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dtb

GFO shaft packing - issue/question

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dtb

Hi all, it has been a while since I've posted.  Hope everyone's summer is off to a good start.  I need some advice from this great community again:

I have a 2000 VLX that I have owned for 15 years.  Toward the end of last season I replaced the original flax shaft packing with new GFO packing.  I followed advice from this site, got three rings of GFO neatly installed, adjusted the nut for drip rate, and went on with the remainder of the season.  I checked periodically after the install and made sure the packing nut was staying cool, which it did for the rest of the 2017 season without issue.  This year however, something has changed.  At the start of the season, I checked the nut again after running for a while and found that the nut was really hot.  I got out my wrenches as put a little torque on the nut, and as I did that some water started flowing through the packing.  I didn't actually move the nut, but just "tweaking" it allowed water to start dripping again.  Ran the boat some more and checked and the nut was now staying cool.

A couple weeks went by where I didn't use the boat (kids baseball tournaments, etc. - you know the story) so when I took the boat out this past Saturday I checked the packing nut again after running a bit and again the nut was very hot.  Got the wrenches out and again applied some torque but didn't actually move the nut on the threads.  This allowed water to start dripping again and the nut stayed cool the rest of the weekend.

So my question is, with this GFO packing is there some reason it is sealing up when the boat sits for a week or two without use causing me to have to "tweak" the nut to get water dripping through again?  I had the original flax packing in there for over a decade with only a minor adjustment required every couple years to maintain drip rate.  Now with the GFO it seems I am having to mess with it all the time to keep it dripping.  It also appears that the drip is now coming from the bottom of the nut assembly between the packing nut and lock nut, rather than at the top of the nut on the shaft.

I will have more time to deal with it next weekend.  I need to get it adjusted to where I don't have to be checking it all the time.  Any advice is appreciated! 

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saxton15

I went through some frustration after I put GFO in my shaft packing.  I ended up pulling it after one season and going with a dripless system.  I also could not get the drip rate right between cool/drip/no drip/hot. 

Do you leave your boat in the water?  Mine was steady, but I didn't like how it kept dripping and prefer a dry bilge. 

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dtb

The boat stays on a lift.

I am okay with it dripping as necessary to keep the nut/packing cool, and I can get it adjusted to do that, but then when the boat sits for a while it seems like the packing "seals up" to where it is no longer dripping, until I put a wrench on it again....

Thanks saxton15....

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saxton15

When I pulled the GFO out of the nut I noticed mine was very glossy, almost like it had warmed up and set itself together.  Are you sure the three rounds are seated properly?

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