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Old 02-10-2014, 15:26   #1
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Stuffing Box Leaks

After our first trip yesterday I noticed a drip from the prop shaft area and think it is called the stuffing box. This will be my first time taking it apart or possible just tightening it up a little like a plumbing fixture packing. Any advice on what to do?Click image for larger version

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Old 02-10-2014, 15:39   #2
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Re: Stuffing Box Leaks

All you do is tighten it up until it stops dripping. Next, put the engine in gear for a bit. Stop the engine and check whether the shaft is warm. If it is, you tightened it too much. If you can get your hand in there - be very careful - you can also just run the engine in gear and see whether water is dripping while running; you should get a drop or two every minute or so.

The job is really easy, but, like almost anything on a boat, a little intimidating at first.
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Old 02-10-2014, 15:40   #3
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Re: Stuffing Box Leaks

It should have a slow drip when running, but ideally not when the shaft isn't turning, it needs a little bit of water for cooling
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Old 02-10-2014, 15:42   #4
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Re: Stuffing Box Leaks

It's intended to drip when running, it's actually essential to correct functioning (keeps the packing cool). It should drip, say every 20 or 30s when running. When stationary it should stop dripping.

You could try to adjust it if it's dripping too quickly, but you have to be very careful. You must hold the stuffing box while loosening the lock nut. If you allow the box to rotate, you could rip the hose (off the pic to the left)

Personally, I leave it to the next haulout if it's not too fast.
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Old 02-10-2014, 15:55   #5
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Re: Stuffing Box Leaks

A drip every 10 seconds or so is a good thing........unless you have a drip less shaft seal.
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Old 02-10-2014, 16:16   #6
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Re: Stuffing Box Leaks

Thanks for posts. I guess the stuffing box is below the waterline as it leaks when not running. The danger working on it while in the water is if I should create an opening tear or hole in the hose it would let water really come in. I think I can be careful and not twist the hose while loosening the lock nut and tightening the packing nut. Looks like it will take some channel locks to grip and loosen, maybe a pipe wrench would do too.
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Old 02-10-2014, 16:20   #7
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Re: Stuffing Box Leaks

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Originally Posted by Old Snipe View Post
A drip every 10 seconds or so is a good thing........unless you have a drip less shaft seal.
A dripless seal wouldn't fit in my boat, so I have the next best thing - Tefseal packing, which is almost as good - virtually no drips.
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Old 02-10-2014, 16:28   #8
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Re: Stuffing Box Leaks

How can I know what size to get without taking it apart?
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Old 02-10-2014, 16:37   #9
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Re: Stuffing Box Leaks

I haven't tried one, but have been wondering if this wouldn't work, cheap and opens to three inches
http://www.lowes.com/pd_331888-943-0...nch&facetInfo=
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Old 02-10-2014, 16:38   #10
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Re: Stuffing Box Leaks

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A dripless seal wouldn't fit in my boat, so I have the next best thing - Tefseal packing, which is almost as good - virtually no drips.

Good stuff.
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Old 02-10-2014, 17:03   #11
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Re: Stuffing Box Leaks

Quote:
Originally Posted by marvinjansen50 View Post
Thanks for posts. I guess the stuffing box is below the waterline as it leaks when not running. The danger working on it while in the water is if I should create an opening tear or hole in the hose it would let water really come in. I think I can be careful and not twist the hose while loosening the lock nut and tightening the packing nut. Looks like it will take some channel locks to grip and loosen, maybe a pipe wrench would do too.
Yep.... But don't bugger them up too much... Then ya can't use what the pilot suggests below...

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I haven't tried one, but have been wondering if this wouldn't work, cheap and opens to three inches
Shop Superior Tool Adjustable Combination Wrench at Lowes.com
Works great if you're one of the:
A) lucky bastid club members
B) previously worked on it and keep it sufficiently soaked with PB or similar

B is best to count on...
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Old 02-10-2014, 17:14   #12
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Re: Stuffing Box Leaks

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Originally Posted by marvinjansen50 View Post
How can I know what size to get without taking it apart?
You can probably take it apart and measure Really.

Loosen the packing nut about a half turn. See if you get much drip. If not, loosen another half turn. Rinse-repeat. The packing that is in the box should keep out the water if it has been packed correctly and is pretty tight (read 'old'). A very typical maintenance case is to take the nut all the way off, slide it forward on the shaft, add another ring of fresh packing, and put it all back together, all while in the water.

Sounds a little scary, but it really isn't. To make yourself more comfortable just back off on the nut slowly, stop, make sure you don't see lots of water, proceed. If you ever get uncomfortable with the amount of water just tighten back down on the nut.

With the nut off you can measure the distance from the shaft to the inside edge of the gland and that will give you packing size. Typically something like 1/4", 5/16" or 3/8" in boats of our size (assuming US/Imperial materials).
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Old 02-10-2014, 17:18   #13
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Re: Stuffing Box Leaks

I had a "first time", too.

So, I wrote this, read the links inside it, too.

Stuffing box packing - C34
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Old 02-10-2014, 17:21   #14
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Re: Stuffing Box Leaks

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I had a "first time", too.

So, I wrote this, read the links inside it, too.

Stuffing box packing - C34
Oh man... This is not "first time" confession time is it???
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Old 02-10-2014, 17:31   #15
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Re: Stuffing Box Leaks

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Originally Posted by HappyMdRSailor View Post
Oh man... This is not "first time" confession time is it???
No, she left.
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