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Old 03-10-2006, 08:40 PM
east tx skier's Avatar
east tx skier east tx skier is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Boat: 1998 Ski Nautique
Location: End of my rope.
Posts: 25,278
How do I repack a traditional shaft stuffing box/packing gland?

1. Use a pipe wrench to loosen the packing nut all the way off the threads. Using a pair of needle nosed pliers or a tiny screwdriver or coat hang wire, harpoon the old rope which is packed inside the big nut. There are three of them and they come out pretty easily one at a time. Keeping them intact will save you some time later.

2. On the 1:1, the rope size is 1/4" (I believe it's 3/16" on the gear reduction transmissions). Using one of your old bits of rope, cut the new rope using a razor blade so it doesn't fray. You'll need three pieces.

3. Wrap the first piece around the shaft to make sure it fits around with hardly any space at the joint. Then cram it up in the nut while keeping it around the shaft abutting itself. Tighten the nut back down to seat it.

4. Unscrew the nut off the threads again and repeat step 3 for the next two pieces. Stagger the joints so they're not all lined up. Once it's seated, this can be tricky to find the joints. A good flashlight and some good eyes come in handy. Either 180 or 120 degrees is good. No hard numbers so long as they're not too close to the same between 1 and 2 or 2 and 3.

5. When all of the three rope sections are in the nut, tighten it back down.

6. Put the boat in the water and leave the shaft accessible. Crank up the motor and let it run for a second. Adjust so you see some drip. Then take the boat out and run it a while. When I went with my mechanic to do one, we ran it for about ten minutes. Bring the boat back to neutral and readjust the packing nut for the proper drip rate.

7. Drip Rate. There's no hard, fast answer to this. My mechanic likes 1 drip every second or two. I've read anything from once every 4 seconds, 15 seconds all the way to every five minutes. I guess if you can hold your hand over the packing and it doesn't feel like it's burning up after running the boat hard for a bit, it's probably alright. Once you get it like you like it, tighten up the jam nut.

That's it.

Note: The picture is just for reference. The description above is how I do it. Although it shows four pieces of packing, I only use three.
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Last edited by east tx skier; 03-30-2009 at 11:19 AM.