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Old 04-01-2016, 14:35   #1
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wrong saildrive oil repercussions

So we had our Yanmar SD60 oil changed by a Yanmar authorised agent.
He put Mercury - Gear Lube SAE 80W90 instead of the recommended 15W40 Oil
We ran the engines for 30hrs
Now our saildrives are slipping. He has suggested they will be OK if we change the oil to the recommended oil.
Any ideas on why they would slip with the incorrect oil and thoughts on whether any permanent damage may have been caused would be appreciated.
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Old 04-01-2016, 14:52   #2
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Re: wrong saildrive oil repercussions

The heavier wt gear oil has very high film strength and that could lead to clutch slippage. If they have slipped only for a short time of running it could very well be that switching back to the correct oil could solve the problem. I would want the oil changed, then run a short time (like an hour or so) then changed again. I would be rather firm on a guarantee that if they start slipping again in some rather large number of hours that the dealer would stand the cost.
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Old 04-01-2016, 15:39   #3
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Re: wrong saildrive oil repercussions

It's weird that it took 30 hours to start slipping. That doesn't sound right, it seems like it would have slipped at the very first. If something was damaged over the 30 hrs changing the oil won't fix it, it might slip worse now.
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Old 04-01-2016, 18:22   #4
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Re: wrong saildrive oil repercussions

Thanks. By film strength I guess you mean it would likely stick to the gears and clutch more than the correct oil. I will be changing the oil tomorrow for the correct oil. Probably remove the existing oil, fill with the correct oil, run for 30 mins, then remove and refill with fresh oil. I wonder if this will remove most of the old oil or if a lot will remain stuck to the gears etc because of the higher viscosity? I guess the two oils won't mix together very well?
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Old 04-01-2016, 18:37   #5
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Re: wrong saildrive oil repercussions

Film strength is not quite the same as "stickiness" (if that is a word). Higher film strength would require more pressure per area to squeeze out the molecules of lubricant and have metal on metal contact.

I think that the oils would mix with no issue and the amount of wrong oil left in the units after the second change would be extremely low.

I was guessing that the 30 hours before slipping was at reduced throttle and at some point you increased load on the gearbox enough to notice the slipping. Is this correct? If so taking some time to notice the slipping would be reasonable. In this case I think the odds of any real damage to the system would be fairly low. If you had a feeling that something wasn't right for 25 of those 30 hours and it finally got bad enough that you were sure it was slipping I would be pretty forceful about warranty action.

Disclaimer: I'm not a Yanmar tech and if you could get advice from a properly qualified tech who doesn't have a dog in the fight that would be a good thing.
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Old 04-01-2016, 19:09   #6
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Re: wrong saildrive oil repercussions

Thanks again Daryl. We have a catamaran so two engines. Both with incorrect oil and both have done 30 hrs, mostly at around 2100RPM. WOT is 3200RPM.
The first sign of a problem was probably 4hrs ago just on our starboard engine. We were motoring at 2100RPM, at around 5kn when we noticed the boat speed drop to around 4kn and a slight change in the engine sound (a slight whine) . Thirty seconds later it was back to normal and normal speed. We noticed it again a little later when anchoring. There was no reverse thrust. The engine whined for 10 seconds ago then the prop engaged and. We had thrust. First I checked the props to rule out an issue with not unfolding correctly, but they have just been cleaned and propsped and were working fine. A couple more short tests showed similar slipping so we stopped using the starboard engine until we could properly diagnose the problem.
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Old 04-01-2016, 19:28   #7
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Re: wrong saildrive oil repercussions

http://www.yanmar.nl/theme/yanmarpor...SDM-G00200.pdf

page 14.. very important..
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Old 04-01-2016, 19:38   #8
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Re: wrong saildrive oil repercussions

Yea, page 14. Have you discussed this with the shop that made the error? Did they admit to it? I would think if they are a stand up operation they would rebuild the clutches. If you think they might back peddle you might save some oil from each unit in case push comes to shove.

