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1923-4-39 Water Pump Packing


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Looking for recommendations on what to use for my 1923 4 cylinder as water pump packing.

Believe it or not, I DO have some ORIGINAL packing rope, asbestos and all- but have decided best to leave that intact as a “show curiosity” piece.

Getting last years HVA FIVA winner ready for Car Show season. She fired up pretty easily today, now just getting thevodds and ends ready as well.

Thanks, Dave

 

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Dave, 

     Good to see that you are getting your car on the show circuit again.  I have been looking into original style packing over the last couple of days.  There are several styles available but I understand that the single split packing is the best to use.   It looks like Buick was very particular about the packing as well, as they stated a different packing for the 4 cylinder cars than the 6 cylinder cars.  Notice the photo with the split packing on the left, and some other packing material just wound in to fill the space on the right.  Both of these packings were taken from 1925 Buick 6 cylinder water pumps.   The split packing was made from 2 triangular cross section pieces laid back to back.  

 

See the comment on the very bottom of this document that I grabbed off the internet.  I was going to call them on Monday to see what they could offer me in the way of split packing.   I want to calculate the size of my packing and the cross sectional area, and I will post this later. 

 

http://www.kelloggautomotive.com/pdf/Shaft Seals.pdf

 

Buick lists the following regarding packing, so I am attaching the applicability from the parts book.

 

My intention is to determine the cross sectional area of my existing packing to see what size I should get of the square cross section packing.  I believe that the square packing is probably all that is available these days.  Then you form it into a triangular half and install the 2 halves on each side of the impellor.

 

You also need to assess the condition of your water pump shaft.  Most people have replaced their water pump shaft with a stainless steel shaft.   Many of the old carbon steel shafts are rough and enjoy eating packing.  If you do stay with your original shaft, you should give some thought to using a thin strip of emery paper and making a couple wraps in the packing area to smooth out the surface by hand prior to packing replacement.       

Hugh   

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Edited by Hubert_25-25 (see edit history)
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Dave,   

This is the cross sectional are on my packing.  It looks like I basically need to locate 1/4 x 1/4 packing, modify the cross section to fit my packing nut, then cut it on a bias.   I would need 2 per side.   Are you able to pull any packing out basically in tact so be able to take measurements on it?    Hugh

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Edited by Hubert_25-25 (see edit history)
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Hugh:

 The 1/4" X 1/4" square cross section would be fine. This is how the split packing comes. Square corners.

These I happened to get at Hershey. 5/16" wide X 3/16" cross section. and 1 3/16" OD.

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But no modification would be needed if they are  3/4" ID to fit the shaft.

 They modify themselves to the contour of the housing and the inside taper of the nut when the packing nut is turned down.

 They are supposed to squish to fit.

This was a regular gas station item in the teens, twenties and thirties. I have seen display cards with assortments of sizes and a chart with applications. I also bought a GM tube of them that I shared with my friend Dave for his car.

 

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Excellent information and reference material. I haven’t taken the packing nuts off yet, that is my chore of the day today.

When I had the water pump restored years back, we did custom mill a new stainless steel shaft.

Thanks for the help.

Stay tuned!

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I used PTFE braided square packing rope. Cut it into lengths that go once round the shaft with no overlap and no gap. Expect to put in three pieces with the joins at 120o apart. Put some grease on them (without molybdenum disulphide would be best) before installing.

 

The length of each piece should be done by trial and error, or if you want to be clever, use the shaft diameter plus 2x the rope thickness to calculate the length.

 

Put in one piece, do up nut to push it in. Put in 2nd piece, do up nut. Undo and put in third piece, do up nut just tight enough.

 

Again, the shaft must be smooth if you want a seal. Be careful with emery cloth: you don't want bits of sand left in the sealing area.

 

To clean up a pitted shaft will take many hours by hand. It took me quite a while to polish my new shaft in the lathe. Best to put the emery around a file and hold it on the rotating shaft.

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1 hour ago, Spinneyhill said:

I used PTFE braided square packing rope. Cut it into lengths that go once round the shaft with no overlap and no gap. Expect to put in three pieces with the joins at 120o apart. Put some grease on them (without molybdenum disulphide would be best) before installing.

 

The length of each piece should be done by trial and error, or if you want to be clever, use the shaft diameter plus 2x the rope thickness to calculate the length.

 

Put in one piece, do up nut to push it in. Put in 2nd piece, do up nut. Undo and put in third piece, do up nut just tight enough.

 

Again, the shaft must be smooth if you want a seal. Be careful with emery cloth: you don't want bits of sand left in the sealing area.

 

To clean up a pitted shaft will take many hours by hand. It took me quite a while to polish my new shaft in the lathe. Best to put the emery around a file and hold it on the rotating shaft.

 

I tried PTFE and could not get it to work well.  The stuff I had was too stiff

 

The correct graphite packing like in Dave's pic above has worked well for me.  The overlapping baloney cut of the ends is important.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Brian_Heil said:

The overlapping baloney cut of the ends is important.

LOL, baloney cut.....  Never heard it called that.

 

Dec 21, 2008 · Tinindian is correct. Graphite packing is self lubricating, and works exceptionally well with a little waterproof grease. Use the largest square you can fit into the gland and angle (scarp) cut your own rings to fit the diameter of the pump shaft. Offset the cuts and snug the …

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