STUFFING BOX REPACKING

By Dick Wilke

(The boat should be out of the water to avoid flooding).

Remove companion way steps.

Disconnect water hoses from faucets, and drain hose from sink.

Withdraw four bolts under corners of sink top

Remove sink top.

Remove wood strip above engine.

Loosen engine coolant Y behind hinged panel and push hoses out of way.

Push bilge pump hose out of way.

Using pair of wrenches of suitable size, with cords around wrists to prevent loss, loosen lock nut and packing nut.

Pry old packing (3 rings) out with ice pick or packing removal tool.

Clean and polish propeller shaft.

Shaft is 1 inch diameter. Cut three rings of 1/4 inch flax packing, 1 inch I.D., using 19mm socket as mandrill.

Push rings into packing nut one at a time, with cuts 120 degrees apart. Seat each firmly.

Tighten packing nut until shaft turns by hand with some resistance (transmission must be in neutral).

Reassemble sink top, latches, hoses, drain hose and steps.

With boat in the water, inspect for leaks. There should be no drip when shaft is not turning.

Start engine and run in gear for a minute. Stop engine and feel stuffing box and shaft. If slightly warm, this is OK. If hot, loosen packing nut.

Normal drip is 2 to 3 drops per minute with engine running and transmission in gear. None with engine stopped. Must have some drip to avoid burning packing.

Materials

1/4 inch flax packing.

Stuffing box wrenches

Ice pick or packing removal tool.

Very fine abrasive wet or dry paper, (or crocus cloth).

Sharp knife.

Maintenance

As dripping increases with running, gradually tighten packing nut.

Check to make sure overheating does not occur.

Repack as needed, about every three years.