View Full Version : V-drive help! Which is the better way to do it?

04-22-2013, 10:44 PM
It's time to replace my shaft seal as it is dripping entirely too much. I have a 2001 Maristar 210 with a V-drive. We have ordered the Gortex seal from SkiDim and are looking at the ways to proceed while waiting on UPS.

We see 2 ways of doing this:

1--Become a contortionist, unscrew the packing nut, remove the old packing with a pick, precut the new packing on the shaft under the hull, place the packing on the shaft and slide the nut back over the new material. We have also seen where some folks use a PVC pipe of the correct diameter cut in half to push the packing into the nut.

2--Remove the entire drive shaft to get full access the the nut for repacking. This would require disconnecting the coupler at the transmission and getting the shaft free from the coupler. If going this route, how do we get the shaft free from the coupler? Is it a press/splined fit or a set screw or what? Obviously removing the driveshaft from the boat frees up everything to be able to see well, but is it worth it?

Those of you who have done this, HELP PLEASE!! Thanks!

04-22-2013, 11:00 PM
#1 seems more fun ;) - #2 seems like taking more apart than needs to. But I am looking forward to see what V-driver owners say - I have a Direct Drive... you may want to start spraying penetrating oil on the coupler just in case you wish to remove it.

04-22-2013, 11:36 PM
Go with a dripless shaft seal! Best money I've ever spent! http://www.bakesonline.com/detail.aspx?ID=2182

04-23-2013, 01:28 AM
It's a PITA.

Digging out the old packing and putting in the new packing isn't a big deal - takes a few minutes but really isn't a problem. Just make sure you have a pick that will get all the way into the stuffing box so you know you have everything out.

The worst job is trying to figure out how to loosen/tighten the packing nut. Skidim sells one for $30 (http://www.skidim.com/prodinfo.asp?number=WRENCH), or if you're handy you could cut one out of a sheet 1/4" sheet of aluminum. It's almost impossible to do the job without something - it's impossible to get crescent wrenches, vise grips, pipe wrenches, or even large-jaw vise grips (http://www.irwin.com/tools/locking-tools/the-original-large-jaw-locking-pliers) down there. The crappy adjustable packing nut wrench (http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.ericsonyachts.org/infoexchange/attachment.php%3Fattachmentid%3D2591%26stc%3D1%26d %3D1175202474&imgrefurl=http://www.ericsonyachts.org/infoexchange/showthread.php?4595-Stuffing-Box-Packing-Nut-Tools.&h=374&w=500&sz=87&tbnid=0VfWkEIjObN9VM:&tbnh=91&tbnw=121&zoom=1&usg=__VsGAlxhLW5pWwmZAzDTRUQ-Z7Nc=&docid=yTS5-fefwbFH4M&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Ixh2UfaWE9TgqAHkxIHADg&sqi=2&ved=0CGYQ9QEwAg&dur=561) that you can buy at Home Depot doesn't work well either.

Fold down the partitions on both sides of the engine, and get in there and lay down. You'll be able to reach the packing nut, and should be able to move it one flat at a time.

Pulling the shaft doesn't solve your major problem - it might make it a bit easier to get to the packing nut, but you've still got to do it. If you go this route, I believe that the coupler is a taper fit on the shaft, with a nut on the end of it. You have to remove the nut, then find a way to pop the shaft loose. Once you get everything back together, you have to get a wrench down there to tighten the nut back up, the same as if you hadn't pulled the shaft.

You might want to consider a drive shaft alignment while you're down there. It'll smooth things out if it's not right now.

But, if you've got the money, the dripless seal is pretty sweet.

04-23-2013, 08:40 AM
^ What he said. For me it was a major PITA. I changed mine out without having to pull the shaft but I hope I never have to do it again. I made a couple of packing nut wrenches that helped but I litterally had to put oil on my forearm to get it up under the engine/trans.

04-23-2013, 10:28 AM
I'vebeen under there and have had everything loose. We tried to tighten the nut to see if we could get the steady stream back to a few drops but it is just too old and needs to be replaced at this point. Loosening and tightening isn't really the issue (and yes I do have the wrench sold by SkiDim and a spud wrench). My question really is whether to try and pick out the old packing in place in the boat or try to remove the shaft entirely and replace the packing on the workbench.

My other question is whether or not the correct way to replace the packing if not removing the shaft is to precut the packing, place it on the shaft and just slide the packing nut over the packing while in place on the shaft and back onto the fitting. Otherwise, is the correct way to find something to push it up into the nut first BEFORE sliding it onto the fitting?

Thanks all!

04-23-2013, 11:46 AM
I was able to pick out the old packing without removing the shaft with a pick that I made. The downside is you can't see if you got it all out or not.

As for the new packing, I didn't have too much trouble placing it in the packing nut and hand tightening to force the packing inside.

04-23-2013, 01:12 PM
I removed it with the shaft in place. It really wasn't that big of a deal.

Putting the new packing in is pretty easy - wrap a strip around the shaft, cut it to the right length with a sharp razor blade, slide it into the stuffing box, and use the packing nut to move it inside. Here's (http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/stuffing_box&page=1) a pretty good writeup.