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Old 06-20-2015, 10:16 AM   #1
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Aye, she's leaking fast captain

I replaced the leaking steering hoses and now the rudder shaft is leaking too much. I haven't replaced a rudder packing before so do I just unbolt the collar and the packing is under there?

Thanks.
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Old 06-20-2015, 10:24 AM   #2
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On mine, yes. I assume you have you tried tightening it first?
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Old 06-20-2015, 10:37 AM   #3
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Post some in focus and well lit pictures.
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Old 06-20-2015, 12:10 PM   #4
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Some are packed just like a propeller shaft packing gland, where you just loosen the locking nut and tighten the packing nut. But there are at least a dozen different styles of rudder posts/packing. So as mentioned would be best to post a picture of your rudder post.
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Old 06-20-2015, 12:44 PM   #5
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Make sure the top of the post is above the water line before you pull out the old packing. Otherwise it's a straightforward replacement. Prepare to be grossed out by the smell of the old stuff when you pull it out. If you have a set of picks, they work very well to hook out the old stuff. Cut as many rings as you can get in there and still get the collar threaded. After you tighten it down, if you have a grease fitting give it a good squirt.
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Old 06-20-2015, 03:32 PM   #6
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You can repack both propulsion and steering packing with the fitting underwater...no big deal....

I have done it several times and others here have reported they have also...actually pretty common .

Just make sure everything is ready to go. Waiting to cut and fit the actual packing afterwards will not result in sinking if your pumps work...just puts a little pressure on.

Mine have never really smelled bad.....no worse than the bilge in general.

I have broken high quality packing removers with ancient packing...now I just drive a couple long, fine thread drywall screws into it with a screwdriver and use vice grips on the screws to work it out.
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Old 06-20-2015, 08:21 PM   #7
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Hey PS, who needs the stress? Pulling the packing out with the shafts 2' underwater would be messy, soaking and quite dramatic. Who needs all that saltwater flying about down there? Yes, you can do it, but why would the average person put themselves through that?

When I pulled the packing out of the rudder it smelled rotten. I don't know how long it was in there but it smelled rotten. If yours doesn't smell, good for you.

One other thing, I have been tightening the rudder packing every few days since I repacked it. The packing is compressing, I guess, and needs to be checked. The new shaft packing I put in gets checked weekly and it has finally reached a point where it is cool running and not leaking. My experience is to suggest you not fuss about it if you don't get your results immediately, be patient and keep the wrenches handy. Make sure you tighten the lock nut.

I like the drywall screw idea. So far, I have been successful with those cheap mechanic's pick sets and haven't broken one yet. I have never used one of those corkscrew tools.
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Old 06-20-2015, 11:17 PM   #8
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My buddy Gene used to change the packing on his shaft logs in the water on a regular basis. He had a twin 42 Jefferson. Like psneeld said, just have everything ready to go when you start and make sure the bilge pumps are working. He was very familiar with the job by doing it many times previously on the hard.
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Old 06-20-2015, 11:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyWright View Post
My buddy Gene used to change the packing on his shaft logs in the water on a regular basis. He had a twin 42 Jefferson. Like psneeld said, just have everything ready to go when you start and make sure the bilge pumps are working.
I suppose it depends on the type of packing and gland, but I've never done it any other way than in the water. Like you say Al, have everything you need before you start.

You can reduce the water in flow through the shaft log to a trickle, after removing the packing nut, by wrapping a cloth shop towel around the shaft and press it into the shaft log. I find it easier to remove and replace the old packing by sliding the packing nut up the shaft to the transmission coupler. Much easier to work on it sitting up, than laying down.


PS. For those who haven't done it before, prior to cutting the packing into rings, wrap the end of the packing around the shaft one turn. Using a light hammer, tap the packing gently around the shaft to form one circle, then make your cut. Generally the packing ends are cut just short and don't touch, but follow the instructions on the packing material. The packing will stay formed around the shaft and easily slide into the packing nut. Repeat for each packing ring. Be sure to off set each packing ring joint in the packing nut.
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Old 06-21-2015, 08:46 AM   #10
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Never heard of packing rings not touching.

Was always taught to cut them on a diagonal...like a scarf joint.

A PIA to do....but that is one way.

Not saying any way will or won't work...as long as there is roughly the right amount and squeezed enough...it should work. The biggest question in my mind would be longevity...but the easier you do it...the less of a chore to redo it maybe a bit more frequently.

On my repackings, the first time I did it, I was suprised at how little water really came in. In the immediate area, it is usually given a salt bath anyhow by the packing at some point prior to repacking so it is just a reminder to hose it all down with hot soapy water when done.

No real stress after you have done it once.
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Old 06-21-2015, 11:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Never heard of packing rings not touching.

Was always taught to cut them on a diagonal...like a scarf joint.

A PIA to do....but that is one way.

When pressed into the nut and tightened down. the ends will touch, but you don't want them to crush against each other, which causes the packing to be too tight and the ends to fray.

The key words are "follow the manufactures installation instructions on the package."
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Old 06-21-2015, 01:32 PM   #12
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Here is a good guide: Re-Packing A Traditional Stuffing Box Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com
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