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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Engines > Diesel
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Old 03-26-2010
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Transmission oil analysis interpretation

Hi, i just purchased a sailboat in Seattle and as part of due diligence I have arranged an mechanical inspection in addition to routine survey. Mechanical inspection vent well with minor things to tidy up considering this is 1986 Yanmar 3GM30F with 3100 hours on it. Engine oil analysis returned good result but tranny oil analysis returned with "Action required" note on it. Mechanic that pulled the sample called me and said that tranny oil analysis is not perfect but that he has seen much worse. figures that i got are:
Viscosity @100C = 11.1
Soot = Nil
oxidants= Nil
Nitration= Nil
Sulfation= Nil
Water= Nil
Antifreeze= Nil (guess not)
Particle count
57449 of 4 Microns
39755 of 6 Microns
5041 of 14 Microns
1003 of 21 Microns
152 of 38 Microns
Iron figure was found at 38!

Would any of you know how bad is this and where can i find the threshold figures for Yanmar transmission.

regds/Petar
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Old 03-27-2010
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You should obtain the actual analysis results from the mechanic then contact the analysis company and get a better interpretation from them. Find out what "action required" means from them. Hearing from the mechanic "your tranny oil analysis is not perfect but I have seen much worse" is not very reassuring.

If your transmission is working OK I wouldn't lose any sleep yet. All engines and transmissions have particle contamination even from new.

Here's a chart that will give you an idea of the size of the particles that are floating inside your tranny.
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Old 03-27-2010
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Hard to make any good judgment about a single oil analysis. You would obtain a far better picture of engine issues only by watching a trend over multiple analyses. Since that's impractical in your case and the results you summarized contain no major anomalies, "action required" likely means change the tranny fluid.
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Old 03-27-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k1vsk View Post
Hard to make any good judgment about a single oil analysis. You would obtain a far better picture of engine issues only by watching a trend over multiple analyses. Since that's impractical in your case and the results you summarized contain no major anomalies, "action required" likely means change the tranny fluid.
This was something I didn't think about until after I got offline last night. I was going to come back and state basically the same thing about trends over multiple analysis'. I still don't understand why the mechanic or his manager didn't explain the results and process of the need to perform analysis at every service over time in order to catch a potential problem before it becomes a major problem.
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Old 03-27-2010
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I agree. What Petar was given makes no sense when taken out of context of a more thorough long-term analysis and it is important to understand not to panic over any single data point.

More meaningful tests would be the sniff test to see if it smells burned and the old faithful color test (depending on what tranny fluid was used).
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Old 03-27-2010
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maybe I'm nuts, but I think the first line of the OP said something like "I JUST BOUGHT THE BOAT"
so any reference to comparative analysis at this point is futile, fruitless, and well, just stoo-pid. Nice or the future, doesn't tell him diddly squat about what he has right now.

And its not hard to look at this type of snapshot and make an educated swag.

That being said, MOST oil analysis(esses) will take the time and point out what the particles contained therein actually "are" boron, copper, bronze,(thrust washers) tin,(coating for thrust washers) lead, chromium (ball bearing surfaces), gunga-munga.

Your tranny is some kind of hurth/kansaki/yanmar contraption so its a std gear reduction unit (I don't think its got many fiber plates & steel separators like an automatic, I may be wrong and I ain't gonna look it up.)

So, IMHO the particulate count might be a hair high, I don't care if its dirt or last months twinkies, it ain't good.
Change the oil, run it a hundred hours and do it again.
The iron count isn't that bad at all, considering your gears are "iron".

and yes, use the smell test.
heres a general guide.
http://www.laboneinc.com/pdfs/Analysis-Guide.pdf
yes, I know the above is for an engine, some of the materials can be in trannys too.
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