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Old 06-06-2016, 18:05   #1
vjm
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Tapered plug seacock advice needed

I have two tapered plug seacocks that were frozen. The plug in the larger of the two finally came out and I will be servicing that one per Compass Marine's tutorial.

The smaller one is the problem. I believe it is a Spartan. The key on top of th plug where the handle attaches was broken off, so getting the plug out required some non standard methods. As a result, the threads on the bolt on the other end of the plug were stripped. It seems that I can't buy just a plug.

Taking the body of the seacock off isn't really an option.

Is my best option getting a machine shop to weld a new key on and retread the bolt? Any concerns with that method for the long haul?
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Old 06-06-2016, 18:19   #2
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Re: Tapered plug seacock advice needed

What do you mean by "re-thread the bolt"? If you stripped it out, are they going to put a heli-coil in the plug and a new bolt?
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Old 06-06-2016, 18:28   #3
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Re: Tapered plug seacock advice needed

I was thinking they would do it using a rethreading tap.
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Old 06-06-2016, 18:37   #4
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Re: Tapered plug seacock advice needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by vjm View Post
I was thinking they would do it using a rethreading tap.
Ok, a bigger bolt then. Rethreading a stripped out hole the same size it used to be, might let you sink.
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Old 06-06-2016, 18:37   #5
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Re: Tapered plug seacock advice needed

I broke off the handle on my Spartan. Had to replace the sucker.

Can we chat about why you don't think the seacock can be removed and replaced properly? We are just talking two bolts then unscrewing the body from the thru-hall. And of course $300-ish.


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Old 06-06-2016, 18:50   #6
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Re: Tapered plug seacock advice needed

The whole thing is installed oddly. The through hull is glassed in directly, and there are some very odd plates around the through hull. The smaller seacock has resisted all efforts at removal but I can try again. I think it will probably end in having to cut out the throughull and I really, really do not want to get into that. The "unscrewing the body from the throughull" part of the process is proving to be nearly impossible, especially in my wee sink cabinet. I can give it another try but it would a million times easier if the plug could just be mended and reinserted.
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Old 06-06-2016, 19:33   #7
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Re: Tapered plug seacock advice needed

If you have to tap on the end of threaded studs, put the nut back on.

A machine shop can do what you want. A helicoil is usually for internal threads. Sometimes it's only the very end of the threads. If so, a triangular file maybe able to fix them. There is a file made just for threads, but would probably need to come from a machine supply.
Also you may find a used thru hull like yours on Ebay or some place reselling marine items.
It could be cheaper to buy a new thru hull and just use the plug. Maching shop time is probably $200/hour or more.
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Old 06-06-2016, 20:14   #8
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Re: Tapered plug seacock advice needed

I had not considered buying a new seacock and just using the plug. That's a really good idea.

Is there any definitive way to know if mine are Spartan or WC? No markings I can see, but they look just like the ones on the Compass Marine site.
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Old 07-06-2016, 07:21   #9
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Re: Tapered plug seacock advice needed

My seacock was also a pain to get out. Had to get a flush cut saw to file away the old bedding compound (4200 or 5200) then some loving taps with a hammer and a torch to break the first quarter turn. After it came off without too much more elbow grease.

As for the Spartan versus WC, Spartan has the name on the handle. Check your other seacocks to tell.

Spartan has redesigned their seacock slightly from my 35 year old original. Not sure if the plug shape or size changed as I didn't try. I am not sure how you could test whether it works before splashing. Finding out after would be expensive (another hull and you are in the same position).

I suppose a good machine shop should be able to do the treads and welding. Just make sure they can duplicate the jam nut. This is assuming it is even possible to weld old bronze. If you really don't want to take off the old body, I'd give this option a look before trying a new plug. At least the chat with the shop is free.

While you are down there, you are also greasing and lapping, right? Spartan sells the necessary materials.


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Old 07-06-2016, 09:05   #10
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Re: Tapered plug seacock advice needed

Sadly, no handle aboard. I have ordered one from Spartan (which I hope is the correct brand and mine look identical to them) but no marking I can see on the body or plug of the throughull.

I think I am going to have to give the machine shop a try. Time is a-tickin' to get her in, and ordering something that I am not sure will fit (at a very steep price) seems like an issue. Crossing my fingers that I can find someone to deal with bronze.
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:32   #11
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Re: Tapered plug seacock advice needed

You don't weld bronze, you braze it, but a welding shop knows that. Sounds like the old stripped bolt will have to be cut off, drilled out, and a new bronze bolt either threaded or brazed into the hole. Not cheap, will take time, and probably will include ordering the appropriate bronze bolt. Getting a new plug on the way should still be an option. Unpack it carefully, so you can return it if necessary. Worst case scenario comes when you find that the plug was machined out of one piece and there is no bolt to remove and replace.
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Old 07-06-2016, 12:24   #12
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Re: Tapered plug seacock advice needed

I had some issues with some old WC tapered plug seacocks, I was able to find both new-old-stock and some used ones. I think if you hunt around online you may be able to come up with a tapered plug to fit your housing or the whole thing and just use the plug.
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