 PM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Torqedo owners - Heads Up!

    Michael, your prop/shaft look a lot like mine did. Thanks for the photo. It counts for something to know that I'm not alone.

    Here is a photo of my prop after I cleaned it up and reinforced the hub:

    Torqeedo, broken prop - fixed - 1.jpg

    Remember, from the first photo, that the broken pin had ruptured through the side wall of the recess that is supposed to house it. My repair consists of simply filling the adjacent recess with thickened epoxy. Now the pin bears against a solid surface again. Just in case that fill would throw the prop out of balance, I also filled the opposite side. That the shear pin would do this damage indicates to me that the prop hub is under sized. A real disappointment from Torqeedo.

    Today I ordered a packet of shear pins and another prop. I know I will use the pins. I hope to never need the prop. Nevertheless, I think I'll reinforce it also with blobs of epoxy. Can't hurt, I think.

    Oh.... by the way: After reinstalling the prop today I put it on a dinghy and tested it out. Works like new. whew!

    Jeff

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Torqedo owners - Heads Up!

    It might help if you glop the pin with as much marine grade anti-seize or lanolin as you can get in there.

    Shear strength is generally close to 60% of ultimate tensile strength. Since it is easy to look up ultimate tensile strength (Matweb) and hard to find shear strength, this is a handy way to estimate shear. Without knowing the grade of steel used for the pin, the range for hot rolled mild steel (AISI 1006 to 1020) is 40-55 ksi ultimate and 18-8 stainless annealed bar runs around 75 ksi, so a stainless shear pin would be 35-87% stronger than the mild steel pin. I would guess that they use a common grade like 1018 or 1020, so the 35% figure is my guess. If a 1/8 brass pin will fit the hole for the 3mm (.118").

    If you really want to know how strong the pins are, you can find out with a torque wrench. Drill a hole the same size as the one in the shaft in a similar size grade 2 bolt. drill a hole in a block of scrap steel to fit the bolt and cross drill with the 3+mm drill. Measure the torque to break the pins.
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Torqedo owners - Heads Up!

    Friend bust his prop hitting a submerged pile in the local river. Asked me to fit the new prop as he could not get the old one off. Yep, the pin had rusted, and jammed the prop.
    For that money, I was dissapointed in Torqueedo. The engine had only been used in fresh water and not very often. Plus, the pin, though rusty, did not sheer and save the prop. I fitted an SS one and told himm to stay away from pilings

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Torqedo owners - Heads Up!

    This link talks about ways to remove the prop, and possibly fingers. http://www.ybw.com/forums/archive/in.../t-418476.html
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Torqedo owners - Heads Up!

    This is good to know. I purchased a Torqeedo 1003 late last year and just started using it this summer. I noticed that it came with two extra shear pins and wondered why; I guess my question has now been answered. I saw nothing in their literature about the need to regularly inspect the pin, something that I will now do thanks to your warning.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Torqedo owners - Heads Up!

    Quote Originally Posted by JimF View Post
    This is good to know. I purchased a Torqeedo 1003 late last year and just started using it this summer. I noticed that it came with two extra shear pins and wondered why; I guess my question has now been answered. I saw nothing in their literature about the need to regularly inspect the pin, something that I will now do thanks to your warning.

    I purchased my motor in summer of 2015. It did not come with extra shear pins. Nor did it come with any information regarding them. It seems to me, that for the money they get, Torqeedo could provide a half dozen pins, a stainless steel socket wrench, a tube of grease, and full instructions.

    I'm happy to see that this thread has raised awareness in other owners. I still like my outboard motor, but now I'll know to take better care.

    Jeff

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Torqedo owners - Heads Up!

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew2 View Post
    Friend bust his prop hitting a submerged pile in the local river. Asked me to fit the new prop as he could not get the old one off. Yep, the pin had rusted, and jammed the prop.
    For that money, I was dissapointed in Torqueedo. The engine had only been used in fresh water and not very often. Plus, the pin, though rusty, did not sheer and save the prop. I fitted an SS one and told himm to stay away from pilings

    Where did you get the appropriate SS prop?

