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Old 09-13-2013, 12:47 PM   #1
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PYI Shaft Seal

PYI (PSS) Shaft Seal Leaking

My dripless shaft seal is leaking when underway. (It's fine when not in gear or engine off.) Not alot but just enough to fling water spray in the ER. I went to a yard and ask how much to pull the boat and replace the seal. (Kit?) The manager said to just burp the bellows, allowing the inrush of water to flush out the sealing surface, polish the two surfaces with 600 paper, then loosen the 4 set screws on the SS collar and increase the load on the coil spring. (About an inch)

Has anyone done this? The seal is 9 years old and maybe due for a complete replacement.

Any advice is welcome other than "don't put the boat in gear."
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Old 09-13-2013, 12:56 PM   #2
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Sounds like the yard manager knows what to do, but at 9 years a replacement kit of the bellows would not hurt. I just bought a kit from PYI, great service, fast delivery and reasonable pricing.
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Old 09-13-2013, 05:53 PM   #3
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Walt:

I just replaced our bellows this spring as it was coming up on the 12 year mark and the company recommends replacing every 10 years.

Not a very difficult job and only a little blood was shed. The company does warn that new set screws are to be used if the originals are loosened. Instructions with the bellows replacement kit tell you how to pre-load the bellows depending on the shaft diameter. There is no "coil spring" of which I am aware.
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Old 09-14-2013, 01:15 AM   #4
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Mine is 8 yrs old and have always "burped" it from time to time approx 3 times a year.

Anybody know of a bellows failure? I'm sure there are many of these seals out there w bellows adjusted for the wrong pressure on the bearing. This is not my first PYI seal and the only problem I've ever had is the sleeve bearing half coming loose, moving fwd and letting large amount of water in while underway.

Met the owner of the company once and it was a very bad experience but the products are good.
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Old 09-14-2013, 01:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manyboats View Post
I'm sure there are many of these seals out there w bellows adjusted for the wrong pressure on the bearing. This is not my first PYI seal and the only problem I've ever had is the sleeve bearing half coming loose, moving fwd and letting large amount of water in while underway. .
I'm crawling into the ER tomorrow to check those two possibilities out.
Makes sense...thanks, Eric.
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Old 09-14-2013, 07:55 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by manyboats View Post
Mine is 8 yrs old and have always "burped" it from time to time approx 3 times a year.

.... the only problem I've ever had is the sleeve bearing half coming loose, moving fwd and letting large amount of water in while underway.

If your PYI seal/bellows arrangement has a coolant water hose connected to it, I am not sure "burping" is necessary. If it has no such hose, then I think that you are supposed to burp upon launch.

If you put a hose clamp on the shaft just forward of, and touching, the bearing, that should prevent it moving.

Also, the bellows should be pre-loaded the correct amount for the diameter of the shaft. PYI website and the bellows kit have the instructions on this.
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Old 09-14-2013, 12:25 PM   #7
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Watler "crawling" ....

Is that going to be a photographed event?
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Old 09-14-2013, 06:28 PM   #8
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Walter "crawling" ....

Is that going to be a photographed event?
Yes, but just partially.
It's interesting to me where the apparent leak is. I say apparent as when I powered up the boat I didn't notice any leak at either idle or in gear at idle.

The photo is at idle and in gear.
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Old 09-14-2013, 06:41 PM   #9
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Another option for those who are considering installing a dripless shaft seal is Tides Marine, shaft seals. You are able to put an extra seal on the shaft which allows you to change out the seal if it starts to leak while in the water.
Just another option

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Old 09-15-2013, 12:24 AM   #10
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Yes, but just partially.
It's interesting to me where the apparent leak is. I say apparent as when I powered up the boat I didn't notice any leak at either idle or in gear at idle.

The photo is at idle and in gear.
Apparently someone has been too busy boating to polish his only prop shaft log housing. Last time I saw that much green I was in Ireland.

