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Old 13-05-2020, 12:16   #31
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Re: Help - first time fixing a stuffing box

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
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.
But if I understand correctly, you can really only do this properly in water - because you have tighten just enough to stop the dripping, no more, otherwise you can damage the shaft. So it's sort of a catch 22 here, you take a risk either way.
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Old 13-05-2020, 12:35   #32
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Re: Help - first time fixing a stuffing box

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Originally Posted by Rohan View Post
But if I understand correctly, you can really only do this properly in water - because you have tighten just enough to stop the dripping, no more, otherwise you can damage the shaft. So it's sort of a catch 22 here, you take a risk either way.
There are two separate issues here. Youíre right, final adjustment takes place in the water. Removing and replacing the packing can be done in the water as well. But if you canít loosen the stuffing box nut and gland youíll have to haul the boat to remove and replace the stuffing box.
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Old 13-05-2020, 12:37   #33
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Re: Help - first time fixing a stuffing box

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Originally Posted by Rohan View Post
But if I understand correctly, you can really only do this properly in water - because you have tighten just enough to stop the dripping, no more, otherwise you can damage the shaft. So it's sort of a catch 22 here, you take a risk either way.
Yeah, just snug it up on land. Dont need the jam nut yet. Tighten as required right after you launch at the waiting dock..
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Old 13-05-2020, 18:50   #34
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Smile Re: Help - first time fixing a stuffing box

OK, I know you are all waiting with baited breath for the conclusion of this epic saga.

Tonight I took one more crack at it. Following some suggestions, I used a wire brush and brushed the threads and the nut until they were gleaming. Then I rinsed all the brushed off crap off with water, re-applied PB Blaster, then used a heat gun to warm it up.

Finally the f**king lock nut moved! Yay!!! And once it moved a slight bit, it turned easily by hand. The weird thing is that now the packing nut will also freely move by hand either way, when before it was totally stuck too.

So I tightened the packing nut just enough for the dripping to stop. Then I tightened the lock nut against it (when I get a bit more confident I'll repack it). Then I ran the engine a little bit to see what happens in forward and reverse. Everything seemed OK, although afterwards now it is dripping again, like once every 12 seconds. A definite improvement though. I'll check it again after it has calmed down awhile.

I know this doesn't sound like a big deal to most of you, but it's a huge deal to me. I have never messed with a prop shaft or anything even similar before in my life.

Now one more question for the group - I only gave it like a half a turn I think. But how do I know if I have tightened the nut too much? What are the warning signs?
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Old 13-05-2020, 18:55   #35
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Re: Help - first time fixing a stuffing box

Youíve overtightened the nut if while running the packing gland gets too warm to touch.
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Old 13-05-2020, 18:59   #36
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Re: Help - first time fixing a stuffing box

Half turn might be all it needs, congratulations.
Quote:
But how do I know if I have tightened the nut too much? What are the warning signs?
If it's bone dry after running and the nut is too hot to wrap your hand around it with comfort.
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Old 13-05-2020, 21:26   #37
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Re: Help - first time fixing a stuffing box

Congratulations! Donít worry there are plenty of us here who know exactly how big of a deal it is to you. We are (almost) all still learning... and making mistakes sometimes... too. You may never know how many folks you helped by asking the question too.
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Old 15-05-2020, 08:21   #38
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Re: Help - first time fixing a stuffing box

If you need to re-pack in the water I would recommend wrapping a section of bicycle inner tube around the shaft. This a quick easy way to stop the water flow so you can relax while changing the packing material...
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Old 16-05-2020, 03:40   #39
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Re: Help - first time fixing a stuffing box

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rohan View Post
OK, I know you are all waiting with baited breath for the conclusion of this epic saga.

Tonight I took one more crack at it. Following some suggestions, I used a wire brush and brushed the threads and the nut until they were gleaming. Then I rinsed all the brushed off crap off with water, re-applied PB Blaster, then used a heat gun to warm it up.

Finally the f**king lock nut moved! Yay!!! And once it moved a slight bit, it turned easily by hand. The weird thing is that now the packing nut will also freely move by hand either way, when before it was totally stuck too.

So I tightened the packing nut just enough for the dripping to stop. Then I tightened the lock nut against it (when I get a bit more confident I'll repack it). Then I ran the engine a little bit to see what happens in forward and reverse. Everything seemed OK, although afterwards now it is dripping again, like once every 12 seconds. A definite improvement though. I'll check it again after it has calmed down awhile.

I know this doesn't sound like a big deal to most of you, but it's a huge deal to me. I have never messed with a prop shaft or anything even similar before in my life.

