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PO overfilled trans with wrong fluid...


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Our Kanzaki KM2P transmission was discovered by a mechanic friend today to have been not only overfilled, but overfilled with ATF, instead of the required SAE 30 oil.   The ATF is grey/brown, indicating it has been burning in the transmission.

How screwed are we?  Should we just replace the transmission or get it overhauled?  We've put 40 hours on it since we bought it, the trans was noisy (high pitched whine) but it works fine.   The PO kept no maintenance records so we have no idea how long it has been this way.  Our mechanic friend says the noise it is making is unusual and suspects a thrust bearing is going.  

Anybody had this happen and get away with it?  We are replacing the oil with the correct fluid tomorrow, and wondering if this transmission is doomed to failure at exactly the wrong moment at some point in the near future.

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I had the opposite experience - oil in an ATF trans. It would slip and then clunk into gear when it got some RPM.

Changed fluid, no further problems.

Don't do anything until you've run it on oil for a while, checking it frequently.

An additive of some sort might be an idea - check with a trans guy about it.

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Same thing happened to me when I bought my boat; the PO had used the right fluid (Paragon transmission) but instead of adding just enough oil to touch the clutch plates, about a pint, filled it to the brim, about a gallon!  The engine didn't seem to develop rated horsepower and the rear main bearing seal soon started leaking.  Replaced the seal and put in the proper amount of oil; it's been running fine ever since.

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I'd change the oil. Run the engine for 10 minutes. Change the oil. Run the engine for 10 minutes. Change the oil.

Run the engine as usual and see what happens. Good chance the gear will have survived. They are not complex things like an automatic transmission. You can take them apart and lap the cones yourself. Helps to have a vise and a hammer.

 

However maybe this is the year to buy towing insurance....?

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3 hours ago, Zonker said:

I'd change the oil. Run the engine for 10 minutes. Change the oil. Run the engine for 10 minutes. Change the oil.

Run the engine as usual and see what happens. Good chance the gear will have survived. They are not complex things like an automatic transmission. You can take them apart and lap the cones yourself. Helps to have a vise and a hammer.

 

However maybe this is the year to buy towing insurance....?

Hilarious.  We did exactly this today.  3 x oil changes with 5 minutes or so running in gear at 1800 rpm in between.  It was nasty in the harbour today so we decided not to leave the dock and wind up to high rpm. 

Unbelievable amount of black crud came out in the first two changes.  The ATF was definitely burning up in there.

And, last night, signed up for the CTow Admiral's plan.  Unlimited tows, just in case.

Lap the cones?  This is my first boat with a shaft (last boat had saildrive then an outboard) so I will have to research how to do that.  Thanks for the tip.  It does look like these transmissions are pretty simple units that can be worked on by the average idiot.  However, I recall SJB's recent painful experience, so maybe not.

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31 minutes ago, Rain Man said:

Unbelievable amount of black crud came out in the first two changes.  The ATF was definitely burning up in there.

Most ATF has significant detergent content... some folks use it as an engineer cleaner. 

As long as the oil flushes clear, you'll likely be fine.

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2 hours ago, Rain Man said:

Lap the cones?  This is my first boat with a shaft (last boat had saildrive then an outboard) so I will have to research how to do that.  Thanks for the tip.  It does look like these transmissions are pretty simple units that can be worked on by the average idiot.  However, I recall SJB's recent painful experience, so maybe not.

V-drive is about twice as complicated.

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49 minutes ago, Zonker said:

Turkish guy putting one back together. He laps the cones starting at 0:10 seconds (shows you the valve grinding paste)

non Yanmar manual

https://www.sv-zanshin.com/r/manuals/yanmardieselinboardshopmanualgeneral.pdf

Wow.  That's awesome.  Thanks!  Looking at the diagrams, I think I know which bearing in the transmission is making all the noise now.  At this point it is a case of suck it and see.  There is definitely a bad bearing the transmission, the question now is how long it will last.  If we can get it through this year we can re-build it next winter.  Somehow I think we will be doing it sooner, because Murphy.  The transmission is definitely quieter now that we have the right lubricant in it.

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It looks like you can get a rebuilt or used one in good shape around $2500. It you think the current one is doomed to fail it might make sense to replace it before something worse happens (like it seizes in the middle of Juan de Fuca, not that I would know about that type of thing). You can sail this season with some confidence, re build the old one this fall, and sell it to offset some of the cost. 

