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Old 30-10-2016, 14:05   #1
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Suggestion for transmission replacement

Hi guys,

I'm looking for the advice on the upgrade.

I have 1986 Westerbeke W21 with HBW50 transmission. It works fine, forward/reverse gears shift fast - no slippage but this season I noticed a rattling noise getting louder and louder. Last season noise disappeared after 1500 RPM or so but this season, I can hear it at almost any RPM. very annoying considering all the work i put into soundproofing of the engine compartment.
After some research, I think the problem is with damper plate which I'm replacing to R&D High Deflection damper - seems to be the best at keeping things quite.

Engine and original transmission have around 3000 hours on it.
21hp engine is not overpowering this transmission (it's reported to be undersized for bigger engines but rated just fine for my engine).

My $1500-dilemma is - do I replace HBW50 transmission at this time (i would replace it to Twin Disc TMC-40-P) or keep it until I notice a problem with gear ****? replacing it later will require the boat out of the water, fuel tank removed, rudder removed, prop shaft removed (no space to remove transmission without removing the prop shaft). if original transmission is expected to give up soon I'd better do it now but it seems to work just fine so I'd prefer to save some money.

any suggestions are appreciated.

Thank you

Anton
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Old 30-10-2016, 14:50   #2
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Re: Suggestion for transmission replacement

Do check your motor mounts, I had a similar problem and the motor mounts had moved and the oil pan was resting on the bottom of the boat, which telegraphed the vibration throughout the RPM range. It might be a really simple fix.
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Old 30-10-2016, 15:08   #3
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Re: Suggestion for transmission replacement

thanks, but mounts were replaced last year and that rattling sound is only when a gear is engaged. the engine is smooth and quiet on all RPMs without engaging a gear.
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Old 30-10-2016, 18:55   #4
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Re: Suggestion for transmission replacement

Replacing the damper plate is OK, but you might look into a transmission cooler for the Hurth transmission. Heat is the killer of transmissions and a properly cooled one will last a long time (all other things being correct). I have seen on line a cooler that just bolts to the side of a Hurth that only requires the raw water for the engine to be run thru it. Very little plumbing change. You also might recheck your alignment since brand new motor mounts will settle a bit after some use. Your perfect alignment may now be changed. I would try many smaller things before I got rid of what is probably a good tranny. Just my 2 cents worth. ____Grant.
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Old 30-10-2016, 19:49   #5
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Re: Suggestion for transmission replacement

Thanks, Grant.
I did an alignment when I replaced the engine mounts and installed flexible coupling between transmission and the shaft so it should compensate any minor misalignments.
I did not think a cooler is available for my transmission (they have it for the next size) but I'll check - I remember now, there are some mounting holes on the side probably for the cooler, not sure why the manual says it's only for the next size, thanks.
I do prefer to leave this transmission but not sure if it's coming to the limit of its hours at almost 3000 hours on the engine.
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Old 31-10-2016, 05:47   #6
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Re: Suggestion for transmission replacement

Why not have your transmission serviced by a transmission shop while it is out. This will give you the peace of mind you are looking for.
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Old 31-10-2016, 06:30   #7
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Re: Suggestion for transmission replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutt View Post
Why not have your transmission serviced by a transmission shop while it is out. This will give you the peace of mind you are looking for.
thanks, Mutt. this was my original plan but the first guy I contacted told me they do not service or rebuild Hurth transmissions any longer because parts are too expensive and hard to find and they just replace to Twin Disk.
I assumed this is the case and did not think about reconditioning it again. but seems like the best idea ever, especially I recall seeing recently reconditioning kits for $200-$300.
any recommendations on who I can contact to recondition this transmission?
can any transmission shop do this or better get one specializing in Hurth?
I'm in Ontario Canada but can ship it to any location in US.
thanks again for a great idea.
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Old 31-10-2016, 08:38   #8
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Re: Suggestion for transmission replacement

Anton--You do not say where you are located but, if on the east coast of the US, it might be worth your time contacting Transatlantic Diesel. TAD has proven very reliable and economical for us in past.

FWIW...
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Old 31-10-2016, 08:40   #9
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Re: Suggestion for transmission replacement

thanks, I'll ask them. I'm in Ontario Canada and will have to ship it out anyway if i can not find anybody local.
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Old 31-10-2016, 14:30   #10
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Re: Suggestion for transmission replacement

Why not help yourself?

Found this without any trouble on google:

http://www.iwabss-limited.co.uk/upload/hurth_manual.pdf

Also many entries for parts.
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Old 31-10-2016, 14:37   #11
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Re: Suggestion for transmission replacement

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Originally Posted by techmans View Post
Why not help yourself?
Found this without any trouble on google:
http://www.iwabss-limited.co.uk/upload/hurth_manual.pdf
Also many entries for parts.
I can do a lot myself but messing with a transmission is out of my comfort zone. no proper tools or experience - i will probably do more damage when repairs there. i'd better pay to a professional in this case.
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Old 31-10-2016, 15:57   #12
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Re: Suggestion for transmission replacement

I recommend you call Joe Demers at Sound Marine.

When my KBW-10 bit the dust this fall, I talked to a lot of activities about options and got the full gamut of responses.

Based on an internet search, I found Sound Marine and decided to call and talk to them.

I talked with Joe on the phone for about 20 minutes about my options, including rebuilding the transmission which is of similar vintage and parts status as yours. He quoted $1K to to $1.5K as an estimate for rebuild.

He seems to be very experienced and was very informative and candid about options, and if I hadn't decided to bite the bullet and install a new Beta, I would have had him rebuild the transmission.

No affiliation.

Break/break...based on my experience and research on the KBW-10 and transmissions in general, I would recommend replacing the damper plate and running the HBW until it dies, which may be never. These transmissions are robust and if the oil is changed frequently they will last a long time. Mine was 41yo and I abused it badly with infrequent oil changes and long layup periods. I would have rebuilt the transmission myself but for the need for special tools that I don't have and don't have access to.

Replacing the damper plate is about a 2 in difficulty on a scale of 1 to 10, and not too costly and I recommend you do that and run the engine and see if you're satisfied and your noise is gone.
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Old 31-10-2016, 16:04   #13
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Re: Suggestion for transmission replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by waterant View Post
I can do a lot myself but messing with a transmission is out of my comfort zone. no proper tools or experience - i will probably do more damage when repairs there. i'd better pay to a professional in this case.
Good for you. A man needs to know his limitations.
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Old 31-10-2016, 17:06   #14
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Re: Suggestion for transmission replacement

thanks, fryewe
I talked to Joe - seems like a rebuild option may not be the best one. i'm waiting for a couple of quotes for a rebuild but i feel it will be around $1000 and new twin disk transmission is around $1250 with shipping. so i'm back to my original options - keep as-is or replace to a new one. i guess i can sell my used HBW50 after testing a new one which will help a bit with the bill and can save somebody a good dough.
will put my noodles to work - at least i have all the information i need to decide. thank you for all your help.
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