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Just a quick follow-up, but my shifting problem may have just been dirty oil. It had plenty of oil when I checked this weekend, but it looked embarrassingly old - sort of milky cast to it as well. With fresh oil, it did hang up once, near beginning, and then seemed to be good the rest of the weekend, with couple of motoring legs that were long enough to have triggered the fault before. I will do another oil change next visit to be sure all of the old stuff is well gone.

Can anyone confirm the correct way to use the dipstick in the KM tranny? I believe you unscrew it , wipe, then re-insert it without screwing it down, to get the reading. If you need to screw it down, then the reading will be quite a bit higher on the stick. I have had various small gas engines with similar dip-sticks, and have seen that some manufacturers say to screw theirs down, others say to not screw it down.

Finally, what is the usual recommendation as to tranny oil changing frequency? (10-30 CC oil in this case).
"Milky"? May indicate water is in there, mixing with the oil. It the transmission has an oil cooler, it may be leaking into the oil? If the oil level goes up that is likely. Perhaps you could have an oil analysis done, if it is water or coolant in the oil they could possibly identify it. Unless something bad is happening in the transmission the oil shouldn't be overly dirty, unlike diesel engine oil that turns dark/black fairly soon after changing.

Paul T
 

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The old oil did definitely look like it was contaminated with moisture. It was not dark, but not what it should have looked like. It is a very basic Kanzaki with no external connections to any water source. Motor (simple 3GMD) is raw water cooled as well, so no apparent way for cooling water to get into the tranny that I can see. I hate to say it, but I have never changed that tranny oil in the 5 years I have had it (200 hours or so), so it may just be years of accumulated moisture? Once I change it again next week, I will keep a close eye on it to see how it "ages".
Boston, eh? From what I have read it gets cold there in the winter? "5 years"?
Very well could be some condensation has accumulated inside, mixing with the oil? If so, that is an easy fix, hopefully that is all it is. Perhaps the breather tube, if it has one, is blocked or crimped? Like all things mechanical, oil is their blood, & is cheap for what it does. :D

Best of luck with it.

Paul T
 
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