    Jeff

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Torqedo owners - Heads Up!

    Thanks for the heads up. My Torquedo is going to get a plastic pin. It'll shear at a lower load but thats a pretty insignificant matter.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Torqedo owners - Heads Up!

    I'm now worried about my plan to eventually build a Torqeedo motor pod (with feathering prop) into Bucephalus's rudder. It would be a genuine drag to have that shear pin let go when I can't get at it. I now have fixed in my mind to replace that shear pin as part of annual maintenance, but I still hope they have a different, more durable system in place for their permanently mounted motors.

    Alex

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Torqedo owners - Heads Up!

    Alex,

    I hope you post pics when you put the Torqeedo pod on the rudder. It sounds interesting.

    But I do wonder if the same problem exists on the pod drives? It's easier to pull an outboard to replace the shear pin than haul out to replace the shear pin on a pod drive.

    But then, I've never had a pin shear on my '97 Johnson, and I've never had an inboard.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Torqedo owners - Heads Up!

    Quote Originally Posted by jpatrick View Post
    Where did you get the appropriate SS prop?

    Jeff
    My bad grama. I fitted an SS sheerpin, not a prop Friend bought a standard prop of Torqueedo, cost a few €s.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Torqedo owners - Heads Up!

    I hope you post pics when you put the Torqeedo pod on the rudder. It sounds interesting.
    I will do so, of course. I spoke with the Torqeedo rep on the phone a few weeks ago, about getting a drive pod without the pylon. No can do, at this point, but when I described what I wanted to do, he sounded interested in producing a product for just such purpose as I have described --building it into a rudder. Hanse, in Europe, has done just that, but he wasn't aware of the details. I haven't yet contacted Hanse, but even if their system is in a modern boat with a *very* different hull than Bucephalus, I think it could be a pretty good addition to B:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziy8WKPi_l8
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aQjQsLHh7g
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oEDUdEDdnw

    Anyway, the Torqeedo rep said he'd run it past the R&D team, and that if they went for it, it would likely hit the market at the end of 2019.

    All that said, I hope the problem has been addressed on the pod drives, with the folding props. I don't want to need to dive on a blown shear pin mid-season.

    Alex

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Torqedo owners - Heads Up!

    Just a thought.. I think i read somewhere that shear pins are not just rod ,but compressed metal powder,so that they will break easily ,There seems no way a plastic prop would withstand the power required to shear
    steel ,brass or SS. Put a nail in a vise and have at it . See what it takes,
    Again no idea where to verify this concept.
    Cheers

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Torqedo owners - Heads Up!

    All the debate aside, it seems to me that a company making a multi-$Kilobuck motor should supply a saltwater-compatible shear pin, it makes one wonder where else in the system they suffered brain-death...

    K

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    Default Re: Torqedo owners - Heads Up!

    Quote Originally Posted by jonboy View Post
    If the manufacturer specifies a ss pin as alternative equipment… maybe. On big HP motors possibly , but a plastic propped trolling motor, its not going to happen Can't see a ss pin of the size in the op shearing before the whole plastic surround goes west… I d go for a plastic shear pin if I was going to deviate from OEM .
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  29. #29
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    Default Re: Torqedo owners - Heads Up!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pitsligo View Post
    I'm now worried about my plan to eventually build a Torqeedo motor pod (with feathering prop) into Bucephalus's rudder. It would be a genuine drag to have that shear pin let go when I can't get at it. I now have fixed in my mind to replace that shear pin as part of annual maintenance, but I still hope they have a different, more durable system in place for their permanently mounted motors.

    Alex
    It has been done, the pod in the rudder, not the feathering prop. Phil at http://urbanboatbuilders.org/ knows the details.
    Large image:
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-eEaW3XDd7P...0/IMG_4651.JPG
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