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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
Thanks for reading this.
I have C&C33 with Atomic 4 and V-drive. The stuffing box is directly below the V-drive and almost impossible to tighten. I have made tools, bought 6 different sized pipe-wrenches and even tried a set of crowsfoot wrenches and I still can't tighten the lock nut securely. It is within 1/8 inch of the engine mount which conveniently the drive shaft goes through the middle of...(Sorry for the hanging participle)...
I'm stuck. Anybody made any specials tools for the job?
 

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Two possibilities; a strap wrench or a Vice Grip chain wrench. You may need to extend (or curve) the handle a bit, but both rotate to renew your grip.
 

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Is the problem the motor mount assembly? If badly designed may need a major rethink a bracket to straddle to new beds. Seems like a lot of work if a flat wrench could be cut from plate .Try a cardboard pattern to get the angles and handle right. I had a grade 10 metal project that was quite successful when I taught in a fishing village. Doesn't have to be fancy.
 

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You could consider replacing it with a dripless seal, such as the PSS. Generally zero touch, until required replacement parts every 5 or 6 years. Pricey and you have to be out of the water to install and maintain.

The thing I always worry about, with installations you describe, is whether they are maintained routinely. The hose from the shaft log to the stuffing box needs to be replaced eventually, not to mention the stuffing material. If this boat is new to you, I would want to be sure it's all caught up. Sounds like a crack in the hose could be very difficult to reach/remedy underway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This wrench is a thing of beauty and I found one on Amazon for a mere $50. I discussed the possibility of a strap wrench or chain visegrip and ruled them out as the strap doesn't provide enough purchase and the chain wrench will eat the bronze nut.
The best suggestion so far has been to jam temporarily a screwdriver under the nut and then tighten the cap onto it. This I will try today.
I also am very worried about the hose cracking and not being able to repair it without lifting up the engine.
here's a picture of the beast.
 

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Normally the tighten forces are not so great. How is the packing,. old and long time packed? Think you got it backwards.. the cap squeezes on the packing ,the nut jamms the cap to lock it. Whatever ,putting torque on the old? hose may be interesting. Make sure it's not one of those rare left hand thread units.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The issue that caused all this is, I think, is that the packing dried out over the winter and gave the prop shaft purchase on the stuffing box cap. On this boat, the shaft turns counterclockwise, so it will undo anything not properly tightened. On the trip from splash to my dock, about 100 yards, the cap came completely loose and the boat almost sank. I had difficulty screwing the cap back on with the water rushing in and still have the bruises to remind me.
Sadly, if the stuffing box hose ever became damaged, I think I'd have to lift the engine and V-drive to get at it...big job.
 

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This wrench is a thing of beauty and I found one on Amazon for a mere $50. I discussed the possibility of a strap wrench or chain visegrip and ruled them out as the strap doesn't provide enough purchase and the chain wrench will eat the bronze nut.
The best suggestion so far has been to jam temporarily a screwdriver under the nut and then tighten the cap onto it. This I will try today.
I also am very worried about the hose cracking and not being able to repair it without lifting up the engine.
here's a picture of the beast.
A chain wrench properly used will do no more damage to your bronze than any other wrench. Strap wrenches are made to have purchase on smooth round surfaces (filters) so why wouldn't they work on a nut?
Anyway, you certainly reinforce the case for not purchasing a boat with a V-drive set up.
 

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Being a bit of a metal worker,I envision a gap box socket made of 4' of pipe. heat and hammer the hex to fit at one end, cut slot to go over the shaft. A bunch of holes on the other end to take a screwdriver shaft as a handle.This could be left on to prevent that awkward sinking feeling if ithe cap were to back off (Methinks you should repack for starters)
 

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When working on inaccessible large nuts, one of my favorite tools is a plumber's sink wrench. It is a great starting place to make a tool. https://www.amazon.com/HAUTMEC-Plumbers-Strainer-Wrench-PL0037/dp/B071G2Z5KB to see what I am talking about. There are several brands, all a little different from each other.

Here are three wrenches I have on the boat right now that I have made from cut up plumber's wrenches.
They are all the product of a little time with a hack saw and grinder.

The two with handles fit my packing gland which is a bit more accessible than yours. One is for the packing nut, and the other is for the locking nut.

Something like the third crow's foot wrench might work for you. It fits the backing nuts on my deck fills. The nuts are all accessible from only one side and like your packing nut and lock nut there is no real room for a normal handle to make a 15 degree turn. I put it on the nut and turn it with a short socket wrench ratchet and a short extension shifting the crow's foot a sixth of a turn at a time as I go. (The socket extension fits in the square hole.)

Bill
 
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