View Full Version : Leak in bilge - Rudder Packing?

08-14-2004, 10:27 PM
I just finished changing the steering cable on my '88 PS-190 and went to the lake to verify how much easier the steering was. That project was successful... replace cable and steering and now the steering is much easier. HOWEVER, during the "test" run at the lake, I noticed a lot of water in the bilge. The packing for the drive shaft seemed normal and it seems that an excess of water is leaking from the rudder area. How do you make an adjustment for the packing for the rudder? Do you need to remove the fuel tank? I attempted to look at the rudder (under the fuel tank) but I could not see any adjustment packing nuts like on the drive shaft. Any suggestions on how to check the rudder leak... Thanks!

08-14-2004, 10:56 PM
Are you sure the water is coming in through the rudder? If it is, there are a couple of O-rings on the rudder shaft. You'll need to remove the tiller arm, then pull the rudder. Make sure there is something under the rudder in case it wants to fall out when the tiller arm comes off.

08-15-2004, 05:19 PM
Thanks for the reply. I am pretty sure it is the rudder, however, I will check to verify next time I take it to the lake. If in fact I determine the leak is from the rudder, can I do the repair you suggested without removing the gas tank? Last time I looked at the rudder, it sure looked like close quarters with the gas tank in place. Is there a tighten nut on the rudder similar to the packing nut on the prop shaft that can be tightened?

08-15-2004, 08:25 PM
No nut to tighten any packing, and that's the reason I said to put something under the rudder for when the tiller arm comes off. You may also find that the sleeve is worn where the rudder goes through. If it is, you'll need to replace it. It's not very expensive, though. Remove your prop before you start this job.

08-22-2004, 08:52 PM
Jim, Thanks for the help. I have finially found time to remove the rudder. Other than the tight working space, it was not too hard to remove the rudder. I could not tell that the shaft nor the sleeve was worn too much since I had to use a little force to remove it once the cotter pin was removed. I looked for 2 rubber o-rings. I found one. I also see a more shallower groove above the o-ring that I removed. Could that be the location for a second o-ring? If so, it would certainly be a different size than the lower o-ring. Is that correct? Also, I did see a little scarring on the lower portion of the rudder shaft (near where the o-ring probably would be). Is scarring there normal? Should I take a high-grit sandpaper to smooth that portion of the shaft, or would that even be necessary. Again, thanks for your help. (Sorry for all of the questions. I am still VERY new to Mastercraft ownership).

09-04-2004, 05:49 PM
Well, I have replaced the o-ring on the rudder shaft. Fairly simple job and there is no leak from the rudder area. BUT - There is still water entering the bilge. This time I looked closer and found that water was entering from what appeared to be the fiberglass covering over the shaft entrance thru the hull. Very near the drive shaft packing nut. I saw no water leaking from the packing nut itself but from the fiberglass area above and directly aft of the packing nut. I took a portion of the fiberglass off where the leak appeared and just found a metal housing. Could the leak I am seeing still be from the packing material? Thanks for any suggestions. It'd be nice to keep the water on the outside of the boat! :eek:

lakes Rick
09-04-2004, 11:16 PM
Chuck D

I had a friend with a Supra who could not find the leak he had.. The MC dealer did a reverse leak test on it.. They filled the inside with water to find the leak.. His turned out to be leaking around his exhaust.. You might try this to find your leak.. If it is your packing it should show up pretty quick...

When I say "fill" I certainly dont mean to the top....

09-06-2004, 10:54 AM
Thanks. I may try that. I'm just wondering if a leak could exist at or around the housing that forms the thru-hull for the drive shaft??

09-06-2004, 06:00 PM
Did you check the hose clamps and the hose on the stuffing box? These would cause a leak in this area.

09-07-2004, 09:12 AM
I just found a new leak in my 88', but don't know if this is your problem. Leading from the speedo water line into the boat, there is a brass resovoir aound 12" in length and 1/2" diameter. It had splip open somehow, and the water was pooring in while the boat was moving.

Does anyone know where I can pick up a replacement brass tube? DIM possibly?


09-07-2004, 09:40 AM
That brass tube is called the ballast and there's no reason to replace it. It can be soldered, just like plumbing pipe. It does need to be dry, before starting. If you have a propane or MAPP gas torch, you can fix it yourself. These usually split from not being drained during winterization. Then the water freezes and it splits. If you can't do it, take it to a radiator shop.

east tx skier
09-07-2004, 09:49 AM
My father-in-law the exhaust pipe leak. In his case, it was a substantial leak where the pipe had cracked just before the hose clamp.

09-07-2004, 10:06 AM
Great info, Jim. Sounds like an easy fix, will try to solder it tommorrow. I'm assuming using JB Weld as a fix wouldn't be a good idea?

09-07-2004, 11:47 AM
Jim, Interesting that you suggest the rubber hose on the packing nut area. Turns out that the hose clamp was not making a good seal because there was residual fiberglass and other trash between the hose and the metal housing (is this called a dog?). Anyway, cleaned that and re-clamped and all is sealed. There is still a small water leak somewhere, but I know it is not from the rudder or packing nut area now. The smaller leak is not sevier enough to cause great concern at this point but ought to be address this winter. Additional water could be coming in between the hull and gunnel joint or in the speedo brass housing that Pete mentions... I'll check those later. But now, its time to play for a while :steering: