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Old 05-12-2015, 12:44   #1
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stuck packing nut

Hi all.

My stuffing box is dripping way too much ever since I had a diver replace my prop and he had do some banging around down there to get the old one off. It's dripping about twice per second with the prop not even turning. That's a lot of bilge pumping.

I went to tighten the packing nut but I can't budge the lock nut at all. Has anyone successfully dealt with a seized lock nut like this before? I'm kind of scared to be too forceful with it lest I break something that's keeping the water out. Is that something I should be worried about?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

jacob
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Old 05-12-2015, 12:57   #2
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Re: stuck packing nut

What have you tried to free it? I've not met a small one yet that could withstand a pair of 24" pipe wrenches.


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Old 05-12-2015, 13:19   #3
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Re: stuck packing nut

I've been using a 1-1 1/8 packing nut wrench and a pair of vice grips. I'm working on getting my hands on a pipe wrench and crescent wrench. Do you think I need to be concerned about breaking anything if I really crank on them?
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Old 05-12-2015, 13:23   #4
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Re: stuck packing nut

There's nothing to break as long as you're using two good wrenches. You might skin a knuckle or two though.
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Old 05-12-2015, 13:25   #5
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Re: stuck packing nut

Have you cleaned the threads behind the lock nut?
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Old 05-12-2015, 13:38   #6
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stuck packing nut

I'm thinking specifically of the cautionary note in this article (http://www.boatus.com/boattech/casey/stuffing-box.asp). I haven't cleaned the threads aft of the nut, no.
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Old 05-12-2015, 14:48   #7
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Re: stuck packing nut

Here's a much better one:

Re-Packing A Traditional Stuffing Box Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com
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Old 05-12-2015, 14:52   #8
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Re: stuck packing nut

I know this might sound a bit simple but are you turning the nut the right way? I know on my boat I put a couple of arrows under the shaft to show which way to turn to loosen. Gets confusing sometimes when you're contorted into a small space.
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Old 05-12-2015, 15:21   #9
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Re: stuck packing nut

I would second the advice to follow MaineSail's page and replace your packing gland stuffing, rather than focus on cranking down the nut farther. It's very helpful to get the little corkscrew thing that digs out the old material, but you could probably get by with a coiled piece of thick steel wire. Repacking your stuffing box is not hard nor expensive, and you can do it on the water without letting too much in for your bilge pump to handle.
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Old 05-12-2015, 15:39   #10
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Re: stuck packing nut

i had the same trouble, went right up to 24" pipe wrenches, couldnt figure it out. Then.............................................. ...turned the nut the other way and behold, it moved. Know also of a fellow sailor who used a dremel to cut the nut off to loosen the piece.
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Old 05-12-2015, 15:42   #11
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Re: stuck packing nut

and there is always pb blaster;. good stuff. clean n spray n turn the correct way.
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Old 05-12-2015, 16:05   #12
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Re: stuck packing nut

After your penetrating oil has soaked in - a day or more, with repeated applications, is good - try quickly heating the nut, only the nut, to expand it. Try not to heat the whole assembly, just the nut.
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Old 05-12-2015, 16:23   #13
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Re: stuck packing nut

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffBurright View Post
It's very helpful to get the little corkscrew thing that digs out the old material, but you could probably get by with a coiled piece of thick steel wire. Repacking your stuffing box is not hard nor expensive, and you can do it on the water without letting too much in for your bilge pump to handle.
Agree about in the water, but those corkscrew things are usually too big to use on a box with a 1" shaft. Dental picks work. I use a very small flat bladed screwdriver. It HAS to be able to get in to do its work, and the corkscrews simply can't do that unless you've found waaay smaller than the ones traditionally available. Good luck.
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Old 05-12-2015, 16:34   #14
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Re: stuck packing nut

Someone taught me years ago to use a cold chisel and a hammer to loosen the locknut. Just hit it at an angle which makes it turn, but not slip. It dings it up a bit, but it works better than trying to get a large wrench in a small area.
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Old 06-12-2015, 04:54   #15
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Re: stuck packing nut

Quoting MaineSail:
... When loosening the nuts the two wrenches are moved towards each other. When tightening the nuts the wrenches are moved away from each other as shown here ...
Re-Packing A Traditional Stuffing Box Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com

I used Flexible Packing Extractors ➥ Packing Tools - Hooks, Pullers and Extractors
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