Click for JetForums Click for United Click for Lurssen Click for Llebroc Click for Dockmate

Shaft Seal Problems

Discussion in 'Props, Shafts, Rudders & Seals' started by CaboFly, Apr 18, 2019.

You need to be registered and signed in to view this content.
  1. CaboFly

    CaboFly Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2018
    Messages:
    58
    Location:
    Seattle
    Hauled out to do new lips seals on my Cabo that has Bluewater shaft seals this past Sunday afternoon. Everything went great up until about 3pm today when I went back in the water. Leading up to this project there were so many things I thought could pose a problem and nothing did. It all went very smoothly except the most important part. My new lip seals leak worse than before.

    Couplers are a lot of work with 12 bolts in each but they presented no surprises. Prop shop said my Veem props were in perfect shape which was nice. He even put my tapered shaft couplers in his glass bead blaster and cleaned them up. The Bluewater bronze seal bodies were a little weathered looking so my friend who was working on the project with me had use of a vapor blaster which made them look like new again. My dad was incredible in running down all the new bolts and nuts and even making a custom socket which he turned down on his lathe so it would fit in the coupler on the shaft side to remove the nut.

    Overall disassembly was just some work but no real speed bumps. A quick thanks to PacBlue who recommended I get a Propsmith tool for removal and mounting of props. Very happy I purchased the tool. Worked great...both times. Going back together again went smoothly and the Bluewater units looked great. Got everything buttoned up this morning and as the travel lift set me in the Water and I didn't even have time to start the engines. Port was dripping and the Stbd was like someone was squirting a Gatorade bottle out the face plate.

    Quickly tighten up the face plate bolts a bit and that only helped a little. Not good. I couldn't believe it..... I had to have the yard block me again and I have to take the couplers back off and slide the shafts back to remove the seal assemblies and start over. I spent 15 min on my cell phone with Chatfield in NZ talking over the situation and they were very nice.

    I checked everything and slide the unit up the shaft a bit to take some measurements but there is no smoking gun I can find. I had my dad look as well as my "sub contractor" who both have done more than a few shaft seals and we all can see nothing jumping out as to what the issue is. The new lip seal is on fresh shaft as I cut the new shaft log hose 2 inches shorter as the existing location showed some wear. Alignment looks good. Not sure what is up but I do know this as I sit and type this Jerry Maguire, I can't bring myself to do all the work taking the couplers off and sliding the shaft back again to only have the same issue happen again with these shaft seals. I already have the stbd coupler slid back a few inches this evening.

    Amazing how much quicker you can work when you have all the right tools in hand from doing this 2 days prior. Also helps the bolts are all new. Given that I can't see what is wrong with the current Bluewater system other than maybe the bore in the body has become too large and if over the 15 thousandths from the shaft size they indicated that could cause leaking or if alignment is not absolutely perfect that could cause an issue. With the shaft log hose being 2 inches shorter now that provides even less flex if something is misaligned. Maybe that is why PSS and Tides use bellows in their shaft log hose. I just don't know. Frustrating. Also with the lip seal not being something you can inspect without taking entire bronze body off the shaft or you will damage the lip seal makes it tough to go through all this each time there is an issue. After I quit disassembly part II this evening my gut told me I needed to change systems and start fresh. With no ability to maintenance or do anything without taking couplers off is not a good long term strategy.

    Leaning towards the PSS Pro Shaft Seal from PYI. I have to work in the office tomorrow but I plan on making some calls and seeing if a few are in stock locally so I can work on the boat over the weekend. Normally I try and find the silver lining in things but this one is tough.

    Attached Files:

  2. C team

    C team Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    Messages:
    178
    Location:
    Upper Chesapeake Bay
    Sorry to hear about your issues after all that hard work! I installed PSS dripless on my Egg many years ago and never looked back.
    BTW, great looking engine room and even better looking boat!
  3. SeaLion

    SeaLion Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Messages:
    135
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale
    Ditto on the beautiful job. Lip seals are super sensitive to shaft wear or seal damage while sliding the new seal up the shaft. Did you have something like the Tides "red hat" to protect the new lip seal? I replaced lip seals with Lasdrop Gen II seals and was very happy with the results.
  4. Boomer

    Boomer Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2017
    Messages:
    500
    Location:
    Seminole
    Wish my engine room looked like that!
  5. C team

    C team Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    Messages:
    178
    Location:
    Upper Chesapeake Bay
    For sure!
  6. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    1,320
    Location:
    Chesapeake Bay, Delaware Bay & S.Jersey
    C Team & Boomer, you all beat me to it !!.:) I empathize with you, Cabofly. Beautiful boat.
  7. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    11,688
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    PSS makes good shaft seals.

    Did you put some lithium grease on your lip seals and then pack your shaft seals with grease before you slid them up?
  8. CaboFly

    CaboFly Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2018
    Messages:
    58
    Location:
    Seattle
    Yes and was very careful on install. It is what it is. Purchased the PSS Pro Shaft Seal already and will be picking up in am at PYI HQ. They look like high quality and after talking with engineer feel good about decision.

    Will be spending Good Friday turning a wrench.
  9. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    11,688
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    The outcome sucks, having to do the job twice. PSS makes good seals.
  10. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,656
    Location:
    Dana Point, Ca
    Well, after this experience you could be a “flying doctor” for Cabo shaft seal swap outs :)

    Maybe the seal housing is worn out or out of tolerance, maybe the shaft is out of tolerance even with the shorter bellows, or more forensics needed. I am sure your dad can put the seal housing on a lathe and check the run out and do a post mortem.
  11. CaboFly

    CaboFly Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2018
    Messages:
    58
    Location:
    Seattle
    Yeah he will be taking them home for his own amusement for sure. I enjoy getting to know the boat but doing jobs like this twice and all the wasted money on parts for the existing seal system sure is frustrating. I will feel better being back in the water and dripless once again.
  12. CaboFly

    CaboFly Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2018
    Messages:
    58
    Location:
    Seattle
    I am happy to say that after a full day Friday (Good Friday) I was able to get the new PSS Pro Shaft Seals installed on both port and starboard shafts. Everything went smoothly and couldn't be happier with the quality of the product and design. I touched up some bottom paint on Sat morning and went over the engine room making sure we were ready to go back in the water and cleaned up. Launched this morning and had just enough time before Easter to put an hour running the boat at idle to 900rpm to break in the new system and monitor everything closely. Not a single drop of water from the new shaft seals since launch. Engine room is all cleaned up and just need to paint the shaft couplers this week. Attached are a few pics from stbd side with new PSS Pro Shaft Seal installed and underway.

    The empty holes in the last pic is for the base of generator enclosure I removed for better access during work.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
  13. C team

    C team Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    Messages:
    178
    Location:
    Upper Chesapeake Bay
    Look's great CaboFly. I know you will be happy with your PSS shaft seals. I still have not had to adjust the original pre-load setting on the bellows after many years of running.
  14. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,656
    Location:
    Dana Point, Ca
    Nice job, now your ready for the fishing season.
  15. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    1,320
    Location:
    Chesapeake Bay, Delaware Bay & S.Jersey
    Well done.
  16. CaboFly

    CaboFly Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2018
    Messages:
    58
    Location:
    Seattle
    Finished cleaning up the couplers last night. Pretty happy with how the paint work came out.

    Attached Files:

  17. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    1,320
    Location:
    Chesapeake Bay, Delaware Bay & S.Jersey
    Looks brand new.