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Old 22-03-2016, 16:14   #1
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Cal 34

I just bought a 1969 Cal 34 sloop rig deep keel, boat seems to be in reasonably good condition, Hull, Cabin, Rudder and keel, biggest problem is a Universal m-25 diesel Engine that has a Hurth Transmission....Motor runs fine, but the damper plate has been sore spot, previous owner said he had transmission rebuilt and that included new Damper plate, in a short period of time the damper plate went bad, they called and the repair place replaced it with a new one, this one appears to not have lasted very long either. Now I come into the picture and have to deal with the problem, my thought is that someone is not getting the shaft lined up properly.

Any Ideas or help will be gratefully appreciated.
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Old 22-03-2016, 17:25   #2
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Re: Cal 34

align th e engine to the shaft and see what happens. might be your issue. you will need feeler gauges to make sure it is aligned.
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Old 22-03-2016, 22:43   #3
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Re: Cal 34

The damper plate is unlikely to be effected by shaft alignment. It connects the engine to the FRONT shaft of the transmission. Small diesels are not smooth idling, and that is hard on the damper plate (really an impulse absorber) I went through 2 before I turned the idle speed up a little on my engine, and it smoothed things out. Get a hand held tack and see if the engine idles at the speed it is supposed to? The tack that came with the engine may not be accurate. It wont cost you anything to turn the idle up a little and see if that smooths things out. You also might check with the actual engine mariniser to see if the plate the mechanics installed is the correct one for that engine/tranny combo. I would assume that the reciept would have a part number on it. Good Luck. ____Grant.
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Old 23-03-2016, 06:53   #4
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Re: Cal 34

+1, the damper is not affected by the alignment, it has the transmission to protect it!! But also as was said above, if the idle is too low then the engine will literally tear at the plate every time a cylinder fires.


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Old 23-03-2016, 07:22   #5
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Re: Cal 34

Some great advice, I hadn't thought about the idle speed as being a possible culprit, A big thank you to all who have offered help, i will keep all ideas in mind when I tackle this.
Hope to be sailing the Chesapeake bay this summer.

any Idea what the Idle speed RPM should be for a Universal M 25 ?
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Old 23-03-2016, 07:27   #6
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Re: Cal 34

I have to agree with Zee...align the shaft coupling with the the transmission flange, then add dampener. A dampener is not intended to be an alignment coupling like a u-joint. It only absorbs shock loads.


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Old 23-03-2016, 07:49   #7
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Re: Cal 34

Thanks CaptjCook, I will be sure to check on all of these ideas,so I dont have this problem nagging me.
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Old 23-03-2016, 09:11   #8
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Re: Cal 34

Quote:
Originally Posted by captjcook View Post
I have to agree with Zee...align the shaft coupling with the the transmission flange, then add dampener. A dampener is not intended to be an alignment coupling like a u-joint. It only absorbs shock loads.


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A dampner plate is not on the shaft coupling, it's on the flywheel.

Now this brings up the question. Are we talking about a flexible shaft coupling or are we talking about the disc full of springs attached to the engine flywheel that requires removal of the transmission to replace?


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Old 23-03-2016, 10:38   #9
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Re: Cal 34

Viper, the plate full of springs (looks like an old time clutch disc) needs to be matched to the engine for long life. The spring tension would be different (ie) for a 12 HP 2 cylinder, than it would be for a 60 HP engine. Local mechanics may have put in what was convenient. I think you need to get in touch with a Universal dealer and buy an operators manual (idle speed?) and probably a parts manual. Your engine/tranny combo is common, so there should be a lot of info for it. The more knowledge you have about your engine, the less long term problems you will have with it. Best of Luck. _____Grant.
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Old 23-03-2016, 10:42   #10
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Re: Cal 34

Here is:

Engines 101 - The BIGGEST & BEST collection of M25 Series Universal Engine Information on the Internet, plus some M35, too

Diesel Engine - c34.org

The Catalina 36 skippers have had a lot of damper plate issues with their engines, we simply haven't had that experience in our C34s. Try the forum on www.c36ia.org.

IIRC, there are two different vendors for the plates on Hurth transmissions. Sorry, I don't recall the two different ones and which one is preferred. You can find out doing a search on the C36 forum.

Good luck.
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Old 23-03-2016, 10:42   #11
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Re: Cal 34

I agree with Grant. I've not heard of issues with the Universal damper plate personally and many Universals were used in Cat 30's. There must be a way to get this right....?
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Old 23-03-2016, 11:03   #12
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Re: Cal 34

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
I agree with Grant. I've not heard of issues with the Universal damper plate personally and many Universals were used in Cat 30's. There must be a way to get this right....?
Let's put this into perspective.

C30s - 6,000 built

C34s - 1,801 built

C36s - 2,100 built

By all reports that I've seen, heard about, read about (I am the Secretary of the Catalina 34 International Association, have been since 1999), there have been maybe two or three dozen reports of bad damper plates, and, as I mentioned in my last post, there ARE solutions. Even if there have been two or three times that amount, it's still a drop in the ocean in terms of the number of Hurth transmissions put on Universal engines.

And, that said, lousy rotten maintenance by some skippers, who neglect to change their transmission fluid yearly, or who lay up their boats for the winter and don't follow the manufacturer's recommendations to completely fill the housing with fluid and then drain it and refill to the mark int he springtime could well account for half of the failures.

The sky is really, really not falling.
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Old 23-03-2016, 12:18   #13
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Re: Cal 34

OK, to avoid confusion I am talking about the Damper plate that is with the springs, like a clutch........I am thinking that it could either be the R.P.M.s are too low or the wrong Damper plate was put in,but two times in a row ? whats the odds of that happening (never mind I don't want to know ) At any rate I will be tearing into this project in the next week or two at the most, But I will make sure that they give me the right Plate for this motor, i do have contact with the previous owner and he has been very helpful in answering many of my questions,But he was just trusting the repair yard to give him what it needed to be repaired and they done the work.

Thanks Again to all who have provided some good insight on this question.
i will keep you posted as to what I find out.
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Old 23-03-2016, 15:13   #14
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Re: Cal 34

Sorry for adding to confusion...what you are calling damper plate, I have always called a drive plate, both it seems are correct. I was referring to drive-saver type device.

Good luck with your quest!


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Old 23-03-2016, 17:48   #15
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Re: Cal 34

No problem, I appreciate the help you were offering, I think once the boat transmission is working I should have a good Coastal Cruiser, plan on the wife and I doing the I.C.W. down to the keys this coming fall,I am going to be coming down from Hampton Va.
I see your in Florida, maybe we can catch a cup of coffee and you can give me some pointers... Thanks again for your interest in helping me.
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