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Old 03-31-2019, 07:59 AM   #1
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Dripless Seal Still Dripping After Replacement

I have SureSeal from Tides Marine in my express cruiser. My port engine dripless was dripping It dripped while engine running, and got worse when in gear. I haven't worked on dripless seals before, so I decided to pull the boat out of the water just to be on the safe side. I replaced the lip seal with the spare. Tightened everything back up, and there was still dripping coming from the bottom center of the bellows/articulating hose.

My engine compartment is cramped, so I can't see under the engine (V drive), to see exactly where the drip is coming from. But I monitored it for 10-15 minutes, and it continued to drip slowly.

I'm stumped. The boat is on the hard. Where is all the dripping still coming from?
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Old 03-31-2019, 08:19 AM   #2
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wild guess; water filled bellows froze and cracked?
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Old 03-31-2019, 08:32 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgotch View Post
I have SureSeal from Tides Marine in my express cruiser. My port engine dripless was dripping It dripped while engine running, and got worse when in gear. I haven't worked on dripless seals before, so I decided to pull the boat out of the water just to be on the safe side. I replaced the lip seal with the spare. Tightened everything back up, and there was still dripping coming from the bottom center of the bellows/articulating hose.

My engine compartment is cramped, so I can't see under the engine (V drive), to see exactly where the drip is coming from. But I monitored it for 10-15 minutes, and it continued to drip slowly.

I'm stumped. The boat is on the hard. Where is all the dripping still coming from?

Do you see the tube leading from your engine's raw water circuit to the dripless seal? When your engine is running, that water is pumped into the seal under pressure to lubricate it. My first guess is that the water continuing to drip is residual lube water, or perhaps the raw water fitting at the seal is leaking?
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Old 03-31-2019, 08:38 AM   #4
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The SureSeal, like the PSS dripless seals, have a water pick up from the engine's raw water system to cool and lubricate the seal. The seal hose, clamp, or hose barb may be the source of the drip. Since you say the boat is hauled, there would still be a source of water draining from the engine's raw water system. When I haul my boat with a PSS seal, it will drip and drain a gallon or so of raw water from the engine, out through the shaft stern tube.
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Old 03-31-2019, 09:24 AM   #5
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This is the one time I think a Selfie Stick is useful. If you have a phone with a camera, rig up a way of having it take a look see for you. Up on the hard running on a hose is an excellent opportunity to confirm a seal.
I just did my pss seal kits and they have a preload between a ring on the shaft and a carbon ring that’s connected to the tube. Looking at the SureSeal, it appears the seal is made using a rubber lip type seal that forms the seal. It should be that, with the engine running and supplied with cooling water, water would be coming out of the shaft log. However, once the engine is shut down and the water turned off, and the area around the prop side of the shaft log packed with rags to form a bit of a dam, there should be no residual water dripping into the bilge at the seal. If there is, I’d look for a damaged seal. It wouldn’t take much of a burr on the shaft to cause a problem.
Good luck.
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:18 AM   #6
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Thanks for the comments. I am going to try to make it over to the boat later today.

Quote:
wild guess; water filled bellows froze and cracked?
Quite possible. We left it in the water this year. I am going to loosen the bellows, and see if I can see anything by spinning it around.

Quote:
Since you say the boat is hauled, there would still be a source of water draining from the engine's raw water system.
But it still dripped after I put a new seal in.

I will check all the cooling tubes for cracks/leaks.

I did moved the forward bellows all the way off the shaft housing. I would have thought any water in the bellows would have drained out then.
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Old 04-04-2019, 02:18 PM   #7
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Dripless Seal Still Dripping After Replacement

If you applied lubricant to the static and rotating seal faces that can cause a leak. Also, make certain the bellows hose is properly compressed. If the engine alignment is off that can contribute to a leak. Good luck.
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Old 04-04-2019, 02:36 PM   #8
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There is not a bellows in the Tides seal. It uses a lip seal and the hose is silicon and flexible.

Did you use the seal installation tool? That helps keep the seal from "rolling" over on the shaft.
Also, you can change the location of the seal by changing the hoses position on either the carrier or the shaft log. It's possible there is now a small groove in the shaft from the seal riding on it. It doesn't have to be very deep to cause a leak. You only have to move the seal 1/4 inch or so to get to virgin shaft material. You can even cut 1/4 inch off the hose and re-attach.

Hope this helps
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Old 04-05-2019, 05:17 AM   #9
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Lots of good suggestions, but I think the first step is to get in their with a mirror and flashlight and figure out where it's leaking from. Your first guess (and a reasonable one) that it was the seal appears to have been wrong. It could be the hose or fitting bringing cooling water. It could be either sealing end of the tube hose. It could be the hose itself. It could be the Tides housing. And perhaps more.
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Old 04-06-2019, 01:04 AM   #10
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In the hope that this may assist...

I also recently had my Tides seals replaced, and stbd dripped after we put the boat back in the water. Took it out again, put a second new seal on, checked the shaft for nicks etc, became all very confident, and put the boat back in the water. And it still dripped...

Turns out, in the packet with the new Tides seals, is a red plastic “collar like” item. Also turns out that you use that item to ‘burp’ the new seal once the boat is back in the water.

One ‘burp’, and no more drip.

Hope this might help.

How silly do I feel publicly repeating this story...

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Old 04-06-2019, 01:30 AM   #11
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Not silly at all IMO. This forum is really all about sharing learnings for things that we struggle with. Maybe Tides should add a few words to their seal replacement instructions?
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Old 04-06-2019, 07:27 AM   #12
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Thanks for all your suggestions. I have tried all (except burping - have to order the tool from Tides).

Hoping to put it in the water this week, and see if all my fixes have worked.
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Old 04-06-2019, 04:38 PM   #13
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Hi Brian!

We will be out at Peel Is over Easter (if weather is kind). Hope to see Insequent there!

H.
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