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Old 10-12-2008, 06:17   #1
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First gearbox oil change, Problem?

I have just done the first ATF oil change on my ZF 30 M gearbox (attached to my new Yanmar 4JH4AE)
The oil removed is Black/Brown (About the color of old engine oil) not the original strawberry cordial color.
The oil change is at 35 hours and the original ATF oil used was Shell Donax TA Type 11D Automatic Transmission Fluid.
The gear box and engine seem to work fine, but I did not expect this change in color. Have I got I problem or is this normal with a first gearbox oil change?
Thanks John
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Old 10-12-2008, 21:16   #2
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Refer to the study hall on gearboxes at the top of page

What type of oil does the manual say to put in?

If you look closely at the gearbox it is ususally stated what kind of oil should go in there some where on it or the stick.

If the oil is black/brown you have a problem. I have seen yanmar trannies with 100s of hours on them and there is no discolouration like that.
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Old 11-12-2008, 02:02   #3
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What type of oil does the manual say to put in?
The ATF is correct. I have double checked it in the manual and I was the one that put it in.
Any speculation on what could be wrong with a new gearbox that would do this?
Thanks John
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Old 11-12-2008, 06:15   #4
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That oil looks burn't to me, does is smell burn't? I am guessing the shift mechanism may be mis-adjusted and the transmission is slipping and overheating.
Robert
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Old 12-12-2008, 08:03   #5
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That oil looks burn't to me, does is smell burn't? I am guessing the shift mechanism may be mis-adjusted and the transmission is slipping and overheating.
Robert
Thanks for the comments. The oil does look burnt, but surprisingly it does not smell burnt at all.
On your suggestion I have checked the travel of the shift mechanism and it is within spec for both forward and reverse.
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Old 12-12-2008, 11:35   #6
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Just a shot in the dark here.

In order for that discloration to happen there has to be heat/wear.

Have you wrapped anything around the shaft?

In neutral WITH THE ENGINE OFF can you turn the shaft by hand?

Do you wait a moment (5 seconds or so)to shift from forward to reverse?
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Old 12-12-2008, 15:15   #7
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Not smelling burnt, Looks funky to me. My tranny uses straight 30w, any chance someone topped off the tranny with the wrong stuff? Are there any metal chips? Dip a magnet in it? Warranty? Truly the best of luck!
Jim
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Old 13-12-2008, 02:01   #8
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Just a shot in the dark here.

In order for that discloration to happen there has to be heat/wear.

Have you wrapped anything around the shaft?

In neutral WITH THE ENGINE OFF can you turn the shaft by hand?

Do you wait a moment (5 seconds or so)to shift from forward to reverse?
Good idea turning the shaft by hand. Should have thought of that myself, but I have just checked it and turns easily.
I certainly pause between forward and reverse. I don't think it would always be 5 seconds during those "exciting" times in a marina, but I have not been back to a marina or quay since the engine was fitted so the only reverse has been to set the anchor which is always after a long time in neutral. Thanks for the ideas.
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Old 13-12-2008, 02:16   #9
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Not smelling burnt, Looks funky to me. My tranny uses straight 30w, any chance someone topped off the tranny with the wrong stuff? Are there any metal chips? Dip a magnet in it? Warranty? Truly the best of luck!
Jim
Thanks for the best wishes. Just tried the magnet and no metalic particles, but once again great idea.
No chance of the wrong oil. I have learned from experience and now I have a rule that no one works on my boat without me looking over their shoulder.
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Old 13-12-2008, 04:48   #10
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If ther is no noise, no smell of burnt stuff....I would try flushing the tranny a couple of times....if there is no performance problem....I would monitor it.

I might suggest you send the oil out for analysis....it isn't too expensive and they will tell you what is in the battle of glop.
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Old 13-12-2008, 05:41   #11
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If ther is no noise, no smell of burnt stuff....I would try flushing the tranny a couple of times....if there is no performance problem....I would monitor it.

I might suggest you send the oil out for analysis....it isn't too expensive and they will tell you what is in the battle of glop.
Thanks for the comment. I filled the gearbox about 1/4 full and drained that out before refilling. Unfortunately that's all the ATF I have at the moment.
The oil analysis is a good idea. Can anyone recommend a company that will do this in this part of the world (Mediterranean preferably an EU country as post seems to get held up by customs if things are sent outside the EU).
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Old 13-12-2008, 07:53   #12
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I'm with the Chief on this one, flush and refill and monitor closely. If it wasn't filled with the wrong oil, I'll be the transmission was contaminated before filling, probably by assembly oil or grease during assembly.
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Old 13-12-2008, 12:52   #13
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I might be bitter and twisted but...

I might be bitter and twisted but could your transmission have been left out in the rain sometime between assembly and installation?

To me :- Milky colour => oil/water suspension.

Oil analysis would be interesting...
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Old 13-12-2008, 15:43   #14
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could your transmission have been left out in the rain sometime between assembly and installation?
.
Its possible, but I was impressed by the condition the engine was delivered in. It came in a plywood box and was spotless. It certainly didn't look like it could have been left outside.
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Old 13-12-2008, 17:20   #15
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I was thinking the same thing: ie. water + heat + agitation = brown without the burnt smell. Other than that, is there any way crankcase oil could have worked in there via a bad seal? Diesel?
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