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Old 04-13-2009
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Stuffing Box Trouble

Ok sorry to start another stuffing box thread but wanted to explain what just happened to me because something isn't right...

Changed the flax packing 4 days ago with the same exact size as what came out - three rings of 3/16 flax packing. Ring insertion went fine and I also had someone who had done it before there to help and guide me. So today the boat went into the water and while at the dock I took my wrenches in and unlocked the locking nut. I had made sure to leave it semi loose as not to over tighten and with the locking nut off I had about a drip every 5 seconds while in neutral and a drip about every 2-3 seconds with the shaft spinning at low speeds(while the locking nut was off/loose). Ok I thought that is good to start and I can always adjust it for less drips later on when it all settles in - well I used 2 wrenches to tighten the locking nut while making sure to leave the packing nut in same position - well no drips - not 1 while the shaft was even spinning at 2100 rpms...After 5 minutes I got nervous, put it in neutral, loosened the locking nut and walla plenty of drips. I then even backed the packing nut even further off just to make sure for my trip to my mooring I plenty of cooling water. At that point I had a steady stream coming in until I tightened it again with the locking nut - again no drips.

So Sorry for the long post but just wanted to make clear what I did. To me it seems that the locking nut seems to be blocking any drippage. Also where should it be dripping from - between the locking and packing nuts or elsewhere? At this point I get no drips when the packing nut is backed off just about all the way while the locking nut is fully tightened. Locking nut slightly loose and plenty of drippage. Also for the trip over (about 30 minutes) I kept checking - no drips but at the same time the stuffing box and shaft never got hot. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
Morgan 323
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