Transmission slippage??

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Channel Islander
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Transmission slippage??

Hi all,

I am proceeding under dinghy side-tow to Marina del Rey since my engine is not propelling the boat.

I hit a kelp paddy and the prop fouled. I didn't notice until the engine got hot. Backed down slowly and unfouled the prop. Since then the engine won't drive the boat. I dove on the prop and it is nice and tight on the shaft. The transmission engages in forward gear but at higher revs it doesn't produce power. I assume there's a coupling that is slipping? 

Also, although I changed the transmission fluid before setting out, it was empty when I checked after the problem started. Blown seal?

I would appreciate any tips as I don't know very much about the tranny/shaft coupling etc.

Thanks,

Nick

Nick Tonkin
*Former* Website Administrator, C36/375IA
*Former* owner, C36 tr/fk #255, Santa Barbara, CA

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pkeyser
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Nick-
What engine do you have?

Paul & Wendy Keyser
"First Light"
Newburyport MA/Rye NH
2005 C36 MKII #2257
Wing, M35B

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newguy
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Prolonged operation might have worn down the clutch plates.  Might be that so much heat built up by the slipping clutches that it distorted the shaft seals enough to let fluid out, although being completely empty would be hard to explain aside from a case or drain plug leak.   If you have not refilled with oil yet, remove the oil plug at the bottom and capture what comes out.  If it's anything other than red (like dark brown or black), it has burned and is full of clutch plate stuff.

Nick Caballero
Retired C36/375IA Mk II Technical Editor

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clennox
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 I bet the the problem is in the transmission. I can't think of any other component that could slip. The dip stick doesn't' go to the bottom. You may not be empty. I agree with Nick drain it, check color and refill.
I"m afraid the damage may already be done. Once the clutches slip things go bad quick. The clutch plates are the weak link in our transmissions.

Chuck Lennox
97 MKii Ventura Ca
Island Girl Hull #1611

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Channel Islander
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Thanks all. The mechanic immediately pointed to the clutch. He's coming down tomorrow.

The fluid was very black before I changed it prior to this trip, and it appeared to have drained out when I checked it again after the loss of  thrust. Sounds like a major transmission job, ugh.

Can anyone suggest a ballpark cost of a clutch repair ... I'm in a foreign port at the mercy of mechanics I don't know ....

Thanks.

Nick Tonkin
*Former* Website Administrator, C36/375IA
*Former* owner, C36 tr/fk #255, Santa Barbara, CA

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Cost of a rebuild by a local shop would be $800 to $1000.  If you go this route, insist they replace the thrust bearings as these are not included in most clutch rebuild kits.  Securing a mail-order rebuild is costly ($1400 to $1800).

Hurth and ZF merged some time ago, so absolutely worth investigating if a ZF6M or a ZF10M are viable options over a rebuild.  These can be had (new) for about $1200.  The ZF6M is may be the same size, but its rating is just about at the limits of our engines.  The ZF10M is the next step up and is longer, so it would at least require you to shorten your prop shaft.

Regardless of what path you choose, consider replacing the damper plate at the same time.

Nick Caballero
Retired C36/375IA Mk II Technical Editor

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bcam
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We had the pleasure of replacing our transmission last year. We put in the ZF 10 (1600.00) and a new damper plate (200.00). Be aware that the new transmission has a different internal ratio and will require some adjustment to prop pitch. In our case, Max Prop, we went one step up in pitch to maintain speed.

Good luck,
Bruce

BTW, we motored the last 12 miles to the marina in reverse. We were able to maintain 5 knots in reverse. It still made for a long night as I had to stop the boat and get turned bow on to the wake of every deep draft that passed us.

Bruce Campbell
Evergreen Dreams #1409

Maine Sail
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[quote=Channel Islander]Thanks all. The mechanic immediately pointed to the clutch. He's coming down tomorrow.

The fluid was very black before I changed it prior to this trip, and it appeared to have drained out when I checked it again after the loss of  thrust. Sounds like a major transmission job, ugh.

Can anyone suggest a ballpark cost of a clutch repair ... I'm in a foreign port at the mercy of mechanics I don't know ....

Thanks.[/quote]

I have yet to see a failed Hurth/ZF that always had clean ATF in it. This is not to suggest that it can't happen, just that every failed Hurth gear I have seen was what I would consider poorly maintained. The fluid should never be black or even light gray. I have these gears out there with well over 4000 hours but these have had the fluid changed at a bare minimum of 1 -2 times per year.

Course now that you are likely in for a rebuild or new one I would strongly suggest you call Stanley at Beta Marine USA and get a more durable gear. He has one that will literally bolt in place of the Hurth/ZF, and they are less money!!

