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Old 26-04-2013, 09:45   #1
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Stuffing box adjustment

My stuffing box is leaking and its not immediatley obvious how to tighten it up. See picture attached. As the rest of the boat is Vetus then the box may also be made by Vetus. I assume one removes the screw and tab (A) so that the knurled wheel (B) can be rotated. Trouble is, its already hard up against (C) Have I just run out of adjustment or am I missing something? Thank you for your help. Peter
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Old 26-04-2013, 09:47   #2
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Re: Stuffing box adjustment

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Peter.
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Old 26-04-2013, 10:36   #3
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Re: Stuffing box adjustment

Never seen one like that, with the slots in it, where does the packing go?
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Old 26-04-2013, 11:23   #4
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Re: Stuffing box adjustment

I have not seen one like this before either. Some ideas and guesses.

The standard stuffing box will have two nuts. The inner nut which would be located where nut C is in your boat, is the locking nut. To adjust you loosen or unscrew that nut a couple of turns and then tighten down just a little on the outer nut which would be located where nut B is on yours. Tightening the outer nut will compress the packing inside the stuffing box to slow NOT STOP the leak. Then resnug the locking nut to hold the new setting of the outer nut.

You can see photos and instructions on a standard stuffing box by Mainesail, one of our members, on his web site here.

Re-Packing A Traditional Stuffing Box Photo Gallery by Compass Marine at pbase.com

If you remove screw A will nut C rotate and create a gap for nut B to screw in a little? Doesn't take much, maybe a quarter turn at most. To tight and you will burn the prop shaft.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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Hopefully I am not telling you a bunch of stuff you already know about standard stuffing boxes. If I am, sorry. Don't mean to insult your intelligence.
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Old 27-04-2013, 06:25   #5
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Re: Stuffing box adjustment

Vetus “Lip Seal” ➥ Stern gear systems
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Old 06-05-2014, 08:33   #6
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Re: Stuffing box adjustment

P { margin-bottom: 0.21cm; } Thanks to everyone but I still have a problem. I took the Vetus box to bits: First I removed the locking screw (A) Then unscrewed completely the knurled adjuster wheel (B). Then removed the (D) bit finally revealing the remains of the five cotton(?) strips jammed hard at the end. I removed them all (except the last one as it was impossible to pick out) and replaced with new Vetus strips. I just shoved them in. Then re-assembled and tightened up. Ran the motor and box ran hot (almost too hot to touch) and with no dripping. So I removed two strips and slackened knurled wheel right off. It STILL ran hot and still no dripping and now with a obvious squeak. What have I done wrong? Should I have used some kind of lubricant? Have I over tightened initially? Advice welcome and thanks.Peter
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Old 06-05-2014, 08:38   #7
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Re: Stuffing box adjustment

You have to have some leakage, it's the leakage that provides lubrication and cooling.
I'm not very experienced, but from my old power boating days anything more than slightly warm to the touch was too hot for me
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Old 06-05-2014, 08:40   #8
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Re: Stuffing box adjustment

Thanks to everyone but I still have a problem. I took the Vetus box to bits: First I removed the locking screw (A) Then unscrewed completely the knurled adjuster wheel (B). Then removed the (D) from (C) finally revealing the remains of the five cotton(?) strips jammed hard at the end. I removed them all (except the last one as it was impossible to pick out) and replaced with new Vetus strips. I just shoved them in. Then re-assembled and tightened up. Ran the motor and box ran hot (almost too hot to touch) and with no dripping. So I removed two strips and slackened knurled wheel right off. It STILL ran hot and still no dripping and now with a obvious squeak. What have I done wrong? Should I have used some kind of lubricant? Have I over tightened initially? Advice welcome and thanks.Peter
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Old 06-05-2014, 09:19   #9
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Re: Stuffing box adjustment

