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Old 25-06-2012, 16:31   #1
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Replacing Shaft Seal with Packing System

I need to replace my shaft seal, or at least the rubber boot. Since to me it just seems crazy to have to pull out a shaft to replace a $20 rubber boot that is suppose to be done every 6-8 years, I'm looking at maybe going to packing.

Being an ex-pump type guy I just can not believe there isn't a split type shaft packing gland system available that doesn't require the shaft to be pulled to install etc. In fact doing a web search I can find lots of packing but not much in the way of new glands and stuffing boxes.

Anyone know a good source for glands and stuffing boxes, especially maybe a split system?
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Old 25-06-2012, 19:16   #2
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Re: replacing shaft seal with packing system

Don,

For a PSS shaft bellows replacement, there's no need to remove the shaft, just slide it back enough to get the bellows past the forward end.

Also, the replacement interval is probably at least partly CYA on the part of the company.
My original one (vintage 1989) lasted almost ten years before it lost enough elasticity that it would pee a bit past the seal face if I motored over 6 knots (fast for that boat).
The Yanmar mounts were soft enough that the prop thrust moved the shaft forward enough to cause splashing.

The quick fix involved simply sliding the sealing ring aft a bit for more compression until I got a new replacement bellows.
The new one was of different design and had more ribs, and I replaced it while the boat was in the water.
The bilge pump kept up with the water ingress without a problem although it seemed very dramatic at the time !

Last year I replaced the original packing on my current boat with another PSS and it's working perfectly. Bilge is totally dry.

I'd never go back to packing.
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Old 25-06-2012, 21:10   #3
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Re: replacing shaft seal with packing system

The PSS bellows replacement schedule is shorter than necessary. Even admitted to by the PYI guys. Fellow there says the worst he has seen was a 20 year old bellows covered in diesel and oil and it was still in fairly good condition.

Yes, total removal of the shaft is not necessary. The tough bit is often slipping the shaft from the coupler, if that is your setup.
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Old 26-06-2012, 04:49   #4
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Re: replacing shaft seal with packing system

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Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post
Don,

For a PSS shaft bellows replacement, there's no need to remove the shaft, just slide it back enough to get the bellows past the forward end.

Also, the replacement interval is probably at least partly CYA on the part of the company. .
Well you all can say that the bellows doesn't need to be replaced in the time period they say, but my boat is only 11 years old and only gets used 1/2 year and the bellows leaks and I think it was leaking last year. Looking at the leak in the bellows makes me aware that if that leak makes the bellow tears there is a big problem!

How can you replace the bellows without pulling the shaft??? You have to remove the hub, so removing the shaft at the same time isn't a big thing. But if you remove the hub you need a new one and if you get a new hub it needs to be fitted and faced to the shaft?

So ........... no one knows anything about split packing glands or where to get packing boxes in general?
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Old 26-06-2012, 04:57   #5
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Re: Replacing Shaft Seal with Packing System

GFO marine packing is very good to use in a conventional packing nut.

I used it in the rudders and shafts and it truly does all they say.

http://www.gfopacking.com/

Quote:
GFO fiber dripless packing is a braided propeller and rudder shaft packing that you can install and forget about. After 15 years of successfully handling demanding industrial pump applications, it's now proving itself in the marine field, too. It's already being used by the US Navy and Coast Guard and many commercial work and fishing fleets. And, it's approved by the American Bureau of Shipping.
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Old 26-06-2012, 05:07   #6
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Re: replacing shaft seal with packing system

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Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
Well you all can say that the bellows doesn't need to be replaced in the time period they say, but my boat is only 11 years old and only gets used 1/2 year and the bellows leaks and I think it was leaking last year. Looking at the leak in the bellows makes me aware that if that leak makes the bellow tears there is a big problem!

How can you replace the bellows without pulling the shaft??? You have to remove the hub, so removing the shaft at the same time isn't a big thing. But if you remove the hub you need a new one and if you get a new hub it needs to be fitted and faced to the shaft?

So ........... no one knows anything about split packing glands or where to get packing boxes in general?
Replaced Blue's last years, about 2 hours work.

1, seperate engine and shaft couplings
2 place a socket, slightly smaller the shaft diameter, between end of shaft and engine flange retainer nut
3 place longer bolts thru coupling holes, and tighten nuts.
socket will push shaft out after loosening lock screw, and you can replace the bellows.
if you "mike" the shaft, and can find a socket the same size, the socket will hold the couplings pretty much in line, and ease your re-connection time
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Old 26-06-2012, 06:48   #7
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Re: replacing shaft seal with packing system

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Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post

So ........... no one knows anything about split packing glands or where to get packing boxes in general?
Don,

http://buckalgonquin.com/

I have never seen a split packing that I'd trust to keep the water out of the boat. On the other hand, for packing glands look to buck algonquin, and if you do this, go back with a split coupling so that it can be removed and reused rather than like the solid coupling that usually galls its self on removal from the shaft.
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Old 26-06-2012, 06:48   #8
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Re: Replacing Shaft Seal with Packing System

Replaced my bellows last year after 12+ years of service with no leaks. Saved the old one just in case the new one fails. The replacement cost about $85 from the manufacturer.PSS Shaft Seal
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Old 26-06-2012, 07:03   #9
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Re: Replacing Shaft Seal with Packing System

I would definitely go with a split coupling hub for the shaft. But I wouldn't consider this as reusable unless there wasn't a choice or it had only been on a short time.
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Old 26-06-2012, 07:29   #10
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Re: replacing shaft seal with packing system

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
Well you all can say that the bellows doesn't need to be replaced in the time period they say, but my boat is only 11 years old and only gets used 1/2 year and the bellows leaks and I think it was leaking last year. Looking at the leak in the bellows makes me aware that if that leak makes the bellow tears there is a big problem!
Well, gee, as with all free advice on the internet the YMMV factor (Your Mileage May Vary) is always implied.

Having replaced these on a couple boats, I would be very surprised if the bellows developed a leak due to "normal wear and tear" (forgive the pun ). The material this stuff is made from is quite tough. For it to develop a hole or tear, some foreign debris would need to come in contact (something falling in the bilge?). Heat from cutless bearing or engine vibration is most certainly not enough to cause anything like this, especially on a sailboat. Heck these bellows stand up to use on high hp power boats for chrissakes.

One case where I would recommend a traditional packing gland is if there is poor access (I mean REALLY poor access).

But, to each his own...

Buck Algonquin is the place for traditional stuffing box bits.
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Old 26-06-2012, 07:56   #11
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Re: Replacing Shaft Seal with Packing System

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I would definitely go with a split coupling hub for the shaft. But I wouldn't consider this as reusable unless there wasn't a choice or it had only been on a short time.
I'm curious --why not? I know of perfectly good ones, 60 yrs old.
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Old 26-06-2012, 10:43   #12
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Re: replacing shaft seal with packing system

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I would be very surprised if the bellows developed a leak due to "normal wear and tear" (forgive the pun ).
Tell that to the hole in my bellows that is spraying water and now wraped with rescue tape. And it is well protected from damage and heat etc.
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Old 26-06-2012, 10:53   #13
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Re: replacing shaft seal with packing system

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Tell that to the hole in my bellows that is spraying water and now wraped with rescue tape. And it is well protected from damage and heat etc.
Didn't say it could never happen. I said I would be surprised if it did (and I am).

Big difference.

Clearly you know what you want. Anecdotes be damned.
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