Transmission Slow Reverse - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 12-15-2008
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Transmission Slow Reverse

I've got a hurth 100? transmission on my Westerbeke W21 that has some transmissions issues. It goes into forward instantly, but when shifting into reverse, it sits there for maybe 10 seconds before engaging. Once engaged, it works fine. If I shift into neutral and then back into reverse, it agains instantly engages. However, if I shift into forward and then try reverse, it has the same hesitation to engage again. The tranny fluid looks good and is at the proper level. I can't quite visualize what's going on inside the transmission, but it's like something is just getting stuck. Any ideas? The PO had the tranny rebuilt about a year before I bought the boat.

Coming into the dock at the marina we're staying at for the winter here in Punta Gorda I managed to take out a dock box with our bowsprit for lack of the instant reverse. Of course, it didn't help that I had a howling wind at my back, 12,000# of boat moving forward, two dock hands with their collective heads up their posteriors, and me docking for the first time with our new to us boat!! So now I own a slightly damaged dock box.

I plan on draining the tranny and putting in new fluid and seeing if that helps. I'm not optimistic, however. I hate working out the bugs on a new boat!!!

Cheers
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Last edited by sander06; 12-15-2008 at 04:32 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 12-15-2008
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Sander :

Disconnect the gearshift cable from the gearshift lever and check firstly that the lever on the gearbox will engage reverse readily, then check that your cable is not sticking or dragging.

Gears should not hesitate like that. They normally engage instantly.

If the cable is dragging, then try lubing it. I find that WD40 works well for me. I have never known a cable to stick that has been lubed with WD40, and that includes quite a few motorbikes.
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Old 12-16-2008
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Thanks for the suggestion, Rockter. Unfortunately, that's not the cause. It's internal to the transmission which usually means $$$$$$! I'll change the oil and see how things go.

Merry Christmas from Punta Gorda!
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I trust that it is one of these hydraulic things that does not mesh directly?

10 seconds is a long time lag.
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There is a toubleshooting procedure in the Hurth manual for delayed engagement, which I have used for a Hurth 150.

Drain oil and replace with one quart of diesel

run engine for 3 minutes in idle while engaging forward and reverse at 10 second intervals

stop engine and drain diesel

fill transmission with fluid



Rodger
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Old 12-16-2008
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I had the same problem with my Westerbeake 30b's tranny. The shift level operates a valve which then engages the gears hydraulically. The transmission is a sealed unit and not repairable in the field. Fortunately mine was covered by the warranty.

If yours is similar to mine replacement is the only option, it will get worse over time.
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Old 12-16-2008
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So, when did it start?
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Old 12-17-2008
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Thanks for the comments. I've contacted the PO to see if he can suggest anything. I only recently purchased the boat that hadn't seen action for a year being stored on the hard, so it may be just the fact that it sat for so long. I trust, implicitly, that the PO would have told me about the problem had it existed prior to purchase. I think that hydraulic transmissions were developed to make the rest of us mortals look stupid! I know a lot of stuff, but the inner workings of this thing are an absolute mystery to me!!!

Carry on!!
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Old 12-30-2008
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my friend has a yanmar 3GM with a kanzaki tranny (very similar to the hurth) . several years ago it would not go into forward some of the time. i took apart the tranny and checked it over. i put the reverse discs in the forward clutch & the forward discs in the reverse. all it cost him was for seals & gaskets . the tranny worked fine after that.
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Thanks for the info. I drained/pumped the tranny oil out and found that it was a real mess. It looked like it was mineral oil or regular oil. Anyways, I've put in regular ATF, but it's still got the problem. The PO said that he had the tranny rebuilt just before I bought it so it must have new thrust bearings, etc. I'm thinking that the tranny may just be gunked up with crud from the original oil that was used. I've also considered just flushing the entire thing out to clean the works, but I'm not sure what to use as a flush although diesel fuel has been suggested. I may have to bite the bullet and consult with a tranny mechanic!
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