The gear that Stanley has/sells is called the Techno-Drive TMC-40 which is also known as the Twin-Disc MG-340. It comes in a 2:1 or 2.6:1 ratio and it costs $1144.00 BRAND NEW!! You'll also need the shifter bracket but all in you are under $1200.00 for a MUCH BETTER gear, with warranty and brand new. Also don't forget the damper plate, Stanley has these too for far less than Westerbeke...

Why are the new and rebuilt Hurth/ZF gears not lasting like the old ones? The thrust washers on the Hurth/ZF gears used to be real solid bronze. Now they are steel with a sprinkling of fairy-dust bronze as a coating. They are no longer solid bronze thrust washers. A joke of a cost cutting measure by ZF... This fairy-dust coating does not make for a "thrust washer" and if the fluid gets dirty that fairy-dust bronze coating disappears QUICKLY and then you are steel on steel, and your gear is DONE!

If you have a Hurth/ZF please, for your own benefit, DO NOT EVER allow your gear fluid to be anything other than a fraction of a shade off what it came out of the bottle looking like.

I also own a Hurth/ZF but the fluid is changed 2 - 3X per year at a cost of $12.00 total. Short money to keep an expensive gear going strong...

The fairy-dust thrust washer........

-Maine Sail
https://www.marinehowto.com/

 

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Channel Islander
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Thanks again, friends. I wish I had seen Mainesail's recommendation earlier, too late I am afraid as I ordered a new ZF-10 (got it for $1450, from marinepartsexpress.com, plus $225 for a dampener plate).

The ZF-10 is 3/4 of an inch longer than my old HBW-50, so my shaft will have to move back. Any tips or hints on how to slide the shaft back through the stuffing box, cutlass bearing, etc.?

[ Wish I had thought about driving in reverse, but at first I thought the shaft was perhaps coming out of the boat! And my Nissan 3.5HP two-stroke on my 8' Zodiac by West Marine motored the boat along nicely at three knots! ]

Nick Tonkin
*Former* Website Administrator, C36/375IA
*Former* owner, C36 tr/fk #255, Santa Barbara, CA

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newguy
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Well, you might try to cancel your order with marinepartsexpress.  Not having to shorten your shaft is a huge advantage of cost and labor.  As many will attest to, getting your shaft to slide out of the coupling can sometimes be a major issue.

Nick Caballero
Retired C36/375IA Mk II Technical Editor

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Channel Islander
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Update for those following this chapter of the Major Repairs While Cruising saga:

I cancelled the order for the ZF-10 because the vendor "forgot" that he promised two-day shipping and it wasn't going to get here until next week. Followed up on Mainesail's advice to look into the Technodrive TMC40P. This was available through the Beta Marine West distributor for $1144 minus 10%. I found an LA mechanic/Beta dealer and he had one and would honor the price.

However, once we got it down to the boat, we found that it won't fit in my old C36 Mk I because the engine stringers are so close together that there isn't room for the transmission shift lever. He told me he had talked with Gerry Douglas about this and the very close placement of the stringers was apparently a leftover from Atomic 4 days (not that the Atomic 4 was ever installed in the C36). I always wondered why my engine mounts stick out over the sides of the stringers like that.

Also, the Technodrive tranny has a crown nut on the output shaft that protrudes past the plane of the coupling face, and thus requires the other side of the coupling to be of the "cup" type, with a concave plate that allows space for the crown nut. Mine is flat, so there was another huge obstacle.

For a newer C36 with the stringers placed further apart and a cup-style coupling, this tranny would be a great solution. But for my boat it wouldn't work.

(The Technodrive tranny's output shaft is also about 3mm higher than the old Hurth's.)

It turned out that my tranny was salvageable and he has all the parts in his shop so he came down THE SAME DAY I CALLED HIM and took the tranny off and home with him to rebuild. He also pointed out a couple of plumbing fixes and offered to do them while he's in there. I ordered a damper plate for Saturday delivery, and I have hope that I'll make Catalina Island for Spring Break after all.

If you ever need an engine mechanic in LA, I can't speak highly enough about Leif Johansen ​(310) 301-9011. He's a true expert in our Universal engines/Hurth transmissions, and a Beta Marine dealer if you ever need to repower. He's clean, fast, has light hands with his tools ... a true find.

 

Nick Tonkin
*Former* Website Administrator, C36/375IA
*Former* owner, C36 tr/fk #255, Santa Barbara, CA

Maine Sail
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[quote=Channel Islander]Update for those following this chapter of the Major Repairs While Cruising saga:

I cancelled the order for the ZF-10 because the vendor "forgot" that he promised two-day shipping and it wasn't going to get here until next week. Followed up on Mainesail's advice to look into the Technodrive TMC40P. This was available through the Beta Marine West distributor for $1144 minus 10%. I found an LA mechanic/Beta dealer and he had one and would honor the price.

