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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 03-22-2008
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PSS Shaft Seal Question

I've had this product on several boats and never had a problem. Now, I'm experiencing something funky and can't find any info on it. The aft edge of the stainless ring is now a little rough, and after some run time there appear to be "shards" (not sure how else to describe them) sticking out all around the ring. They're not stainless, not sharp and essentially disintegrate when you wipe them off. All I can think of is that the carbon stator is starting to wear (which it's not supposed to do) and the shards and roughness are actually carbon on top of the stainless ring. We're not getting water in. Yet. I'm really focusing on this now because I just read Tania Aebi's account in CW of her problem with her shaft seal, and it sounds an awful lot like my situation (though I'm not getting water in the boat, yet).

Anyone have experience with this kind of thing? I've never heard of these seals wearing, and my understanding is that they shouldn't.
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Old 03-22-2008
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Did you contact the manufacturer? They've probably heard of the problem and can tell you what is going on.
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Old 03-22-2008
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Not yet. Just doing my own homework first. Next week I plan to call, but absent some ammo first I'm concerned about getting the "we have no problems with our product" answer.
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Old 03-22-2008
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Those shards are salt crystals. It's leaking a tiny bit and the heat from the engine room is drying it out and leaving salt behind. I've got the same thing going on. I'm going to pull the collar off, turn it around and get another 20 years out of the other side. Someone pointed out in another thread that the set screws aren't supposed to be re-used. I'll probably re-use them anyway and put a little locktite on them.

Now I'm a "good enough" person. I'm sure there will be several posts forthcoming on why you shouldn't do what I just said. That's fine. That's what I'm going to do and you'll have to make up your own mind.
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Old 03-22-2008
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I don't have much experience with them except that I just bought a boat with one and while it was on the hard I wanted to replace the bellows. I talked to PYI? and they suggested that I replace the carbon block also since it was pretty old. I compared the old one to the new and the wear face on the old was considerably wider (worn) than on the new one. So I would say that they do wear, just don't know how many hours they are good for. I think the one I replaced had been on the boat since new in 88, with 4400 hrs on the engine but I am not sure. They told me I could dress the face of the SS ring with 1200 grit wet sandpaper, which I did. I also compared the new and old bellows, the old one was permanently compressed by about 5/8" so it was not putting as much force on the seal as it was supposed to. They recommend replacing bellows every 7-9 years if I remember correctly. Give them a call, they were very helpful, can probably tell you what's going on.

John
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Old 03-22-2008
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Is..

Is your PSS the vented or cooled model with the hose barb fitting?





P.S. Erps not re-using the set screws has nothing to do with the LocTite...
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Old 03-22-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halekai36 View Post
Is your PSS the vented or cooled model with the hose barb fitting?
Yes, but we don't have it plumbed. It's capped. We don't get close to 12 knots, and the manufacturer advised that it's perfectly fine to plug it for sailboats such as ours.
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Quote:
P.S. Erps not re-using the set screws has nothing to do with the LocTite...

What's the issue then? I figured they were concerned about the set screws backing out, the collar slipping and the boat sinking.
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Dan,

You do know about "Burping" the PSS when the barb is capped off?

Paul
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Old 03-23-2008
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Ray- they told me that you only need to replace the set screws if the end that contacts the shaft is worn smooth so they won't get a good bite. The carbon block that I got from them was only machined on one side, it didn't look like you could reverse it and use the other side.

John
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