Volvo Stern Gland Dripping

CaptainBob

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I installed a new Volvo stern gland last year. Part number 828254.

Installation went well and we were bone dry in the bilge all year.

Have just gone back in the water after 6 months out, during which time we had a new cutlass bearing installed, and I found the engine required re-alignment. This was done with the stern gland slid forward - an operation peformed without the plastic protector fitted.

Back in the water I burped the gland and put some grease in it with a straw. No drips.

Under way on our first passage I checked again and it's dripping, twice a second.

Do you think I've put too much grease in? Or damaged the surfaces inside it? Or?

Any suggested remedial action other than remove and replace?

Just back in the water I'm rather keen not to have to pay to be lifted again if I don't have to!

Thank you!
 

David2452

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I doubt you've put too much grease in and unless the alignment was moved quite a bit I would suspect that you may have damaged the lips when moving it along the shaft without using the protective sleeve.
 

CaptainBob

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Bums.

There's no obvious burrs on the shaft, it looks and feels very smooth. But the seal was slid accidentally rapidly up the length of it (it was hard to get off the hull end and suddenly released).

What do you think about in-water replacement. I think my anodes are far enough up that I can slide the shaft down far enough to get the old one off and a new one on. Quickly holding a towel over the hole while the new gland is slid down (protector in place) should limit the flow somewhat shouldn't it?
 

CaptainBob

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I just put a thin plastic cable tie around the forward end of my gland and pulled it 2 clicks tighter than "loose" so it's _just_ gripping the end of the gland around the shaft, about 10mm back from the leading edge. I then ran the engine (in gear) at a decent rpm.

No drips whatsoever.

Only problem I can think of with this is that it might get a bit warm over time, but with the water right there in it, is that actually going to be a problem.

Not keen on bodges but this one saves me £200 (lift + new gland) so is very appealing!
 

misterg

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It's possible you've inverted the sealing lips inside the stern gland (sounds painful!)

Here's an old one I cut in half:



See how the seal lips point backwards? This is an old one which still sealed OK - the 'lips' on the new one were ~2mm longer, so must have laid parallel to the shaft, rather than meeting it at ~90 degrees in a conventional lip seal. I have come to the conclusion that the 'protector' is there to make sure that the lips are laying in the correct orientation on the shaft (ooh!) when the seal is fitted, rather than to protect them from damage per-se.

I think it would be possible that in sliding the gland down an un-lubricated section of shaft that one or both of these lips have rolled back on themselves and inverted.

If your lips are inverted, I suppose you might be able to push them back the right way by inserting the 'protector' - maybe aided by disconnecting the coupling to ease the shaft aft as you do so (pull the shaft forwards again with the protector in place). Some water will come in.

I stress this is a personal opinion and it may be rubbish.

I suppose the other thing to look at is how good the alignment is, and that the coupling is running true, and that the shaft isn't bent.

Andy
 

Heckler

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You could try inserting the fitting tool thingy and rotating it through 360 degrees just in case there is a bit of trapped dirt.
+1 + slather plenty of blue grease on the protector.
The thing can be changed in the water, need good access, flying fingers and a good swmbo with a tea towel to block it off while you compose the new one!
Stu
 

CaptainBob

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Thanks for the replies!

That cross section is great. Makes me think the cable tie soluition is probably OK as a temporary fix until we're next against a wall.

Will try Bosun Higg's suggestion first just in case. Good idea!

...

Unfortunately I've obviously chucked out my original protector thing as I can't find it, so I cut a piece of card (I'd estimate it's ~0.5mm thick), rounded the edges, and slid it into the gland after removing my cable tie. It went in very easily. After rotating it I removed it, then started the engine.

Couple of drips at first even without the shaft spinning, just with the vibration, but I decided to try it with it spinning. It started to drip, but less than before, and increasingly less over the minute or so I watched it. Then it stopped dripping. I put the engine up to 2200 rpm and dried beneath the gland. Not a drop. Ran for about 3 mins.

Turned off the engine came back below to put hatches back and there was one solitary little droplet on the hull under the gland.

So something's definitely changed very much for the better! Unsure if I've redirected the vanes or cleaned out some dirt as BH suggested.

Either way I'm a much happier bunny!

Will get a spare for the locker and monitor it henceforth.

Thank you!
 
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