The latest in a long story of failed Hurth/ZF 15MA (8 deg down angle) transmissions installed on a Phasor P4-37-05
37.5 HP 4Cyl. engine
. We were on our 2nd day of our second Bahamas Cruise
, having arrived in Mill Creek in Hampton VA about 2 weeks ago. While maneuvering into a slip at the Ft. Monroe Marina, at Old Point Comfort, we had the third transmission
failure (Hurth/ZF 15MA trans)! This transmission
only had about 225 hours on it when it would not go into forward gear
. This transmission replaced one that failed in April 2007 while we were on our way back from the Bahamas
- near Savannah, GA. Reverse seemed to work OK, but it wouldn't stay in forward. Checked linkages, etc, but all seemed in order. Placed a call to Hurth/ZF in Stevensville, MD (near Annapolis), and they agreed to replace it under warrantee, and even agreed to send a tech down to Hampton to do the work. The tech found nothing wrong with the installation
, the engine, damper plate, alignment or anything else.
They have no answers regarding why we are having so many failures of this transmission (the original trans lasted about 300 hours and was replaced under warantee - removal
by owner - me; the second transmission lasted about 600 hours but was not covered under warrantee - we 'ate' this one - and did the removal
and installation ourselves; the third one just recently failed at about 225 hours and was removed and replaced under warantee at no cost).
The new trans went in easily and we now have about 12 hours on it having returned the boat from Hampton to our dock
in Kinsale, VA yesterday (10/31/08). We decided to 'scrub' the Bahams cruise
for this year as we have about "0" confidence in this piece of machinery, as although our boat is a 'sailboat', one DOES need a reliable source of power when transiting the ICW
, coping with current
in GA, bridge openings, etc.
We are now considering replacing the Hurth/ZF unit with a "Twin Disc" unit - but need to research
what the conversion/mating will entail.
We would be interested in hearing of other Hurth/ZF 15MA transmission failures.
Tom in Kinsale, VA