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Repacking the shaft seal... any advice?


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This weekend I noticed a steady stream of water coming from the packing nut on my 2000 Malibu VLX. The water was steady both under power and idle.

To get thru the weekend, we pulled the boat, loosened the locking nut and tightened the packing nut, maybe 1/4 turn, then re-tightened the locking nut.

Now there is no water whatsoever. I understand there is supposed to be a drip every 10 seconds or so while under power but not even that. Is this bad short term?

Either way, time to repack it and I'd like to do this myself. Any advice?

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Small hands and a small strong adult, and hard liquor of your choice. 
 

harbor freight sells a nice little pick set for $2. You’ll need that and some patience. 

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If you can tighten it and stop all flow, why repack it?  Leave the nuts jammed and bump both by putting your wrench on the back one.  A few bumps later and you will have your six to ten drips per minute in gear at idle.

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14 minutes ago, justgary said:

If you can tighten it and stop all flow, why repack it?  Leave the nuts jammed and bump both by putting your wrench on the back one.  A few bumps later and you will have your six to ten drips per minute in gear at idle.

If it is like the lxi I did the choice was 0 drips or flooding the boat.  It was really deteriorated, and may have been the original packing since neither my father in-law or brother in-law remembered ever having it replaced .

In any event that was my final repair on that boat. It was replaced with an almost new 200.

Edited by oldjeep
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4 hours ago, justgary said:

If you can tighten it and stop all flow, why repack it?  Leave the nuts jammed and bump both by putting your wrench on the back one.  A few bumps later and you will have your six to ten drips per minute in gear at idle.

I have a feeling it's pretty deteriorated. In any event, what do you mean by "bump"? Also, is it harmful if to run if it isn't dripping?

Thanks for the replies 

 

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He's saying, if you can still do adjustments to it, you can likely tighten it again to reach your optimal drip rate.  

If you plan on changing it, it's a job that requires some patience to get right.  Specifically, getting the three loops of packing into the nut.  Best way to do this is to get some ballest pipping and cut a small section off, then make one cut length wise to wrap it around the shaft.  You can then use it to push each packing strand into the nut.

Alternatively, get your hands dirty, pull the shaft and replace with a dripless.

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7 hours ago, Stoef said:

what do you mean by "bump"?

I mean put your wrench on the nut that is in the back of the stack for the direction you want to go and bump the wrench with your hand to get very tiny incremental movement.  Don't loosen the jam nut first.

So, to have fewer drips, put the wrench on the jam nut and smack the wrench to get tiny turns tightening the nuts.

To have more drips, put the wrench on the packing nut and smack the wrench to get tiny turns loosening the nuts.

It might be a bit pesky, but if you can get flowing water and no flow, six to ten drips per minute is still somewhere in between.  Tiny bumps of the nuts gets tiny incremental changes.

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6 hours ago, justgary said:

I mean put your wrench on the nut that is in the back of the stack for the direction you want to go and bump the wrench with your hand to get very tiny incremental movement.  Don't loosen the jam nut first.

So, to have fewer drips, put the wrench on the jam nut and smack the wrench to get tiny turns tightening the nuts.

To have more drips, put the wrench on the packing nut and smack the wrench to get tiny turns loosening the nuts.

It might be a bit pesky, but if you can get flowing water and no flow, six to ten drips per minute is still somewhere in between.  Tiny bumps of the nuts gets tiny incremental changes.

Thanks!

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