Quote:
Originally Posted by themannsindorse View Post
Thanks to everyone but I still have a problem. I took the Vetus box to bits: First I removed the locking screw (A) Then unscrewed completely the knurled adjuster wheel (B). Then removed the (D) from (C) finally revealing the remains of the five cotton(?) strips jammed hard at the end. I removed them all (except the last one as it was impossible to pick out) and replaced with new Vetus strips. I just shoved them in. Then re-assembled and tightened up. Ran the motor and box ran hot (almost too hot to touch) and with no dripping. So I removed two strips and slackened knurled wheel right off. It STILL ran hot and still no dripping and now with a obvious squeak. What have I done wrong? Should I have used some kind of lubricant? Have I over tightened initially? Advice welcome and thanks.Peter
Hi Peter,

As A64 mentioned, you have to have some leakage. No drip at all the packing is too tight and you will overheat and very probably damage the shaft.

You must get the old piece out. I'm guessing that is the source of the current problem.

Also there is a technique for installing the new. Too tight or too much and you overheat. Too loose or not enough and you leak. Did you get a chance to follow the link to the instructions and photos by Maine Sail/Compass Marine?

FYI, in my experience most stuffing boxes take 3 or 4 strips.
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Old 06-05-2014, 19:20   #10
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Re: Stuffing box adjustment

To get the last layer of old packing out, take a long slim file and bend a hook on the end. Sharpen the hook point and you should be able to pick out the packing. Have your new packing ready, without the last layer, it will leak more than a drip.

Everybody is right about the drip, that's the traditional way for old style packing. It drips when running, but stops when the shaft is still. I haven't used any of the new stuff advertized, but I believe it is supposed to be tightened to where there is no drip. Another old time solution is to drill a grease channel that deposits the grease where the water and packing meet. Add a grease fitting and adjust the packing for a drip and pump waterproof grease until the drip stops.
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Old 07-05-2014, 06:25   #11
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Re: Stuffing box adjustment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
To get the last layer of old packing out, take a long slim file and bend a hook on the end. Sharpen the hook point and you should be able to pick out the packing. Have your new packing ready, without the last layer, it will leak more than a drip.

Everybody is right about the drip, that's the traditional way for old style packing. It drips when running, but stops when the shaft is still. I haven't used any of the new stuff advertized, but I believe it is supposed to be tightened to where there is no drip. Another old time solution is to drill a grease channel that deposits the grease where the water and packing meet. Add a grease fitting and adjust the packing for a drip and pump waterproof grease until the drip stops.
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Old 07-05-2014, 06:29   #12
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Re: Stuffing box adjustment

You can also use an old wine bottle cork screw, screw it in to the old packing and pull, make sure you as parallel as possible, so as not to add side pull.
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Old 16-05-2014, 04:40   #13
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Re: Stuffing box adjustment

P { margin-bottom: 0.21cm; } Hi. Thanks for all replies. Yes the box has settled down and down to one drip every 20 secs or so. After a one hour run at 1800 rpm the box temperature steadies at blood temperature. If you leapt out of bed in the morning and felt the bed temperature then thats it. Is that too warm?
One reply mentioned using grease. Pardon my ignorance but no one or any paperwork I have read has ever mentioned grease being used! So should I have used grease from the word go and what type of grease? The boats in the water now and it would be difficult to repack box without letting the sea in. Next winter job. Thanks again. Peter
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Old 16-05-2014, 04:58   #14
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Re: Stuffing box adjustment

You can dive the water side of the shaft and pack some modeling clay around the shaft. This will give you about a half hour of water tight work time before it starts to dissolves away.
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Old 16-05-2014, 11:19   #15
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Re: Stuffing box adjustment

In commercial fishing boats it was common to have a fitting connected to the stuffing box. On mine the grease came in at the middle of packing rings. A compression fitting with 1/4 in. copper tubing ran to a convenient spot where a grease gun was attached via another compression fitting. One would give it a couple of shots at the end of the day to reduce the dripping. The packing was changed once a year. A tool called a packing puller was used to remove the packing. Still have that tool in my tool box even though my boat has mechanical seals(dripless).
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