prop shaft seal

What's on your mind? Anything generic goes here.

Re: prop shaft seal

Postby Levitation on Thu Sep 04, 2014 6:51 am

In your situation I would consider talking to the factory before spending money. The packing should be capable of being changed without pulling the shaft. I would suggest for the faint of heart that you do it in the slings. The rest of you can replace the packing and get your daily shower over with simultaneously :lol: Very efficient.

No propeller shaft should drip at rest - IMO.
Batteries are not infinite, stuff does happen, and a dripping stuffing box is an invitation to finding your boat sunk at the dock.
By the same token there should be some drip when turning to provide lubrication. It usually is a matter of turning the packing nut about an eighth of a turn to go between the two extremes. It is not rocket science as generations of sailors have managed to deal with it.
We went through this a year or so ago at the Florida gathering when someone read that part about 2 drips a minute, etc. and became concerned and fellas started fondling their nuts. We found that packing nuts that are years old and never touched can be a bear to break loose.
Roam has/had a ton of hours on her stuffing box without being tinkered with. Perhaps Rich will chime in with his perspective.
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Re: prop shaft seal

Postby pugtug613 on Thu Sep 04, 2014 7:01 am

I have replaced packing on a shaft. Not on my Ranger, but another boat. Remove the shaft? That sounds like way too much work. The hardest thing is finding the proper wrenches. You need 2 open end wrenches of the proper size. Then one turns and one stays still. Once you open up and move the nut, now you "dig" out the old stuffing with a pick or a hook type of tool. Have the new stuffing already cut to size. I use 3 wraps (3 separate pieces) and make sure the seem does not line up. You push each one in one at a time. Then reverse the nut thing. Water will come out when you dig out the stuffing (if your in the water). But, it's manageable. I can't think it's too much different on a Ranger.

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Re: prop shaft seal

Postby gerlots on Thu Sep 04, 2014 7:31 pm

If you are using a mechanical seal, then you need to remove the shaft. Or if for some reason you are using an unsplit seal then you need to remove the shaft. However if you use the packing described by the manufacturer, you do not need or would you want to remove the shaft.
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Re: prop shaft seal

Postby knotflying on Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:39 pm

Speaking from experience, I bet you I could replace the shaft seal faster by moving the shaft back and removing the nut then trying to do it while it is still on the shaft.
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Re: prop shaft seal

Postby asm777 on Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:41 pm

Posting in an old thread but had found the information in here quite helpful a few months back when dealing with our leaking propshaft.

We've had an issue with excessive water coming from the propshaft for some time now and the solution was always to tighten the adjustment/lock nuts until the dripping ceased at stop (with a sporadic drop when underway).

Late last year, got to the point where I was adjusting the nuts on every outing and in my frustration, ended up overtightening the lock nut and stripping the threads on the brass bolts (stainless steel nuts are stronger than brass bolt!)

Learned another lesson in the cost of boating and got replacement parts installed.

Went on the boat this morning and found that the prop shaft was leaking (more than just dripping) into the bilge and the bilge pump running (not sure how long it's been going).

We keep a piece of plastic (cut up 2L soda bottle) wrapped up around the prop shaft to prevent it from slinging salt water all over the engine compartment (little trick taught to us by our dealer LBYS).

Anyway, I noticed black stuff all over it and wondering if anyone has seen or knows what this might be... I'm thinking it might be burned up packing material?

Image

After adjusting the nuts so that the prop shaft stopped gushing water into the bilge, we went on an hour cruise.

Got back to the slip and the prop shaft is gushing water again.

What am I doing wrong? Do I need to haul the boat out and replace the packing/stuffing?

Also, I've read different things both here and on the rest of the internet about how warm the parts around the prop are supposed to get with proper cooling with drips occuring sporadically... How hot would these parts need to get to burn up the packing material?

I didn't take a new picture but here's a photo I had shared with the factory when trying to find replacement hardware for the bolts/nuts. What temperature range would be "normal" for the parts in the photo (spinning brass part on left, silver prop shaft, greenish copper stuffing box)?:

Image

Thanks in advance for any insights!
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Re: prop shaft seal

Postby knotflying on Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:17 am

Your's is somewhat different than mine, but same principal. It does look like burned material. Just to review a few things. I assume you used 3 pieces of material with a bias cut on each piece to cause an overlapping joint and you staggered the joints at about 12, 4 and 8 o'clock? Did you pack each piece in tight before inserting the other? Did you keep the initial tightening somewhat loose ( letting more water through) until the packing wore in and seated properly. This requires running a bit and slowly tightening over time until drip comes at 20 second intervals. Are you getting water flow from the hose going into the barbed fitting on the shaft? I assume you are getting flow out of the barbed fitting when the hose is removed? Your temperature at the fitting should be about 10 to 15 degrees higher than water temperature. Drip should be once every 20 seconds when shaft it turning. For safety sake, I would do a replacement out of the water. It will work fine in the water if all is okay, but I wouldn't chance it.
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Re: prop shaft seal

