Who has a ZF BW7 transmission? - SailNet Community

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Old 10-13-2011
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Who has a ZF BW7 transmission?

Our new-to-us Beneteau 411 came with a Westerbeke 44A FOUR engine and ZF BW7 transmission. We would like to know what gear others leave the transmission in while sailing. There seems to be a conflict between what the manual says and virtually all dealers and transmission shops
Pete
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Old 10-13-2011
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Isn't ZF the former Hurth?.. the main caution in the manual said (Hurth) not to let the transmission freewheel in forward gear without the engine running.

We've had the Hurth/ZF in our last two boats and always have left it in reverse although now with a Max prop, once the prop's feathered I suppose it wouldn't matter.
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Old 10-13-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
Isn't ZF the former Hurth?.. the main caution in the manual said (Hurth) not to let the transmission freewheel in forward gear without the engine running.

We've had the Hurth/ZF in our last two boats and always have left it in reverse although now with a Max prop, once the prop's feathered I suppose it wouldn't matter.
Thanks. Our ZF JS BW7 manual states that you should leave gear in neutral to freewheel or Forward (with the engine shut off). According to the internet, ZF bought Hurth in 1995. Westerbeke says our transmission was built by ZF; no mention of Hurth. All transmission shops that we've ever spoken to suggest putting it in Reverse while sailing. That's where the confusion comes into play?
Pete
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Old 10-14-2011
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The confusion continues today. The master Westerbeke distributor says Forward or Neutral. He recommended we check with the local Westerbeke dealer who stated it should be Reverse. Is it any wonder we're confused. The distributor said it shouldn't be damaged in either Forward or Reverse. Westerbeke stated in writing that if left in Reverse the clutch will be damaged. Wonder who we should believe?
Pete

Last edited by prroots; 10-14-2011 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 10-14-2011
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We've concluded our communications with Westerbeke since (apparently) nothing further is to be learned. They insist the gear should be left in Forward or Neutral. They also recommend we consult our local Westerbeke dealer who has confirmed it should be left in Reverse. The master distributor says it can be left in Forward or Reverse without damage whereas Westerbeke says the clutch will be damaged if left in Reverse. I don't recall every receiving so much contradictory information from so-called official sources.
Pete
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Just to add to the confusion, here's the text from the original Hurth manual for our gearbox (pre ZF) HBW 150 :

Quote:
CAUTION. Idling position of the propeller: gear shift lever must be in «O» position. Use the shift position opposite to the direction of travel for locking the propeller shaft, otherwise the transmission will be damaged.
...I guess the next time we're sailing backwards I'll have to remember to shift to "F"
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Old 10-18-2011
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For those with a ZF model BW-7 transmission, this discussion has taken a life of its own over at:
Who has a ZF BW7 transmission? - SailboatOwners.com

Still no absolute resolution as to whether to lock shaft while sailing in Forward or Reverse although the evidence continues to mount in favor of Reverse despite the manual and Westerbeke's claim.
Pete
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