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Old 14-03-2023, 08:47   #1
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Help with obsolete transmission replacement?

I have a Volvo D2-40 with a MS15L-A transmission (in a new-to-me Beneteau Evasion 36). There was a noticeable shake in the whole system recently, and I noticed that there was a broken stud on one of the engine mounts. After replacing the engine mounts and re-aligning, the shake is still there IN FORWARD GEAR, but not at all in reverse gear. The shake is much better now with the new mounts constraining it.

Looking at the transmission fluid, it's dark/blackish instead of red. This points to clutch plate wear (I believe), and I was looking at having it worked on by a professional. I called a few places and was told that the transmission is old, they can't find parts anymore, but I might try Billy Bob (effectively) up the road since he still works on older models sometimes. Billy Bob, not to my surprise at all actually, sounded extremely knowledgeable, but has a backlog longer than my... waterline. The transmission isn't difficult to remove, and as such, I'm inclined to try a replacement. BUT, it looks like it's about $5k MINIMUM just for the part (Volvo PN 3582389)...

Since it's trending toward obsolescence, I assume that price is due to lack of supply. What I'm really wondering is -- what are my options? Are there potentially replacement transmissions that are newer and fit the same bolt pattern? If not, I guess if you can't find parts or you consider it too expensive -- do people just do a full repower?

I'm relatively mechanically inclined, but I know tearing apart this transmission is beyond my comfort level. I mess around with cars a lot, but this boat stuff is pretty new to me. I'm happy to answer any questions and take any suggestions or if you have any references or good mechanics/shops/suppliers I can call, I'd be happy to do that as well. Thanks so much for your input!
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Old 14-03-2023, 09:03   #2
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Re: Help with obsolete transmission replacement?

It's a ZF transmission. I would be surprised if friction discs were no longer available. From Volvo Penta maybe not but after market should be available. $5K sounds about right for a gear box and don't forget if it's not the same gear ratio you may have to repitch the prop or replace it depending on what you have. If you want to buy some time get some Lucas "Stop Slip" at your FLAP store, drain the oil out and put 1/3 of a bottle in (or about 30 to 40% by volume, I assume the capacity is about 2 quarts) and top off the rest with specified fluid. Read the instructions on the bottle. It will cost you about $16 plus the oil but may buy you a season.

I'm a car guy (master mechanic, retired shop owner) but I bet ZF didn't make friction discs just for Volvo Penta. ZF makes/made transmissions for Volvo, BMW, Mebe, GM, Fiat, SAAB, Ford, Chrysler, Audi, VW, etc.etc. Rebuilding it is not rocket science. If you can't find a marine rebuilder try an automotive transmission rebuilder. I would bet the friction discs and plates are the same as the smaller ZF automobile units. The Gasket set might have to be made and you may have to order seals by size but both of these are not hard to do.

There was a gentleman advertising rebuilt gears and rebuilding services on this forum. Maybe start there? I think he said he's 6 weeks on orders.

Where is the boat located?
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Old 14-03-2023, 09:12   #3
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Re: Help with obsolete transmission replacement?

Hurth made them before ZF just FYI.

These guys look like they have an extensive stock of parts. I'd call them and see if they can supply the parts you need. Which is probably a rebuild gasket set and a disc/friction disc set. Verify what Hurth or ZF the MS Penta MS15L-A gear is and then see if they have the parts. Open it up and see what you need.
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Old 14-03-2023, 09:50   #4
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Re: Help with obsolete transmission replacement?

https://bpi.ebasicpower.com/shop/

The link would probably help.
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Old 14-03-2023, 09:53   #5
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Re: Help with obsolete transmission replacement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scubaseas View Post
It's a ZF transmission. I would be surprised if friction discs were no longer available. From Volvo Penta maybe not but after market should be available. $5K sounds about right for a gear box and don't forget if it's not the same gear ratio you may have to repitch the prop or replace it depending on what you have. If you want to buy some time get some Lucas "Stop Slip" at your FLAP store, drain the oil out and put 1/3 of a bottle in (or about 30 to 40% by volume, I assume the capacity is about 2 quarts) and top off the rest with specified fluid. Read the instructions on the bottle. It will cost you about $16 plus the oil but may buy you a season.

I'm a car guy (master mechanic, retired shop owner) but I bet ZF didn't make friction discs just for Volvo Penta. ZF makes/made transmissions for Volvo, BMW, Mebe, GM, Fiat, SAAB, Ford, Chrysler, Audi, VW, etc.etc. Rebuilding it is not rocket science. If you can't find a marine rebuilder try an automotive transmission rebuilder. I would bet the friction discs and plates are the same as the smaller ZF automobile units. The Gasket set might have to be made and you may have to order seals by size but both of these are not hard to do.

