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Old 28-03-2013, 07:26   #1
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Please let it not be the gearbox!

Pulled out of the marina yesterday at idle reverse then slightly above idle forward. No problems.

Opened her up reaching the intercostal and nothing... Engine running but the prop clearly not turning. Watched the cable move the lever on the gearbox as it should. I can feel the flywheel turning (vibration) on the shift handle. Can't see the prop, but it's clearly not turning based on the lack of movement and prop wash.

I'm thinking 1) gearbox is shot or 2) shaft has become somehow disconnected from the gear box.

My shaft isn't really accessible so no idea yet if it's turning. Got a guy coming out to look next week.

I'm kind of in a panic about the potential scope of this problem. Anyone else have similar?

'74 Ericson E-32 with Yanmar 2GM20 installed ~15 years ago.
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Old 28-03-2013, 07:28   #2
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Re: Please let it not be the gearbox!

Do you have a V-drive? make sure you don't put the engine in reverse gear!
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Old 28-03-2013, 07:31   #3
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No V-drive
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Old 28-03-2013, 07:32   #4
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Re: Please let it not be the gearbox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Do you have a V-drive? make sure you don't put the engine in reverse gear!
Why not? Assume from the "!" that something rather unpleasant or expensive might happen?
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Old 28-03-2013, 07:33   #5
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Re: Please let it not be the gearbox!

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Why not? Assume from the "!" that something rather unpleasant or expensive might happen?
No, it can pull the shaft out of the boat leaving a big hole. Friends of us sunk that way off the Cayman Islands...
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Old 28-03-2013, 07:37   #6
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Re: Please let it not be the gearbox!

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Originally Posted by JETTEST View Post
No V-drive
Should be simple to do a basis analysis if you can just look at the engine/transmission.

The setup is engine -> transmission -> coupler.

Start engine, idle speed, make sure you are well attached to the dock, short lines and no change to smash anything. Put in gear and look at the couple. If the side by the transmission is spinning but the other side isn't then probably the transmission is OK but you have sheared the bolts in the coupler.

You did say that you visually comfirmed that the shift lever on the transmission itself is moving properly when the lever in the cockpit is moved? Have you manually moved the lever on the transmission to make sure the cable is moving it far enough to shift?
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Old 28-03-2013, 07:39   #7
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Yep. Lever is moving full range with cable..


I'll check it out later... Very hard to access the shaft/gearbox.

Gonna have to get creative!
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Old 28-03-2013, 07:40   #8
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Re: Please let it not be the gearbox!

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No, it can pull the shaft out of the boat leaving a big hole. Friends of us sunk that way off the Cayman Islands...
Well that would certainly count as unpleasant in my book. But could not the same thing happen without a V-drive?

In my boat, with a V-drive, there is a standard, two-piece coupler so the shaft would be held in the boat by the coupler if the V-drive failed.
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Old 28-03-2013, 07:41   #9
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Re: Please let it not be the gearbox!

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Yep. Lever is moving full range with cable..


I'll check it out later... Very hard to access the shaft/gearbox.

Gonna have to get creative!
Can you not even see the transmission and coupler to visually inspect it?
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Old 28-03-2013, 07:43   #10
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Re: Please let it not be the gearbox!

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Well that would certainly count as unpleasant in my book. But could not the same thing happen without a V-drive?

In my boat, with a V-drive, there is a standard, two-piece coupler so the shaft would be held in the boat by the coupler if the V-drive failed.
Yes you don't need a V-drive for that to happen, but it would be the reason for bad access to the shaft and gearbox. I'm a bit puzzled how it's possible to see the gear shift lever move full range but not the shaft turn because of access. I'd think you need access to it at all times incl. the shaft seal in case it starts leaking or needs maintenance
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Old 28-03-2013, 08:03   #11
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Re: Please let it not be the gearbox!

the one problem i found that made me sail formosa instead of ericson 35 on my adventures--is not easy to find the shaft abaft engine much less work on it. you must go to the end of the q-berth and look inside a hole and isnt easy to do --need a rhesus monkey trained intra utero --did i say neonatal rhesus monkey.....i love my ericson but it is not set up for long distance cruising--if you cannot easily repair the stuff, isnt along range cruiser,in my life.....hella daysalor, but is way tooo difficult to repair for a long range use for me....
beautiful and so fast to sail, but so difficult to access for repairs.
can you find a second soul to manage the above deck stuff while you stick your head into the tiny space provided for this and see if the shaft is actually turning when you use throttle???? could it possibly be the morris cables ......(prayiing hard for ye to the sea gods..)
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Old 28-03-2013, 08:06   #12
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Re: Please let it not be the gearbox!

My Ericson does the EXACT same thing this time of year. Under low RPM it will kinda 'mosey' but at full throttle it wants to sit still. With me, my problem is the barnacles on the prop. But even then I will be able to see at least some prop wash, but honestly...not a much.

I don't think the E-32 ever had a sail drive from factory, but I do know how the Ericson engine room bilge is designed. If you don't pump it out during lay up or off season...it is very possible there is something wrong with the shaft at the gear box or coupling. I pump mine religiously and still have a bit of rust there. It kinda sounds like the torque of full throttle may have sheared the bolts..(??) or does it still let you motor at idle?

Also...you SHOULD at least be able to get to the shaft from the cockpit locker...I would think.
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Old 28-03-2013, 08:15   #13
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Re: Please let it not be the gearbox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Yes you don't need a V-drive for that to happen, but it would be the reason for bad access to the shaft and gearbox.
One of the few, serious complaints I have about my boat. I don't hear of too many problems with quality or reliability so hoping that will not be a problem but access to my stuffing box is a little awkward. Access to the shaft log is impossible without jacking up the engine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
I'm a bit puzzled how it's possible to see the gear shift lever move full range but not the shaft turn because of access.
Don't understand this as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
I'd think you need access to it at all times incl. the shaft seal in case it starts leaking or needs maintenance
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Old 28-03-2013, 08:21   #14
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Re: Please let it not be the gearbox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
the one problem i found that made me sail formosa instead of ericson 35 on my adventures--is not easy to find the shaft abaft engine much less work on it. you must go to the end of the q-berth and look inside a hole and isnt easy to do --need a rhesus monkey trained intra utero --did i say neonatal rhesus monkey.....i love my ericson but it is not set up for long distance cruising--if you cannot easily repair the stuff, isnt along range cruiser,in my life.....hella daysalor, but is way tooo difficult to repair for a long range use for me....
I have always said that the engineers and architects that design any sort of structure or equipment should be required to demonstrate the basic maintenance and repair jobs on their designs at least one time. Might make for boats set up better for use than optimized for easier/cheaper construction.
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Old 28-03-2013, 08:28   #15
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Re: Please let it not be the gearbox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
the one problem i found that made me sail formosa instead of ericson 35 on my adventures--is not easy to find the shaft abaft engine much less work on it. you must go to the end of the q-berth and look inside a hole and isnt easy to do --need a rhesus monkey trained intra utero --did i say neonatal rhesus monkey.....i love my ericson but it is not set up for long distance cruising--if you cannot easily repair the stuff, isnt along range cruiser,in my life.....hella daysalor, but is way tooo difficult to repair for a long range use for me....
beautiful and so fast to sail, but so difficult to access for repairs.
can you find a second soul to manage the above deck stuff while you stick your head into the tiny space provided for this and see if the shaft is actually turning when you use throttle???? could it possibly be the morris cables ......(prayiing hard for ye to the sea gods..)
That is interesting. My engine room is quite easy to access. And yes...I find it important. I can touch any part of my drive train from the q-birth.
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