I lost track of where you are. Are you back in Australia? If you were in US the dealer could be strongly encouraged to make it right.
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Old 04-01-2016, 20:24   #9
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Re: wrong saildrive oil repercussions

We are in the Caribbean. Currently in Antigua but the workshop that changed the oil is further south. I have discussed briefly with them and they have agreed to foot the bill for the oil change by the local agent. It seems Yanmar has their agents handle warranty claims and there may be no direct customer contact. Id be interested if anyone has a contact number or email address for Yanmar directly as I may want to take the matter up with them. Clearly their warranty states, as per the document mentioned above

• Comply with and follow all lubrication
and maintenance instructions and
recommendations; and
• Have an authorized Yanmar
dealer/distributor perform periodic
checkups.

as well as

LUBRICATING OIL
The selection of lubricating oil is very important. If an inappropriate oil is used, or an oil
change is neglected, it may result in damage and reduce the life of the Sail-Drive. When
selecting a lubricating oil, use one of the following:
1. Lubricating oil type: API Service Categories CD or higher, SAE Viscosity 15W-40
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Old 05-01-2016, 08:02   #10
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Re: wrong saildrive oil repercussions

I remember some issue with sail drive clutches causing problems. I don't remember the model or even the make. But I assume that the boat will have to be pulled in order to do the work. If that is the case that will have to be added to the cost of the parts (which tend to be expensive for Yanmars) and labor if there is in fact damage. Said damage may not show present it's self for some time. Your decision will rest on how much it will cost to make the repairs out of your own pocket at some point down the road if required and how much of a pain in the neck it would be to return to the place that made the error and how much you trust the shop that screwed up the oil change to do real mechanical work . I would try to find a tech familiar with these drive units to give me an idea what the odds of real damage would be.
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Old 05-01-2016, 08:43   #11
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Re: wrong saildrive oil repercussions

Sounds to me like the maintenance crew messed up and thought they were dealing with SD50's -- because they require that gear oil with the thicker viscosity.

I agree with the last posting -- I would believe that you have to pull the boat, because the oil has to be drained from the saildrive -- there is a fitting on the bottom that allows the oil to drain out.

I have seen videos of catamaran owners beaching on a sand bar, and doing this at low tide -- but that's something that you can only really do in the most perfect conditions.
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Old 05-01-2016, 11:16   #12
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Re: wrong saildrive oil repercussions

Quote:
Originally Posted by monte View Post
Thanks. By film strength I guess you mean it would likely stick to the gears and clutch more than the correct oil. I will be changing the oil tomorrow for the correct oil. Probably remove the existing oil, fill with the correct oil, run for 30 mins, then remove and refill with fresh oil. I wonder if this will remove most of the old oil or if a lot will remain stuck to the gears etc because of the higher viscosity? I guess the two oils won't mix together very well?
Sounds like a good course of action. I hope you held onto an invoice from the dealer if it stated the oil he used. Doubt you will get any satisfaction but worth a letter.
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Old 05-01-2016, 11:24   #13
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Re: wrong saildrive oil repercussions

Monte, It is a bad idea to mix oil types and maybe worse to change viscosities..
I have a ICML lubricant analyst certification and think the 80W90 lube may not be lubricating the clutches at all, hopefully they are not damaged from overheating.
I can not believe they put the wrong lube in the drives. I would not run them long or at higher power settings. Good Luck.
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Old 05-01-2016, 12:25   #14
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Re: wrong saildrive oil repercussions

Thanks again. Today we removed the oil, replaced with the the correct oil, ran for 20 mins in fwd and reverse, removed the oil and filled with fresh oil. Pumping the oil out we managed to take out 2.8l each time. Yanmar states that is the capacity so I guess most of the incorrect oil is now removed. We will keep a close eye on the performance over the coming weeks.
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Old 05-01-2016, 12:28   #15
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Re: wrong saildrive oil repercussions

SD 60 are clutches, not cones, right? If so they may not be hurt, assuming they didn't overheat and glaze or warp plates. If they are glazed or the plates warped, I believe you will know, warped plates and it won't disengage completely, and glazed and they will still slip.
Can you contact someone that you consider to be a sail drive expert, someone you trust and has no skin in the game to ask?
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