Flax shaft packing in the stuffing box should permit enough water to drip and cool the spinning propeller shaft. It should drip at a rate of 8-10 drops per minute on most traditional inboard engines. If the packing is worn and leaky, this below the waterline seal should be serviced. Stuffing box lubricant prolongs the life of shaft packing while also reducing heat and friction. Elsewhere, flax packing is used to seal rudder posts and pumps.
Inspecting, troubleshooting and servicing marine drive systems will save money in the long run. Follow recommended service intervals. Simple vibration problems from engine-shaft-strut misalignment or from faulty engine mounts and loose struts can become catastrophic if left untended. This can result in rapid wear of cutlass bearings and stuffing boxes, shaft galling and worn universal joints and gimbal bearings. Couplings, strut integrity and cutlass bearings can be easily inspected out of the water seasonally as preventative maintenance. This is particularly important on older vessels.
Sterndrive service demands replacing common seals at the transom and protective covers such as bellows. We offer inboard/outboard parts compatible with Mercruiser, OMC, Volvo and most manufacturers. These parts need attention in the event of a grounding.