Extracting stern gland packing?

Richard10002

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I'm fully expecting the packing in my stern gland to be difficult to get out. The thoughts going through my mind are to drill into it so as to produce something to get a grip of:

Is this a good idea, (or a bad one)

Any other suggestions.

Just pre-empting things here - wont be starting the job till next week.

Many Thanks
 

pheran

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I modified a small electrical screwdriver, sharpening it to a point then bending it over to form a hook. Then you just dig it in and haul away. Works well for me even on quite large packing.
 

Liz_I

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Sorry you are having problems.

Take a sharpened screwdriover or bradawl turn over appx 1/4" through 90 degrees then you will have a nice sharp hook that will dig into your sterngland packing. If this is done in the water the last couple of turns of packing have to be done very quickly, making sure you have the replacement cut and ready to insert. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
Good luck!
 

retsina

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It should be fairly easy to get it out. As the others have said, bent a thin srewdriver over 90 degrees and lever it out. I would not do this while in water. Can you dry out the boat agaisnt a post or quay wall for couple of hours??
 

2Tizwoz

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As has been described above the proper tool works well but a woodscrew welded to a tee handle served me well for many years. Alternatively as you will use it infrequently a long wood screw and pliers will do the job.

A drill could mark your shaft and cause ongoing problems.

Cut your replacement packing to length before you start to remove the old stuff.

This is an excellent description of the job.
 

Richard10002

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The boat is out of the water at the moment, so an ideal time to do the job.

Thanks for all the info. Looks like it shouldnt be too difficult.

Richard
 

Richard10002

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[ QUOTE ]
The proper tool
or you could try a woodscrew and pliers!

edit- the cheap copies on ebay are worthless- the corkscrew breaks off

[/ QUOTE ]

Can I just walk into a shop, (e.g. Maplins), and buy one of these, or are they on ebay, (cant find even the cheap ones with a search), or do I have to buy from James Walker - wonder if I could just drive to Crewe and get one over the counter?

In only a few words - Any idea how I buy one? (I can obviously call customer support tomorrow.

Cheers

Richard
 

NorthUp

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Short answer- I don't know!
I have only dealt with the Aberdeen branch over the phone (for over twenty years, no, more than one phone call!) and have never had to replace the extractor.
They do have branches all over the country, so phone them first, they may be closer to you than Crewe.
 

Sailfishing

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I've been repacking glands on pumps, valves propshafts etc. for years and to be honest I wouldn't bother with a pig tail type tool for just one gland, if you have one a scriber with a 90deg bend works very well. Alternatively I have made a half circular sleave before you can fit around the shaft on the outside and use a soft hammer to knock the packing in, this is when a stuffing box was quite deep and the packing quite thin, I was worried about damaging the shaft...
 
A

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What you need is a dentist's 'pick' - the bent one. They are in supermarkets - I think in the UK but have certainly seen then in Spain and Italy along with the dental care stuff OR sometimes by the First Aid bits, usually hanging in a pack. While you're at it, pick up all the other dentist's bits and mirrors -- they are very handy and cheap.
 
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Richard, just a thought....why are you planning to replace the packing? Excess leakage? Have you tried nipping it up a little and is the grease going in OK?
 

pheran

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[ QUOTE ]
Don't do it whilst on the water as a friend did!!

[/ QUOTE ]I don't understand this - I've always done mine whilst in the water, many times and on a great variety of boats. Indeed, doing it out of the water can make the whole job more difficult on modern hulls that tend to flex when not fully supported as they are when floating. The first rush of water can be a bit of a shock the first time you do it but as long as you have pre-cut at least the first couple of rings, have them to hand and stay calm, its a doddle. I doubt whether I get more than a couple of pints of water coming in, even on a 'bad' one.

TIP: Go for a trial fitting of one of the new packing rings, just to make sure its alright, before you take the last of the old rings out.
 

PuffTheMagicDragon

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Not a problem if you are well prepared. This morning I even replaced a friend's Volvo Seal while afloat. Ok, we did get out hands wet, but that was just about all there was to it. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

Refueler

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I used a bent nail. Longest nail I could find .... ground the point to a very sharp small flat instead of point.
Took me probably about a minute to get all packing out. It was done afloat as well.
BEFORE extracting the packing - I made sure plenty of grease was pumped in ... when packing came out - I didn't get more than a few drops of water, certainly no in-rush as I expected. I could have left the boat for short period like that quite easily without trouble.
New packing was already prepared so not necessary.Each ring of packing was placed round shaft and the nail was reversed so the the ground down head provided enough to nicely ease packing back into the seal ... next rings etc. till all were in ... packing nut then finishing it off.

So long nail.
 

Richard10002

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[ QUOTE ]
Richard, just a thought....why are you planning to replace the packing? Excess leakage? Have you tried nipping it up a little and is the grease going in OK?

[/ QUOTE ]

Merely because it hasnt been done since I bought her in March 2006, and 3 years, (plus however long it had been prior to my purchase), seems a long time.

Grease seems to go in OK, and no excessive leakage when I ran the engine for 10 minutes or so, (in gear, tied to quay), in early March.

Do you think it is OK to leave it until something doesnt seem right.

Even if I can leave it, it will be good to have the right tools and packing on board, so I can do it when necessary.

I've got a dental kit on board - I'm guessing there is a pick.

Thanks for the thought!

Richard
 
A

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Absolutely! No need to change your packing unless you have symptoms. If they packed with graphite-loaded (most do now) the life is nearly ten times as long as the old un-graphited. Also, if you have nipped up the gland and kept grease going in on a regular basis your packing could last well over five years -- just leave it until you have nothing better to do. Even then, why fix something that isn't broken? If you do have time, have a peek in there and see all is well and look at the grease that comes out, rub it between your fingers. Feels OK? No leaks? You want a few drips when you are motoring anyway. Does the shaft rotate freely by hand? Yes? Then leave it /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 
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