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Old 11-10-2021, 13:20   #1
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drive shaft stuffing box

My question to the fleet is how to release bronze stuffing box nuts that are seemingly welded? I have tried Deep Creep, and 2 pipe wrenches will not budge the keeper nut.
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Old 11-10-2021, 15:49   #2
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Re: drive shaft stuffing box

It's unlikely that bronze keeper nut will have galled to the stuffing nut - could happen, but unlikely. So they shouldn't be welded together.


I have had significant corrosion on the threads the keeper nut backs off onto, and soaking them in Liquid Wrench helped (basically kerosene and graphite, I was told). Use a wire brush to clear off as much corrosion from the bronze threads as possible. Flush with water to clear debris.



Key for me was using kinetic energy to free the keeper nut - e.g., striking a wrench on the nut with a 3lb. sledge hammer while holding the stuffing nut and box threads stationary.



The arrangement involved capturing the stuffing nut solidly with a wrench resting on a wooden block against the hull, providing a secondary support for the threaded stuffing box portion with wooden wedges against the hull to stop the box from wiggling, and getting the keeper nut wrench on with enough room to drop the sledge sufficiently to get a significant bang on the wrench.



Watch the rubber hose connecting the box to the hull/thru-tube, that's the hose that keeps the water out. You do not want to break or crack that hose.



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Old 11-10-2021, 15:54   #3
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Re: drive shaft stuffing box

Rob, thanks for the tips. My biggest fear was doing this in the water and having a problem that did not exist before. I can see the need for blocking to keep everything stable while hammering at the nut.
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Old 12-10-2021, 04:55   #4
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Re: drive shaft stuffing box

Wow! That sounds like a good way to shear the bolts. How about
1. soak overnight in penetrant
2. tap tighter then looser according to beetle's method but maybe without the three pound hammer. A 1/4 inch impact driver or maybe an air wrench would do.
3. that fails, get out the torch and both burn off the corrosion and get some differential expansion to work for you.
4. If that fails, get out the big torch and soften the nuts.
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Old 12-10-2021, 05:41   #5
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Re: drive shaft stuffing box

Do packing gland nuts ever have left(wrong) hand threads?
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Old 12-10-2021, 08:34   #6
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Re: drive shaft stuffing box

I have the same problem on my Catalina 30, compounded by the horrible limited accessibility to the stuffing box.

Has anyone tried using a Heat Gun on the nut to loosen it??

In my case the locking nut, which is supposed to be nested up against the gland packing nut is backed off and frozen on the threads. So far penetrants have not helped.

thanks

Cheers,
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Old 12-10-2021, 08:40   #7
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Re: drive shaft stuffing box

Quote:
Originally Posted by deblen View Post
Do packing gland nuts ever have left(wrong) hand threads?
I've not seen Left hand threading on packing glands yet.
You first response is very sensible.

I've used a wide flat punch striking the flats of the locking nut on their rise.
Be sure you don't mangle it to much, you can file the flats if you have to.

I use Kroil, PB is good too, acetone and trans fluid is good.
A bit of heat.

Be sure your moving the nut CCW, looking from behind the nut forward to the bow, or engine
CW if from the bow looking aft toward your rudder post, or stern.
This can be confusing to some.
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Old 12-10-2021, 08:44   #8
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Re: drive shaft stuffing box

Quote:
Originally Posted by sinnerman View Post
I have the same problem on my Catalina 30, compounded by the horrible limited accessibility to the stuffing box.

Has anyone tried using a Heat Gun on the nut to loosen it??

In my case the locking nut, which is supposed to be nested up against the gland packing nut is backed off and frozen on the threads. So far penetrants have not helped.

thanks

Cheers,
Sure, if you can just leave it pointing at the nut on high, give it 10 minutes of so, and DO keep you eye on it, so you don't set something on fire.
Maybe slip a piece of Sheet metal under it or behind to dissipate the heat away from the hull.
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Old 12-10-2021, 09:07   #9
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Re: drive shaft stuffing box

tkeithlu, I was wondering about heat, seems to be the least invasive method, but did get confused over the comment made by boatyarddog about the direction the nut should turned to loosen. I am under the impression that righty tighty and lefty loosy applied to these nuts.
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Old 12-10-2021, 09:17   #10
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Re: drive shaft stuffing box

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Mason View Post
My question to the fleet is how to release bronze stuffing box nuts that are seemingly welded? I have tried Deep Creep, and 2 pipe wrenches will not budge the keeper nut.
Clean the threads of all debris. Then soak with penetrating oil overnight. Then use the longest bar/lever you can find that will fit in the work location and connect it to the wrench.

"If you give me a lever and a place to stand, I can move the world." --Archimedes

Changing the packing at every haul-out insures the nuts don't become frozen.

Good Luck.

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Old 12-10-2021, 09:25   #11
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Re: drive shaft stuffing box

Screwdriver and lump hammer a softish tap and the locknut breaks its seal after a dose of silicone spray overnight, works for me plus wire brush the exposed threads. I cannot get the same result with stilsons only to lock up the gland nut, no idea why it does not work after all the pen. oil and wire brushing, maybe just bonded with heat which should only happen because on being over tighten the last time it was adjusted. Mine drips for one or two days before resealing after a trip out somewhere, another tip plastic tray under the gland to collect seawater whilst traveling using the engine/s saves the bilge holding the seawater.
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Old 12-10-2021, 09:27   #12
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Re: drive shaft stuffing box

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Mason View Post
tkeithlu, I was wondering about heat, seems to be the least invasive method, but did get confused over the comment made by boatyarddog about the direction the nut should turned to loosen. I am under the impression that righty tighty and lefty loosy applied to these nuts.
Let me clarify.
Depending on which view you have.
The direction of turning the nut can be confusing.
Righty tighty, lefty loosy it is.
Looking straight on.

Sorry about any confusing info. Greg.
Orientation is everything.
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Old 12-10-2021, 09:32   #13
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Re: drive shaft stuffing box

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Mason View Post
tkeithlu, but did get confused over the comment made by boatyarddog about the direction the nut should turned to loosen. I am under the impression that righty tighty and lefty loosy applied to these nuts.
Depends on whether the jam nut is on the engine or prop end of the assembly.
Also, pipe wrenches will squeeze the nut and deform it.
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Old 12-10-2021, 09:33   #14
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Re: drive shaft stuffing box

Mine is anti clockwise for the locknut to loosen & anti-clockwise to tighten packing nut clockwise to add more compacting of hemp viewed from the rubber hose end/exit of shaft through the hull.
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Old 12-10-2021, 11:21   #15
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Re: drive shaft stuffing box

Ask your mechanic if he has an induction heater you can borrow. Clean, spray with PB Blaster,Kroll, acetone & atf. Or your choice. Get it hot and put a wax candle tothejoint. Tapping the flats of the locking nut with an impact gun and old chisel works too. Make sure you are turning the nut the right way.
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