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Old 09-05-2020, 02:44   #31
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Re: Dropped a straw in my gearbox!!!!

Couple years ago I dropped a long piece of cardboard into my fuel tank....... fuel gauge access.

Tried all sorts of methods to get it. Finally bent a fish hook straight, attached it to a stick and with a little patience finally harpooned it.

The week it was in there I could not sleep.......

Good luck
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Old 09-05-2020, 04:23   #32
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Re: Dropped a straw in my gearbox!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbunyard View Post
As previously noted, I don't expect you (nor anyone else who has little-to-no experience with these things) to 'believe' this advice.

10w40 motor oil has a specific gravity of about .857 g/cm3, polyethylene is .957, so it's not likely that it will float, unless you fill the box with something other than the recommended lube, which will almost certainly do more harm than the straw itself.

The 'meshing gears' in this transmission are located high in the housing, the straw will be located under the clutch pack, which cannot be affected by the straw.

Should the spinning oil cause the straw to be pushed up into the top of the transmission where it could conceivably (though it is very very unlikely) contact the gears that mesh with each other, the typical reaction is to push the alien object away, not draw it in.

In this case even if they somehow sucked it in, the gears wouldn't even notice it, the difference in hardnesses of the two materials is just too great.

The only real (however remote) problem would be that the straw somehow got into the shifting mechanism, and caused problems there, but again, steel and brass/bronze are so much stronger than the plastic of the straw that any problem would likely be short-lived .

Again, I don't think any of this this will assuage your concern, so if you take the shift cover off you'll probably be able to drag the offending item out from that side by using a thin hooked wire bent to thread under the clutch pack. If you're near a tig welder, a piece of 1/16" tig wire works really well for things like this...

I want to go with this logic. My main reservation is that it’s what I “want to hear” so I’m leery. I also called a very reputable marine transmission shop from Washington state and their response was “Do not run it with the straw still in there, you will ruin the gearbox.”

You mention the only real risk is interference with my shifting mechanism. What about a64pilots concern about the potential of increased pressure in the event the straw interferes with gears? I understand that you think the possibility of getting the straw in the gears is very low, I’m just trying to understand as best I can and from my preliminary standpoint you both make strong points.

A side note that is likely inconsequential to the matter at hand: The KBW20 gearbox takes ATF not motor oil.

Thanks for everyone’s insight and suggestions. In the event I can’t extract the straw without gearbox removal, I’m very much on the fence as to which course to take.

If I were at a marina in normal times I would likely pull it out, open it up and take the opportunity to inspect, rebuild, etc.
That said, I’m on anchor with an unknown yet approaching date where I’ll be allowed to leave for a 300 mile sail to Grenada. Once there I’ll be more settled and could “fix it right.”

On the other hand, removing the unit and “doing things right” doesn’t seem too daunting....especially if the alternative has large risks and turns me into a nervous wreck!

Decisions, Decisions....


Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Gears are set up with “lash” that means a little clearance between them, looseness if you will, but it’s not much at all, toss something in between them and that forces the gears apart and could worst case bust something.
Add to that that the gears in the KBW-20 are helical cut gears, that means the teeth are at an angle, that makes the gears run quieter but isn’t quite as strong as straight cut gears.
Helical cut gears when under a load get forced sideways, in this instance that lateral force is used to force the clutches tighter, pretty brilliant design in my opinion as it means the clutches have weak springs so that the shift lever is easy to move, however the more force applied to the gears the tighter the clutch plates are pressed together and that keeps them from slipping, so you get both a strong clutch, and an easy to shift transmission that the more torque fed through it, the tighter the clutches get to pass that torque along without slipping.
However put something in between the gears and that force could go through the roof and that could bust something, a gear or maybe a clutch pack, or maybe nothing, but I wouldn’t want to chance it far from home.
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Old 09-05-2020, 05:59   #33
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Re: Dropped a straw in my gearbox!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swift Drift View Post
I want to go with this logic. My main reservation is that it’s what I “want to hear” so I’m leery. I also called a very reputable marine transmission shop from Washington state and their response was “Do not run it with the straw still in there, you will ruin the gearbox.”

