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Lasdrop Shaft Seal Failure

Discussion in 'Props, Shafts & Seals' started by DOCKMASTER, Jun 3, 2021.

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  1. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER Senior Member

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    I installed 2 new Lasdrop shaft seals when we repowered last year. They have less than 50 hrs run time on them. Worked fine for the short season last year. Just ran the boat for the first time this year. About 3 miles of idling to fuel dock and back is all. Went in engine room and port shaft seal is leaking very badly. Bilge pump kicks on like every 30 seconds. Stbd seal is fine and look like new. Port seal is rusty as hell and looks 20 years old. Tried all the customer support numbers listed on Lasdrop website and no answer, just rings. And yes, this was before 5pm EST. What a PITA!
    Now I have to haul and replace this thing just as season was starting.
    Has anyone else had issues with these? Mine are the Gen II series which are supposed to be their best seals. I don't have time to wait around so ordering a complete new seal and will figure out the issue later. Needless to say but I'm not a happy camper!
    And yes, we got the shaft temporarily wrapped and taped up to stop the leak and clamped on a split hose hose as additional protection.
  2. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    If any grime or stuff got in there, from the injection or from underneath it may have stuck and not rinsed away. Backing down has been known to blow stuff up in there.
    Bend a half sheet of fine wet/dry, insert it between the surfaces like in a sandwich, and drag it all around cleaning the surfaces just with the pressure from the bellows.
    You will feel the drag change if it catches on anything that requires an extra rub.
    If you can get a soapy cloth in there, any oil on the faces will cause it to leak also.
  3. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Pretty sure rust couldn't build up just in your short trip to the fuel dock, so the leak must be much older.
    Didn't you notice any leak or salt deposits after the usage of last year - no matter how short?
    I'm asking because what CR suggests is indeed the more likely reason for the leak, but I'd be surprised if it started out of the blue while the boat was just sitting unattended in the water...
  4. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER Senior Member

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    Thanks guys. No, clearly the rust has been happening over time, but it is odd that only one side. And it wasn't leaking sitting there. It's almost like it is rusting from the seawater side. And the leak is very substantial so not just from from some dirt or a little oil. It is apparent that something failed and just let go.

    Anyway, new seal assembly should be here tomorrow and we will haul early Tuesday and see what we find.
  5. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Rust, Wow, Something must had contaminated the surfaces.
    Possible milling from the new engines water flow and injection.
    Please share pictures of the surfaces when you dissemble the equipment.
  6. Metatron

    Metatron New Member

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    Maybe you have an electrolysis problem. Are your grounding points all ok?
    NYCAP123 likes this.
  7. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER Senior Member

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    Don’t believe it is electrolysis. There is clearly corrosion and rust. We’ll see here in a few days when I get it apart. I also don’t see how it could be from engine millings given it is on the raw water side? I guess there could have been some crap in there somewhere? It is also possible we somehow contaminated the shaft area or inside the stern tube but we were pretty careful and waited to install the seals until the end of all the other work. I’ll post some pictures and what we find when we haul on Tuesday.
  8. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Ok, but how can you be positive about that?
    I mean, just about anything that you can see in a shaft seal from inside the boat is NOT on the raw water side.
    Still, you might as well be correct that corrosion came from "outside" and found its way in, but I just can't imagine how you can be positive about that before taking the thing apart.

    Theoretically, another possibility is sub-standard s/steel bits only on one of the two seals, but it would be very unusual if - as I guess - you bought both seals at the same time.
    Though I did see (many years ago) a s/steel flange on a Naiad fin that had to be replaced due to corrosion on a 5 years old boat, while the same flange on the other side was still as perfect as when new...
    And Naiad supplied a new one FoC - which is the best proof that something was indeed wrong with the original one!
  9. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER Senior Member

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    I’m not positive about anything and didn’t indicate any positivity. I was simply pointing out that since the raw water side doesn’t contact much inside the engine (except H/E and cooler) it would be odd.
    And since all the metal components of the seal are supposed to be non-ferrous there shouldn’t be rust even if there was electrolysis. I could see perhaps some erosion, pitting ,etc. But shouldn’t be rust. So it would seem there is either contamination or perhaps a component that might not be non-ferrous.
    Anyhow, no sense in continuing to speculate when I should no more in a few days.
  10. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Engine milling (cast iron flakes and casting bits of crud) carried by the raw water thru your new, (un-flushed) engine to the water injection on the the LasDrop assembly.
    T.T. likes this.
  11. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Agreed, but IIRC the engines were bought as a pair.
    A milling bad enough to rust the whole seal on one side and none at all on the other would be a bit strange.
    Anyway, we'll soon hear more about it. Looking fwd to that!
  12. Oscarvan

    Oscarvan Senior Member

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    Yeah, want to see this too as I have two of these installed. Best I can tell they are 5-6 years old and they are bone dry. Not to change the subject too much, but I can't find any maintenance procedures for these. Does one just wait 'till they fail and then replace?
  13. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER Senior Member

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    So we got the Port seal pulled and what we found is pretty ugly inside. I was able to speak with Lasdrop and shared these photos with them. What I didn't realize is with these seals they want the shafts rotated at minimum every few weeks to avoid oxygen deprivation to the 316L components. Yes, the instruction sheet mentions this and I missed it. With all the issues from COVID and travel restrictions I haven't used the boat since last July. And I cannot recall us ever rotating the shafts. So it is highly likely the shaft has not been rotated for 11 months. It is certainly possible we got some contamination in there as well from an unknown source. What is also interesting is the starboard seal looks like brand new inside. So why we experienced oxygen deprivation on one side and not the other is a complete mystery. Regardless of the apparent condition of the starboard seal it is being replaced too. Hoping to be back in the water tomorrow.

    Lasdrop says they can reface and rebuild these seals for like $100 so I'll send them both back and get them rebuilt to have for spares.

    LasDrop Seal Photos 1.jpg LasDrop Photos 2.jpg LasDrop Photos 3.jpg
    Well live and learn is the best lesson I can take away from this one. I hope this info helps someone avoid this.
  14. Oscarvan

    Oscarvan Senior Member

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    Whoa, that's ugly. So since they were out recently I hope the couplings were cooperative or did they show corrosion too?
  15. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Very odd that the issue would arise only on one side. I suspect as was mentioned earlier that you have an electrolysis issue there. Also the requirement that the shafts be "turned every few weeks" would indicate that these are not made for recreational vessels, especially those up north where they're likely to sit for months.
  16. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER Senior Member

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    By couplings I assume you mean the shaft to ZF Gears couplings? They are all new and in great condition. No issues with the couplings
  17. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER Senior Member

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    I hear you but they are certainly marketed to recreation. Had I known about that I probably would have gone with something different.
  18. Oscarvan

    Oscarvan Senior Member

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    You can probably double what they say, but that's still monthly. Do they mean running them? Or just put a strap wrench on there and turn them a few turns...... Mine sat for 5 months and were fine......
  19. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Am I the only one surprised to hear that?
    Actually Lasdrop seals are unknown here in Europe, but I never heard of such requirement also on any other types of mechanical seals.
    Some of which I'm sure are also made of 316L components, BTW.
    Anyway, I'm with NYCap on electrolysis possibly playing a role, looking at the last photos.
  20. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    When you expand the first pic that pitting clearly looks like electrolysis.