Monthly Archives: April 2023

PSS Shaft Seal Bellows compression made easy

I recently replaced a PSS shaft seal on my new to me boat (Freedom 45). The shaft log area does not have good “two hands” access due to a water heater sitting on top (can’t be seen in the photo). Very good access with one hand at a time. I was pondering how I could do the bellows compression step safely with one hand. I figured the opposite of a standard ratcheting clamp would be perfect but all of the clamps I had my collection did not seem reversible without destroying them.

I started browsing around and found the DeWalt line of ratcheting clamps are designed to be reversible with a simple screw lock on the end. I picked one up and it worked perfectly. This PSS install was done completely with one hand. I marked the initial position of the rotor with a sharpie. Tightened the clamp until I had the required 3/4″ of compression then leisurely inserted the set screws to lock it. A spare zinc then provides a backup against rotor slippage (not in position yet in the photo). I believe this was the 12″ version of clamp. I liked the reversibility so much I added a few sizes to my tool collection. If your shaft log is hard to reach then this a perfect no stress way of getting the required compression.