Maybe Mark has a picture of a proper-looking shaft log. (I sure don't! )

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Old 09-15-2013, 10:04 AM   #11
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Apparently someone has been too busy boating to polish his only prop shaft log housing. Last time I saw that much green I was in Ireland.
People who actually polish their shaft logs really need to fill their day with other pursuits . (In other words, "Get A Life!) Those that point this condition out might be better served with making sure their contaminants stay on the outside of their fuel tanks.
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Old 09-15-2013, 12:11 PM   #12
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I replaced our PSS seal at 7 years but with hindsight there was no reason to do so. The unit was fine. It is easy to see any deterioration of the bellows (cracking, drying) and there was none. The seal itself still has life in it provided you can still move it to tighten the face seal spacing. Loosen the seal (release the grub screws) and slide it apart slightly. Clean the face seals with acetone to get rid of oil/grease, then polish with fine grade wet/dry sandpaper. Retighten the seal. You can re-use the grub screws but should reverse them so that the exterior screws are now the inner screws. also make sure you have a shaft zinc or similar (large hose clamp) on the inboard side of the seal unit to prevent any chance of the unit slipping open along the shaft. We had a persistent fine spray until I did this procedure. Dry now!!
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Old 09-15-2013, 12:22 PM   #13
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We had a persistent fine spray until I did this procedure. Dry now!!
I am amazed at the number of folks who have had similar problems with their PSS shaft seals. This doesn't bode well for the longevity of these seals. The old style shaft logs are looking better & better!
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Old 09-15-2013, 12:29 PM   #14
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I would not say this represents a "problem". Just routine maintenance similar to having to tighten a shaft log.
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Old 09-15-2013, 02:22 PM   #15
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People who actually polish their shaft logs really need to fill their day with other pursuits . (In other words, "Get A Life!) Those that point this condition out might be better served with making sure their contaminants stay on the outside of their fuel tanks.
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Old 09-16-2013, 10:19 AM   #16
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I would not say this represents a "problem". Just routine maintenance similar to having to tighten a shaft log.
I had a similar PSS seal problem, small drip while under way. "Burped" the rubber housing, cleaned the mating surface with a cotton cloth and added the correct pre-load to the system. Issue solved!

IMHO there is no mechanical system that does not need a little TLC. Either pay attention to it now and repair or later. The choice is yours. The boat $$$$ is keep adding up if maintenance is deferred.
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Old 09-16-2013, 10:28 AM   #17
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If your PYI seal/bellows arrangement has a coolant water hose connected to it, I am not sure "burping" is necessary. If it has no such hose, then I think that you are supposed to burp upon launch.
I couldn't find any mention of the water connection negating the burping but it does make sense.
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Old 09-16-2013, 10:41 AM   #18
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....and added the correct pre-load to the system. Issue solved!
By correct pre-load, do you mean you increased the pre-load or loosened the collar and re-compressed the bellow per the book?

I've had several recommendations saying that it is not necessary to haul the boat for the cleaning of the bellow and resetting the pre-load. When I burp my seal, water really gushes in and I can't imagine having enough time to accomplish these cleaning suggestions (wiping the seal face, sanding, etc.) without the bilge pumps joining the procedure.
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:56 AM   #19
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I personally would not try to polish the face of the seals. One of the sealing surface is steel (tungsten, 312 or 304 SS) the other is a carbide. Both have been polished/trued to seal. IMHO any 'polishing 'could impede the sealing properties.

Yes there will be water 'gushing' in as you separate the coupling but this can wash any contaminants out of the rubber housing. Clean the mating surfaces then slide the coupling back together, when the water stop flowing in, mark the shaft on the movable coller side. Check your spec for the amount of pre-load, mine was 1 1/2". Push the coupling together and tighten the set screws.

I hope your TLC on the PYI seal goes well.
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Old 09-22-2013, 04:17 PM   #20
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While I was down below and at the dock with nothing running . I bumped the bellows and water started to come in . Then just moved it back and it stopped . I'm new these and that just seemed to easy for water to start coming in and just to slightly move it and the water stopped . This can't be normal can it . Does it need more tension ?
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