There was a gentleman advertising rebuilt gears and rebuilding services on this forum. Maybe start there? I think he said he's 6 weeks on orders.

Where is the boat located?
This is just phenomenal information. Thank you so much! I'll definitely try the stop slip. The capacity is .63 quarts according to a handy chart I found online so I'll do 8 oz or so.

There is a spot at the output that says "HURTH MARINE." Maybe I'll start looking down that path. Or maybe ZF has some? I've just been looking at genuine Volvo right now. Nobody lists the clutch plates as being available (that I've found).

Any input on potential newer replacements that are a direct fit (not necessarily for this one, but in general). Is that not a thing that happens with boat motors? Or once I start looking for

I'm in Houston. Boat is currently in Florida, awaiting transport back to Houston, and I'm trying to solve this shaking before I make the trip. Hopefully this stop slip can help enough to get her home. Speaking of not rocket science -- I work in aerospace. Just haven't taken apart one of these transmissions before or seen it done. I'm new to water ships -- not space ships. But that does NOT make me a qualified mechanic
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Old 14-03-2023, 10:02   #6
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Re: Help with obsolete transmission replacement?

I'm in Maine. My boat is in Seabrook Marina. If you can wait two months I could help you rebuild it.

The plate on the engine is an adapter. I think there are Kanzaki and or ZF transmiassions that would bolt up to it. You need to find out what the gear reduction is. If you change that you will or may have to repitch the prop. Or change it depending on what kind of prop you have.

If you can find the Hurth number these guys seem to have parts listed. No idea if they have them or not. They could probably tell you what a new/different gear would run. No affiliation. Just web search. There was an oiutift in NJ that dealt with Hurth they could probably supply you parts.

A few more:



https://www.tadiesels.com/used-

tran.html


https://marinetransmissions.com/

https://bpi.ebasicpower.com/shop/
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Old 14-03-2023, 10:07   #7
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Re: Help with obsolete transmission replacement?

Watch the installed length of a new trans also.
The adapter is the transmission to an SAE bolt pattern. I believe the D2 is an SAE#2, that can be verified on the old pdf sales brochures. Or by measuring the bolt pattern and comparing to the SAE list.
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Old 14-03-2023, 10:27   #8
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Re: Help with obsolete transmission replacement?

A few years ago I replaced my old Hurth HBW50 with a NewAge PRM60. Was about $500 including shipping from the UK so less than parts alone to rebuild the Hurth. Vendor was ASAP Supplies. The PRM60 is too small for your engine (40hp, right?) But they have larger ones that would work. Prices on their website are "VAT included" but if you ship the US they drop the VAT. That was a nice surprise. It was a drop in replacement, the only difference was the control lever was on the other side. Moving the cable bracket to the other side fixed that. Beta Marine uses PRM gears on some of thier models and they're arguably the best small marine engines available now, so they must be good. I sold the boat a couple years later so I don't have a long term report, but I had no problems and I've read lots of other positive reviews. If a PRM won't bolt directly into the Volvo, most any gear can with an adapter plate. Not hard to make and it's how hot rodders bolt Chevy transmissions onto Ford engines for example.
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Old 14-03-2023, 10:27   #9
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Re: Help with obsolete transmission replacement?

https://www.harbormarine.net/pdf/zf-...tion-guide.pdf I recall earlier Volvos as SAE 2 also but don't rely on my memory. Also check off sets and all dimensions, bolt diameters, coupler spacings etc.
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Old 14-03-2023, 11:28   #10
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Re: Help with obsolete transmission replacement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scubaseas View Post
https://www.harbormarine.net/pdf/zf-...tion-guide.pdf I recall earlier Volvos as SAE 2 also but don't rely on my memory. Also check off sets and all dimensions, bolt diameters, coupler spacings etc.
Anybody know of a good cross-reference guide for the volvo part number vs ZF/Hurth?
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Old 14-03-2023, 11:30   #11
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Re: Help with obsolete transmission replacement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scubaseas View Post
I'm in Maine. My boat is in Seabrook Marina. If you can wait two months I could help you rebuild it.

The plate on the engine is an adapter. I think there are Kanzaki and or ZF transmiassions that would bolt up to it. You need to find out what the gear reduction is. If you change that you will or may have to repitch the prop. Or change it depending on what kind of prop you have.

If you can find the Hurth number these guys seem to have parts listed. No idea if they have them or not. They could probably tell you what a new/different gear would run. No affiliation. Just web search. There was an oiutift in NJ that dealt with Hurth they could probably supply you parts.

A few more:



https://www.tadiesels.com/used-

tran.html


https://marinetransmissions.com/

https://bpi.ebasicpower.com/shop/
You are my new favorite person in the world.