Before I get called out for being financially irresponsible, keep in mind towing only works if they can get to you in time. The plans do not cover putting the boat on the hard and storage and repairs away from home.

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Unless viscosity was greatly different ATF could be seen as an upgrade. I'd stick with OEM recommended fluids of course, don't do chemistry experiments in your gearbox. ATF in the olden days started out as 30 wt oil, then they added dye, then progressively more advanced additives packages but many manual transmissions, gearboxes and transfer cases run on one type of ATF or another just fine, hard to see it causing problems.  Overfilling on the other hand not great.

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3 minutes ago, jamhass said:

As an engineer myself, I would object.

One of my staff had a Chrysler Intrepid that had some blocked oil galleys. He was told to fill it with ATF and let it idle for 1/2 hour.

I had some serious reservations about it so I checked with an extremely experienced mechanic friend. He said it was O/K as long as the engine wasn't stressed (RPM).

It did fix the problem which I though curious since ATF doesn't have the detergents and additives that engine oil does.

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12 hours ago, steele said:

It looks like you can get a rebuilt or used one in good shape around $2500. It you think the current one is doomed to fail it might make sense to replace it before something worse happens (like it seizes in the middle of Juan de Fuca, not that I would know about that type of thing). You can sail this season with some confidence, re build the old one this fall, and sell it to offset some of the cost. 

Before I get called out for being financially irresponsible, keep in mind towing only works if they can get to you in time. The plans do not cover putting the boat on the hard and storage and repairs away from home.

Thanks.   Any hints on where a rebuilt one can be found?  Being a sailboat, the only time it is truly in trouble is if the engine quits and there is no wind, or it is blowing so hard that sailing isn't possible - we should be tied to the dock in those conditions.  Around here we have some narrows with significant current.  That's where we would get into trouble with a transmission failure, not the middle of Juan de Fuca, freighters aside.

On the used market, I have given up and stopped following things like Sailboat Swap Shop on FB.  The prices people are trying to charge for junk stripped off hurricane wrecks are outrageous.  80% of brand new prices and they don't even bother to clean it up a bit - why would anyone ever buy that stuff?

There are quite a few "new" ones on the market which say "Was originally installed onto a Yanmar engine and removed by the factory".  Anyone know the story with these transmissions?  Why were they installed and then removed?

 

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9 hours ago, Rain Man said:

There are quite a few "new" ones on the market which say "Was originally installed onto a Yanmar engine and removed by the factory".  Anyone know the story with these transmissions?  Why were they installed and then removed?

That does sound odd.  Maybe a boat builder had a bunch of engine/tranny units built and then production was stopped.  Or they were pulled so they could mount the engine to a saildrive or a different tranny. 

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12 hours ago, Rain Man said:

 Any hints on where a rebuilt one can be found? 

You could try calling around to the various diesel mechanics, my guy frequently has rebuilt engines and trannies sitting in the shop.

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17 minutes ago, Zonker said:

Very cheap used on in Ireland. Advertised on a local YC so won't get a lot of attention. I'd ask the seller the approximate hours of the engine it came from.

https://hyc.ie/buy-and-sell/949-yanmar-km2p-gearbox

Thanks!  Sadly, this one is a 2.62:1, we need a 2.21:1.

Here is an EBay one with the strange "removed by Yanmar at factory" statement.  

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Yanmar-KM2P-1-Kanzaki-Marine-Transmission-2-21-1-Ratio-Mechanical-Boat-Inboard-/292433313508?_trksid=p2349526.m4383.l4275.c1#viTabs_0

That one is in Everett, just across the not-really-closed border.

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On 4/11/2021 at 6:32 AM, sailak said:

Unless viscosity was greatly different ATF could be seen as an upgrade. I'd stick with OEM recommended fluids of course, don't do chemistry experiments in your gearbox. ATF in the olden days started out as 30 wt oil, then they added dye, then progressively more advanced additives packages but many manual transmissions, gearboxes and transfer cases run on one type of ATF or another just fine, hard to see it causing problems.  Overfilling on the other hand not great.

atf is bad advice, these boxes have cones straight 30 is the way to go, same as the engine

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5 hours ago, Rain Man said:

Thanks!  Sadly, this one is a 2.62:1, we need a 2.21:1.