You mention the only real risk is interference with my shifting mechanism. What about a64pilots concern about the potential of increased pressure in the event the straw interferes with gears? I understand that you think the possibility of getting the straw in the gears is very low, I’m just trying to understand as best I can and from my preliminary standpoint you both make strong points.

A side note that is likely inconsequential to the matter at hand: The KBW20 gearbox takes ATF not motor oil.

Thanks for everyone’s insight and suggestions. In the event I can’t extract the straw without gearbox removal, I’m very much on the fence as to which course to take.

If I were at a marina in normal times I would likely pull it out, open it up and take the opportunity to inspect, rebuild, etc.
That said, I’m on anchor with an unknown yet approaching date where I’ll be allowed to leave for a 300 mile sail to Grenada. Once there I’ll be more settled and could “fix it right.”

On the other hand, removing the unit and “doing things right” doesn’t seem too daunting....especially if the alternative has large risks and turns me into a nervous wreck!

Decisions, Decisions....
Well I hope that the response from the "very reputable marine transmission shop from Washington state" is an instance of 'CT(their)A' rather than an actual experiential assessment...

I'd have had to play the smart-ass on them and asked "how?".

First off, let's understand my advice is what I'd do, and is not meant to dictate what you should do. There is some small chance that something other than nothing could happen; my experience and instinct tell me that the probablility is so low that it's worth 'risking'.

I certainly don't expect anyone else without my experiences to have an 'easy mind' about this fairly crucial piece of equipment and situation.

To perhaps inform my logic a bit, think about this. Machines designed to grind things have very specific geometries to enable them to draw material into them to be ground. Drop something onto a spinning gear or shaft, it gets flung off; drop it onto a resting gear or shaft (depending on if your have a grinding machine or a transmission) it'd be either rather opportune, or not, for it to fall into the proper place for it to to be drawn into the 'grinding apparatus'.

Further, the quantity of oil in the transmission, and the level as indicated by the length of the dipstick in the catalog illustration show that when idle the level of the oil is probably not more than an inch or two deep. so there is little (probably no) possibility of the oil flow causing the straw to be 'flushed up' into the area where the gears mesh, which leaves that function to be fullfilled by projections sticking out from the item 11 shift ring shown in the drawing below.

Except there aren't any.

ATF's specific gravity is .861, so it's a moot point.

As for actually removing the straw, which seems will ease everyones mind the most, probably your best bet short of removing the gear box, turning it on its side and trying to shake it out the shift cover side, is to use a thin bent wire to drag it out the shift cover side as previously advised...though I kinda like the idea of a mini harpoon suggested above.

Perhaps a 'trident' of straightened fish hooks might work even better?
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Old 09-05-2020, 06:07   #34
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Re: Dropped a straw in my gearbox!!!!

Those “straws” sink in 90W gear oil, I know as I have made them come loose in a quart container before and they sink.
The idea of gears pushing something away has 100% to do with which way they are rotating, one one side they suck things in, on the other side they push things away. That is how this transmission is lubricated I don’t believe it has a pump, the rotating components pump the ATF around.
Ever taken an oil pump apart? It’s just two gears and does a good job of sucking in oil.
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Old 09-05-2020, 07:19   #35
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Re: Dropped a straw in my gearbox!!!!

Suggest getting a steel coat hanger and making a couple of tools to fish the tube close to the fill hole and help stand it up as much as possible. Something like a shepherds crook, small curved end at an angle to long length. Second being a length with a slight curve in it. If you can elevate one end of the straw enough to ram the curved bit in the straw should lift out fine. And put a big bend/handle at the top of each tool so they don't drop in!!
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Old 09-05-2020, 07:38   #36
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Re: Dropped a straw in my gearbox!!!!

