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Rudder shaft nuts 380 ac

Discussion in 'General Maintenance/Repair Questions' started by crazy diver, Jan 24, 2020.

  1. crazy diver

    crazy diver Member

    39
    Mar 1, 2019
    2001 380 AC
    Cat 3126 350HP x 2
    looking for an easier way to adjust leaking rudder shafts on a 2001 380 AC. The area is so tight (on both shafts) I cannot see any way to put any type of wrench on them and be able to turn them. The only way I can see too do it is with a hammer and chisel and try too turn them by tapping. This will not be easy with the limited space. Has anyone adjusted the nuts on a 380 AC? If so, whats the secret? I got to be missing something.
     
  2. JVM225

    JVM225 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 8, 2008
    Farmingdale, NY
    2002 410 Sundancer, Monaco Edition.
    3126 Cats.
    This is a job I do in the water rather than up on blocks where things can shift.
    My boat’s layout is different than yours but I have a massive set of channel locks that I’ve had for years (most often used for stubborn filters) and a massive aluminum pipe wrench that I got at harbor freight. The length gives the needed leverage in tight spaces. Soaking with PB Blaster repeatedly starting a few days before helps too.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
    Chris-380 likes this.
  3. crazy diver

    crazy diver Member

    39
    Mar 1, 2019
    2001 380 AC
    Cat 3126 350HP x 2
    Thanks for the advice, Main problem on this 380 AC is no room and no leverage. I can get a pipe wrench on the starboard nuts but no room too turn them. Cannot even figure out how I can get a wrench on the port side let alone turn the nuts
     
  4. techmitch

    techmitch Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    May 1, 2008
    Chesapeake Bay, Middle River/Frog Mortar Creek MD.
    1999 270 DA
    Twin 4.3s W/Alpa I Gen II's
    crazy diver likes this.
  5. techmitch

    techmitch Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    May 1, 2008
    Chesapeake Bay, Middle River/Frog Mortar Creek MD.
    1999 270 DA
    Twin 4.3s W/Alpa I Gen II's
    kvduff and crazy diver like this.
  6. R-and-R

    R-and-R Active Member SILVER Sponsor GOLD Sponsor

    176
    May 9, 2018
    Safe Harbors Narrows Point - Kent Island
    2002 340 Sundancer
    8.1S Mercruiser
    I feel your pain. My port stuffing box was leaking pretty badly so this has become one of my major winter projects. The only way I was able to get in there was to remove the steering arms and rudder support bars. That gave me room to get in with the giant channel locks (after lots of PB Blaster).

    I've looked lots of places for those shaft packing wrenches, but none were large enough to fit the 2 7/8" nuts on my 340DA. In a different thread that I started on this topic, a couple guys mentioned that they had fabricated their own wrenches, but I don't have the facilities to do that.
     
    crazy diver likes this.
  7. crazy diver

    crazy diver Member

    39
    Mar 1, 2019
    2001 380 AC
    Cat 3126 350HP x 2
    Thanks Mitch and R and R. I have always figured there has to be a special wrench, socket, or some kind of tool to do this job. R and R I think your correct....I will have to remove the Rudder Bar and some other pieces. Only worries is having to do this all the time. On my old Bayliner, everytime I went out they would start leaking again and would have to tighten after each use. But they had alot easier access than these. Going to the Boat next week...I will measure the nuts and stare at it awhile and see if some of your guys suggestions will work.
     
  8. R-and-R

    R-and-R Active Member SILVER Sponsor GOLD Sponsor

    176
    May 9, 2018
    Safe Harbors Narrows Point - Kent Island
    2002 340 Sundancer
    8.1S Mercruiser
    Did I mention that this is my major winter project?

    This all began because ONE stuffing box was leaking. Then on haul out I noticed a perceptible bend on that rudder.

    When it became apparent that I’d have to remove the support bars, I figured “in for an ounce, in for a pound.”

    I removed both rudders and stuffing boxes entirely. Rudders are currently being refurbished at my local prop shop, and I’m cleaning up the stuffing boxes in preparation for getting re-sealed and reinstalling.

    I’m cautiously optimistic that with new stuffing material, retightening will be a rare occurrence. Especially since the starboard side hasn’t leaked in the two years that I’ve had this boat.

    Pics are of my engine room today.

    Good luck. I’m interested in hearing how you make out.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Skip Boyer

    Skip Boyer Active Member

    154
    Sep 24, 2015
    North Carolina
    1998 500DA Sundancer, 1999 Maxum 2800, 1998 270 Sundancer, Oliver Hazard Perry FFG-7
    Twin Detroit 6V92TA
    As long the subject is on the table....Is there a "proper" procedure for tightening the packing gland ? How tight is to tight ? Can the stuffing be replaced while the boat is afloat ? How much leakage is considered acceptable ? Any more ???
     
  10. R-and-R

    R-and-R Active Member SILVER Sponsor GOLD Sponsor

    176
    May 9, 2018
    Safe Harbors Narrows Point - Kent Island
    2002 340 Sundancer
    8.1S Mercruiser
    I'm no expert, but based on my reading of various threads on this topic, you'll find varying opinions on each of your questions. I've seen comments that no leakage is acceptable while others think some leakage is okay. I've seen some guys say they replace the stuffing while afloat while others think there's too much risk of excessive leakage while doing the job. In my particular setup, I wasn't confident I could get all of the old stuffing material out in order to repack properly with new stuffing. As it turns out, I made the right call. The old stuffing was so hardened and degraded, i don't think I'd have ever gotten it cleared. Lastly, how tight? I don't know. My mechanic simply advised "Don't make it too tight, then when you splash it plan on adjusting it until it stops leaking."
     

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