Tricky reverse gear on Universal 5424 - SailNet Community

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Old 05-30-2011
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Tricky reverse gear on Universal 5424

In less then a week I'll be visiting a friends 32' Endeavor that has a U 5424 engine with wheel steering.
Last year when I visited the transmission was fairly reluctant to engage in reverse gear as simply moving the shift lever to reverse was often not enough and revving the engine would sometimes help it kick into reverse gear. I'm told that the transmission is still as dodgy or even worse then it was last year. As a guest who does not mind some dirt under his fingernails I'd like to try to help the owner with this problem.

Preliminary research leads me to believe that it is likely a planetary transmission box conveniently located under the cockpit.

Here are the steps I'm thinking of going through to diagnose this problem:
- check linkage from binnacle to the transmission lever, put some oil in shifter wire to ensure smooth operation
- check tranny for proper level of lubricating fluid (ATF or what?)
- inspect brake band to insure that it will open and close freely and easily

Any other suggestions as to what I might check or what could cause this symptom of the tranny not wanting to go into reverse easily?
Needless to say not having a dependable reverse gear could make some docking operations a bit exciting.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-30-2011
Don Radcliffe
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Depends on the tranny, but after you check fluid, remove linkage at the tranny and move lever by hand. If the linkage isn't the problem, you are going to have to take the tranny out and work on it. Its not a job for the novice, as a lot depends on the proper shims when you reassemble.

I had a Hurth tranny with the same problems, and sent it off to a shop in Australia. They took it apart, couldn't find anything wrong, but it back together and it was still working when I sold it 8 years later.
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Old 05-30-2011
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Universal used a Hurth transmission for that engine. Fluid is ATF. Checking the linkage, fluid, etc. is about all you can do without removal and disassembly. Pretty sure the fwd and reverse clutches are cone type. Sometimes they can be repaired.
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