stuffing box blues - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 04-10-2004
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stuffing box blues

I am trying to repack my stuffing box. the lock nut and packing nut seem to be frozen, even breaking one of those cheesy stuffing box wrenches. Any thoughts of either the best tool or how to unfreeze the two nuts? I have already used a ton of WD-40 to no avail other than the outside of the nuts are free of corrosion. I read on an earlier post about "PB Blaster" Is this a good production? Thanks
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Old 04-10-2004
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stuffing box blues

Z:

PB Blaster is an excellent penetrant. In cases like yours (or when extracting a stainless fastener from an aluminum spar, e.g.) spray thoroughly and wait; a day or more is appropriate IME. (Auto stores typically carry PB).

I''d suggest borrowing some monkey/plumber''s wrenches. Set up the wrench for the adjusting nut so that its handle is wedged against the turn of the bilge, the side of the sole opening or something else immobile, if possible. Be sure both wrenches are set up correctly (the locking nut is quite thin and so you''ll need to align the wrench''s jaws carefully so as not to overlap the adjusting nut) and tap on the moveable wrench that''s gripping the locking nut with a hammer. If no initial success, consider spraying again and giving it another day.

Once you break the locking nut free, consider cleaning up the nut faces and sides thoroughly (stainless brush, large grit emery paper) and then applying a small amount of Marinelube or other grease before retightening.

Don''t forget to note in the maintenance log the size packing you end up using, something I always seem to neglect doing. The PTFE-laden packing is better and the special ''green'' teflon dripless packing (which you beat into a small roll and use as the middle of the 3 rings) is superb stuff.

Good luck!

Jack
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Old 04-11-2004
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stuffing box blues

A "Strap Wrench" works well in the static retaining position. They are cheap and ubiquitous.
You need something like a 90 degree "Open End Wrench" (Pipe Wrench, mentioned) for the other nut.
Good luck!
Gord
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Old 04-11-2004
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stuffing box blues

I recall finally separating my stuffing box nuts while the boat was out of the water. I pulled the shaft through first, gingerly applied heat to the nut and she come. Nobody had apparently ever stuffed it. Since then I just check it every couple of years and watch the drip, maybe 6 drops a minute. I''ve repacked it maybe 3 times in 10 years. Tried to find a 7/8" box to replace it at recent refit - just because - but couldn''t, so the old one, still serviceable, remains. Just checked the bilge a few minutes ago and she'' s bone dry.
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Old 04-11-2004
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stuffing box blues

I recall finally separating my stuffing box nuts while the boat was out of the water. I pulled the shaft through first, gingerly applied heat to the nut and she come. Nobody had apparently ever stuffed it. Since then I just check it every couple of years and watch the drip, maybe 6 drops a minute (while the shaft is turning). I''ve repacked it maybe 3 times in 10 years. Tried to find a 7/8" box to replace it at recent refit - just because - but couldn''t, so the old one, still serviceable, remains. Just checked the bilge a few minutes ago and she'' s bone dry.
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Old 04-12-2004
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stuffing box blues

Lots of good tips here.

The hose clamps on my stuffing box are rusted and I''m still trying to get those off, but wondering if this is something I should get a yard to do while I watch--I''d hate to screw it up and find out later. Or is this something that can be done correctly fairly easily the first try? Does the shaft have to be removed to get the stuffing box open? and then the packing wrapped around the shaft and reinserted in the stuffing box? And how do you check the gland or whatever it is where the shaft emerges from the boat hull? There''s about a sixteenth of an inch of open space between the shaft and whatever is around it there, but maybe it tightens up when wet?
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Old 04-12-2004
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stuffing box blues

Personally, as knowledgeable as some on this forum are but unfortunately because of how knowledgable some think they are, I would leave this first foray into the life of a living and breathing stuffing box to a professional with yourself at his/her side.

In ten minutes, or not much more, a pro could show you nearly all you would need to know to at least change your own packing and how to look at the tell tale signs of shaft wear.

Capt. Bruce
boatskipper.com
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Old 04-13-2004
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stuffing box blues

Wish the boat was big enough to actually be by the side of the yard mechanic while he checks out the stuffing box!

Thanks tho--will see what they can do and tell me and then see about diy after that.
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Old 04-13-2004
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stuffing box blues

He''s right. Someone with the right tools and knowledge can knock one apart in seconds. I couldn''t get one to budge on a 39'' Jeanneau, with all kinds of room. Called a friend and he knocked it apart immediately with better leverage and tools.
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