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Old 03-27-2017, 12:00 PM   #1
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Stuffing box movement?

Left Galveston this am. I've been checking the stuffing box drip and have noticed a little wobble in the stuffing box. Also a bit of vibration I don't remember before.

Is any vibration or stuffing box acceptable, or will something fly apart soon. I'm on my way to FL so....

I ran aground last summer but have used the boat quite a bit since. Checked the cutlass bearing when I did haulout recently. Seemed Ok to me but maybe I checked it wrong.

Wobble gets worse with higher RPM.

I'm about to enter the stretch in Louisiana where there's not much in the way of services so wondering what to do.
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Old 03-27-2017, 12:07 PM   #2
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Stuffing box movement

Video doesn't really show the movement oddly. This is at 2200 rpm. It's worse at higher rpm.

https://youtu.be/7YdfZA3uuoM
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Old 03-27-2017, 12:22 PM   #3
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Stuffing box movement? 2

Is any acceptable? I'm on a trip to FL, just left Galveston and getting to the area of Louisiana where there's not much in services. Should I turn back?

Feeling some vibration I didn't feel before also.

Took a video but it doesn't seem to show the movement. I can see it wobble with my eyes at my normal 2200 rpm cruise.

Also, my packing gland keeps leaking too much. I tightened it up last night but leaking again underway. Would a vibration cause that?

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Old 03-27-2017, 12:39 PM   #4
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Greetings,
Mr. 01. IF your stuffing box is the one with the short length of rubber tubing with the hull fitting on one end and the packing gland on the other, no. I don't think there should be ANY movement at all. When was the last time the gland was re-packed?
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Old 03-27-2017, 12:41 PM   #5
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Stuffing box movement?

Two years ago. Yes it's a short length of black hose with the nuts on the end.

I did hit bottom last summer and it killed the engine. Could I have bent something?

I can definitely see the thing wobbling. Smh.
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Old 03-27-2017, 12:44 PM   #6
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Greetings,
Mr. 01. I strongly suspect hitting anything hard enough to cause a stall would have bent something. I have no idea what but...
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Old 03-27-2017, 12:46 PM   #7
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Two years ago. I did hit bottom last summer and it killed the engine. Could I have bent something?

I can definitely see the thing wobbling. Smh.
Prop or prop shaft needs to be checked. The stuffing box rides on the shaft. Because the stuffing box does not move or turn its the shaft that creates that vibration movement.
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Old 03-27-2017, 12:47 PM   #8
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Well damn! Guess I will turn back towards Galveston.

I didn't notice anything all year movement or vibration wise but didn't really use the boat that much.
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Old 03-27-2017, 12:50 PM   #9
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Yes, the stuffing box rides on the end of the stuffing box hose, so it can move a "little" but its pretty much only the propshaft that can move it. As was said, if you hit something firmly enough to stop the engine and you feel any new vibration, then you bent something. Best to get it fixed sooner rather than later to avoid co-lateral damage.

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Old 03-27-2017, 12:54 PM   #10
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Cardude, it can be as simple as barnacle growth on your prop or you picked up some crab trap rope! I would check the simple things first. Had this horrible vibration on mine last summer...barnacles on one blade of my prop.
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Old 03-27-2017, 12:57 PM   #11
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Stuffing box movement?

Well, I recently hauled out at a yard for a bottom job. The prop was a little loose and I removed it, cleaned all the growth off and reinstalled. So it's clean.

Maybe the prop is falling off.

Guess I'm turning around and going back to Galveston to get hauled.
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Old 03-27-2017, 01:04 PM   #12
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You should see very little prop shaft movement in a proper aligned and set up prop, no more than a few thousandths. But I have run engines with 10-20 thousandths of radial play for a long time without catastrophic failure.

I see a little vibration in your video, less than 5 thousandths I will bet. I think I would keep the rpms low and limp into Galveston. Tracking down that small vibration won't be an easy job, so get to some place comfortable to do it.

