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Old 08-19-2016, 04:17 AM   #1
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Trouble checking oil on Twin Disc gearbox.

Noticed an oil leak on the gearbox yesterday while out doing a coolant system flush, seems to be a drop or two/minute.
Went to check the oil as per the manual and cant get a reading as the entire stick is covered with oil.
I doubt its an overfilling problem as when I look down the filler/breather when engine is off the oil is waaaay down there and the dipstick has it on the low mark but when running in neutral, pull stick, wipe, reinsert and pull out and stick is covered in almost its entire length.

Another issue I noticed was the pressure seems down in fwd gears but knock it out of gear, give it 10 seconds or so and put it in reverse and pressure comes up to around 200kpa.

No weird noises, no weird behaviour and I will be getting it looked at but the guy I have been told to use by a mate is notoriously difficult to tie down so could be weeks out yet.
Cant even get him to return phonecalls.

Any ideas?
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Old 08-19-2016, 02:48 PM   #2
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Most TD models are to be checked when warm engine idling and in neutral. Which gear model is it? I had a similar issue with my starboard gear TD 507 after pulling the gear cooler. Turned out to be the old hoses. They had breached inside and was causing the hose to partially collapse. Once replaced the gear was fine. You may also want to pull the filter screen clean it and change the oil.
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Old 08-19-2016, 03:04 PM   #3
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Which model of T.D.?

200 kPA equates to approx. 30 psi which makes no sense. The t.d. gears I am somewhat familiar with run at MINIMUM 270 psi or approx. 1860 kPA. And better higher.
Or did you mean 2,000 kPA?
Check the guage, use a good quality mechanical guage and be sure of that reading.

What pressure reading did you get before this started?.

Pressure build should not take 10 sec. or so. A dip, yes, as you go from neutral to fwd. Or Reverse. On newer units the pressure is lowered in neutral untill a shift is made but not 10 sec.

I wonder if you have lost more oil than you realize to the point that the pump cannot get enough oil to build pressure and what is there is airated. Try topping the level up, engine off untill you get a reading on the stick, then start and see what happens.

On mine , a 506, the running oil level is lower than the shutoff level which makes me wonder if the dipstick is covered because what oil is present is being churned.
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Old 08-19-2016, 05:59 PM   #4
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Which model of T.D.?
MG 516

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200 kPA equates to approx. 30 psi which makes no sense. The t.d. gears I am somewhat familiar with run at MINIMUM 270 psi or approx. 1860 kPA. And better higher.
Or did you mean 2,000 kPA?
Yeah, silly me
Gauge has PSI on top and kPa on bottom so I meant to say as soon as I select reverse gear the pressure goes up to around 180 to 200 PSI (or 1200kPa)
Manual implies that reverse (secondary)pressure is OK but primary is not.
It was showing around the same as of an hour of use ago.



Quote:
Check the guage, use a good quality mechanical guage and be sure of that reading.
Its a Murphy gauge thats in there now, pretty sure thats a good brand

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What pressure reading did you get before this started?.
around that 180 psi @ 1300rpm which is where I run for 8.4 knots +-

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Pressure build should not take 10 sec. or so.
It didnt, I waited 10 seconds (not ten, certainly several) before selecting reverse.
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A dip, yes, as you go from neutral to fwd. Or Reverse. On newer units the pressure is lowered in neutral untill a shift is made but not 10 sec.
as above

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I wonder if you have lost more oil than you realize to the point that the pump cannot get enough oil to build pressure and what is there is airated. Try topping the level up, engine off untill you get a reading on the stick, then start and see what happens.
I reckon this is the issue.
PO had not done a lot of maintenance items, we are getting through them and I perhaps foolishly made the assumption that as the oil filters are all sparkly clean and the engine oil if full and clean and as there was a box of spare filters, impellers etc that all was good.
I suspect now he maybe just tipped in enough oil that it registered pressure.

Seeing as its I THINK* 20litre capacity i'll tip in a litre or 5 and see what happens
*Manual says 20L or 5.3 gal but plate says 8.75 gal ???


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On mine , a 506, the running oil level is lower than the shutoff level which makes me wonder if the dipstick is covered because what oil is present is being churned.
Sounds like it.
I'll report back when I know more
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Old 08-20-2016, 01:13 AM   #5
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The leak you mentioned, is it from a fitting or a hose? If a hose, then change it very soon or you may end up with a BIG problem. If the hose bursts there will be a mess and if not caught quickly there will be gear damage.

If the leak is in the joint between the hose fitting and the hose then the hose should be replaced as the fit between the fitting and the hose is becoming questionable.

The fittings are not likely to break/burst but a leak like you describe will lose a lot of oil over what seems like a short period of time.

