SailNet Community

SailNet Community (
-   Gear & Maintenance (
-   -   Leak in Drive Shaft for Inboard (

Trescool 09-02-2007 12:03 PM

Leak in Drive Shaft for Inboard
Here is a photo of the drive coming into my Catalina 270 (1994). It leaks but I also noticed a lot of corrosion. I've pointed to the leak in the photo.

- Does it just need repacking of bearings?
- Does it need replacing of something? (What??)


Tartan34C 09-02-2007 12:15 PM

Judging by the amount of threads remaining you need to repack the stuffingbox. But more then that you need to disassemble everything and clean it using a mix of white vinegar and salt using a stiff bronze wire brush. The corrosion is caused by the leaking saltwater getting over everything in the area. There is no bearing inside the stuffingbox.
All the best,
Robert Gainer

billangiep 09-02-2007 12:30 PM

I agree with is a link to a good break down of the stuffing box and how to repack..

Trescool 09-02-2007 12:37 PM

- Do I need to haul the boat out of the water to do this?

- Will repacking fix my leak?

- What is the big rusty thing to the right in my photo and can that be removed to clean it up?

Tartan34C 09-02-2007 12:46 PM

The big rusty thing is the shaft coupling which joins with the transmission output coupling. It can be removed but you will need a gear puller and the engine needs to be moved forward to gain enough space to work on it. Sometimes you can separate the two flanges and put a nut between the shaft and the transmission. Then retighten the bolts and push the shaft out that way. I would rather move the engine and work like a gentleman.

To rebuild the stuffingbox you will need to haul the boat. You could repack it while still in the water but you really need to clean everything up so wait until you are out for winter storage.

Nice web site billangiep. I need to bookmark that one.
All the best,
Robert Gainer

Trescool 09-02-2007 12:58 PM

The boat will be hauled out in late October or November. Am I safe using the engine until then without creating more problems for myself?

I can then make my winter project be cleaning it up!

- Jim

Tartan34C 09-02-2007 01:05 PM

Itís unlikely to start dripping much faster in the short term. Waiting will only increase the amount of rust and corrosion so if the amount of water coming into the bilge is OK with you then run it until you haul the boat.
Good luck with the work and all the best,
Robert Gainer

SEMIJim 09-03-2007 12:44 AM

Yeah, normally you have to haul the boat to re-pack the stuffing box. Lots of water comes in, otherwise ;). There is a procedure I read about somewhere--can't find it now--that involved packing the shaft from the water side with a "rope" of silly putty in a large baggie, that allows you to do it in the water.

Whenever you do this, you might want to consider GFO Stuffing Box Packing. Somebody brought it up on the P30 mailing list. Says the stuff is terrific. Said that, just like the advertised claims: He installed it, adjusted once after a bit of run-time, and hasn't had to touch it in three years.


trantor12020 09-03-2007 01:03 AM


Originally Posted by Tartan34C (Post 187459)
....But more then that you need to disassemble everything and clean it using a mix of white vinegar and salt using a stiff bronze wire brush. .... .
All the best,
Robert Gainer

Tartan34C, the salt you refers to, I suppose its table salt those we use for cooking ...right? Does one mix the vinegar & salt and clean the greenish stuff off the stuff-box assembly with this solution?

Rockter 09-03-2007 05:46 AM

Start the motor, put it in gear, and hold a wire brush to that moving shaft. NO lanyard on the brush!!!!!

Trescool..... they always are supposed to leak... they are designed to leak to cool the shaft seal. It's fine if there is a wee drip, as long as it's not peeing out.

The leak may not be that bad. All of that will clean up quite nicely, given some attention.

I would wait until you haul it. That shaft looks a bit tired, and heat will get that flange off. If the shaft is shot, just cut it off with a grinder and save the coupling... the big rusty bit on the right. You will not have to move the motor then if you cut the shaft. You will need a new shaft of course.

Orthodox stuffing box packing is fine. You will have to get the old stuff out. There is a curved, pointed, screwdriver-like tool available to help you if the shaft is still there, and it's a gift to remove if the shaft is not there.. Remember when you replace it, use horseshoe sections of the stuffing, and not a spiral.

Properly done, you will get 15 years out of a packing, and easily.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:39 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
(c) LLC 2000-2012

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome