So I installed the wrong size of packing into our stuffing box during our drive train re-build. I knew something was wrong when I had to build a tool to cram the 1/4″ stuffing into the box and banged it down in there with a hammer.
In my own defense I’ve read the following tutorial on stuffing boxes several times and got the idea for the ‘cramming’ tool from this website: Maine Sail tutorial.
I used some small diameter PVC pipe to make a ram and used a torch to heat up the PVC to bend it into shape (as suggested somewhere on page 3 in the link).
Today I extracted the three rings of 1/4″ GFO packing I recently put in as our stuffing box has been running a bit hot. The best extraction tool turned out to be a 2″ coarse threaded drywall screw. It took some time to get the old stuff out but it was easy to put in the correct size packing. The packing nut was easy to engage even with 4 rings of 3/16″ packing in there.
The new shaft and cutless bearing sound much quieter then our old set up while underway at around 1600 rpms.
Next up, fine tune stuffing box, check engine alignment and enjoy some sailing while racing nearly every week.