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Old 08-03-2020, 09:01 PM   #1
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To Drip or not to Drip

Only have experience with dripless shaft seals, and even its minimal because they have never needed maintenance. They have worked flawless.
Purchasing new to me old boat with old school stuffing boxes that need attention.
Would you Rebuild them and let them drip or upgrade to dripless?
I am really not a fan of anything dripping in the bilge....
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:06 PM   #2
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We have had both and currently have the dripping style. Ours did not leak until I rebuilt the port one. We use Duramax packing and that was what was in them prior to the rebuild. Duramax says not to tighten them until 5 to 10 hours runtime. We just have about that much time now, but my vertigo has kicked in pretty bad so we have not been running the boat. Before you replace them, use them for at least a season and see how you like them or not. I would repack them with Duramax packing and see how it goes. Then if you don’t like them go to dripless. Problem with dripless is when they fail they fail big time. The old school can be tightened or even repacked in the water.
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:28 PM   #3
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Thank you, I could see with dripless if they failed it would be probably catastrophic versus old proven school packing
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Old 08-03-2020, 11:20 PM   #4
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I am sure that there will be opinions for both and some will be passionate. I have had both and they both have advantages. But since you havenít really tried the traditional packing, I say give it a chance and if you donít like it then change. Good luck.
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Old 08-03-2020, 11:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Okydowky View Post
Only have experience with dripless shaft seals, and even its minimal because they have never needed maintenance. They have worked flawless.
Purchasing new to me old boat with old school stuffing boxes that need attention.
Would you Rebuild them and let them drip or upgrade to dripless?
I am really not a fan of anything dripping in the bilge....
Iím not sure why youíre asking this question when you already know the answer you are going to go with regardless. You already want a drip less seal, youíve had them and like them and arenít liking the step backwards.

You know what to do, if you are looking for confirmation, you get it from me.
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Old 08-03-2020, 11:38 PM   #6
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Thank you, I could see with dripless if they failed it would be probably catastrophic versus old proven school packing
No, not really. Most designs are set up so you can stack in repair sets that if there is a failure you slide into place. But seriously, 10s of thousands of miles using them on various vessels, I have had 2 failures and been able to repair them in place in a matter of minutes quite easily. If you create a dual source water supply to them, you can pretty much prevent the most common cause of failure.

When they first came out I had my concerns, but they have proven their durability to me.
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Old 08-04-2020, 03:25 AM   #7
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Hard to fault old school stuffing box with space age packing. They do require periodic attention and maintenance but are reliable.

That said, if access to the stuffing box is compromised and will prevent/hinder proper maintenance, a dripless shaft seal is a wise choice. Yes, then cuff may need replacement in 10 years, but I've seen stuffing boxes that were horribly placed and seriously neglected as a result.

There are pluses and minuses to both. By far, the most important thing is to keep a dry bilge to avoid masking leaks. Whatever it takes to accomplish that is a good approach. For me, my stuffing box is very accessible and I prefer the traditional style which does not drip with the new stuffing. But I wouldn't lose a moments sleep if I had a PSS or similar, even though I've seen them leak when the shaft collar backed off due to install error (a remarkable amount of water comes in!!!!). But I've also had problems with traditional shaft packing scoring the shaft and heating up.

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Old 08-04-2020, 05:56 AM   #8
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. "But I've also had problems with traditional shaft packing scoring the shaft and heating up."

This is usually from a traditional style that has ancient style packing and no grease cup.

I think its almost a non event with Duramax or similar.

The chance of a massive failure with the ceramic seals is a worry no one needs to have.
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Old 08-04-2020, 05:57 AM   #9
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So is it true the old boxes should drip every 10 seconds? This is what I have read.
if you can replace old packing with new style packing could you possibly make them dripless?
Iím kind of confused Weebles isnít the water lube? And if you stop the dripping in the bilge wouldnít the packing heat up and fail.
I am not opposed to traditional by any means, just not familiar with them.
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Old 08-04-2020, 06:31 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Okydowky View Post
So is it true the old boxes should drip every 10 seconds? This is what I have read.
if you can replace old packing with new style packing could you possibly make them dripless?
Iím kind of confused Weebles isnít the water lube? And if you stop the dripping in the bilge wouldnít the packing heat up and fail.
I am not opposed to traditional by any means, just not familiar with them.
There are other brands, but GFO is well known and works. In short, you get very similar dripless results to a engineered dripless stuffing box such as PSS or LasDrop.

