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Old 07-11-2010, 10:38   #1
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Dripless Stuffing Box Help

Hi, I'm new to diesels/inboards and recently purchased my boat, and as such am in need of some advice. My " dripless " stuffing box drips quite quickly when in gear - when not turning, it is tight. My guess is the seal (or seals?) need to be replaced. Some questions.

1) Can anyone identify this style of stuffing box, and provide advice on changing it out and where to get the replacement parts?

2) Can this be done in the water......I do not plan a haulout for the next 6-12 months but want to get this done ASAP if possible. I'm willing to pay the right person if it saves me hauling.

3) Does dripless really mean totally dripless?

Engine is a Westerbeke 4-107 in a 42' steel boat.

Thanks in advance,

Evan
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:50   #2
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Evan, You are not going to replace this in the water and in my opinion it is in serious need of replacement. And yes dripless means just that. We installed a dripless system and are very pleased we did. You are going to get a lot of mixed comments so I won't add my opinion as to the merits. If this were my boat, I would get this replaced ASAP. Here is a posting on the one we installed, http://tinyurl.com/24h8np6
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Old 07-11-2010, 11:38   #3
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Evan, we have the Volvo seal and dusty bilges which now require a can of Mr Sheen polish to keep the dust down

The good news for once is the volvo seal is actually quite cheap and good for 5 7 years.

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Old 07-11-2010, 11:50   #4
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Hi Chuck,

Are these units not repairable? Why do you say it is in serious need of replacement? Are you seeing something in the photo that leads to that conclusion?

I need to overhaul my stuffing box and was considering a dripless unit. However, if one cannot install new seals or repair but only replace that makes me rethink that idea.

Thanks
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Old 07-11-2010, 12:06   #5
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It looks like an old Lasdrop dripless seal but not sure. Personally. I would replace it too with the updated bellows type.
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Old 07-11-2010, 13:07   #6
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Hi Chuck,

Are these units not repairable? Why do you say it is in serious need of replacement? Are you seeing something in the photo that leads to that conclusion?

I need to overhaul my stuffing box and was considering a dripless unit. However, if one cannot install new seals or repair but only replace that makes me rethink that idea.

Thanks
Skip
Skip, The looks of the bellows from the photo and all of the corrosion lead to err on the safe side and say replace it. The photo is small and not clear. There are no seals or parts to service on these other than occasionally cleaning between the graphite ring and the stainless. The manufacturer recommends replacement of the bellows approximately every seven year but I am sure some will tell you they have units much older than this in great shape. The seven year replacement should be built in to your maintenance schedule, and it is the bellows that should be replaced, not necessarily the entire unit. I have installed hundreds of these on many types of boats over the years and every owner I know loves them and would not go back. The down side is that there is a slight possibility of the failure of the bellows and that can lead to a lot of water coming into the boat, especially if left unattended. I am sure you will hear more of this. That possibility is there any place a hose is connected under the waterline. We love our perfectly dry bilges. Chuck
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Old 07-11-2010, 13:31   #7
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That looks like a Lasdrop 1 unit. It doesn't use a bellows. There are 2 replacable seals between the collar and the donut IIRC.
Google Lasdrop Gen 1
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Old 07-11-2010, 19:48   #8
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That looks like a Lasdrop 1 unit. It doesn't use a bellows. There are 2 replacable seals between the collar and the donut IIRC.
Google Lasdrop Gen 1
It looks like I can get these seals from West Marine - thanks for your help. Now to decide on which SF Bay Area yard to do the work - seals, cutlass bearing and new bottom paint. Somebody with a good working knowledge of steel hulls I guess. Looks like that new mainsail is going to have to wait another season.
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Old 07-11-2010, 19:54   #9
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Isn't that a Tides Seal?



It is a lip seal and if they don't have water....they fail almost immediately.

Put a "Old Tyme" Stuffing box in
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Old 07-11-2010, 20:33   #10
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Isn't that a Tides Seal?
I would say so, more so then the Lasdrop!


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Old 07-11-2010, 21:31   #11
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Put a "Old Tyme" Stuffing box in
I have heard that advice from numerous people.
Just out of curiosity...why?
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Old 07-11-2010, 23:56   #12
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I have heard that advice from numerous people.
Just out of curiosity...why?
The reason I took mine out is it wore a grove in the shaft.
I replaced the shaft and still using the same stuffing box I couldn't get it to stop leaking w/o tightening it down so much that the shaft got hot. I tried several things like pulling out a ring of packing and adding a ring of packing but one thing I didn't do was add a water line into the stern tube. Later I discovered that the clearance between my shaft and stern tube was so small that the water inside the stern tube was getting hot too (no circulation). The tube was 14" long x 1-1/8" ID and the shaft 1". I've replaced it now.
It wasn't until I had a hose come off for the PSS that I discovered the PSS ring getting hot, not enough cool water.
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Old 08-11-2010, 00:08   #13
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Evan, we have the Volvo seal and dusty bilges which now require a can of Mr Sheen polish to keep the dust down

The good news for once is the volvo seal is actually quite cheap and good for 5 7 years.

Pete

Is that one of these rubber stuffing box? http://www.volvopenta.com/sitecollec...ox%20(eng).pdf

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Old 08-11-2010, 04:09   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Engineer View Post
Isn't that a Tides Seal?



It is a lip seal and if they don't have water....they fail almost immediately.

Put a "Old Tyme" Stuffing box in
Thanks Chief and Del, never seen one before.
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Old 08-11-2010, 04:49   #15
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Is that one of these rubber stuffing box? http://www.volvopenta.com/sitecollec...ox%20(eng).pdf
Yes thats it. A single piece of moulded rubber which includes a couple of lip seals and a heavy duty clamp to hold it in place. Available in a variety of sizes for shaft and stern tube, although it does stretch a little. Doesn't need a water feed either. Mantenance is a quick squeeze if you dry the boat out to remove any trapped air pockets and a small amount of grease once a year.

There is no way I would go back to the horrible mess of a stuffing box with grease and water drips. We now have a dry clean white GRP bilge and engine bay. If anything starts to leak I know about it straight away whether it be oil or water.

Cost 55 this side of the pond and readily available from Volvo dealers, that tides marine one was over twice the price this side of the pond.

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