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Old 12-05-2020, 04:42   #16
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Re: Help - first time fixing a stuffing box

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Originally Posted by Calif.Ted View Post
Teeth on the jaws of a pipe wrench are directional, could slip if you got it backwards, look closely, like a hacksaw blade they only work in one direction.
Thanks, that advice actually made the pipe wrench usable. But unfortunately still no luck loosening this thing. The only thing that has changed is now the drips are a little faster! Tried PB blaster, let sit all night, tried again. It will not move at all and the nuts are starting to show real damage. If I use any more force I'm worried about breaking the shaft or something. I'm going to have to call in a pro. Which sucks, because they are all booked solid right now, and I really want to learn how to do this myself.
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Old 12-05-2020, 05:53   #17
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Help - first time fixing a stuffing box

Here, this video shows the loosening of the locknut and the tightening of of the packing.
I didnít watch the whole video so Iíve got no idea what else is in there.

https://youtu.be/YxWlKgiCvOA
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Old 12-05-2020, 08:34   #18
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Re: Help - first time fixing a stuffing box

You need to remember that when tightening up the nuts this needs to be done evenly. So one turn on the left nut then on e turn on the right.
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Old 12-05-2020, 09:06   #19
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Re: Help - first time fixing a stuffing box

It appears you already have the lock but loosened. Clean up the threads.
This is what's worked for me.
With the pipe wrench on the port side ( opening of jaws to starboard) adjust the jaws until they correctly grip the body, right next to the rubber tubing. Use the adjustable wrench to tighten the packing cap but, slightly, until it stops dripping ( probably less than 1/6 turn) .
Hold the packing cap nut and use the pipe wrench to snug the thin lock but against it.
Now, tie the boat securely to the dock, fire it up and put in gear, running about half normal cruising rpm. Drip rate should be about 3-4 per minute. If not, rinse & repeat.
Once done, run in gear for about 15 mins and periodically check temperature. Should be able to hold your hand on it. Not just touch, hold.
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Old 12-05-2020, 10:10   #20
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Re: Help - first time fixing a stuffing box

I am surprised that none of the replies say to pack a rag into the shaft log from the outside if doing this in the water. If there is room to do this it will slow the water flow to a trickle and give you the time to do the job without stress.

Just be sure to remove the rag when the job is done.

Do you know what kind of packing is in there? If it is Teflon maybe just an adjustment is needed. If it is the old flax & wax packing it would be a good idea to replace it with Teflon. Teflon packing runs cooler and can be adjusted to stop water drip completely.
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Old 12-05-2020, 11:25   #21
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Re: Help - first time fixing a stuffing box

I can't add advice to the process as it is already well covered. The only things I can add is that it took me several days of attention to loosen the nuts. I used PB Blaster but be careful and protect the tranny seals from it. Some good sharp clangs from a large wrench will also help. I had success buying 2 large (18") crescent wrenches from Harbor freight, They seem like overkill but they work and are surprisingly cheap. I felt they were worth it and make the process much easier.
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Old 12-05-2020, 14:13   #22
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Re: Help - first time fixing a stuffing box

With the low engine hour's and alot of thread showing, i would say, you don't need to replace the packing, it doesn't rot, and 5 drip's per second is way two much, about 5 drip's per MINUET is about right, when the engine is runningdon't tighten to much,water is needed , or the shaft will be damaged over a period of time [year's], and will heat harden [stainless steel], crystallize and eventually break, this happened to me, with a second hand boat [14 year's old], there i was motoring along, when the shaft broke, upon examining the shaft, one could see the crystallized metal, except right in the center.
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Old 12-05-2020, 15:02   #23
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Re: Help - first time fixing a stuffing box

I had similar difficulty with the stuffing box on the rudder tube on my South Coast 36. The working space was very constrained, I gave up. The marina boys simply applied heat to the nuts, and they came loose. Not sure if that would bugger the stuffing tho.
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Old 12-05-2020, 15:34   #24
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Re: Help - first time fixing a stuffing box

The lock nut and the gland nut turn in opposite directions.
To unlock the locknut I find it easiest to use a hammer and rather gently tap one of the accessible corners of the nut. The off center tapping will break it loose and your wrench does the rest easily.
I prefer a purpose made wrench and founD it helpful to shorten the handle to access between the stringers

A few drips is normal.

