Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: New England
Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Rep Power: 14
2 is too few, and 6 is probably too many
I don't 3 is the norm either. My SB holds 4, I maybe able to get 5 in of the newer GTU Packing as it doesn't swell as much as the older flax packing, but when I removed the old flax, I pulled out four so I replaced with 4. SD is right, put as many "rings" as will fit. Try this technique:
Remove all the old stuff first, and then pack the first two rings of the new stuff in and snug firmly down, Loosen packing nut and put a third ring in and tighten again pretty snug. Continue adding rings and tightening until you can't get the packing nut to get a full turn on the SB threads before tightening. Once you get the max material in, tighten until the drip rate is at the level that you want while the shaft is stationary and spinning.
The general rule of thumb for the SB is while the shaft is not spinning, you should not see any drips for at least a few minutes, preferably none at all, and while the shaft is spinning a 2 to 5 drips/minute. The main thing to remember is that the drip rate is not the sole measurement, adjust the packing nut so that while the shaft is spinning, the drip rate is results in no heat build-up in the shaft.
For the Rudder post, you should adjust just snug enough so that there is no evidence of drips even even when turn the shaft. Do not over tighten or you can bind the shaft.
If you liked my advice/response, give me some rep points. If you didn't......well what do you expect, it was free.