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?