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Old 13-02-2009, 16:16   #1
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Paragon Transmission

I had to have my old Paragon transmission replaced last August and the boat yard people were lucky enough to find me one to take the defective ones place.
Since it was installed, when in neutral, the prop still turns in a forward movement. Not fast mind you but enough that it will move the boat if at anchor in a windless harbor.
If I grab the prop shaft down, it will stop its movement. When I let it go, it starts to revolve again.
The boat yard says that the Paragon people told them that this is all part of the "break in" period and will eventually stop after a few hundred hours of operation. I think it is more likely that after I use it for a few hundred hours, I'll be far enough away that I can't take the boat back to them for correction of the problem.
Anyone have any experience with this situation? Any suggestions? Are they correct about the break in period?
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Old 13-02-2009, 16:25   #2
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I have seen a lot of paragons do this...that were just rebuilt...never heard of any problems though....I have never seen one move a boat at a dock....I suppose you are concerned that the vessel would move while you are charging batteries?
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Old 14-02-2009, 08:02   #3
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Yes

Yes, that is one of my biggest concerns. I've been anchored in a windless cove and had it SLOWLY move the boat. Any wind and it will stop, but I just don't like the fact that it moves. If I'm charging the batteries, I pretty much need to be on deck just to make sure we aren't making way.
Even while tied up at the dock, you can see the boat move forward against the dock lines and the propeller rotate.
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Old 14-02-2009, 20:44   #4
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Does the shaft turn if you raise the RPM?

Short of putting a shaft brake on, I would NOT attempt to restrain the shaft with any type of temporary clamp, wrench or line/chain.
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Old 05-03-2009, 08:40   #5
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Yep it does.

I started the engine to check the prop shaft. My wife stayed on deck to engage the throttle and I went into the engine room. Round and round went the shaft in neutral and at idle. She powered up the engine and it went around much faster. When she throttled back, it slowed back down.

The folks here at Sea Marine(who installed it) talked to the company they bought it from(Great Lakes) yesterday afternoon. They're suggestions is to take it back out, crate it up and return it to them for adjustment. They say there is no way to adjust it while in place to make the shaft stop turning. It can only be done on a bench. Can this be true? I would have thought that there would have been some way to do that tweaking once it was in place. The folks at Pat's Marine in Seattle(have installed thousands of these Paragon transmissions) say that there are two screws or bolts on the outside of the casing to stop and balance the plates.

Now the discussion begins. Who is going to have to pay for this job? I already paid once and don't think it's my responsibility. We'd planned on being out of here by next week and be heading to Alaska, not stuck here for another month plus.

I hope somebody out there knows how to adjust this transmissions!!
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Old 20-03-2009, 21:32   #6
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Here's what happened.

I took our boat back to the people that I bought the transmission from and that installed it. They couldn't adjust it but called the folks that built it. They had said to run it for a good 100 hours. We had already done that. It had just gotten worse. Apply more throttle and the faster the shaft turned.

I took our boat over to Seattle to have it inspected by another company. They had installed hundreds of these engines and transmissions over the years. They checked it out and came to the conclusion that the transmission needed to be taken out and returned to the manufacturer. The last thing we wanted to hear. We're trying to get out of here to head North.

The manufacturer said that they will only cover the transportation of the unit to them and back but not the labor to take the unit out or put it back in. The folks that had serviced and installed the unit(we already paid them for the service and installation) refuse to cover it under a "warranty". Theysay that they are just the "middle man". The expense would be ours!!! How's that for "customer service"?

The manufacturer has said they will evaluate the situation after they bench test the unit and make the decision as to what they will and what they won't pay for but not till they inspect the unit.

We'll find out next week how much we will get stuck for. Meanwhile, we're stuck at the dock with no where to go.
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Old 20-03-2009, 22:11   #7
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Another boatyard horror story.....we're sorry we are just the middleman.

I used a transmission company near Annapolis to rebuild two transmissions

Both ended up being nightmares...Looooooooooooooooooooooong Delays and constant excuses that they were waiting for parts....once they said it was on the bench being worked on at this very minute.....they didn't know I was down the street...I popped in...it was still sitting on the same spot on the floor where I dropped it off.

I finally found a guy who has an auto transission shop......Toatl time for complete rebuild? One week......that included shipping time for parts from TMI in Florida.

