prop shaft packing nut dripping to much

Discussion in 'Propulsion' started by Danob, Sep 18, 2016.

  1. Danob
    Joined: Dec 2015
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    Location: Santa Cruz, California

    Danob Junior Member

    I have a Tollycraft 34 with twin Chrysler 318's with Vdrives. the packing nuts on both prop shafts are dripping about 60 drops a minute with the engine off. Very tight quarters under there on the far port and starbord side of the engine, and I can't get the wrenches on the nuts. There is more room in the center but there are a lot of Battery cables in the way. Any suggestions on how to reach and tighten the nuts would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, Dan
     

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  2. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    There is no way around it. You have to back off the locknut and tighten the gland. If the packing is too hard, you may have to replace it too. It is possible to use vicegrips that have a chain to hold the stuffing box if two wrenched don't fit. Sometimes you have to make a wrench to fit the space.
     
  3. FAST FRED
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: Conn in summers , Ortona FL in winter , with big d

    FAST FRED Senior Member

    The usual is to hit the lock nut (in the OFF direction ) with a heavy hammer and the corner of a cold chisel.

    Securing it is done the same way.

    When the boat is next hauled install Duramax packing , adjust it once and it does not need to drip for cooling as the historic packing requires.
     
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  4. Danob
    Joined: Dec 2015
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    Location: Santa Cruz, California

    Danob Junior Member

    Thanks for your input I appreciate it! The packing nuts were packed a little over a year ago when I first bought the boat and haven't been adjusted since. I was down there today and was able to loosen the lock nut and turn the packing nut about a half turn but they both still leak a drop every three seconds. Should I keep tightening the packing nut until the dripping stops or at least slows way down to two drops a minute? I was told to tighten 1/4 turn at a time, I just don't want keep tightening and compress the packing to much and completely ruin it, any suggestions?
    Thanks, Dan
     
  5. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    It should not drip when stopped. Do you know what kind of material the packing is made of? Teflon coated will not drip even when running, but just get moist. Flax rope will drip every 10-20 seconds when running.
     
  6. Danob
    Joined: Dec 2015
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    Location: Santa Cruz, California

    Danob Junior Member

    Thanks Gonzo, not sure what the packing material is? Really difficult to get to! I am able to make slight tightning turns but I seem to be making it worse. I don't want to sink the Boat. I'll keep trying...
     
  7. mydauphin
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    Location: Florida

    mydauphin Senior Member

    If it is dripping too much... and you are afraid of consequences right now, considered doing something on outside of boat for remedial action while it is docked and not moving. You can make a ball of heavy plumbers putty or grease in a plastic garbage bag and press it into area between prop and tube. Then wrap it with the plastic bag and tie it off with string. The water pressure will keep it in place with just a little rope. But don't tell anyone I said this....
     

  8. kapnD
    Joined: Jan 2003
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    Location: hawaii, usa

    kapnD Senior Member

    Sounds like your problem with the gland is more in terms of access?
    I would fit a hatch directly over the packing gland so that it may be properly adjusted and maintained. Having good access is key to doing the job right.
    The quarter turn at a time rule is good advice, as once the packing is overtightened, it may not be able to relax when you back off, and you might have to start over with new packing.
    Adjustment is a fine line, too tight will overheat, too loose will drip. You should be able to put your hand on the stuffing box when at cruise speed without burning yourself!
    Modern packing materials are awesome, apply with gobs of silicone grease, and you will have many years of drip free boating.
    A grease nipple installed just below the first ring of packing can help keep marine growth out of the bushing area, as well as keeping the bushing lubed with waterproof grease.
    An afterthought, make sure the shaft is in good condition beneath the packing, this area can corrode if not exercised regularly, and will not seal.
     
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