Postby harry ames on Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:20 am

Poopsy is adjusted for no drips at the dock and one every 10 or 15 seconds while at speed. No heating detectable in the union while at speed. I've heard both arguments that there should be some dripping at the dock. I don't like that argument when I'll be away from the boat for any amount of time. I think dripping at speed is the key indicator. If Poopsy dripped a drop or two every once in a while at the dock, then I'd be okay, but I think I have the sweet spot where it is not dripping at the dock.
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Re: prop shaft seal

Postby asm777 on Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:55 pm

knotflying, the only thing we've done so far is replaced the 2 brass bolts, 2 washers and 4 nuts that allow for adjustment of the stuffing box seal. The packing material inside is the factory original and is going on 30 months of service. I've heard various different things ranging from packing material should be proactively replaced every other year to it's fine as long as there plenty of adjustment left.

Having never seen with my own eyes what packing material looks like (either fresh or burnt), I'm making an educated guess that that's what the black stuff I found lining the makeshift prop shaft cover is...

TugNuts is a wealth of information and glad for the community here. I'll also follow up with the factory and a local mechanic for some insights.

It's still unclear to me whether the packing material can be replaced with the boat in water or if it needs to be hauled out... some have mentioned possibly needing to pull the shaft!
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Re: prop shaft seal

Postby asm777 on Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:04 pm

harry ames wrote:Poopsy is adjusted for no drips at the dock and one every 10 or 15 seconds while at speed. No heating detectable in the union while at speed. I've heard both arguments that there should be some dripping at the dock. I don't like that argument when I'll be away from the boat for any amount of time. I think dripping at speed is the key indicator. If Poopsy dripped a drop or two every once in a while at the dock, then I'd be okay, but I think I have the sweet spot where it is not dripping at the dock.


Agree with this thinking. It shouldn't be leaking when the boat is sitting at the dock!

Another issue is, it doesn't seem like the adjusting hardware stays fixed. It seems that the vibrations from regular operation allow the adjustment to back out so that the shaft leaks and leaks after EVERY outing?

Unique to our situation, we had to have a transmission replacement which was done at the slip but required the engine to be manhandled around in the engine compartment. Is it possible that when the transmission was replaced, the prop shaft alignment wasn't 100% which might be the cause of our ongoing prop shaft leaking issued?

Any thoughts on whether these kinds of things can be checked in the water? I'm starting to think that a haul out is in order just to inspect to make sure everything is "tuned" correctly...

Then my question is, who runs point on making sure everything is functional? Unlike getting service for my cars, getting service on a boat seems to be a half dozen different companies each handling their own respective parts... but what happens when an issue is related to more than one company's systems? (Volvo engine vs shaft parts or Garmin autopilot tied in to steering system)

Sorry, now I've gone way off topic!

But appreciate the feedback!
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Re: prop shaft seal

Postby knotflying on Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:57 pm

My thought initially was possible shaft alignment problem. I would check that. It is easy enough. Loosen the shaft bolts and ease a flat feeler gauge in one gap at the top next to a bolt. Then fit it in next to each remaining bolt the gap should be no different than 4/1000 of an inch among them.
Again replacing the packing in the water is not what I would do. If you have a problem then you have to start dealing with water infiltration.
As far as periods between changes; I had 1,400 hours on mine and 6 years. I can't see changing it unless there is no more adjustment left.
Not sure why your bolts are loosening up, but that tends to lead to vibration and again, shaft misalignment? On vibration prone fasteners it is common to drill a small hole on the edge of the nut (not passing thru the center but the side) and then inserting stainless wire through and twisting it and then twisting it around a stationery item. This prevents it from turning off. Or you could try a thread locking material.
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Re: prop shaft seal

Postby pohanian on Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:59 pm

Does anyone know what size nuts are used for the prop shaft seal for a C30?? Are they SAE or metric?
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Re: prop shaft seal

Postby asm777 on Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:32 pm

pohanian wrote:Does anyone know what size nuts are used for the prop shaft seal for a C30?? Are they SAE or metric?


If you are talking about the nuts used to adjust the prop shaft seal drip rate, here's what I was told for our C30CB:

you need 2ea.of the following items #8,#7 and #6 and 2ea.of #3

#3 part number is 0094STUD2.50X0.38 STUD BRASS

#6 Part number is 0260S375 flate washer 3/8”

#7 Part Number 0250S375-16 Hex Full nut SS 3/8”-16

#8 Part Number 0252S375-16 Hex Jam nut SS 3/8”-16
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