Handy tool that makes the sometimes difficult job of removing old prop shaft packing easier.
The shaft of the tool is formed like a tightly wound spring. The resulting flexibility makes it possible to reach the packing even if the coupler is close enough to the stuffing box to limit your access. A corkscrew shaped tip makes it easy to grab the old packing material.
• Now includes a spare tip.
Carefully stick the sharp tip of the extractor tool into the body of the old packing. Twist the tool so that the tiny cork screw tip engages the packing and you have a secure hold on the packing.
Apply steady pressure. Continue to pull on the packing until it comes loose. If you pull to hard or to quick, you might tear the old packing or break the tool’s tip off in the old packing. If you do break a tip, you now know how hard is too hard. We include a second tip for this reason.
If the packing had been in the stuffing box for decades, it will be very hard and dense. If this is the case, consider purchasing extra tips in advance of your project as you may break more than one tip before you complete the job. The corkscrew can't be made bigger and stronger since it wouldn't fit into the groove of the stuffing box!
Once you get all of the old packing removed from the stuffing box, check to make sure the stuffing box is clean and free of any other foreign material.
There are packing extractors on many web sites that are made in Asia and are therefore less expensive. Unfortunately, you don't realize until you attempt to use them that there is a problem. Either they are made to metric specifications or perhaps they are just carelessly made. In any case they don't work... We have tried. Their specifications indicate it is correct but it is simply too large to fit into the small groove in the stuffing box on thousands Catalinas built with a 1" prop shaft. We found a small American company that still makes this simple tool with the precision needed to work perfectly.