I have to add that the first time I serviced a stuffing box in the water, I was terrified. This was long before the Internet and I simply knew a fire-hose flow would result. But I was pretty broke so gave it a try. You know what? Very little water came out! I even field-dressed some light shaft scoring by putting the engine in gear and holding wet/dry 400 grit emery paper against the shaft (I'm not recommending this, just saying I did it and it worked).

FF: Agreed that shaft scoring is the result of old/hardened shaft packing that was over-tightened. It's preventable, but still happens a LOT.

Peter
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Old 08-04-2020, 06:37 AM   #11
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. The chance of a massive failure with the ceramic seals is a worry no one needs to have.
While I understand this statement, and I've already admitted I prefer a traditional stuffing box where accessible, I do not share the apocalyptic view of PSS style seals. They have millions of hours on them and it's pretty hard to find a first-hand account of a catastrophic failure without an egregious lapse in maintenance or carelessness. I have personal experience on a friend's boat where the collar backed-off and caused a very impressive leak, but that was easily/quickly remedied, albeit a wet affair. Cause was an install error - there is a double set-screw arrangement whereby a second set-screw is pressed into the first set-screw. Not all installers read the instructions. A simple hose clamp around the shaft takes care of any remaining risk

Peter
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Old 08-04-2020, 07:10 AM   #12
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I've had the lip seal type of dripless for 20+ years and never had a problem. It is in the boat I just sold and was in for 15 years and never a drop of salt water in the bilge.
And I never "worried" about it.
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Old 08-04-2020, 07:47 AM   #13
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No drip necessary if you use the right packing. I would never replace them with troublesome technology.
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Old 08-04-2020, 08:44 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Okydowky View Post
Only have experience with dripless shaft seals, and even its minimal because they have never needed maintenance. They have worked flawless.
Purchasing new to me old boat with old school stuffing boxes that need attention.
Would you Rebuild them and let them drip or upgrade to dripless?
I am really not a fan of anything dripping in the bilge....
Unless there is something clearly wrong with the conventional packing glands on a boat I was buying, I would just repack them out of an abundance of caution, after all the old vee belts and fluids in the engines had been changed. At the first regular haul out, I would replace with PYI dripless.
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Old 08-04-2020, 09:04 AM   #15
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Just to add to the story.. I had a dripless in my Chris Craft. It had a small block chevy with the 2 piece rear seal that I never could get to stop leaking oil. The oily bilge water worked on the rubber and it failed. I was impressed by the amount of water that came in. It was only a couple years old too. So the moral of this story is keep oil away from them.
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Old 08-04-2020, 09:08 AM   #16
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Hmmm.... saw this discussion title and thought I should check it, in case it was another one about coffee. Will back out now, as I find coffee more interesting ;-)
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Old 08-04-2020, 07:40 PM   #17
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I think I am going to try the old tried and true packing, probably the new tech stuff and get some time on the helm.
There is obviously a pretty good list of things to do, and if packing is in expensive, works and simple to do. Well then I can have an opinion on both styles.
I would Only attempt doing them hanging in the slings though.
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Old 08-04-2020, 08:21 PM   #18
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Good thinking about putting some modern stuffing in there, but where's your sense of adventure about doing it in the water? As long as you have the right size packing on hand, the process is not really that scary. Nothing will probably happen as you remove the packing nut and the sliding cylinder. Once you start to remove the old packing with a pick you will begin to get a little bit of flow. With the new material pre-cut and at hand, you will be able to get it in the gland in short order and all will be well. Whether you do it in or out of water don't over tighten it to the point nothing drips. Be down there as the boat gets out of the marina or yard and up to cruise speed and put you hand on it. If it warms too much to comfortably hold you hand on it, loosen it and get a good drip going and then slowly re-tighten to get whatever drip rate you are comy with.
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Old 08-04-2020, 09:02 PM   #19
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Rgano, I have learnt along time ago. If something will go wrong it will with me, hence why I am a very cautious purchaser even when it comes to the smallest items.
Lol Let me get this straight! Have my wife drive the boat while I am bent over a spinning shaft trying to fix a gland leak.
Lol, I can see how that would go down including the boat.

I will leave water intrusion to the professionals until I see how itís done
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Old 08-04-2020, 11:20 PM   #20
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Heck, my wife and I did that very same packing check. The other crew member has to learn to drive the boat sometime so the mechanical person (you) can leave the wheel to check on things. And you must or somebody must go down there and check your shaft for overheating or too much dripping. Are you going to pay a mechanic to come along at their horrendous rates for something you can easily do? You will be having to check the packings as time goes forward anyway.
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