Depending on when this last re packed and how many times it has been tightened you may not need to do more than tighten it a little.
If you do have to rebuild it in the water a truck I used was to dive beneath the boat and stuff two Sluggo plastic fishing worms into the outside entrance to the shaft tube. Mine is open. Iím sure other brands would work.
Then do the inside work. For me Zero water came in while replacing the packing. When you crank the engine and put it in gear the baits blow out.
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Old 12-05-2020, 17:59   #25
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Re: Help - first time fixing a stuffing box

Wow! So many great replies (again) plus a good video.


Love this site

Congrats to all.
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Old 12-05-2020, 18:52   #26
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Re: Help - first time fixing a stuffing box

Yes, great thread... and I hope we hear back from Rohan soon with some good news!
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Old 12-05-2020, 21:39   #27
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Re: Help - first time fixing a stuffing box

I custom made two wrenches for my stuffing box out of 1/4 inch aluminum. The nuts are slightly different is size.
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Old 12-05-2020, 22:42   #28
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Re: Help - first time fixing a stuffing box

FYI, Buck Algonquin, among others, sell packing nut wrenches, size specific.
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Old 13-05-2020, 08:20   #29
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Re: Help - first time fixing a stuffing box

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rohan View Post
Thanks, that advice actually made the pipe wrench usable. But unfortunately still no luck loosening this thing. The only thing that has changed is now the drips are a little faster! Tried PB blaster, let sit all night, tried again. It will not move at all and the nuts are starting to show real damage. If I use any more force I'm worried about breaking the shaft or something. I'm going to have to call in a pro. Which sucks, because they are all booked solid right now, and I really want to learn how to do this myself.
Yes, I most cases you can do this easily.
Look at the pictures of that gland, I'd advise you to have some kind of back up plan in case the gland cracks, due to age, or you find your not able to complete the repack for some reason.
Packing glands isn't something you'd know how to do immediately, especially the first time in Vitro.
Consult with some one more knowledgeable, to see if the gland is in good enough condition.
I don't want you to have to scramble to get an emergency haul.
The condition of it is questionable and your honest about your experience.
Packing rings rot away with time, once you move it around it may start leaking more.
Get a back up plan!
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Old 13-05-2020, 08:36   #30
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Re: Help - first time fixing a stuffing box

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Originally Posted by Rohan View Post
OK, this is my first time ever doing this, so please be gentle. I'm asking in this forum before I call in a professional.

When I bought my first boat last year, one item identified on the survey was not crucial, but that there was a slow drip from my stuffing box while the engine was off. Now the drip is a little faster, about one drop every 2 seconds.

So I tried to fix it. Here are a couple pictures, the stuffing box and the tools I'm using. I went to a lot of sites and looked at videos - most people recommended a pipe wrench but honestly i think its useless because a pipe wrench has a little give to it, and easily slips off the nut and just tears it up a little.

I tried to tighten it and it won't move. At all. I tried to loosen it by turning the other way, and it won't move at all. I used WD40, used Breakfree, let it sit for awhile, tried again, nothing. If I use any more force I'm worried about breaking the prop shaft tube/hose or whatever you call it.

And here is the crux of my question - is tightening going to do any good? Because it sure looks to me like the lock nut is already flush against the packing nut, so there is no way to tighten it as it is. Should I loosen the lock nut a little first, then tighten the packing nut? That makes more sense to me, but all the places I checked never mentioned that.

And it's also possible the packing is old - the boat is from 2006, has low engine hours, but I have no idea when was the last time any maintenance was done here.

Next question - maybe I don't need to fix it, and the cure will be worse than the disease? The bilge pump can easily handle the drip, but the problem is, it goes down into the bilge in a roundabout way and frankly, I'm tired of there always being a little water sloshing under my floorboards.
Good thought. If I were you I might wait until I haul out next time. Take it apart and do it right. One reason why is shafts often corrode inside the box if the boat sits a lot or sat for a long time. It happens due to the SS shaft and the low oxygen environment in there with lack of use. This corrosion will eat any stuffing you put in there. In the yard you can look at this and make sure that isn't the problem. With water gushing in you can't do that.
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