I have '73 Sport Sedan and need to replace the packing in the drive shafts.  How do I determine the size packing that I need?  Do I just measure the drive shafts or are there other measurements?

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I bought all 3 sizes at West Marine and took back the ones that didn’t fit. My ‘66 31 uses 1/8th” packing, I’m told that’s unusual, but it is what it is. 

Measure the diameter of the shaft, measure the ID of the gland which is the OD  shaft gland. the difference is the packing size.  ie.  1 3/8" shaft 1 3/4" gland on the shaft =3/8 packing

My guess would be that your packing is 1/4 I inch  and don't tighten the packing nut to much you want it to drip small amount when running in gear

Thanks.  I measured the shaft to be 1 1/4 and the gland OD 1 7/8.  So doing the math I get an odd size of .62. Does that seem right would it round to 1/2" packing?  Also, and idea of packing material type to use there are a lot to choose from.  Finally, do you know how many strands to pack would it be three?

Timothy "Tim" Miller said:

Measure the diameter of the shaft, measure the ID of the gland which is the OD  shaft gland. the difference is the packing size.  ie.  1 3/8" shaft 1 3/4" gland on the shaft =3/8 packing

ID of gland is probably 1 3/4" so 1/4" packing gives the 1/2" difference  for circumference of shaft +packing.  Sorry about the poor previous explanation.


I do not know if you if you got the size figured out yet but use graphite packing.The old bees wax and teflon packing are out dated.The bees wax melts and the teflon wears out the shaft.The graphite lubricates and blocks the water molecules from passing thru.It takes very little tightening to stop the flow of water. And because it lubricates and cools you do not I repeat you do not need to have them drip.I hope this helps. Don


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