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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have a leak that seems to be coming from the rudder post. My hubby plugged the propane locker holes to confirm that the water was not coming from that locker. It only leaks while underway so I'm am confident I can do some poking and prodding without causing an adrenaline rush.

We are at anchor, near Sabine Pass. It's freakin cold, so before I crawl back into the bowels of the stern I was hoping for some clarification.

I have a hose with four hose clamps. The hose encases the rudder stock with hull flange, and flange to packing gland. On top is the gland, then the steering quadrant.

Pacific Seacraft 34 folks--If I loosen the gland bolts, do I have enough clearance to repack? I'm not seeing where the space will come from.

Picture taken while underway, the only time we have this leak.
Thanks for any input.
Erika
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Ok. Crawled back into the quarter berth while underway. Brian was at the helm so I had to be careful where I put my hands,flashlights, and camera so not to get tangled up in the steering quadrant.
It appears the water is coming in above the stuffing box, as it enters ( or connects? Threaded?) to the steering quadrant. I will load pics and a movie for those PS34, that it may help them if needed.
This seems like a haul out and drop the rudder kind of job. Will keep posted.
Erika
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The vid is lousey, but it is from the new access Brian cut out last week( quarter berth). It opens just above the steering quadrant so kinda hard getting my big cannon camera in there.
Plus since the leak only happens while underway( the boat squats in the water) Brian was steering.
Cheers
Erika
 

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Your drive wheel is a lot lower than on our 34. We can tighten the packing gland or replace packing without raising the drive wheel. Different pedestal steering brand/model maybe. To tighten or replace the packing, it looks like you will have to loosen and raise the drive wheel then tighten or replace the packing, which is easy to do once you have access.

To replace the packing you just remove the machine screws in the gland and raise the upper half of the gland, remove the old packing and put the new packing in place. You can do all of this in the slip. Do you not have access to the drive wheel from the cockpit engine hatch?

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We want to convert to tiller, can't wait!


So this might be a simple fix!?! We will wait for a real port before attempting to shift the drive wheel up and replace the packing. We are anchored in the wilds of Louisiana ( 😀 Mermentau River, south of Lake Author). I'd like to be tied up with shore power if possible, just in case. We haven't touched land for almost a week ( except for running aground).
Will update with pics as soon as I can.
Erika
 

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A straightforward fix, but maybe not simple. The only real variable is that pesky drive wheel, namely the through bolt. It has a tendency to get bent when the four clamping bolts are not tightened sufficiently to prevent the wheel from turning around the shaft. It's a Catch 22, because the four stainless bolts screw into the aluminum hub and if over tightened can strip the threads in the hub. Hopefully, yours were tightened just right and the through bolt will slide right out. On this assumption, try removing the bolt first, before loosening cables or the four clamp bolts. If it won't come, you will need to loosen the cables and clamp bolts enough so you can take the weight of the wheel off the bolt by pushing up on the wheel and trying to withdraw it. If it won't come, I hammer on the thread side and pull and wiggle on the head side with vise grips. This has always worked for me, but damages the bolt enough so that it needs replacing, in which case I call Edson, tell them my boat and year and they ship me a new one. (Maybe somebody else has a better way to do this.) All of this is why you are wise to wait until you are back in the slip.

All of the above assumes you have an Edson system, of course.

Good luck

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok. We are tied up at a city Marina bulkhead in Houma Louisiana. I was able to get to the rudder via engine compartment. I removed two of the three (#11) bolts from the stuffing box gland. The third bolt, the very aft bolt, will not clear the steering quad, though it is completely unthreaded, I just cannot wiggle it clear.
I pried the glad apart, it was pretty corroded. So in the pics it is as far as I can get it.
I will post one pic here and I have a bunch posted on our blog for you all to see.

Rudder Packing Gland and Steering Quadrant | Rain Dog

The big problem is I do not see a bolt that threads into the rudder stock, the bolt that I'd remove to lift the quadrant so I can open the gland wider to repack. I felt the exposed rudder stock and it is smooth.
Help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ok. The rudder stock bolt, which runs through the aluminium steering quadrant then the SS rudder stock is fused with the aluminium quadrant. We will have to haul out for this repair. I was able to tighten the gland bolts tighter then what they were before. So maybe I slowed it down a bit.

For the PS34 folks out there. If you remove the coolant overflow tank, it makes diving head first into the stern possible. First trip back there was bad, second, which I was back there for over an hour and half, much better. So it is just tweaking the arrangement and it can be quite comfy( ish).

Will post what info I come up with.
Erika
 

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Thanks for walking us through your dilemma. I too have a drip that eventually is going to have to have my undivided attention. I am also a pretty big fellow and the thoughts of climbing back there freaks me out....hate to have the Fire Department cut me out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hush34, we are going to get the yard to fix this, I'm done!! As far as fitting down there, each scupper seacock rested on my chest just below my subclavian ( I hung from there when I needed to use two hands), and one knee was under where the coolant overflow tank is, while the other was resting on the transmission. This was the best position I found. Painful, but I had full use of my arms.

Hopefully the yard has a 5' worker( I'm 5'6", my hubby is 6'1)

Will let yall know how it goes with the yard.
Erika
 

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Sorry, but we have been cruising for the last five days and away from the Internet.

That through bolt can get bent up and pretzled pretty badly as it goes through the eight edges it bears on. I have had to remove one several times and it is always a job, but I have always been able to do it in the water (it is the same job either way). It is hard for me to imagine getting it out while head first, though. I am 6' 1" but I have a technique for getting down in there feet first and then face right up to the job with leverage to whack with a hammer on one end and pull and twist with a vice grip on the other end of that bolt, and that is without removing the coolant overflow tank. Maybe I need to post a video.

In any case, whether you do it yourself or have the yard do it for you, it can be done in the water. Save the haul out fees.

Dave
 

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Something I think I mentioned before: be sure to loosen the steering cables. They put a lot of torque on that through bolt when the four drive wheel clamping bolts are loosened (maybe you did, but I can't tell from the pictures.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for posting that!!

I'm afraid we have wheel steering so have the cable come down to the big double 6+ inch turning blocks and run aft. So where your head fits neatly, mine won't. The only way is the dive. Plus my arms are not long like yours.

Reason # 499 why tiller is better😀

Here is an Internet pic of the cable turning blocks, my iPad/Icloud and I had a fight and it decided to lose almost all my rudder post pics in retaliation. But I will post a better picture when I crawl in tomorrow after the workers have freed the steering quadrant.
 

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