It's a 2.14 gear reduction according to Volvo Penta for the part number. The plate on the transmission says 3582389. I'm not sure what part numbers to look for for Hurth... I'm definitely planning to try the stop slip option to try and get it back from Florida to Texas.
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Old 14-03-2023, 12:08   #12
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Re: Help with obsolete transmission replacement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brajgreg View Post
You are my new favorite person in the world.

It's a 2.14 gear reduction according to Volvo Penta for the part number. The plate on the transmission says 3582389. I'm not sure what part numbers to look for for Hurth... I'm definitely planning to try the stop slip option to try and get it back from Florida to Texas.
Be aware slip stop may do absolutely nothing and you're out maybe $20. But if it does help don't expect it to be a permanent fix.

ZF15M is probably what you want (AKA Hurth HBW150) if you want new for less than the $5K VolvoPenta wants.

But check the drawings against yours. Like SYHarmony said check the depth. And splines, and length and bolt pattern, etc. OR

https://bpi.ebasicpower.com/search_2...clutch%20plate

Call Basic Power and ask if this kit will fit your existing gear box. They may also know if there is a direct bolt up replacement. Or be able to rebuild yours.

You can always modify your plate or have one made. Summit Racing may have SAE plates in stock. Or just buy an appropriate thickness T6061 plate and have holes drilled/cut in it.

I'm sure you're not the first MD2-40 owner that's needed a gear box. Ask someone who sells a lot of marine gear boxes. TAD might know also. Or maybe someone here does.

Can you visualize your flywheel plate? There should be springs or rubber pucks on the damper plate. There should be an access hole. Check and make sure your springs or dampers are not broken. It will look like a clutch disc in a car. Broken springs there can also make it feel funny in forward.
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Old 14-03-2023, 12:50   #13
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Re: Help with obsolete transmission replacement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brajgreg View Post
Anybody know of a good cross-reference guide for the volvo part number vs ZF/Hurth?
They certainly exist for cars and trucks but I'm not aware of any interchange guide for marine transmissions. If there were I would not trust it and would still want to verify the dimensions.

https://www.performancediesel.com/wp...oads/ZF15M.pdf

Simplicity Marine Products - Hurth / ZF Marine Transmissions & Prices
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Old 14-03-2023, 13:07   #14
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Re: Help with obsolete transmission replacement?

For a while, ZF made the Volvo MS transmissions.

A ZF 15M was equal to an MS15L. Except that Volvo had the output flange pilot reversed. The ZF 15M output flange has an 'Innie" pilot the Volvo MS15 has an 'outie' pilot.

There is also a Volvo MS 15LA. Which is a down angle transmission as designated by the 'A'. The down angle is 8. The ZF equivalent is ZF 15MA. The down angle again being designated by the 'A'. Volvo and Beneteau both seemed to like using down angle transmissions.

Again, the output shaft pilot is reversed between these two transmissions. If you swap the Volvo for the ZF model, you will be required to replace your shaft flange.
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Old 14-03-2023, 13:35   #15
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Re: Help with obsolete transmission replacement?

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For a while, ZF made the Volvo MS transmissions.

A ZF 15M was equal to an MS15L. Except that Volvo had the output flange pilot reversed. The ZF 15M output flange has an 'Innie" pilot the Volvo MS15 has an 'outie' pilot.

There is also a Volvo MS 15LA. Which is a down angle transmission as designated by the 'A'. The down angle is 8. The ZF equivalent is ZF 15MA. The down angle again being designated by the 'A'. Volvo and Beneteau both seemed to like using down angle transmissions.

Again, the output shaft pilot is reversed between these two transmissions. If you swap the Volvo for the ZF model, you will be required to replace your shaft flange.
Is the motor side plate the same if known? In other words can he just bolt it up or does he need to modify the old or the new plate to fit. Or get a new plate and modify that? He's also need to make sure the shaft depth and sizing is good.

I missed the "L-A" in the original post. He would likely have to realign the engine. Not a bad thing to do but very necessary. I'd triple check all the dimensions unless someone knows for sure about ZF fitment. Having said that it would not surprise e if you could bolt one right up but I have no idea without measuring what he has and comparing it to the ZF15MA

Would machining a bushing to change the ZF flange to an "outie" work? Or replacing the output with an outie. I know removing the rear flange on the MS15L-A entails disassembly fof the whole box does the ZF also? A bushing would be easier than reaming out the new shaft coiupler in situ. A hefty bit of cold rolled steel held in with red loctite should work as it's essentially only for alignment after the bolts are tight.

Might have to repitch the prop too.

I'd have a look at https://www.deepblueyachtsupply.com/...ng-accessories

And the best ever DIY site (please donate!) https://marinehowto.com/a-new-prop-shaft/
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