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post #1 of 21 Old 05-29-2018 Thread Starter
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Transmission Oil

I just set out to change the transmission oil in my sailboat. Yanmar 3YM30 motor. The maintenance manual indicates SAE 30 weight oil. When I started to remove the old lubricant though, its clear, viscous semi liquid. What the heck? That's not like any gear oil I've ever seen. Any ideas as to what I'm looking at? The former owner is not available to consult.
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post #2 of 21 Old 05-29-2018
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Sounds like ATF fluid but that is generally red in color..but it does come in an translucent color.

transmission fluid color chart

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Re: Transmission Oil

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I just set out to change the transmission oil in my sailboat. Yanmar 3YM30 motor. The maintenance manual indicates SAE 30 weight oil. When I started to remove the old lubricant though, its clear, viscous semi liquid. What the heck? That's not like any gear oil I've ever seen. Any ideas as to what I'm looking at? The former owner is not available to consult.
I used my cell phone to snap a picture of the manufacturers plate on the transmission. For my Yanmar 3jh2e, with a Kanzani-Hurth transmission it clearly states ATF-A. Can you reach the plate on your engine, seems like the most fail safe means of determining the correct fluid.
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Re: Transmission Oil

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Originally Posted by dailymirror View Post
I just set out to change the transmission oil in my sailboat. Yanmar 3YM30 motor. The maintenance manual indicates SAE 30 weight oil. When I started to remove the old lubricant though, its clear, viscous semi liquid. What the heck? That's not like any gear oil I've ever seen. Any ideas as to what I'm looking at? The former owner is not available to consult.
What transmission do you have? you say "semi liquid" ... do you mean that what you found was much thicker than motor oil or ATF?

As mentioned by ellowb do check the plate on the transmission itself.

FWIW my original KBW10 Hurth Kanzaki transmission, circa 1977, specified ATF or SAE20/30


and I replaced that with a slightly newer (circa 1986), but same make & model transmission. it specified ATF only.
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Re: Transmission Oil

I wonder if the prior owner just used the same motor oil they used in the engine. eg 15w40, which would seem much thinner. If so, I would just put the right stuff in and monitor, I doubt it would destroy the gear.


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Re: Transmission Oil

Thanks for the suggestion. Ill be heading back to the boat shortly. Glad I downed tools to figure out what was going on before I just stuck a bunch of oil in there!
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Re: Transmission Oil

Its clear or maybe better described as colorless? also Id almost describe it as slightly sticky...
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Re: Transmission Oil

If the liquid is clear it means it's not full of ground up bits. A good sign.Now just replace with the proper oil. Bet it's ATF. (good lubricant and anti foaming agent ).
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Re: Transmission Oil

3ym30 has km3P-1 trans which uses API CC SAE 10W30 oil. many of the maintenance shops use quicksilver gear oil which was recommended for use in some yammar trans
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Re: Transmission Oil

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Originally Posted by dailymirror View Post
Its clear or maybe better described as colorless? also Id almost describe it as slightly sticky...
Still sounds like motor oil. Are you sure it's not the 30w that your manual says to use? Oil in the gear does not discolor, like in the engine, as there are no combustion gasses. 30w is not gear oil, as you described in your OP. If you're thinking of the oil in an ourboard lower unit, thats usually 80w or 90w. Much more viscous and comes in all sorts of colors.


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