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Old 23-09-2009, 20:57   #1
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Another Stuffing Box Question

My stuffing box on my new boat is leaking, not the 2-3 drops a minute, its leaking 40 drops a minute. With the engine off. So Im going to try to reseal it.

It looks very similar to this


My questions

1. how do I know which size packing to get?
2. Is there any disadvantage to using the dripless mouldable sealer?
3. If I wanted to replace the rubber hose while im there, where would I order it from, do I just order by measurement?
4. Can the rubber hose be replaced with the boat in the water?
5. Should I try just to adjust my current material or should I replace it.
6. Any guess to what size the nuts are. Id like to use regular wrenchs Im planing on bringing 30mm -40mm wrenchs
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Old 23-09-2009, 21:04   #2
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First, back off the lock nut and tighten the box. If that is not effective, you have to have the boat hauled. Looking at $50 labour, $5 parts and $200 haul.
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Old 23-09-2009, 23:00   #3
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Doing one of these on a V-Drive is not easy.

There usually isn't enough room to swing a wrench.

I use flat (non-toothed) pipe wrenches (I get them at flea markets)

or I use my cut off wrenches.

If you are going to replace the stuffing box hose, pull the vee-drive off. I know it sounds like a lot but trust me....you will save time, skin, knuckles....and your blood pressure will remain healthy.

Make sure the hose you get is sterntube hose......Regular exhaust/water hose is not appropriate.

Measure the thickness of the "male" part of the stuffing box ftom shaft to threads.
It will usually be 1/4 inch or 5/16 inch. Use GFO packing, not that moldable stuff or flax.
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Old 24-09-2009, 17:57   #4
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It actually would appear that I have a decent amount of room compared to most of the pictures Ive seen. I picked up some gfo packing 1/4 inch. Plan to swim down and pack some clay around the shaft where it comes through the boat to minimize the water coming in, then give it a whirl.
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Old 24-09-2009, 18:34   #5
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There is not that much water that is going to come in.

Just measure your packing around the exposed shaft and pre-cut it.
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Old 24-09-2009, 19:47   #6
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The best online tutorial with great pictures is found here:
pbase will be right back

Thanks MaineSail
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Old 25-09-2009, 13:17   #7
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stuffing box wrenches made of g10

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Engineer View Post
Doing one of these on a V-Drive is not easy.

There usually isn't enough room to swing a wrench.

I use flat (non-toothed) pipe wrenches (I get them at flea markets)

or I use my cut off wrenches.

If you are going to replace the stuffing box hose, pull the vee-drive off. I know it sounds like a lot but trust me....you will save time, skin, knuckles....and your blood pressure will remain healthy.

Make sure the hose you get is sterntube hose......Regular exhaust/water hose is not appropriate.

Measure the thickness of the "male" part of the stuffing box ftom shaft to threads.
It will usually be 1/4 inch or 5/16 inch. Use GFO packing, not that moldable stuff or flax.
Chief:

I found plans for making short wrenches out of metal plate and made these from 1/4 inch G10 board. I have only used them a few times but they do work with my v-drive.
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Old 25-09-2009, 15:12   #8
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It is difficult to determine which size packing, buy both 5/16 and 1/4 ....it's cheap and buy plenty of it. If you replace the hose you will have to uncouple the shaft obviously. Make sure it doesnt fall out! and inspect the packing area for a groove worn in the shaft. Another option is to unscrew the nut and see if there is room for one more ring of packing, then just do that until you haul next and do the whole thing right. If there is a groove worn in your shaft (and often there is), with the boat on the hard you may be able to take 1/2" off the shaft and slide it into the boat 1/2" further and use a "new" area on the shaft for the packing.......depends on the available length outside the hull...
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Old 27-09-2009, 14:58   #9
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So made the attempt at the stuffing box, had no luck. At least it wasnt bad luck.
Its leaking pretty bad now, probaly about a gallon an hour at least I have the blidge pumps.

Im unsure what to do at this point. The rubber hose looks kinda iffy, the clamps are deffinatly past their normal serivce life. Its scary, if I put any pressure on the shaft in any direction it doubles the flow of water into the boat, Im guessing the packing that was in there has all but rottedt away. But my problem lies in that for the life of me I could not break the jam nut loose on the stuffing box. I soaked it with pb blaster, 2 or times. It was difficult to get in to position to get both spanner wrenchs in position once I did I was able to put a pretty decent amount of pressure on them and it didnt budge. I tried holding the jam nut and twisting the packing nut, then holding the packing nut and twisting the jam nut. Its really driving me nuts not being able to fix this, I build engines in 100k cars for a living and cant replace some little waxed rope on a 30 year old boat
I need to decide what to do.

Get someone out there who knows what they are looking at.
or
Get a diver buddy to come out and catch the prop shaft and plug the hole so I can
replace the hose and the clamps and re do the packing with peace of mind .
or
Move the boat to a yard if I can find one close enough to have the boat hauled, and just have the bottom painted and the stuffin box and through hulls replaced
(paint was done in dec 07 acording to the date written on the hull, seems to be holding up)
or
find some one from cruisersforum in the keys looking to make a deposit in their cruising kitty that is willing to crawl around in a foreign hull.
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Old 27-09-2009, 15:10   #10
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This might be a simple question but were you turning the nut the right way? If you have two wrenches on, it should come free. I have two Model T wrenches that I got at a auto junk sale. They are short and big enough to fit the nuts. If you're afraid of water coming in wrap a strip of bicycle tire tube rubber around the shaft log. I do mine in the water all the time. Hold the packing nut and put pressure on the locking nut. I would try again, it's difficult to determine which way to turn the nut. If it won't go one way try going the other way. I put little arrows with a magic marker beside the stuffing box to remind me which way to turn the nuts.
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Old 27-09-2009, 16:13   #11
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I know this sounds a little strange, I had a hard time with it at first, but the best way to get these packing nuts turned in hard to access areas is with a dead blow hammer. Just a gentle tap, tap, tap repeatedly works wonders and no scraped knuckles, no stripped packing nuts, no custom wrenches, etc.
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Old 27-09-2009, 17:00   #12
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There might be old mechanics...

I'd suggest looking for an older mechanic and having a chat.

Sounds like a 5 minute job to get off, 3 days to get parts, 2 hours to get on type of job for someone who really knows what they are doing.

Please be careful though. Sometimes these things fall apart in your hands, and having a 2+" hole 18" below the waterline is not going to improve your day.
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Old 27-09-2009, 19:35   #13
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There are right hand and left hand packing glands.

Believe me I have been stumped by one or three.

In forward gear which direction does the shaft turn?

The stuffing box nut usually tightens in the same direction the shaft turns in forward.

BTW I just learned something new ....you can click and drag words around
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