However, once we got it down to the boat, we found that it won't fit in my old C36 Mk I because the engine stringers are so close together that there isn't room for the transmission shift lever. He told me he had talked with Gerry Douglas about this and the very close placement of the stringers was apparently a leftover from Atomic 4 days (not that the Atomic 4 was ever installed in the C36). I always wondered why my engine mounts stick out over the sides of the stringers like that.

Also, the Technodrive tranny has a crown nut on the output shaft that protrudes past the plane of the coupling face, and thus requires the other side of the coupling to be of the "cup" type, with a concave plate that allows space for the crown nut. Mine is flat, so there was another huge obstacle.

For a newer C36 with the stringers placed further apart and a cup-style coupling, this tranny would be a great solution. But for my boat it wouldn't work.

(The Technodrive tranny's output shaft is also about 3mm higher than the old Hurth's.)

It turned out that my tranny was salvageable and he has all the parts in his shop so he came down THE SAME DAY I CALLED HIM and took the tranny off and home with him to rebuild. He also pointed out a couple of plumbing fixes and offered to do them while he's in there. I ordered a damper plate for Saturday delivery, and I have hope that I'll make Catalina Island for Spring Break after all.

If you ever need an engine mechanic in LA, I can't speak highly enough about Leif Johansen ​(310) 301-9011. He's a true expert in our Universal engines/Hurth transmissions, and a Beta Marine dealer if you ever need to repower. He's clean, fast, has light hands with his tools ... a true find.

 [/quote]

Nick,

Great insight! That's too bad about the stringers on the early C-36. If there was more time it possibly could have been "notched" for the shift bracket. Today most couplers are concave at that end and work fine with the Technodrive but best to check yours first before ordering one. A PYI Flex Coupling can also work... I knew about the 3mm but that has never been an issue and only requires a re-aligniment as should be done anyway once the gear has been removed...

Glad you found a good mechanic. Does he have access to any of the old school bronze thrust washers....?

-Maine Sail
https://www.marinehowto.com/

 

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Channel Islander
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No, he just ordered new "bronze" ones.

Nick Tonkin
*Former* Website Administrator, C36/375IA
*Former* owner, C36 tr/fk #255, Santa Barbara, CA

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newguy
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Hey Nick.  Any update on your transmission issue?  Did you get the original repaired, how much $, etc.....

Nick Caballero
Retired C36/375IA Mk II Technical Editor

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Channel Islander
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Epilogue:

The transmission was completely rebuilt by Leif Johansen of MDR. I paid about $300 for a dampener plate (including shipping), and Leif's bill was $2000 for removing the tranny, rebuilding it in his shop, painting it and the bell housing, installing the dampener and reinstalling the tranny, aligning the engine shaft, and additionally replumbing the heat exchanger/water heater to remove the useless and problematic Catalina parallel hose installation.

The insurance depreciated 85% on the parts and after my $500 deductible they will pay $900.

The tranny shifts much more smoothly and I have better speed; the mechanic said it was quite possible the tranny was already slipping a little at high revs before the incident with the kelp patty.

Nick Tonkin
*Former* Website Administrator, C36/375IA
*Former* owner, C36 tr/fk #255, Santa Barbara, CA

dsimpson
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Posts: 10

The HBW 50 failed on my C30 at 1500hrs and now the HBW 100 has failed on my 2001 C36 at 160hrs. It would delay going into forward gear until I increased the rpm, then it would finally engage, sometimes taking up to 5 seconds ...and was getting worse. I couldn't believe it with only 160 hrs on it, and yes, all adjustments were correct. I got the boat with only 77 hrs on it and I immediately changed the fluid because of my previous experience with this transmission. I'm not sure if the first service was done at 25 hrs by the PO but it would be a contributing factor if it was missed. I also added the raw water cooler as  I understand heat can be a factor as well. I had a tech replace the 100 with the ZF10M. He slid the shaft back but still needed a 1/4 inch so he took out the lag bolts on the engine mounts and slid the motor forward enough to get the clearance. I'm using Red LIne D4 ATF which I will now change 2-3 times a season and with the oil cooler, additional engine blower/exhuast, hopefully I don't have to go through this again. I might have one of my techs (automotive) take it apart and rebuild it if reasonable to do so and sell it or maybe keep it as a spare...just in case!!

David Simpson
S/V Dolce Vita
Vancouver BC
2001 Catalina 36 MK 11 #2019 M35B. Add-ons: Leece Neville 90 amp Alt. Balmar  ARS 5 Regulator, Digital Duo Charger, Smartgauge battery monitor, Webasto TSL17 Hydronic heater.

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