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Old 05-12-2016, 05:39 PM   #1
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Butt kicked by stuffing box

I am obviously missing something. I want to restuff my rudder stuffing boxes but am unable to take them apart. Attached is the photo of one stuffing box. I assumed and was told that I need only take the nuts of the two studs shown, raise the flange and take out old stuffing, put in new stuffing. I am unable to get the flange up.

I have used hydraulic "jaws off life" but the rudder wants to move with the fitting.

Can someone tell me what I am missing.

Thanks
Gordon
Who up to now has only had dripless stuffing boxes.
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Old 05-12-2016, 05:54 PM   #2
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Disclaimer I have never done rudder boxes, but I have done engine stuffing boxes that look just like yours, but horizontal. You may have to drop the rudder, which means a haul out. Folks here will steer you in the right direction.
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Old 05-12-2016, 06:07 PM   #3
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Mine looks just like that but it just lifts up. Yours looks like it might have a portion of a thread showing under the round collar piece. Maybe it unscrews from the base after the bolts comes off?

You should be able to pull the studs out with a pair of vice grips. That would let you spin the flange if it's threaded. Seems like it shouldnt have to do that though.
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Old 05-12-2016, 06:35 PM   #4
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I have the same style for the engine. The flange should come right out
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Old 05-12-2016, 06:48 PM   #5
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Mr. GJ. Yup, as above, should just lift up. So that suggests a seizure of some sort. I would flood the groove/space between the upper part of the flange and the rudder shaft with a good penetrant and work the rudder back and forth.
You might have to soak and exercise 3x-4x daily for a week...Again, it should just lift up.

I doubt very, very much that the pieces are threaded together as suggested in post #3.
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Old 05-12-2016, 07:02 PM   #6
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Put a pry bar under the flange and get somebody to move the rudder back and forth while you pry upwards.
Why are you repacking them? It looks like they don't leak, are just over-serviced with grease. Clean up the area and degrease and you're good to go.
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Old 05-12-2016, 07:03 PM   #7
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What RTF said!
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Old 05-12-2016, 07:18 PM   #8
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These are somewhat cleaned up from when I started the project. I had some threads left so may be able to go ahead and tighten, but because they were fairly rusty, thought I had a leak. The boat is 13 years old and I figured being new to the boat, I would start from a known point.

I have used a hydraulic jaws which open, and theoretically, should have popped the fitting up. No mas.

I have soaked the fitting with WD40, and then resoaked it with Wd40. It is obviously not frozen because the rudders turn normally.

Thanks all, but so far, I haven't see a solution in the responses.

Gordon,
Who is thinking of retightening the whole mess and worry about is next haul out.

PS. I am on the hard.

PPS, I just finished a six-year service on my TRAC stabilizers. If anyone wants to know what is involved let me know.
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Old 05-12-2016, 07:34 PM   #9
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Mr. GJ. WD is not a particularity good penetrant (loosener upper). You would be better to try PB Blaster, Kroil or even a 50/50 mix of ATF and acetone. SOMETHING is binding or jammed in the fitting. Possibly a groove worn with some hardened packing wedged in the groove???? Again, as mentioned, that fitting should simply lift up.

I'm NOT suggesting you do this but what I would try is apply the hydraulic lifts on either side of the upper flange, heat up the upper fitting with a torch and have someone turn the wheel back and forth (post #6) all at the same time.
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Old 05-12-2016, 07:41 PM   #10
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Sounds like the ram is seized in the port. Have you tried budging it downward with the nuts? Some times the first move is what you need to get it going either direction. You might also use a pipe wrench or other tool to wrench it back and forth slightly to loosen it.

One other thing. I have found when working on my boilers and other pipe fittings with water soluble scale and rust is to use water to start the loosening process. Water soluble scale breaks down more readily with water. Seems like once you apply an oil it becomes impervious to water and almost has to be machined off versus rinsing away.

Grease or oil are the ticket while reassembling though!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon J View Post
These are somewhat cleaned up from when I started the project. I had some threads left so may be able to go ahead and tighten, but because they were fairly rusty, thought I had a leak. The boat is 13 years old and I figured being new to the boat, I would start from a known point.

I have used a hydraulic jaws which open, and theoretically, should have popped the fitting up. No mas.

I have soaked the fitting with WD40, and then resoaked it with Wd40. It is obviously not frozen because the rudders turn normally.

Thanks all, but so far, I haven't see a solution in the responses.

