Replacing packing in the water. Can it be done????

Discussion in 'Downeast Engine Room' started by HUNTHARD, Jun 17, 2018.

  1. HUNTHARD

    HUNTHARD Captain

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    Had a constant drip, tighten packing stopped drip, ran boat 100miles drip came back.water flow tube is not clogged. Tightened again at dock. Ran boat 10 minutes after tightening content drip came back again. Tightened at dock again drip stopped. There is at least 2.5 inches of adjustment left but I expect the result to be the same. My question is can we replace the packing or add to the packing in the water? Should we Keep tightening? Boat is a 2003 and I don’t think the packing nut has even been moved. If it can be done in the Water should a professional handle it or can we do it? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. xbskt

    xbskt Captain

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    You can keep tightening and wonder about the 15 year old packing in there. Just keep a feel for heat at the nuts.
    I'd say Go for it. Your bilge pumps will keep up. Just be set up with whatever packing you decide to use along with picks and all the tools you'll need to make it as quick as you can. I bet you are surprised how little water comes through tube. I bet your packing material is suffering from having the shaft spinning so much after so many years of probably much less. Original 2003 packing is probably time anyway.
     
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  3. Tunatown

    Tunatown Senior Member

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    Yes definitely can be done in the water order what brand packing you like cut it to size I would do a few for the hell of it some people do add on top of old don’t be afraid to grease your new packing have some tool or a push stick to push it up inside you can get the water to slow down pretty good just by pushing in the new packing then slide packing nut back snug it down and go for run probably will have to snug it up once or twice again to get it where you want it
     
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  4. Genius

    Genius Captain

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    If you have done it before on land, I would suggest you can do it. Have the tools needed, packing removal tool is a must in my book.

    I believe sbmar.com has some articles on it so you can educate yourself. Lots opinions on types to use, I like Gore, others like duramax...etc. I also grease the packing with a water proof teflon grease. I believe this helps with the break in. Break in is very important with ALL types. Really need to do this right.

    You can slow the flow by using plumbers putty or something similar on the outside applied by a diver. I assume you have a glass shaft log and cutlass at the other end.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2018
  5. HUNTHARD

    HUNTHARD Captain

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    Never done it before and not sure we have the specific tools needed. my mate and myself are petty handy. I will have to do some research online tomorrow at work.
     
  6. HUNTHARD

    HUNTHARD Captain

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    What packing should we use? Anyone have any Horrific stories of doing it in the water? I agree the packing is original. we had to beat on the nut for a while before we were able to get it to move for the first time. now it's easy to keep tightening it.
     
  7. Tunatown

    Tunatown Senior Member

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    I’ve always used duramax and works great but there are other brands I’m sure are just as good and like genius said hook tool works great to grab the old packing you can get a set of them from harbor freight that have all different angles
     
  8. Genius

    Genius Captain

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    Hunthard, you're going to have to unscrew the packing nut and measure the ID of the housing and OD of the shaft so you know what size packing to buy. Also, I've used both the picks and the screw type packing removal tool. Both are handy but with old packing the screw type is good for really wrenching on it. It also helps to have plenty of space to move the nut forward and work, some installs are so close to the packing gland it is hard.
     

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  9. HUNTHARD

    HUNTHARD Captain

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    thanks guys we will do alittle more research.
    I know we have a 2.5 inch shaft. I will get a measurement on the distance between the shaft and the inside of the housing.
     
  10. El Mar

    El Mar Captain

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    You could probably just pull one loop and replace to get through the season, then do it fully once on the hard.

    Another tip is make sure the ends are cut square and wrap all the way around the shaft for the best possible sealing.
     
  11. HUNTHARD

    HUNTHARD Captain

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    ok thanks, Elmar. how many rings of packing are usually used? if I only remove one can I only add one? or can I remove one and add two? genius where can we purchase that tool? probably going to try and do one layer to get us through the season.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018
  12. Old Mud

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    Square ??? I always skive them 60 degrees or more and stagger the joints . Hunt, usually there are 3 rings, if you remove 1 just replace 1 or 2 and 2. otherwise you may have trouble getting the nut back on enough to seat them properly. .
     
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  13. El Mar

    El Mar Captain

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    I have seen it done both ways.

    As long as you alternate, I think you are fine

    Just like Piston rings. :D
     
  14. Genius

    Genius Captain

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    In a perfect world 60 degrees would be nice. It usually is pretty ugly when you are installing them and they get a bit smash up. I think a straight clean 90 with a sharp razor blade is your best bet. Just my opinion.
     
  15. GLA

    GLA Senior Member

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    I use a piece of pipe turned down to the exact size of the shaft, in my case 2-1/4" , wrap the packing once around and make a nice square cut. out of the bilge
    I would just add one ring of packing to the existing,
    unscrew the nut, jam the new ring in and retighten the nut.
     
    GLA,
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  16. Diesel Jerry

    Diesel Jerry Captain

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    Don’t forget your dealing with early 1900’s technology. 60 degree or straight cut isn’t going to make a damn bit of difference. Staggering is good, I have staggered them 120 and 180 didn’t notice a it of difference. Take a spare flat tip screwdriver and make it dull and rounded for pushing the packing down. Try to do it evenly. I always press each ring in place with the packing nut individually rather than stuffing them all in then trying to tighten them up. You can pre cut your rings before you start and make a few extra, and put them in a ziplock bag somewhere. They are good to keep for emergency, and reference.
     
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  17. captjohn

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    I'm assuming that you have the packing nut style shaft log. Make about 4 or 5 wraps around the exposed shaft with the packing material. Then, with a nice sharp knife, make one a nice clean continuous slice through all the wraps. This should give you 4 or so loops to pack with. Loosen up the packing nut, and, using a real small flat bladed screwdriver, pry the old packing out of the nut. It may take some wiggling, but you should be able to get them all out, usually 3 or 4 wraps. Put one of your new wraps onto the shaft, slide the packing up into the nut, scratch a little mark onto the nut where the ends of the packing meet and tighten the nut down a few turns to push it up into the nut. Back off the nut, install another piece of packing onto the shaft about 180 degrees from the mark, push it into the nut, and again retighten a few turns. Repeat until you get 3 or 4 pieces of packing into the nut and tighten the nut until no water leaks out. Take the boat for a nice ride and recheck and retighten as needed. For the next few trips, check it regularly. The nut should be finally tightened such that you get a small drip every few minutes (check on this drip rate). It's not a difficult job, yes, water will flow in at a pretty good pace whenever you back off the nut (make sure your bilge pump is working), but it's definitely worth fixing. Good luck!!!
     
  18. Kodiakan

    Kodiakan Senior Member

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    Like Jerry and Capt John said. .... But I would leave at least one of the old in as when you pull that last one out it gets interesting. Another trick if your tied well to a solid dock is after you install it bump it in gear and let it idle away while your watching it. I hate running around wondering whats going on "back there"
     
  19. Henfruit

    Henfruit Senior Member

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    My old box held 7 wraps. Useing a long screw to screw into the packing to pull it out.
     
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  20. Old Mud

    Old Mud Captain

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    Right on Jerry, maybe that's how you get 1900 different ways to do the same thing. :)
     

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