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Old 20-09-2013, 12:06   #1
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Installing a New Packing Box

Hi - I am planning to haul my boat this fall and want to replace the packing box since I need to replace the hose that connects it to the stern tube and packing material anyhow. My question is that Algonquin makes both a right and left handed self aligning spud packing box and I'm not sure why. Is there a reason to use one over the other? My prop is right handed. If I use the wrong thread direction, will I risk having the locking nut loosen?
Also, I'm not sure how to determine whether a packing box is right handed or left handed. Is it based on which direction the nut with the packing material in it screws onto the packing body? For example, if the nut with the packing material screws on clockwise, does that mean its right handed? I want to order the new packing box before I haul out so I have the correct parts.... this is especially important since my boat is in Mexico.
Thanks for your help on this question... its the first time I've replaced the whole unit.
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Old 20-09-2013, 12:49   #2
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Re: Installing a new packing box

Well darn. Never even knew they came in left and right threads. First suggestion. If you don't get a good answer here call Buck Algonquin 410-643-7145. I had some questions when I bought a new hose for my packing gland and they were helpful. Or you can post a question on their web site athttp://catalog.buckalgonquin.com/request/all-categories?.

Second question, why replace the old one? Mine is almost 30 years old but a little hit with a wire brush (brass bristles of course) it looks fine, the threads and color are good so I kept it.

By the way, my guess and this is only a guess, is that right hand is when you tighten the outer nut in the normal direction IE clockwise.
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Old 20-09-2013, 15:35   #3
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Re: Installing a new packing box

Yup. Learn something everyday and also find out you knew less than you thought you did about it all at the same time! I did contact Algonquin, they basically said the left and right hand thread on those spud packing boxes was "user preference". But I thought I had read something way back when (which means I simply forgot where) that indicated you should use one or the other based on your propeller direction. Could be I'm floundering... wouldn't be the first time.
My current packing box is 32 years old, the tightening nut is getting pretty worn on the edges, and since I gotta pull it all out to replace the hose anyhow, thought it be a good time to pop a new one in.
PS - Your guess is correct... at least according to Algonquin.
Thanks for your post. Tom
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Old 20-09-2013, 15:56   #4
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Re: Installing a new packing box

Well since I did so well on the first guess I'll have another go.

I have a left hand prop and a RH thread on my packing gland which would tend to tighten the outer nut by the shaft rotation. So if you have a RH prop maybe go with a LH packing gland if you're paranoid about the shaft rotation loosening the nut.

But I have to say I've never heard of a packing gland nut being loosen by the shaft rotation. In your situation I think I would get the nut that I would remember how to work a few years down the road when I'm tired, the boat's rocking and water is gushing in around the shaft I have me head in the bilge trying to tighten up the packing while the boat's drifting down on a reef.

Now, waiting for the experts to chime in.
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Old 20-09-2013, 15:59   #5
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Re: Installing a New Packing Box

Oh. By the way. Which way are the threads on the old one? If that one worked for 30+ years then why mess with success? Plus I would guess you're already used to working that one.
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Old 20-09-2013, 16:17   #6
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Re: Installing a New Packing Box

I'm guessing (since I'm here and my boat's down in Mexico) that it is right handed.... but can't say I stick those types of details into my pea brain for instant retention. And, while I do agree with your advice to go with what's familiar, if I be in that rockin, gushing, almost on a reef situation, I'd be screwed anyhow cuz I'd have to be almost upside down and using one hand only (since that's all that'll fit in that wee spot) to fix it. Right now I gotta use a board to brace one of the wrenches while I turn the other to adjust the packing box nuts...its a tedious job at best just to keep the braced wrench from falling over before I get the other one on! That's partly why I wanna get a new packing box. The less I go down into that hole through the lazarette and below the cockpit floor the better.... and its the ONLY reason I don't want to put a PSS dripless onboard... cuz if that sucker failed, I'd be reaching for my life vest! At least I got a fighting chance with a traditional packing gland.
But my main question has been answered... and that was how to tell what is a right or left packing gland when I do get down to figure it all out and order one.
Muchas Gracias!
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Old 20-09-2013, 16:28   #7
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Re: Installing a New Packing Box

I thought my access was bad because I've got a V-drive so my PG is under the transmission. Maybe I should be thankful it's not worse.

Didn't consider the PSS for the same reasons. Generally with the old style PG worst that happens is a big drip or small stream; something you can handle with a pump if you can't fix it right away. PSS blows and you've got a problem if you can't get to it.
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Old 20-09-2013, 16:55   #8
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Re: Installing a New Packing Box

I did well with a traditional stuffing box for forty years. I have easy access to three feet of my shaft from an intermediate carrier bearng to my stern tube. I switched to a dripless shaft seal earlier this year. It may be early for me to present a good evaluation, but I'm very pleased with it to date. Consider your options!
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