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Old 25-05-2013, 11:40   #1
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Damper Plate for Universal M40B

I feel like a bad boat owner. The day we bought the boat we heard a rattling coming from the back of the engine. We replaced the cutlass bearing thinking it was throwing things out of alignment. No change. We upped the idle speed as per our transmition,a Hurth ZF 15MA's instruction manual. And that helped a bit. We sailed/motored the boat all the way to Boston from Penobscot Bay. Sailed all over Boston, cruised back up to Maine and cruised Penobscot bay, by the end of the trip the engine was sounding bad, so I took the transmission off and sure enough my damper plate is beat to death. The Plastic dampers are destroyed and the bolts that hold the dampers in place are bent! It looks like someone put the thing in gear a 3000 RPM. So, I've been driving the boat around with it like this for two years! What a jerk.

2 questions: should I preemptively get my transmission rebuilt? I've been driving around for two years with a busted damper plate. There are no signs of damage but I can't imagine that was very good.

And does anyone know where I can find a generic replacement damper plate? Westerbeke wants $400 for the same part. It is part# 044624
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Old 25-05-2013, 12:06   #2
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Re: Damper Plate for Universal M40B

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Old 25-05-2013, 12:11   #3
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Re: Damper Plate for Universal M40B

I doubt you did any damage, and would not worry about it myself unless you see specific signs of damage.

Damper plates usually have common hole patterns and spline sizes on them - I bet you could easily find a replacement for much less than $400. There isn't any reason it should be a "Westerbeke" specific part, unless Westerbeke put in a custom flywheel from the one that came with the base engine they bought from someone else. Look at other engines using your Hurth.

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Old 25-05-2013, 13:34   #4
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Re: Damper Plate for Universal M40B

The damper plate probably only moved in the same direction it always does so no radial wear on the input shaft bearing but the seal might be a different story, I would replace it. The seal will be pretty cheap. $400?, that nuts, shop around. I bet the people in the know get a damper plate from auotmotive world, they look just alike.
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Old 25-05-2013, 20:11   #5
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Re: Damper Plate for Universal M40B

I'm not really finding many people on line with the same problem. It looks like the only chronic Universal damper plate failure was on Catalinas that were using the MX25. Anyone else on the forum replaced Universal part# 044624 with a stock or automotive part?
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Old 25-05-2013, 20:59   #6
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Re: Damper Plate for Universal M40B

It's not automotive but I had good luck with Marine Gear in FL. I bought a drive plate from them and the price seemed fair, not $400. More like $250 delivered to Mexico.
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Old 26-05-2013, 01:46   #7
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Re: Damper Plate for Universal M40B

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