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Old 08-18-2012, 08:26 PM   #1
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City: California Bay Area
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Dripless? / Temperatures

Have normal packing gland around shaft, packing replaced about 30 running hours ago. It has never dripped since repacking, either at rest or underway. I figured it would wear in a bit and start dripping, but after about 20 hours I loosened the nuts a little, but still no drip. There is, and always has been since I bought the boat about a year ago, a high-pitched, metallic whine (almost a "screeching" sound) coming from somewhere aft of the engine, but I cannot pin-point it (did not change after repacking). Lubricating water flow seems fine when I detach the hose. I just bought an infra-red temp gun and used it today after being underway for about an hour with 88 degree air temp, 2 ER blowers on, 82 degrees seawater temp. Crankcase temp 145 (dash water temp gauge read 180), Transmission temp 125, shaft temp 95 at stuffing box, stuffing box temp 90. Two questions 1) are these reasonable temps? and 2) should I worry about no drips into the bilge?


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Old 08-18-2012, 08:41 PM   #2
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All sound like good temps but I think the packing/stuffing box should leak. It relies on water for lube. I'd take the packing out and re-install it a bit loose. Then you should have a bit of leak. At least enough to insure the packing is wet. Then tighten the packing nut until it only drips slightly when underway. Your old/new packing is probably not damaged yet. Look at it when you have it out and it will probably be fine if it looks fine. The idea is to get the right amount of leak for lubrication w a minimal amount of tightness that causes heat. The perfect rate of dripping I can't remember. Just some small amount will be fine.

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Old 08-18-2012, 09:02 PM   #3
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Some say they have to drip...some say they have to drip a lot...I say as long as they are turning less than 3K or so...they don't have to and some pro think that way too.

I had mine adjusted on my last boat (37 sportfish with 3208s and 1.5 in shafts) where they just barely oozed. Ran them that way for 7 years, shafts got warm...say 125-150 degrees at their damage in all those years...just a little lile of packing would form after a good days run...after so many of them I would tighten the packing nut so it would keep oozing but not drip.

Boat is still running like that 5 years later and i dobt the owner has changed a thing...maybe by now they are finally dripping...
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Old 08-18-2012, 09:31 PM   #4
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After the boat sat for a couple months, I had a low level whine or howl from one shaft when I put it in gear. I thought it was the cutless bearing going out or a tranny bearing, you know how sound travels? But turned out to be kelp, grass, that had somehow worked it's way up into the gland and packing. Opened the gland, pulled out the packing and cleaned it all up. Have never had the problem since. Very strange
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