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  #1  
Old 04-18-2010
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Replacing packing--too little clearance--any suggestions?

Hi all,
Our stuffing box had been leaking more than I'd like, and I know that the packing hasn't been replaced in a number of years. So since the boat is on the hard, we decided to replace the packing with the gore stuff.

Thing is, now that I have the gland put off the stuffing box, there's basically no clearance to get the old packing out and get the new stuff in. The gland nut runs into the coupling. The packing is supposed to be 1/4", and the available space is less than that between the nut and the stuffing box. Any suggestions on how to deal with this?

Is it even possible to do?

See the grainy cell phone pic:


Thanks for your help!
-J
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Old 04-18-2010
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Sometimes you can loosen the clamps on the rubber hose and slide the hose back down the fiberglass shaft log just enough.

That is a flat out bad design... By the looks of the gear box it looks to be a factory Sabre / Westy set up.. When and if you ever pull the shaft remove as much excess hose as you can without the bronze hitting the fiberglass stern tube.
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Old 04-18-2010
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I presume you are on the hard? If this be the case I would hope your shaft and coupling are not frozen together, that being the case you'd take the prop shaft and slide it out so you can remove the prop shaft coupling and then do the replacement. The install is easy from there. OR you can jimmey your engine forward 1/2" or so.....seems like work to me!

EDIT: MS has a great idea!, I know my new stuffing box tube was a TIGHT fit so I didnt even think of that option.

My $.02 from a not so experienced yet smart guy!
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Last edited by degreeoff; 04-18-2010 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 04-18-2010
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mine is like yours, i had to slide the motor forward to get clearance. you being on the hard should be able to pull the shaft. but getting it back in would be the hard part. i would suggest pulling the motor forward.

to make life easier later you might want to think about shorting the hose a 1/2 inch if its long enough now. this also has the advantage of putting the packing on a "new" part of the shaft too, and makes this a non issue later.

or go pyi dripless, if you have the room
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Sometimes you can loosen the clamps on the rubber hose and slide the hose back down the fiberglass shaft log just enough.

That is a flat out bad design... By the looks of the gear box it looks to be a factory Sabre / Westy set up.. When and if you ever pull the shaft remove as much excess hose as you can without the bronze hitting the fiberglass stern tube.
Thanks Maine Sail, I'll try sliding the hose aft. I agree it's a bad design, or if it's different than original, that someone didn't think about how they were installing it (I don't know if all Westerbeke Sabre 34s are like this).

Some of you mentioned removing the shaft, but we're looking at snowballing work here. I'm sure the coupling hasn't been removed from the shaft in many many years. I'd probably need a new coupling, the shaft machined (or replaced), etc. And then I'd probably want to go with a PSS. But really, that's a project for another year, at least I hope. I'm just trying to be a good owner and replace my packing. Hopefully, I can figure out a way to do it!
-J
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Old 04-18-2010
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I second moving the engine forward a few inches, it is easier than for might think.
Shorten the rubber tube is possible to make life easier in future.
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Old 04-18-2010
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would it be possible to loosen the hose clamps & cut off some of the hose while rotating it? that is if you have room so the gland wont hit the stern tube. if that will not work i would pull the bolts on the coupling to see if i could move the shaft to the side & slide it forward some.
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looking at the picture again i don't think the shaft could be moved to the side enough.
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you should be able to shorten the hose with out taking out the shaft.

first make sure you have a gap between the stuffing box and shaft log. then pull the hose clamps. using a sharp knife cut off 1/2 inch of the hose. split the cut piece to get it off the stuffing box. then side the stuffing box down further into the hose and replace hose clamps. now you have a 1/2 inch gap, which might let you change the packing
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captbillc View Post
looking at the picture again i don't think the shaft could be moved to the side enough.
I think you're right.
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