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Old 03-27-2017, 01:07 PM   #13
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You should see very little prop shaft movement in a proper aligned and set up prop, no more than a few thousandths. But I have run engines with 10-20 thousandths of radial play for a long time without catastrophic failure.

I see a little vibration in your video, less than 5 thousandths I will bet. I think I would keep the rpms low and limp into Galveston. Tracking down that small vibration won't be an easy job, so get to some place comfortable to do it.

David

To the naked eye the wobble is very noticeable. Don't know why the video smooths it out.

I don't want to worry about it for 1000 miles so turning back to Galveston. It's not a huge vibration but I can really feel it.

Yes need to find a good yard. With good people.
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Old 03-27-2017, 01:25 PM   #14
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Sounds like a bent shaft dude,

A long shaft w/o an intermediate bearing may wobble a bit but not much if it's quite straight. No shch thing as a straight shaft. I worked at a machine shop that did quite a few boat shafts. We went to Seattle to get the shaft stock and all of them went on the lathe 1st thing. Never even checked to see if they were straight. They wer'nt straight when they went out to the customer either. But they ran out less that .002.

Generally if the shaft is "straight" wobble at idle should be next to nil. If that shaft wobbles a lot at higher rpm it's probably ballance or some irregularity like one prop blade bent. Engine mounts can cause wobble too.

I had a rattle and thought it was comming from my bottom rudder bearing. Hauled the boat as we were headed to Alaska. Had a small cutlass bearing. Ten years leter the boat has the same rattle. It's comming from behind one of the water tanks where I can't even reach. Hate the rattle but don't want to R&R the water tank.

It's probably a wobble that will not cause more problems but it's hard to predict not being able to actually see the wobble. The flexability of the hose and it's length could be working for or against you. Also consider that the stuffing box (that's no longer a box) acts as an intermeadiate bearing to some extent. Check your bilge pumps and pump switch so if the packing gland fails big time the bilge pump will keep the water level low until you notice it.

I think I'd slow down a bit and check on the shaft system often. If you're not comfortable w that stop and pull her up for a look. I think your odds of escaping unscathed are better than 50/50 but again, I have'nt seen the wobble.
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Old 03-27-2017, 01:34 PM   #15
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Here is the wobble at 2400 rpm. More noticeable.

https://youtu.be/EFlgWGi4r1k
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Old 03-27-2017, 02:32 PM   #16
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Before you head back....any chance of a Diver to check and wiggle the prop?

The cost is something but maybe less than the fuel to return?

I have sent plenty of shafts wobble, as long as it is slow RPMS, say less than 2000.....not much damage is probably occurring....some wear to Cutless bearings but not in 50 hrs or so till you get to better service areas.

Leaking is to be expected with wobble, big deal as long as a small pump can keep up.

A big wobble would be over a 1/4 inch or so but that is VERY clearly visible.

Then again....if you did hit something, good chance a prop blade is out, less so a shaft, but possible.
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Old 03-27-2017, 02:34 PM   #17
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Stuffing box movement?

https://youtu.be/EFlgWGi4r1k

This is 2400 rpm. Zoom in and look at the nut. It's moving a good 1/8 or more?

Hell it's probably been wobbling like this since I ran aground last summer and I just never noticed it. What made me pay attention was that the packing gland started leaking and I can't really seem to get it stopped.

I'm going to get a good boat mechanic to look at it hopefully. I just don't know enough to make the call.

All that packing gland goo on the bilge is new.
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Old 03-27-2017, 02:40 PM   #18
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Cardude you're making the right call to stop and check it out. You'll sleep better at night.
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Old 03-27-2017, 02:46 PM   #19
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Dude, One thing you may want to try is to see if you can rotate the prop shaft by hand. I can generally turn mine by hand and evenly. If you can't turn it or it turns a partial turn and then gets hard or stuck, you likely have something bent. Rope, heavy weeds or other entanglements can cause a significant vibration though so rule these out first.
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Old 03-27-2017, 02:52 PM   #20
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Cardude if you're near Lake Charles try calling Olmstead shipyard. They specialize in prop/shaft work along with haulout. 337-477-912.
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