He has done 4 for me so far.....w/o a hitch.
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Old 26-03-2009, 06:39   #8
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Paragon transmission slipping

Hi mestrezat

I also have a Paragon (P33AL)Gear but have not yet had the problem of the shaft rotating in neutral. But I looked it up in the Paragon operator manual: Basically there are only 3 possible causes: Defective forward clutch plates, Defective forward Clutch Piston release spring or Binding in Planetary Assembly.

I'll attach a JPEG snapshot of the appropriate TROUBLESHOOTING section that goes into more detail.

Let me know if it doesn't come through or if you can't read it and I'll send it to you by direct email.

Hope this helps

PJ Kelly
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Old 26-03-2009, 08:47   #9
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Thanks!

The transmission was taken out two weeks ago and sent back to the "manufacturer", actually the "rebuilder". Apparently, I was sold a rebuilt transmission instead of a new one as I had been lead to believe by the boat yard. I could have had my existing one rebuilt for about $1,500 here in Seattle instead of paying over $3,000 for this one.

They acknowledged that they had to "fix" it and it has already left their facility on its way back to us but still no commitment as to wether they will pay the labor charges to take it out and put it back in. The yard I'm in won't stand behind it since they claim that they are "just the middleman" in this transaction even though they found it and bought it and I already paid once for the removal of the old one and installation of the "new" one. With luck, I might find out today wether the manufacturer will step up to the plate and do what is right.

Thanks for the info. Your conclusion of what was wrong is exactly what the second mechanic told us the problem was--the plates aren't right and needed work for proper alignment.

Stay tuned to see if I get screwed or not.
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Old 26-03-2009, 10:19   #10
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Paragon Transmission

Sorry I posted so late. Actually, removing and reinstalling a paragon transmission is pretty straightforward and if you can do it you have more control over the situation (and save yourself some money). While the transmission is out you may consider replacing the damper plate as they are only good for about 2000 hour, only cost about $135 new and would be a hassle if it went out while cruising. For future reference, posts by Anson Edward Goater in another forum (passagemaker.com) has a good description of how to do remove the transmission, replace the damper plate and replace the transmission. See: (PassageMaker Chat Deck: Paragon Gear Box & Damper Plate.)

Frankly, I got so tired of getting hosed by mechanics that I finally took a course in marine diesel engines. That gave me a true appreciation of what's involved in fixing this or that and knowledge enough to realize that there are some real incompetents out there.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes.
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Old 26-03-2009, 12:47   #11
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Thanks again

We just got word from the "manufacturer" that the transmission shipped out last Thursday so it should be here maybe as early as tomorrow. They do acknowledge that there was a problem with the adjustment screws inside and it had warped the clutch plate. They readjusted and replace the components as necessary and shipped her out.
They have committed to covering at least part of the bill(depending on how much it is) so that is good news. They won't say how much till they see the final total of what the yard wants. Something is better than nothing since the yard was holding me responsible for the total fees od doing it all over again.

I'll take a look at the other guy site. Knowledge is power and the yard would prefer I stay as stupid as I can.

Thanks again. I'll post when the job is done and maybe the prop actually stops turning.
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Old 26-03-2009, 18:16   #12
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Thats is precisely why I don't mind owners watching me work

Although I will "gently remind them" that although I enjoy their conversation....they are paying for it.

Plus, it helps that they know what's what on the engine...in ase they run into a problem and have to call me from "out there".

There are some real hoser yards out there......I could name names but the rules are agin it.

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Originally Posted by kellyp08 View Post

Frankly, I got so tired of getting hosed by mechanics that I finally took a course in marine diesel engines. That gave me a true appreciation of what's involved in fixing this or that and knowledge enough to realize that there are some real incompetents out there.

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Old 26-03-2009, 22:16   #13
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My Paragon in my Tartan always did that. I had rebuilt it myself...maybe that was the problem. There were 2 clutches in it...One band type and one clutch basket type with a over-travel cam to keep it engaged. I could always tap the shift lever forward or backwards to stop the prop but eventually it would rotate again. I think it was the nature of the beast. When charging on the hook...I would tap it slightly towards reverse to ensure I would not run over the anchor rode.
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Old 27-03-2009, 22:55   #14
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Just to give you a clue.....I am 145# not on 'roids and I don't have a problem installing those.....they can be a handfull....but if you plan in out and have someone that can give you a hand with a line on it...you can do it. The most tedious thing is getting the splines lined up........If you are going to do it yourself PM me if you want the "secret"
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Old 27-03-2009, 23:06   #15
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Just to give you a clue.....I am 145# not on 'roids
Steroids or Hemmeroids???...
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