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Old 27-02-2009, 19:52   #1
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My first shaft leak

I was sitting at anchor yesterday and my bilge pump came on. I went around looking for leaks by the through hulls, all dry. So, I looked at the shaft and it was dripping about 3 times every 2 seconds. Today while motoring, I looked down there and it was basically spraying out. I haven't touched it yet.

When tightening that nut, is it the forward one and you tighten it back towards the prop?

Is this leaking too bad to just tighten it? Should I be thinking repack?
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Old 27-02-2009, 19:58   #2
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Stuffing Box maintenance

http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/stuffing_box

These links may help you. I especially like the 2nd one. Try adjusting it first. Can't tell from here if it needs repacking.
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Old 27-02-2009, 20:19   #3
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About 20 years ago, I replaced mine with a PSS dripless when the time came to repack or replace. It works beautifully.

Select Region | PSS Shaft Seal
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Old 28-02-2009, 00:50   #4
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There is a large nut and a small nut on a standard packing gland. It will take two wrenches to break them apart. First spray the area with a penetrant and after letting it sit get your two wrnches on it and break the little one from the big one. Then you turn the big one clockwise "chasing" the smaller one.

What kind of Wrenches?... large slip joints work, pipe wrenches, etc. Not very good luck with those cheap home depot adjustable plumbing wrenches. They also make special wrenches just for the job.

How tight?? A perfect adjustment would not drip with engine off and a couple of drips a minute with shaft turning. (hard to achieve) When we adjust these, the way we do it is with the shaft turning in reverse, which keep the nut from backing off. Another way to do it if you are hesitant about the turning shaft is to spin the shaft by hand, then adjust, then spin again. It should not get to hard to turn.

After you think you have it, run the engine in gear for a while and lay your hand on the packing gland. If you say ow! and pull it away, loosen it up a little. If it is just warm to the touch you are okay.

If the packing has worn out you won't be able to adjust it properly and it will require repacking. An easy job that can be done in the water. Requires a corkscrew tool that marine stores sell to get the old out and a pick or two. Get the old packing out and cut a few rings of new teflon based packing. Grease em up and push em in. Always use individual rings, not spiraled as that can bind up the shaft. Adjust it and run engine for a day and check as you may have to readjust.

Good luck, Gary
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Old 28-02-2009, 07:35   #5
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Originally Posted by HorizonMarine View Post
There is a large nut and a small nut on a standard packing gland. It will take two wrenches to break them apart. First spray the area with a penetrant and after letting it sit get your two wrnches on it and break the little one from the big one. Then you turn the big one clockwise "chasing" the smaller one.

What kind of Wrenches?... large slip joints work, pipe wrenches, etc. Not very good luck with those cheap home depot adjustable plumbing wrenches. They also make special wrenches just for the job.

How tight?? A perfect adjustment would not drip with engine off and a couple of drips a minute with shaft turning. (hard to achieve) When we adjust these, the way we do it is with the shaft turning in reverse, which keep the nut from backing off. Another way to do it if you are hesitant about the turning shaft is to spin the shaft by hand, then adjust, then spin again. It should not get to hard to turn.

After you think you have it, run the engine in gear for a while and lay your hand on the packing gland. If you say ow! and pull it away, loosen it up a little. If it is just warm to the touch you are okay.

If the packing has worn out you won't be able to adjust it properly and it will require repacking. An easy job that can be done in the water. Requires a corkscrew tool that marine stores sell to get the old out and a pick or two. Get the old packing out and cut a few rings of new teflon based packing. Grease em up and push em in. Always use individual rings, not spiraled as that can bind up the shaft. Adjust it and run engine for a day and check as you may have to readjust.

Good luck, Gary
Thanks, Gary. Great tutorial. I'll give it a go today.
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Old 28-02-2009, 07:53   #6
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Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
Stuffing Box maintenance

Re-Packing A Traditional Stuffing Box Photo Gallery by Maine Sailing at pbase.com

These links may help you. I especially like the 2nd one. Try adjusting it first. Can't tell from here if it needs repacking.
Great links! I like the second one too. Lots of goodies on there!
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Old 28-02-2009, 13:38   #7
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Aqua, don't take the nut off! Silly warning but it has happened!
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Old 28-02-2009, 14:17   #8
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I use W.L Gore Packing...

I have never greased any kind of packing...
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Old 28-02-2009, 17:20   #9
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i have never heard of greasing anything to do with packing, unless the shaft is worn or pitted, but that was only to get you home to replace same and or shaft.
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Old 28-02-2009, 18:30   #10
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Chiefs right Aqua...Gore is the right stuff if you have to repack. It's wonderful stuff (ing)!
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Old 02-03-2009, 13:04   #11
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Thanks for the guidance, folks. I tightened it today. Took all of 5 minutes. No more gusher.
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