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Rudder Post Packing

Brian_Burk

New Member
Reading past posts indicate the rudder post packing is 1/2", 3 wraps cut on a 45 degree angle and staggered 90 degrees. GFO Gore seems to be the way to go.

My question is, can the packing be replaced without removing the steering quadrant from the rudder post? I am able to get channel locks onto the nut and am wondering if I simply loosen the nut off the post, will I be able to remove the old packing and install the new. Seems possible but many have removed the steering quadrant is prior posts.

Thank you for any input!
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
Hi Brian - we have a 384 and I can say that with our quadrant, it is impossible to change the packing without removing the quadrant.

With at least some of the 382s though, they have a different quadrant. I’ve seen pictures & it’s not a full circle like ours. They apparently can change packing without removing the quadrant.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Brian
Dana has the open quadrant of the earlier boats and I find it difficult to work on the rudder stuffing box without removing the quadrant. The worse part of the job is just bending over the edge of the locker to get down in there.

Jim
 

dave_a

Dave Ahlers
Reading past posts indicate the rudder post packing is 1/2", 3 wraps cut on a 45 degree angle and staggered 90 degrees. GFO Gore seems to be the way to go.

My question is, can the packing be replaced without removing the steering quadrant from the rudder post? I am able to get channel locks onto the nut and am wondering if I simply loosen the nut off the post, will I be able to remove the old packing and install the new. Seems possible but many have removed the steering quadrant is prior posts.

Thank you for any input!

Good luck with channel locks to loosen the packing nut. It took me a chain wrench, 4' of extentions, 1/2" breaker bar, 4' pipe and a propane torch.
Get the quadrant out of the way would be my advice, but I had a lot more going on. If that gland nut is loose, count your blessings. It won't leak in the water unless you have a lot of "junk in the trunk".
 

Warren Holybee

Active Member
Yes, you must remove the quadrant, which after you have done a couple times is no big deal. Channel locks will not work. I have a giant pipe wrench which I cut the handle off and it works ok. Even then it can take some persuasion with a rubber hammer. But getting upside down to reach it is difficult.
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
John English: Maybe I already asked you, but do you know the thread pitch of our rudder stock packing nut? I would like to buy one of the Tides Marine replacements. Thanks.
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
John - I'm intrigued with those Tides Rudder Port Bearings. Seems like a really good idea, and potential replacement for the sometimes nuisance of the nut/packing.

Do you have any pictures of those on this forum? And/or descriptions of the task to install?

Thanks,
-Mark
 
Yipes,
That all happened over 20 years ago. I might have the purchase info in my archives. It has been in place since then along with an upper rudder post bearing that was part of the new Schumacher rudder design that extended the post up 12 inches for the bearing installation.
As I recall the installation on the embedded stuffing box was a non event. I think a standard 1-1/4" stuffing box product would be a safe bet
Although the originally designed stuffing box solution appears to work, I was never comfortable with the lateral loads placed on a system designed for rotation.
 

yurek

Jerzy Borzym
This summer I bought on eBay wrench with square hole for extension
I replaced packing with packing material from McMaster.
I can use this wrench with big ratchet extended with pipe to tide nut from quarter birth opening.
Ratchet rather than bar allows for better position of the wrench in the opening.
After 500+ miles offshore no leaks.
 

Brian_Burk

New Member
Thanks for all the tips! I was able to get the packing nut off surprisingly easily with only a 16.5" channel locks. It looks like it had been repacked at one point so that might be why it was not more difficult. Only took a few minutes of upside down work in the helm locker and carefully placed cushion to avoid bruising my ribs to get it free. My 382 quadrant is also not a full circle, so I had plenty of room to reach the nut when turning the wheel hard in one direction to move the quadrant partially out of the way. There is at least 6+ inches between the nut and the quadrant, plenty to get the old stuffing out. Now I await delivery of the new on Monday and hope it goes back on just as easy as it came off.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Attached are a couple of photos of the wrench I made for the rudder packing nut out of 3/8" aluminum plate.

Jim
 

Attachments

  • 17-028 Dana Steering 172704-4.jpg
    17-028 Dana Steering 172704-4.jpg
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  • 17-029 Dana Dishrack 172704-8.jpg
    17-029 Dana Dishrack 172704-8.jpg
    2.2 MB · Views: 7

Warren Holybee

Active Member
Thanks for all the tips! I was able to get the packing nut off surprisingly easily with only a 16.5" channel locks. It looks like it had been repacked at one point so that might be why it was not more difficult. Only took a few minutes of upside down work in the helm locker and carefully placed cushion to avoid bruising my ribs to get it free. My 382 quadrant is also not a full circle, so I had plenty of room to reach the nut when turning the wheel hard in one direction to move the quadrant partially out of the way. There is at least 6+ inches between the nut and the quadrant, plenty to get the old stuffing out. Now I await delivery of the new on Monday and hope it goes back on just as easy as it came off.
I would still suggest removing the quadrant if you intend to successfully install it without leaking.

You need 3 turns of packing, which is difficult and often only 2 turns are used and it will still leak. You might not be able to get the 3rd turn of packing in with the quadrant in place. It should only take 5 minutes to remove the quadrant. Its silly to not and risk failure.

Also, packing works by squeezing it so it expands and makes a tight seal. It might have been loose enough to get off with channel locks, but you won't get it tight enough to not leak with channel locks.
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
Hi Jerzy - by chance could you post what the description of the wrench was from your Ebay account buyer's history? I'm still seeking an easy way to deal with that nut.
Thanks!
 

yurek

Jerzy Borzym
Mark
I used this wrench, cut the handle and welded "sacrificial" socket just to use its square part.
I think wrench is 1/8 thick. I keep it on my boat.