Now one more question for the group - I only gave it like a half a turn I think. But how do I know if I have tightened the nut too much? What are the warning signs?
Well done and thanks for the update

Every job on boat is a first at one time or another so we know how you feel
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Old 16-05-2020, 03:53   #40
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Re: Help - first time fixing a stuffing box

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Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
Congratulations! Donít worry there are plenty of us here who know exactly how big of a deal it is to you. We are (almost) all still learning... and making mistakes sometimes... too. You may never know how many folks you helped by asking the question too.
I was thinking same thing - I remember what a big deal it was for me first time I did it in water. Long before the internet. Leap of faith driven by being broke. Last year I took my Willard 36 from San Francisco to Ensenada. I could not get the drip to where it should be. Packing was synthetic and had sat for years. Needs repacking

On a previous boat, I had to dress the shaft a bit for some very mild scoring. To give some idea of how little water comes in, I removed the nut and packing and put the running engine in gear with wet/dry emery paper against the turning shaft. Even at that the bilge pump easily keeps up.
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Old 16-05-2020, 10:30   #41
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Re: Help - first time fixing a stuffing box

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rohan View Post
OK, I know you are all waiting with baited breath for the conclusion of this epic saga.

Tonight I took one more crack at it. Following some suggestions, I used a wire brush and brushed the threads and the nut until they were gleaming. Then I rinsed all the brushed off crap off with water, re-applied PB Blaster, then used a heat gun to warm it up.

Finally the f**king lock nut moved! Yay!!! And once it moved a slight bit, it turned easily by hand. The weird thing is that now the packing nut will also freely move by hand either way, when before it was totally stuck too.

So I tightened the packing nut just enough for the dripping to stop. Then I tightened the lock nut against it (when I get a bit more confident I'll repack it). Then I ran the engine a little bit to see what happens in forward and reverse. Everything seemed OK, although afterwards now it is dripping again, like once every 12 seconds. A definite improvement though. I'll check it again after it has calmed down awhile.

I know this doesn't sound like a big deal to most of you, but it's a huge deal to me. I have never messed with a prop shaft or anything even similar before in my life.

Now one more question for the group - I only gave it like a half a turn I think. But how do I know if I have tightened the nut too much? What are the warning signs?
It should only drip when the prop is turning. The water drip lubricates and cools the packing. The warning sign of it being too tight is that the packing gland gets hot.

This also depends on the type of packing. What I wrote above applies to waxed flax packing. Teflon packing can run completely dry and be fine.

So, try another half turn. You re on the right track. But if it is totally dry and you don't know the type of packing back off the nut until it does drip when running.

In the longer term consider getting a dripless packing setup like the PSS. That requires a haulout and the shaft partially or completely removed so the job requires some planning if you are going to DIY it.
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Old 16-05-2020, 10:57   #42
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Re: Help - first time fixing a stuffing box

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Originally Posted by Bill Seal View Post
Our boat came with a giant Ford wrench (auto wrench)
You can also get special stuffing box wrenches for about 50 bucks each -takes two sizes>>>>>>>>>>>

I use an adjustable for the box and bought a 1 3/4" combo box and open end wrench and had the store cut it in half. I use the open end on the lock nut, which is the one that usually needs the most "work."


Lots less expensive than "marine" store price, at a local tool shop.



Photo: old wrench that kept slipping off the lock nut, two pieces of the new one:
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Old 18-05-2020, 07:33   #43
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Re: Help - first time fixing a stuffing box

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Originally Posted by Bill Seal View Post
Those spanners are great! I had a pair custom made by a metal fabricator for my rudder packing gland (4 inch nut).

One tip is to use a breaker bar for more leverage if needed. Just a simple steel pipe that can fit over the handle.
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Old 18-05-2020, 07:59   #44
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Re: Help - first time fixing a stuffing box

Here's the secret you need. Get a coal chisel and a hammer. Put the tip of the chisel on the flat part of the the locking nut.(where you usually put the wrench) More over towards the direction you want to go. Tap, Tap, Tap. Now move to the next flat edge. Tap, tap tap. Etc. Keep going, maybe a wrench will now turn it. It not, Tap tap tap some more.
The stuffing nut will probably now turn in the direction of the locking nut that you just loosened. Use a pipe wench. Give it a 1/4 turn. See if that does it for you.
Tighten the locking nut back up with a wrench, or tap tap tap.

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Old 18-05-2020, 10:19   #45
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Re: Help - first time fixing a stuffing box

You really need to remove or back off that nut in order to pack new stuffing box rope, it has obviously all worn out.... and use two wrenches opposing each other... to break the seal that has been created on this nut, take two smallish hammers and GENTLY tap on either side of this nut.... hold one hammer stationary against the side of this nut and the other side gently tap... this would normally free up the seized nut...using two wrenches back off this packing gland nut and you will see how to wind new stuffing in there.
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