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Eddieandgail 12-05-2016 01:28 PM

Milky oil velvet drive
Looking for Input in addition to replace oil cooler and flush oil a few times.
1987 Lehman 135- velvet drive 2:1, model 10-13xxxx with between 1300-2000 hours.
Had good survey in August of all oils but during 1300 mile delivery trip noticed port side tranny oilwas a little cloudier than starboard side oil and it needed topping off a couple times during that trip totaling maybe 20 oz

Kept an eye on it but checking after winterizing boat(in water) it was frothed milk like on a nice coffee drink.

Also I am missing finding drain. Can I use oil cooler hoses to flush oil in and out.

47 Sea Ranger PH

RT Firefly 12-05-2016 01:59 PM

Welcome aboard. I'm not sure if the VD's even have a drain. You may have to utilize the oil fill hole OR the hoses but NOT sure about the hoses. So wait until someone who actually knows confirms hose usage.

boatpoker 12-05-2016 02:05 PM

Probably have to replace or repair cooler.

Gabe n Em 12-05-2016 03:56 PM

We had water in our stbd vd 2:1s as you are describing. It was the oil cooler and we flushed the Trans fluid 3 times via the hoses. Quick run in between flushes to mix fluid around. I ended up needing to replace the clutch plates shortly after but i don't know if that was correlated. There wasn't any corrosion in there, the plate's had just worn.

jleonard 12-05-2016 04:19 PM

When I rebuilt my velvet drive I was told that once water gets into the reverse cylinder, the only way to get it out is to turn the tranny upside down and let it drain out.
I don't have access to my rebuild manual file so I can't verify

Larry H 12-05-2016 05:13 PM

For expert advice from a factory authorized repair center, contact Mike, in the service dept at:
Harbor Marine
1032 W Marine View Dr
Everett, WA 98201

I have been told that water in the trans fluid comes from the trans oil cooler, and the cooler should be replaced ASAP. I also heard that the water damages the clutch discs, so an overhaul may be needed. I use copper-nickel coolers, as they last much longer than the copper ones.

I drain my Velvet Drive by removing the hose ( that goes to the lower fitting on the starboard side of the trans) at the cooler and using an oil change pump. You can also remove the hose at the lower fitting and drain into a pan if you can get a drain pan under the trans.

The fluid in my trans has always been a clear red/pink color with no milkyness at all. The hour meter shows 5000 hours, but I have only put on about 1500 of those. I change the fluid at about every 200 hours of use.

Eddieandgail 12-06-2016 12:48 AM

Thanks for taking the time to reply. Consensus seems to be to choose lowest point(oil cooler hose) as best place to suck/drain oil with my little 12v oil change pump and flush through a gallon or so of oil after first flush until oil is clear. Boat is winterized in water so cannot run until spring. The mechanic I spoke with said he would normally repair/replace oil cooler and flush and that's all. Should be ok in the spring. I believe I spotted a new oil cooler in a spares bin in lazarette.

what_barnacles 12-06-2016 06:23 PM

So I have one of these and it sucked the life out of my velvet drive. :)

The cooler is shot as you know now. But the sooner you get the contaminiated fluid out and replace, the better. Corrosion is bad. mmmkay?

kchace 12-06-2016 09:20 PM

Eddie a Velvet Drive 10-13 is a very common transmission used behind Lehmans. The oil cooler is really the only way for water to get in there but you've already figured that out. There is no drain plug on those, the manual states to remove the lower hose to drain, but that's a pain and I find I can get at least as much out by pumping out of the fill port. Those really do hold over 4 qts but because of the "drop" reduction gear at the rear it's not possible to completely drain it. You'll be lucky to get 2 qts out. So after you replace the cooler I would strongly suggest you "change" the oil several times.


rochepoint 12-06-2016 09:48 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I removed the bottom hydraulic hose and installed a tee, hose in one hole on the tee and a plug in the other hole. Now just pull the plug to drain, easy now.

