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Old 26-05-2012, 01:18   #1
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Possible Transmission Problem?

Our Beta Marine 90 with it's Hurth ZF45A transmission has operated flawlessly for almost 1,400 hours but just a few days ago, as we were pulling into the Port Denarau Marina in Fiji, the transmission began to make a very significant 'clunking' sound when I shifted into forward. As we were just about to haul out, I dismissed the problem as worn rubber stops on the Gori folding prop but once the boat was out of the water, I could see that the stops were fine as was the cutlass bearing. Now that we're back at the dock, I've done some more investigation and I've determined that the motor mounts are OK as is the R&D flexible coupling. Something is definitely going on inside the transmission.

Here's my quandary: We're leaving for California in a week. I could tear things down now but that might mean leaving everything apart for the next three months (that's how long we're scheduled to be gone) but getting parts in the US would be substantially easier than getting parts here in Fiji. On the other hand, we could wait until we get to Australia but that's almost 1,400 miles away.

What would you do?

Fair winds and calm seas.
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Old 26-05-2012, 02:56   #2
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Re: Possible Transmission Problem?

How heavy is the gearbox? take it with you perhaps?

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Old 26-05-2012, 07:04   #3
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Re: Possible Transmission Problem?

That's a good idea but it weighs almost 65 pounds which is too heavy for baggage on Air Pacific.
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Old 26-05-2012, 09:43   #4
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Re: Possible Transmission Problem?

--and it could be just the damper plate. I guess that you are allowing for the standard "thunk" that Hurths make when shifting. What your ATF like?-mine is louder if the fluid is low.
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Old 26-05-2012, 09:59   #5
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Re: Possible Transmission Problem?

There's a good transmission repair place in Brisbane if you can hold out that long.
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Old 26-05-2012, 14:19   #6
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Re: Possible Transmission Problem?

I hadn't considered the damper plate but it only makes the 'clunking' sound when I shift into forward. Just for kicks, I changed the ATF and filter but both were spotless and, of course, it didn't solve the problem.

Yesterday, I watched the engine/transmission as my wife shifted it in and out of forward. It definitely 'bucks' as the gear engages - more than before -corresponding to the clunking sound.

Thank you for the replies.
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Old 26-05-2012, 14:41   #7
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Re: Possible Transmission Problem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nhschneider View Post
That's a good idea but it weighs almost 65 pounds which is too heavy for baggage on Air Pacific.
If it is possible to dismantle parts you may still be OK.
I just transported a 44 kg anchor winch ( plus lots of other stuff ) from Australia to Europe. ( my wife and I ) No excess baggage, just lots of careful packing. Anything in your pockets is not counted. A sailing jacket can hold 10kg.
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Old 30-05-2012, 07:46   #8
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Re: Possible Transmission Problem?

If the transmission fluid is clear and the transmission is not making any undue noises when in gear, I would suspect the damper plate. It should be a simple matter to remove the transmission and check. Just be very careful if you have dripless shaft seal instead of a regular stuffing box.
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