Gordon,
Who is thinking of retightening the whole mess and worry about is next haul out.

PS. I am on the hard.

PPS, I just finished a six-year service on my TRAC stabilizers. If anyone wants to know what is involved let me know.
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Old 05-12-2016, 07:43 PM   #11
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semi-planing,

Tried tapping, and turning wheel. I am putting penetrant (or WD 40 in this case) everywhere that might bind. The area in the photo looks greasy because of massive amounts of WD 40.

When I jack up the flange, the upper piece, I see the rudder lifting with it.

Gordon
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Old 05-12-2016, 07:44 PM   #12
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Bglad,

I did try retightening, thinking it might help. Now I can't get it back up as far as I originally had it.

Gordon
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Old 05-12-2016, 07:47 PM   #13
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Mr. GJ. If, you're on the hard, jam something between the rudder and the hull outside the boat to keep it from lifting. Then jack up. You won't be able to turn the rudder but maybe something will pop loose.
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Old 05-12-2016, 07:57 PM   #14
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Tried turning the rudder back and forth while jacking up on the flange? Sounds like the rudder may have a groove worn in it that is holding it in place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon J View Post
semi-planing,

Tried tapping, and turning wheel. I am putting penetrant (or WD 40 in this case) everywhere that might bind. The area in the photo looks greasy because of massive amounts of WD 40.

When I jack up the flange, the upper piece, I see the rudder lifting with it.

Gordon
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Old 05-12-2016, 08:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon J View Post
I am obviously missing something. I want to restuff my rudder stuffing boxes but am unable to take them apart. Attached is the photo of one stuffing box. I assumed and was told that I need only take the nuts of the two studs shown, raise the flange and take out old stuffing, put in new stuffing. I am unable to get the flange up.

I have used hydraulic "jaws off life" but the rudder wants to move with the fitting.

Can someone tell me what I am missing.

Thanks
Gordon
Who up to now has only had dripless stuffing boxes.
Looks like same arrangement as our 440 OA....stuffing box sits below a thick athwart ship "board" which mounts the big upper rudder bearings? In any case the "top hat/piston" portion of the stuffing box is stuck in the lower "bore/sleeve" as previously mentioned. The rudder is turning freely, so moving it around won't help. If there's even a slight amount of free play between the studs and the holes in the "top hat", you can probably get it to break loose a bit by gently tapping radially on the ears. Otherwise remove the studs to get a little more movement. The ones on our boat eventually came out with a lot of fiddling and tapping (studs in situ).

Dollars to donuts your stuffing boxes are probably weeping and the stuffing is hard as a rock...it was on our boat. I installed four new wraps of standard PTF flax and they needed routine adjustment. Last summer I added two more wraps of Gore and they seemed to seal up. I'm not sure if there's a cutless bearing below the stuffing box, but a slight vibration went away after renewing the stuffing.
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Old 05-12-2016, 08:48 PM   #16
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Looks to me like a standard stuffing box, age old problem. Its not the shaft it's the outside of the movable adjustable flange and the tube, galvanic corrosion and water have created a build of corrosion and salts. You have to dissolve them you can use a little diesel, it takes time but unfreeses almost everything. Or muriatic acid, just a little acid with a pippet or similar on the outside of the adjustable gland, Wait 5 mins Tap lightly with a small hammer ( create vibration) to break the corrosion. It should begin to move. Then flush extensively with water, . Also wear all protective clothing, faceshields gloves etc
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Old 05-12-2016, 08:49 PM   #17
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I would after reading the new info fashion some wedges that you could hammer between the bolts and rudder post to pry it apart, when you hammer them in till they don't go any more get a 4# maul and beat the flange, it needs shock, pressure and shock!
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:08 PM   #18
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See if you can back out the studs so you can hit the packing retaining nut and break it free by pivoting it. If you can't back the studs out try rapping the gland retainer on its extreme ends to get it to pivot enough to break it free.

I would also wash and clean up the gland with some form of acid to cut through the corrosion.

Just have some baking soda mixed with water on hand to neutralize the acid.
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:17 PM   #19
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Quote:
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See if you can back out the studs so you can hit the packing retaining nut and break it free by pivoting it. If you can't back the studs out try rapping the gland retainer on its extreme ends to get it to pivot enough to break it free.

I would also wash and clean up the gland with some form of acid to cut through the corrosion.

Just have some baking soda mixed with water on hand to neutralize the acid.
This is the approach I would use......
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:34 PM   #20
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I would worry about messing up the studs.
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