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Compass Marine How To | all galleries >> Welcome To >> Re-Packing A Traditional Stuffing Box > Packing Nut Showing Syntef & Teflon Flax
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Packing Nut Showing Syntef & Teflon Flax

The idea behind this green "moldable clay" is that it will make your traditional stuffing box dripless. To install it you insert the first ring of flax, then pack in the green clay like substance and insert the second ring making, in essence, a green stuff sandwich.

While the idea of a dripless shaft seal is not new this stuff is probably not the ideal way to go dripless. Not only is it very, very tough to remove with a pick, and replace once installed, it also did not work as advertised for me. This stuff can plug the male end of the stuffing box with a thick black sediment as I found out.

This sediment can only be described as, remnants of the "syntef lubricant" and the "moldable clay". This gray/black goo totally plugged our stuffing box essentially preventing any cooling or lubricating water from getting to the female nut. If left alone for a long enough period it could wind up ruining your prop shaft.

Again, many folks claim success with the "miracle clay" so take my advice as cautionary only and do your own research beyond what I've said.

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Graham Forsaith 15-Jan-2010 05:13
Excellent. Just been upsidedown in the engine room on my 33 ft yacht adjusting the stuffing box nut. Had a bit of a problem getting the locking nut loose but managed in the end with the help of some good quality lubricant ( I agree about you WD40 comments ). I still have about a turn and a half left on the adjustment I think so did not feel it was required to re-pack the nut. One quarter turn and the dripping ceased all together. I'll run the shaft tomorrow and see if al is OK. By the way, the packing nut only has a very narrow set of flats on it and the wrench with the slim jaws often slipped off. I tightened the locking nut with as couple of well aimed taps with a hammer just to pinch it up.
Paul 02-Mar-2009 00:13
Thanks a bunch. I am about to fix the stuffing box on my PY 26. This gives me a better idea of what i will be looking for.
ed jordan 05-Aug-2008 15:57
i have a 1976 f32 trojan i rebuilt including new shafts couplers strut and bushings moter mounts etc.i was advised to use drip free buck algonquin packing between packing 'my test drive reveiled packing nuts heating up at a point where you could burn your hand no matter how far the nuts are backed off,i know for shure the engine line up is perfict check and re checked as i was driving this goop was dripping out of the nut so i hauled the boat out cleaned the nuts out even using laqure thinner re packed with gortex followed instructions to the tee ;i re launched water is now cooling with a drip but still warm ;i can take the nuts off from the thread completely and i get a little steady stream seems like more should be comming out is this dripless resadue plugging it up 'will it ware or come out;just one outher question what should be the clearance between the od of shaft and id of packing nut is there a ware in break in period
Guest 27-Apr-2008 20:16
Thank you for the detailed description and great pictures. This is the best write-up I have seen and was very useful.
Guest 18-Feb-2008 04:12
Think Dental Pick
Ray 24-Dec-2007 11:58
I do not agree with your diagnosis of Syntef and the green clay. I have used the stuff for 15 years and a 7500 mile trip from California to Maine. You need to not tighten the nut on this stuff like you would with flax-==you turn the outside nut by hand til it stops dripping then tighten the holding nut. You might have to snug it up a few times, but this is a whole lot better than having water constantly dripping into your bilge. I have 2000 hours on my shaft and no marks. The PSS fittings are, as you will discover, problems waiting to happen.
Phil I. 29-Jun-2007 13:11
What a great description...with photographs! Either you are or should be a teacher!
Guest 01-Jun-2007 15:44
Thanks. You did a great job. I have a twin engine Bluewater and one of the shafts has been leaking badly. I thought it was some kind of big deal to stop the leak, so I have been putting it off. I'm on the way to the lake now to finally fix it.