View order detailsHuge 3-1/4" (83MM) Open End Service Wrench Engineer 12" Long - Sawmill?

Huge 3-1/4 (83MM) Open End Service Wrench Engineer 12 Long - Sawmill?
Huge 3-1/4" (83MM) Open End Service Wrench Engineer 12" Long - Sawmill?
(324436908523)

Before the rusty one, I bought wrench below, but was to heavy to use on extended arm. (I think it is 3/4" thick)

Jun , 2021
ORDER NUMBER393309051073-1123531938026
SOLD BYottertoolsuser ID, click for member’s profile
HIN
View order detailsImperial - Newton 3/4” Drive 3-1/4” Crowsfoot Wrench

Imperial - Newton 3/4” Drive 3-1/4” Crowsfoot Wrench
Imperial - Newton 3/4” Drive 3-1/4” Crowsfoot Wrench
(393309051073)

You have to remove quadrant to replace packing.
This modified wrench with extensions allows me to turn the nut (tide it if needed) from inside of the boat.
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
somewhere on the site is a dimensional drawing of a wrench like Jim's. I have meant to make one for years so I don't have to carry around a pair of 3' channel locks.
 
If anyone would like, I can make (weld) up a wrench from flat plate. 1/8", 3/16" whatever you'd like. I did essentially the same thing to use on a Dodge van's water pump a while back. Just let me know what you need.
Mitchell
 
Reading past posts indicate the rudder post packing is 1/2", 3 wraps cut on a 45 degree angle and staggered 90 degrees. GFO Gore seems to be the way to go.

My question is, can the packing be replaced without removing the steering quadrant from the rudder post? I am able to get channel locks onto the nut and am wondering if I simply loosen the nut off the post, will I be able to remove the old packing and install the new. Seems possible but many have removed the steering quadrant is prior posts.

Thank you for any input!
Brian,
I've not been able to do this job without taking out the quadrant. It is not that difficult. Also had to remove the rudder position indicator first. The key on the rudder post wants to fall into the bilge, so be aware of that. There might be different packing sizes among boats as my packing is 5/16" square. When the gland nut comes off and you get the old packing out, you'll know for sure. Last time, on the way to Maine, my packing was leaking and I was able to tighten things up enough while in the water with a chain wrench. Still had to remove the RPI and quadrant. I'm interested to know how it can be done without doing that.
Good luck!
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
Terry - Fyi, here is the thread that has dimensions for John Harrison and Lee Nicolas' wrenches. Jim's is on a piece of graph paper, but I didn't see any hard dimensions.


I don't have a cutting torch or welder.

Maybe those of us who want one should commission Mitchell to fabricate a batch? :) I'm in!

Actually, I'll start a new thread so we don't totally hijack Brian's thread.
 
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Brian_Burk

New Member
Thank you all again for the tips and insight! The wealth of knowledge from the group is truley invaluable. The job is complete, but definitly is not one that I care to do again for a long time....

Getting the packing out was the easy part. Interestingly, I found 4 rings of old packing, 1 flax and 3 gore. My guess is the last time it was packed the top ring of flax was missed. I also think the old packing was ~3\8" as it is was significantly smaller than the 1/2". How they got 4 rings in there was a mystery to me (more on that later) but being the smaller size would definitly help. Besides the age of the packing, that might also be another reason is was leaking.

At first (with the quadrant on) I was only able to get 1 ring of 1/2" packing in the nut. This meant the quadrant had to come off as many suggested. My concern with removing it was that the stainless bolts might be seized to the aluminum quadrant, but fortunately they came right out. With the packing nut off the shaft, I was able to get all 3 rings of 1/2" packing in the nut but really struggled with getting the threads to catch when reinstalling the nut. I started second guessing the packing size based on the old packing and difficulty of getting the nut to screw on so tried 3/8" packing. While it fit, it seemed too loose around the shaft unless you really cranked the nut down to expand the packing. If it wasnt for the forum, I might have left it like that but thought 1/2" was the way to go because of the tight seal and the multiple comments about how difficult it was to get 3 rings on, all things I experienced. Going back to the suggestions here, what finally worked was installing 2 rings and tightening them hard to compress. I then removed the nut and installed the 3rd ring which, with some pressure, was able to be screwed on.

Reinstalling the quadrant also tested my patience as the markings on the shaft I made were rubbed off by the packing going on and off. Long story short, using the eyeballs on my fingers I was able to put the quadrant back together to where the cables ran smoothly.

The whole job took about 7 hours, half in the dark and rain as we are splashing the boat tomorrow in Titusville. I will honestly say, this tested my patience but am glad it's done and thinking about sunnier days already. Thank you all again for the tips and tricks, I wouldn't have been able to complete this myself without it!
 
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mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
Brian - glad you got that done! Yeah, when you work on these boats, it can be satisfying in the end but a real test of patience (and flexibility). It also gives me some appreciation of why it can cost significant $ to professionally have some tasks done that *seem* like they should be easy.

I also just re-learned something that I originally learned 7 years ago and forgot: some of us have "Quadrants" and others have "Radial Drive Wheels".

1640283079117.png

I think the earlier 382s had Quadrants and at some point in 382 production it switched to Radial Drive Wheels. I think (someone correct me if I'm wrong) 383 and 384s all had Radial Drive Wheels when they popped out of the factory.

Related to the origin of this thread: I think those folks who can remove the rudder packing nut without taking this device off have "Quadrants". Folks (like me) who have "Radial Drive Wheels" need to remove them to reach the nut.
 
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jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Mark
Dana, hull #53, has the quadrant in the upper left of the photo. It's as open as could be and I still have to remove it to reach the packing nut.

Jim
 
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