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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 02-28-2011
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Shaft seal leak

Hi All, I have a Volvo Shaft seal that has a steady drip of water. The shaft was replaced last November but I don't know if grease was put in at that time. The seal looks like its in good shape. I tried to put some grease in it but Its hard to make sure any is going in.

Anyone have any experience with this?

Thanks Rick
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Old 02-28-2011
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Are you talking about the...

the shaft seal in a traditional stuffing box or is this a saildrive? If a stuffing box, tighten it a bit. As far as grease, I am not aware of any stuffing box packing that should have grease as part of the packing.

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Old 02-28-2011
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dr.b is right,if it was replaced recently,say in the last 5 yrs it probably just needs tighting a little{LITTLE], a few drops especially when its turning is much better than no drip at all the water is what keeps it cool and lubericated,just back off the jam nut and tighten the packing nut then retighten the jam nut,its a good idea to watch it occasionally for a couple of days,i use a plumbing wrench and a small pipe wrench to loosen and retighten the jam nut----if its a dripless gland you have bigger problems

Last edited by sawingknots; 02-28-2011 at 10:55 AM. Reason: more info
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Old 02-28-2011
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Please be careful to hold the stuffing box secure and not let it turn. You do not want to break the fiberglass shaft log.

Rik
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Old 02-28-2011
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Seal on Saildrive

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrB View Post
the shaft seal in a traditional stuffing box or is this a saildrive? If a stuffing box, tighten it a bit. As far as grease, I am not aware of any stuffing box packing that should have grease as part of the packing.

DrB
If the seal is on a saildrive and no grease was applied to the lip of the seal when it was replaced, the friction will likely tear the seal and you will have to replace it again.
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Old 02-28-2011
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If you have a Volvo shaft seal there are no adjustments. The only maintenance is relubing the lips of the rubber bellows around the prop shaft. I assume when they replaced the shaft they reused the Volvo shaft seal. If your unit has a hose attached to a nipple check it for a leak. Look but don;t touch!!! Earlier models were metal and need to be replaced every few years. WARNING do not mess with it unless you can be sure to be hauled on a moments notice. The typical failure mode is the nipple breaking off flush with the shaft seal. Once that happens there is no way to stop the water ingress and unless you're hauled ASAP you will sink.
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Thanks for the info MJ, the boat is a 2006 so I think the nipple is pretty good. It looks like its leaking from the front of the seal, maybe I should try to get more grease in there.

To others thanks but this unit has no nuts or locking nuts. Its a very simple system just using a rubber sleeve. There is a nipple on it attached to a thru-hull to keep it lubricated.

Rick
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Old 02-28-2011
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If you have a shaft seal in lieu of a stuffing box, you should not be using any grease. The shaft seal uses a carbon flange and stainless steel rotor as a seal. See the following link. If there is a leak, it might be possible to reseat the rotor, if not you will have to replace the carbon flange.
PSS Shaft Seal
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Old 02-28-2011
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If you have a shaft seal in lieu of a stuffing box, you should not be using any grease. The shaft seal uses a carbon flange and stainless steel rotor as a seal. See the following link. If there is a leak, it might be possible to reseat the rotor, if not you will have to replace the carbon flange.
PSS Shaft Seal
The Volvo dripless seal is very different from the PSS and it DOES require grease. Be sure to use the Volvo grease. I have found the easiest way to grease it is to pinch it and create a gap at the front edge then use a West Systems epoxy syringe filled with the Volvo grease and just squirt a little in there being careful not to harm the inner lip seal. You don't need a lot of grease but should do it every 100-200 hours of use or when necessary. If run dry without grease you may have toasted the inner lip seal.
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 02-28-2011 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 03-01-2011
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Thanks Maine Sail, I tried to get some more grease (volvo) with a syringe and got it down to about 1 drip every 10 seconds. I don't know the grease history, I just had the boat delivered from BVI in Dec. I know they replaced the shaft before the trip because it was bent. I "assumed" they would grease the sleeve. About 90 hours since then. I ran it Saturday and went sailing thats when it strarted to leak. Maybe I need to run it again to heat it up and form a seal with the new grease.

Also MJ Thanks for the warning, I read more about that nipple and it sounds like I should replace it on the next haul out.

Rick
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