There has been a lot of talk about whether the gears will get damaged if the straw goes through them. I would be concerned about the possibility of either the straw or a piece or pieces of it after going through the gear getting into the bearing(s). The bearings will be open and bearings don't do well with the rollers or balls bouncing over small particles.
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Old 09-05-2020, 08:02   #37
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Re: Dropped a straw in my gearbox!!!!

I would fashion a small fish hook like end on a thin wire and go "fishing" for the straw. If you sharpen the tip of the end you may well puncture the straw and be able to retrieve it.
Best of luck!
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Old 09-05-2020, 08:24   #38
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Re: Dropped a straw in my gearbox!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dymaxion View Post
Suggest getting a steel coat hanger and making a couple of tools to fish the tube close to the fill hole and help stand it up as much as possible. Something like a shepherds crook, small curved end at an angle to long length. Second being a length with a slight curve in it. If you can elevate one end of the straw enough to ram the curved bit in the straw should lift out fine. And put a big bend/handle at the top of each tool so they don't drop in!!
this. i did the same thing to our very expensive workshop compressor. made a long hook from a coat hanger, managed to hook the piece of tube from the bottom, got it close to the opening and got in with some needle nose pliers. it took a quit a while to do but they sink so you can keep trying to snag it. i agree a trident hook would probably be easier.
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Old 09-05-2020, 08:30   #39
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Re: Dropped a straw in my gearbox!!!!

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Originally Posted by Swift Drift View Post
I would think so too but no dice. Although I haven’t drained from the bottom yet, I did suck out most all of the oil from the top prior to trying the shop vac. Additionally, I fear the straw is short enough that it’s fallen to the side ass opposed to standing up vertically aligned with the hole.
I was going to say... if the straw is big enough, which it does look pretty big in your photo, I would think it would stand up vertically. Or, at the very least, it would lay flat horizontally on the bottom. I would think a long and thin pair of tweezers would be able to get at it.

Definitely do NOT run the gearbox/engine with the straw inside. Just my opinion... I could be wrong

I know you're stuck on anchor, but would one of those endoscope cameras they have help? I've seen them on that amazing South American forest website where you can buy stuff. The camera connects to your phone and you can insert it and search for it. At least that would give you an idea of where the straw is located. I can't imagine it went too far into the gearbox if it just popped off while you were changing the oil.

Good luck!
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Old 09-05-2020, 08:46   #40
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Re: Dropped a straw in my gearbox!!!!

The iPhone endoscopic idea is fantastic! Never knew the product existed! Not that expensive either! 👍
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Old 09-05-2020, 08:51   #41
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Re: Dropped a straw in my gearbox!!!!

endoscope taped to mechanical grabber tool. Prayer may help too
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Old 09-05-2020, 09:08   #42
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Re: Dropped a straw in my gearbox!!!!

I just checked Walmart has an endoscope with grabber tool for $39. I took a screenshot on my iPad but don’t know how to post the picture.
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Old 09-05-2020, 09:42   #43
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Re: Dropped a straw in my gearbox!!!!

What about poking aound with a fuzzy pipe cleaner hoping to get it down the straw hole?

Admittedly a long shot.
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Old 09-05-2020, 09:54   #44
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Re: Dropped a straw in my gearbox!!!!

Desperate times...means desperate measures!
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Old 09-05-2020, 10:09   #45
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Re: Dropped a straw in my gearbox!!!!

The endoscope/mechanical fingers should be the best solution, but here a couple of other ideas:

The vacuum oil extractors can develop a reasonable amount of suction that will grab light objects. Fishing around with one of these may stick to the object well enough that it can be extracted. Try experimenting with different sized extraction tubes.

One advantage is that there is nothing that can harm the gearbox or become trapped as you poke around. If you suck up oil it can always be replaced. It may actually help (particularly with the endoscope) to suck out all the oil so you can see better. On the other hand, temporarily filling the gearbox completely with oil may help float the object to the top.
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