1979 382 Can I replace the packing without hauling it out. I'm sure it's never been changed out It started leaking worst after the recent haul out . The boat was in the yard for three weeks. Thinking the packing may have dried up making a leak worst.
You can change the packing in the rudder gland while in the water. Expect a fair amount of inflow and have the bilge pump(s) ready. Work swiftly. The worse part of the job will be hanging the upper part of your body into the locker. Set up some kind of a foam buffer on the lockers edge, remove the wheel to give yourself more room and remove the quadrant to clear the way.
A problem I ran into when doing this same task was the water still coming in with the new packing in place and the packing gland nut tightened down as much as could be. The problem turned out to be there was debris in the male threads of the gland preventing the gland nut from becoming tight against the packing. The solution was a small wire wheel in a drill to do a total cleaning of the threads. Again, you are doing all this while hanging upside down.
No, the nut comes all the way off. You have to remove the quadrant to get the nut completely off the shaft. I then made a 1 3/4" wooden mandrel to place the packing into the nut. then replaced the nut and tightened it down. In the first photo the threads on the gland were completely cleaned so the nut could travel freely. If I can remember correctly, I used 7/16" GFO packing. You are aware that you need to cut individual rings and stagger the joints as you pack them in the nut?
I think that I have a leak not around the packing, but actually around the bronze cylinder that holds the rudder post. Next time I haul, I will try to deal with that. I don't want to try to pull the rudder post cylinder for fear of damaging either the cylinder or boat. It is screwed or bolted to the boat and was installed, I think, with 5200 or equivalent. I will try reaming out the glass around the cylinder at the lower end and filling the gap with caulking. Anyone else have this issue?
Do you feel there is a crack in the bronze casting? When I first experienced a continuing leak with new packing and the nut tightened hard, I felt that may have been my problem. Turns out it was simply the debris stuck in the threads of the gland that was preventing the nut from being properly tightened. Check that out before you go about removing the gland from the boat. That job would be a major operation in terms of effort and money.
The packing on my 384 is definitely 1/2". I've changed it 2 or 3 times. Like others have said be sure to clean the threads. The nut will take 3 rings, staggering the joints. I've always been able to get the threads started with the 3 rings in place but if you cannot get the threads started - put 2 rings in and tighten the nut down part way then remove nut and put the 3rd. ring in. There is no worry about overtightening the nut as there would be on a fast-turning shaft.