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Fabricating a Rudder Packing Nut Wrench

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
There are many options for using a wrench to get the rudder packing nut off. I've used several methods and wasn't super happy with them. Many were discussed here:

It seems to me that the best option are the "home brewed" wrenches like those of Lee Nicholas, Jim Cleary, John Harrison, etc.

I don't have a cutting torch or welder and Mitchell Allen had (hypothetically, I think) thrown out that he could maybe fabricate for someone who wanted one.

I'm interested in that.

Anyone else interested in commissioning a wrench if Mitchell will do it?

Thanks,
-Mark
 
I'll do it, from the looks of Jim's or? it just is a simple fab job with flat plate. I will need specific dimensions of course. Flats across the nut, etc. . We need to also find if different sized nuts were used through the years. I'll get into mine and check next time I am there.

Mitchell
 
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jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Terry
Thanks for posting those old posts about the large nut wrenches. Rereading them reminded me of the flaw in my design. Jeffs design with the handle coming 90 degrees from the opening is better because when it is placed on the nut gravity will lock the wrench in place. This means it will stay on the nut without having to hold it while swinging a mallet at the handle. A small but vital difference, especially when hanging upside-down in the locker.

Jim
 

yurek

Jerzy Borzym
Wrench with squere hole allows you to use standard socket tools from any directions and with extensions.
To unscrew frozen nut I used extension and long bar.
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
Yeah, Jerzy, that seems like a good idea. Shorter handle so that it fits in the space, but a square hole near the end to use standard socket tools/extensions.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
I have been digging through all my papers and books and can't find the diagram I used to cut out the wrench. It's a 3 1/4" opening and equally as deep. The aluminum stock was 3/8" thick. It cut easily but slowly with a sawzall and was finished with files. (don't grind aluminum on a wheel) As I said before, Next time I would have the handle 90 degrees from the opening. I'll keep looking for my drawing.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone.

Jim
 
Jim, a quick question.
Did you feel the 3/8" aluminum was adequite to do the job? Or would steel or Stainless steel be better? We can do any of these materials.
Thanks,
Mitchell
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Mitchell
The aluminum was all I had available at the time. The sawzall was the only means of cutting I had available. I would love to see these made from Stainless just for my personal satisfaction but the truth is the aluminum does the job. For the short time that the tool is needed, a fancier version may just be overkill.

I'm still at a loss for finding my original drawing. If you need a drawing, I will create a new one for you with the handle at 90 degrees to the opening.

Jim
 
Thanks Jim, that is pretty much what I expected to here. Aluminum will be the easiest to build. If we need further drawings I will get with you. The main thing is the nut dimensions, but if it is 3.25" we can build to that. If there are some boats with different sizes, we'll do that too.
Honestly, I have never touched Sonata's. I probably should check it, but she hasn't been out of the water in 3 years.
Mitchell
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
Mitchell - fyi, we don’t need to be hauled out to remove our nut and packing. Your mileage may vary ;-)
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
Mitchell - I’ll do a “to scale” drawing this weekend and post it here (if that helps) based on Matd’s sample & Jim’s feedback. Sounds like 3/8” Aluminum or Steel plate would be the way to go. And Jerzy’s idea of the square hole to take ratchet extensions, etc. Our nut is 3-1/4” and we haven’t heard from anyone yet that has a different size nut.

Happy New Year to all our fellow Morganeers!
Cheers,
Mark
 
Happy New Year!
Thanks Mark.
Yes it will help. I agree that a square drve hole will help in some instances too. 1/2" I would think.

Jim, you showed a photo of the wood mandrel you use for packing, brilliant! To verify, is the rudder shaft indeed 1 3/4" diameter? I am not going to be on Sonata soon to check.
Thanks to everyone involved in this project.
Mitchell
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Mitchell

Yes indeed. 1 3/4" shaft. The wood mandrel works great. Perfectly cut rings before you begin packing them in. Let me know if you have trouble finding or making one. I am a woodturner.

Jim
 
Thanks Jim! That is really generous of you. I did some wood turning in school and with my Grand Dad many years ago. It's a lot of fun. Anyway, I will let you know. Thank you,
Mitchell
 
That looks good, I've also included a 1/2" drive hole located about 2" from the wrench end.
Does anyone else want a wrench? Getting ready to make a run of these.
Mitchell
 

datswite

Ken Ferrari
I'm definitely interested. Unfortunately, my boat in in Gibraltar at the moment, so I cannot confirm the packing nut size.
 
Thanks guys, I appreciate your feedback and interest. The more I can do the better for our production process.
I suspect that Morgan used the same size for a number of different models and sizes of boats on this item. BUT, that said, we know how so many features went through changes too. I look forward to knowing if there are different sized rudder nuts. I should be able to adjust the drawing and produce another size if needed.
Thanks,
Mitchell
 

Fortin024

New Member
Mitchell

I just turned a few 1 3/4" mandrels for repacking the rudder post. Send me a snail mail address and I'll send you one.

Jim
Hi Jim,

If you still have some of these mandrels, I'd love to get in contact with you. Could you leave me your email address here. I'll have to repack mine as it is leaking.

Cheers,
Mike
 

Maurice

New Member
Hello Mitchell,

If I am not too late, I am also interested in a wrench. I don't have access to my boat I will assume that the size is standard for the 384's. Thank you for doing this work,
Maurice
 
Good Morning all,
I'm still in a "pre production" mode on the wrenches, so no problem Maurice.
I hope to have them done in the next two weeks. We have some Quarentine issues going on here, but should be making them soon.

I was at the boat last week and felt around the rudder shaft below the quadrant (full circular) and the nut/packing is leaking. So another job on the list.
I didn't remove the quadrant so no full access yet. But there is a jam nut below the packing nut. Which makes sense.
Ok, this is ripe with all kinds of inappropriate comment possibilities, but no.

Now, this is an area of Sonata I have just now become somewhat familiar with. But the more I look at re-packing the rudder nut, it seems like two wrenches should be required. True? Can you more experienced Morganeers chime in, Jim, Mark, et al?
We may be able to have a better price on the wrench once I know more.

Thanks,
Mitchell
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Mitchell

Dana does not have a locking nut on the rudder packing gland. I think the amount of movement of the shaft in the gland is relatively so small that the gland nut won't work it's way loose. Not like the prop shaft gland which moves great amounts.

The last time I repacked the rudder gland I had the nut as tight as I could get it and it still leaked. Upon inspection a small glob of fiberglass resin was lodged in the threads of the gland preventing the nut from tightening any further. With cleaning the threads, the nut tightened properly.

For the prop shaft gland I made two open end wrenches to handle the gland nut and the locking nut. Be aware the sizes of the nuts are different so one wrench is about 1/8" smaller then the other.

Jim
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Mitchell

I measured the wrench sizes needed for my shaft packing gland nuts. The gland nut is 2.0 in and the locking nut is 2.0625. Why they are different is a mystery. You still need two wrenches to loosen them. I made mine from 3/8" aluminum stock with 4 1/2" handles. If I had a do over, I would make the handles longer, say 8 to 10 " for more leverage and to better wedge one of them against the hull.

Jim
 
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