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Old 11-26-2017, 05:17 PM   #1
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Stuffing/Packing....

My stuffing boxes have been the major contirbutor to the water in my bilge. Sripping a lot at rest, dripping a lot when running. They are not the traditional type but ones with a bolt on each side of the shaft, example pic below but not from my boat, just an example. I tightened both sides until they stopped dripping when the motors were off. Port side needed a complete turn and a half on each bolt. Starboard somewhat less, 3/4 turn. Went out in the boat and checked them after an hour or so of running. Stuffing box temp was about 90 degrees F but...no drips at all. The box was moist underneath but no drips. However, the shafts were....whining I guess I would call it. Whistling. So I loosened the bolt up on each side a 1/4 turn and the sound went away. Still no drips and temp at a comfortable 90 or so. Not hot to the touch at all. In fact barely warm..maybe?

So, question is what is more important? Drips or temps? I was told that this type of packing box shouldn't be dripping at all when the motors are off and maybe a drip a minute or so when running. Also, the sound, too tight on the stuffing box makes the shafts whine?

Obvious newbie questions and I appreciate any comments.
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Old 11-26-2017, 05:35 PM   #2
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Have the same packing, with newer teflon packing, moist and warm is good, dripping not required.

Definitely not at rest. moo
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Old 11-26-2017, 06:23 PM   #3
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Thanks PS. Seems to me that the only way I could get noise from the shafts would be for the packing to be extremely tight. But I would think that the temp would rise if that were so. I didn't have any temp issues which I guess is the most important part.

When I read about adjusting the packing the posts always make it seem like people are tightening or loosening while they are running. I can barely put my fingers down there to test temps manually. Do you guys adjust while on the fly? I hate being that close to the turning shaft.
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Old 11-26-2017, 06:37 PM   #4
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I adjust on the fly, there is about 18" between flange and stuffing box so I feel safe making adjustments. I try to drip underway and not drip when stationary and I would prefer not to touch moving parts to check the temperature of the shaft. I know I could idle to check shaft temp, but with a drip every 5-6 seconds I know I am right where recommended for drops per minute.

Just how I do it...
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Old 11-26-2017, 06:56 PM   #5
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I have to adjust mine in the hell hole under the aft stateroom sink.

Just be carefull withh loose objects but a bare arm and wrench is pretty safe.

But i also have a pretty good feel to the right tightness even with the shaft still.
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Old 11-26-2017, 07:08 PM   #6
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What picture below?
Take out half the drips on one adjustment. Let it run in for a while. Repeat. With no drips you can go from ok to scorching hot in one flat (1/6 turn).
The whining could be the gland contacting the shaft due to being cocked. Use a scale (ruler) and measure from the end of the threads to the nut. They should be equal.
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Old 11-26-2017, 07:33 PM   #7
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If the shaft has pitting in the seal area there would be a different procedure.
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Old 11-26-2017, 07:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by High Wire View Post
What picture below?
Sorry, this is pretty close to what I have. Wrenching bolts that close to the turning shaft just makes me nervous as I have to lean sort of off balance beside and around my generator. Not bad in the slip but another game when moving, unexpected wakes, whatever could rock me off balance easily. I'm sure its just something you get used to. No long sleeve shirts though...
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Old 11-26-2017, 07:40 PM   #9
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I ran the same style stuffing box for twenty years, used standard stuffing, 5 winds instead of 3, would tighten at dock until it stopped dripping. Checked underway, it never dripped and ran warm but not hot. Pulled the shafts right before I sold the boat. Shafts showed no real signs of wear.

My current boat uses a different style stuffing box, it drips while running and runs warm to the touch, I have no idea how many windings are being used.
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Old 11-26-2017, 08:06 PM   #10
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Your procedure looks to have produced a good adjustment result.
While I get that adjusting the two bolts could have its own issues, adjusting the two very large nuts on the other type of gland can be very difficult, especially with commonly poor access and often no vision of the fitting. I once saw it done using what looked like vise grips with bicycle chain connecting the jaws, giving positive lock on control of the 2 big nuts. I`d say you are fortunate with your set up.
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Old 11-27-2017, 06:09 AM   #11
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Duramax as packing and you will adjust it once , and it wont drip or get hot.

Should you for some reason prefer flax or tefflon a fitting can be installed in the drilled threaded hole and a remote grease pump used at the conclusion of every day to pump some grease in to stop the drips.

Very little grease is needed so a 2 inch diameter remote cup will last most seasons.
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Old 11-27-2017, 08:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
I adjust on the fly, there is about 18" between flange and stuffing box so I feel safe making adjustments. I try to drip underway and not drip when stationary and I would prefer not to touch moving parts to check the temperature of the shaft. I know I could idle to check shaft temp, but with a drip every 5-6 seconds I know I am right where recommended for drops per minute.

Just how I do it...
AK
An infrared temperature gun will give you gland temperatures from a safe distance.
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Old 11-27-2017, 08:49 AM   #13
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Properly called "packing gland" and "packing".

At least it was called that in the US Navy.
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Old 11-27-2017, 04:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firstbase View Post
Sorry, this is pretty close to what I have. Wrenching bolts that close to the turning shaft just makes me nervous as I have to lean sort of off balance beside and around my generator. Not bad in the slip but another game when moving, unexpected wakes, whatever could rock me off balance easily. I'm sure its just something you get used to. No long sleeve shirts though...
No loose clothing, long sleeves, no rings, no watches.
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