C lectric 12-06-2016 10:03 PM

Need to drain and fill several times plus run it shifting between fwd and RVs each fill.
Water will be in clutches and unless forced will remain doing dAmage.
Do it properly and it should do fine. Other wise chance there will be damage.
Don,t wait for spring.

Irish Rambler 12-06-2016 10:31 PM

I would concur with C lectic. Definitely do it immediately, even if it takes a bit of hassle. I always service the engine/gearbox at the end of the cruising season so there's clean oil in the whole of the system over the winter.
For the non mechanically minded the reason is that during the engine 'warm up' period it produces tiny amounts of sulphuric acid (more so in a gas/petrol) engine which becomes present in the lubricating oil. On a working truck for example regular servicing flushes this out but on a boat lying up over winter the acidic oil can cause damage to the interior working parts.
For example a petrol/gas engine exhaust system will need changed every couple of years because of this corrosion.
If you're as tough as Tonka toys you can, at the end of the season, dip a little used oil on the end of your finger and taste it, you can taste the 'sharpness',now dip the finger in fresh oil and taste the difference.
Before the health and safety brigade roar into action I'm talking a minute amount, just sufficient to taste.
By the same token keep antifreeze in your system, even if you live in Florida, South of France or Sydney. Anti-freeze contains lubricants for your water pump and anti corrosives to protect the cylinder walls and waterways and prevent build up of internal rust. Flush the system once every 3 years with radiator cleaner to maintain in top condition. The reason ? it keeps the system clean and aids heat transfer by radiation from the cylinder walls for efficient cooling.
Forgive the lecture but if it helps someone, somewhere, on TF then I've achieved my purpose.

SoWhat 12-06-2016 11:33 PM

There may be a couple of problems that need addressing.

1) The trans oil cooler clearly needs replacement. Pull the zinc in the heat exchanger. If it's gone, then assume the engine oil cooler is close to failure. Flush the heat exchanger, replace both oil coolers. Make sure all coolers have a good metal to metal bond.

2) If you are adding oil, find out where the oil is going. Probably through the front seal into the bottom of the bell housing. Loosen up the bolts in the bell hsg and see if anything drips out. If so the tranny needs to be pulled and the front seal replaced.


Eddieandgail 12-09-2016 12:06 AM

Do I need to run transmission
Headed to boat to change out trans cooler and flush oil. I was not planning to dewinterize to run motor/transmission although I'm sure it would aid in mixing up bad fluid to get better flushed. Any experience out there on how big a difference this would make?

Ski in NC 12-09-2016 11:04 AM

I would un-winterize engine and run the boat away from the dock. Do an oil change, run boat for 20min underway, shift a bunch of times, repeat. Change oil until fluid is crystal clear on stick. Then change a couple more times. You want all moisture out of there.

Any moisture in there is going to cause rust over layup period.

Those sucker bottles may quick work of draining. Once drained, briefly crank engine and shift FNR to blow what is in lines back to sump, then shut down and suck sump again. Then refill.

Deckape 12-09-2016 01:54 PM

Even if you flush all the water out you may still need to rebuild the trans. Pull it while your boat sits this winter and be ready to cruise in the spring. Or go through all that and still have to pull it sometime in the near future. Rebuild trans is about three boat buck in fortLauderdale at marine transmission.

Eddieandgail 12-09-2016 02:23 PM

Boat is stored in water and completely shrinkwrapped. I can unwinterize but not going anywhere

Ski in NC 12-09-2016 03:10 PM

Just do it dockside and let it tug on the lines.

Eddieandgail 12-09-2016 03:28 PM

Now that I can wrap my mind around unwinterizing that motor I agree that running that tranny so that gear pump is moving oil around should give it a better chance plus lots of gear oil.

psneeld 12-09-2016 03:53 PM

How about just taking the tranny out and drain and clean...or go full banana and have it serviced at a repair facility if not comfy yoyrself?

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