Here is an EBay one with the strange "removed by Yanmar at factory" statement.  

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Yanmar-KM2P-1-Kanzaki-Marine-Transmission-2-21-1-Ratio-Mechanical-Boat-Inboard-/292433313508?_trksid=p2349526.m4383.l4275.c1#viTabs_0

That one is in Everett, just across the not-really-closed border.

That "removed" thing can be legit - my 2 GMF is on a Hurth V-Drive - there must be a loose Kanzaki standard trans out there somewhere because the V-drive didn't come stock.

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On 4/10/2021 at 12:41 PM, jamhass said:

As an engineer myself, I would object.

I dunno, I suspect that drinking a pint of ATF would clean you right out.

One end or the other.

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Shouldn't matter if the cone clutch is sintered metal or an organic facing, atf should not hurt it. If there were heavy bevel gears that required GL-4/GL-5 that's a different story.

As stated several times already, of course use the recommended fluid (unless field experience has proven a recommended fluid is sub-optimal). If it shifts ok and is quiet with correct fluid spec and level restored, relax.

This is one we'll be still arguing about a year from now innit

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I don't think I'd personally have an issue with that particular seller, judging by the positive feedback they have and (as others have said) there are all kinds of reasons that the Kanzaki box would have been removed. Especially since it certainly seems that they sell ZF gears (assuming the Fred Warner Marine in WA is also the fredwarner1 on ebay).

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3 hours ago, Dex Sawash said:

This is one we'll be still arguing about a year from now innit

What's to argue about?

Any machine should use the lubricants recommended by the MFR. Changing them to something else is a fools errand.

How about running gear lube in a high RPM engine?

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If I can tap the brain trust on one more problem, running this engine in forward gear produces a loud whine, most noticeable in the cockpit but also in the machinery space.  The whine does not happen in reverse at any rpm. 

Below are two videos, one from the cockpit and one showing the prop shaft.  In the cockpit video I first throttle up in forward, and the whine gets quite loud over 2K rpm.  Then I put it in reverse to show the difference.

In the machinery space video, the engine is turning about 2K rpm.  I tried a stethoscope on the transmission and the whine did not seem to be coming from there.  I tried the stethoscope on the fibreglass just aft of the shaft seal and didn't hear the whine louder.  

Cockpit:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qtZdRRxQ0l0ZzslNl-jjW0dn_s7Papn-/view?usp=sharing

Drive space: https://drive.google.com/file/d/15XC2ZlBlNjWUDJTW4UnilTq2dZrgkw-Y/view?usp=sharing

Is this noise prop singing?  We had the exact same noise with our fixed two-blade prop, and thought we might eliminate it with the 3-blade Flexofold we put on it.  We changed the cutlass bearing too just in case, but there was no difference.

Any thoughts or opinions on what the source of the noise is are much appreciated. 

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One method to determine source - unbolt the coupler from the trans. Run the engine in gear. Still have noise? tranny. No noise? shaft.  Not a definitive test, an argument can be made that there is no load on the trans doing this. But worth a try

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Mine has a similar albeit much much more subtle whine, Its a bearing that takes the load somewhere that's getting a bit tired. Seriously these gearboxes are so simple to work on, one puller is all you need in the way of special tools, that I would remove it over winter (30 minute job) take it home and rebuild it. Ignore the other pro atf comments do NOT use it, have a search for a manual if no luck I may have one somewhere. Do the cones, bearings and seals, buy some loctite gasket goo and you're good to go for less than $150. 

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On 4/16/2021 at 2:14 PM, Caecilian said:

Mine has a similar albeit much much more subtle whine, Its a bearing that takes the load somewhere that's getting a bit tired. Seriously these gearboxes are so simple to work on, one puller is all you need in the way of special tools, that I would remove it over winter (30 minute job) take it home and rebuild it. Ignore the other pro atf comments do NOT use it, have a search for a manual if no luck I may have one somewhere. Do the cones, bearings and seals, buy some loctite gasket goo and you're good to go for less than $150. 

Thanks. The manuals are easy to find on-line including step-by-step disassembly/assembly. I will cross fingers that it makes it through the year. 

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This thread is a perfect example of the great advice that is available free of charge here on SA. Great job.

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