I just went through this with mine. Mine went from no leak to a hole and a lot of oil in the bilge. It was not a poor hose either, just that I waited too long. I appear to have gotten away with it.

good luck with yours.
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Old 08-20-2016, 01:42 PM   #6
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Sometimes one side of the stick gets splashed, the other side gets a good reading. Check both sides of the stick. Also it should be in neut, not in gear to check. Bull gear rolling will splash.
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Old 08-21-2016, 02:17 AM   #7
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The leak you mentioned, is it from a fitting or a hose?
Where the back plate of the case bolts onto the rest of the box.
Small weep between the plates.
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Old 08-21-2016, 02:31 AM   #8
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Sometimes one side of the stick gets splashed, the other side gets a good reading. Check both sides of the stick.
Rang up Twin Disc yesterday and they said the same and I couldn't get a reading until I added 10 litres
That got it to low and a further 5 litres to the full mark.
Glad I bought that 20l of sae40 before going down
I am actually surprised there was no gear selection difficulties, strange noises, smell or lack of thrust.
Twin disc thought it strange that I was getting a 200ish psi reading in reverse but nothing in fwd yet still had thrust and plenty of it.

Like I said, previous owner had not been maintaining, he didnt even know what oil went in it.
Lovely boat with all the best gear just left to fester on the Marina.

Still not getting much of a pressure reading at idle , goes up to where I have drawn the yellow line


I'll pull the screen tomorrow for a look.
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Old 08-21-2016, 02:43 AM   #9
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Rang up Twin Disc yesterday and they said the same and I couldn't get a reading until I added 10 litres
That got it to low and a further 5 litres to the full mark.
Glad I bought that 20l of sae40 before going down
Does that mean 15L of oil leaked out, and it leaks near as fast as it goes in? Sounds messy. As a rank amateur on mechanics, would removing the plate where the leak is and replacing the gasket or whatever for the plate be the start point? Or is the oil loss unrelated? It has to be going somewhere. I dunno, but...
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Old 08-21-2016, 04:17 AM   #10
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Bruce, there is a bit of gunge in the bilge as you get in timber ex trawlers but its pretty clean compared to many I have seen, certainly no evidence of 15litres being dumped or even 1/2 a litre being dumped since I have had it.

The leak is pretty much lay a bit of paper towel down, do 10 miles and see some oil.
Give seam a wipe, see some oil ooze, run and drip. 30 seconds another drip. Its not pissing out by any means.

Removing the plate and replacing the gasket is obviously part of the solution, but its the whole back of the gearbox size plate and I suspect the shaft may need to be shunted back as well.
A shame I wasnt aware when on the hard a couple of weeks ago.
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Old 08-21-2016, 04:23 AM   #11
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Actually, its not the whole back of the box at all.
This is one for sale, the leak is to the right of the identification plate on the seam you can see.





http://www.depco.com/marine-transmis...ar-item-14193/
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Old 08-21-2016, 08:03 AM   #12
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Does yours have a spin on filter like the one you posted a picture of? If so no screen that I know of, just the filter instead. If you have to pull the gear just to replace the gasket might as well check it for any other issues it may have and R&R it.
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Old 08-21-2016, 12:56 PM   #13
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One thing to check for that could account for oil loss without it ending in the bilge is the oil cooler. Those are usually plumbed to be cooled by seawater. If that cooler leaks the gear high pressure will push oil out into the raw water stream. Get that cooler checked carefully. If the cooler is leaking it could decide abruptly to not remain a slow leak.

As for the plate try tightening up the bolts. Sometimes a gasket can take a bit of a set and a snugging will stop the leak or slow it substantially, Hopefully.
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Old 08-21-2016, 02:20 PM   #14
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I will be getting it looked at but the guy I have been told to use by a mate is notoriously difficult to tie down so could be weeks out yet.
Cant even get him to return phonecalls.

Any ideas?
Why would you choose to use that guy then? That sure doesn't sound like a very good recommendation to me.
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Old 08-21-2016, 02:50 PM   #15
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Why would you choose to use that guy then? That sure doesn't sound like a very good recommendation to me.
I would agree.....
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Old 08-21-2016, 03:10 PM   #16
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Does yours have a spin on filter like the one you posted a picture of? If so no screen that I know of, just the filter instead. If you have to pull the gear just to replace the gasket might as well check it for any other issues it may have and R&R it.
Identical to the one in the picture.
Was thinking suction strainer/ screen.

From the manual
Quote:
C. Suction Screen
All units have a suction strainer located between the sump and oil
pump in the hydraulic circuit. Its purpose is to prevent debris from
entering the inlet side of the pump. The suction strainer must be
cleaned as a part of every oil change. Consult the illustrations found
in Section 6.2 for the suction strainer location on your unit
Thinking yellow line marks the spot
Diagram is not quite the same as my box but the closest to it in appearance in the manual
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Old 08-21-2016, 03:27 PM   #17
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Why would you choose to use that guy then? That sure doesn't sound like a very good recommendation to me.
Answering of phonecalls is no indication of skills on the tools.

I am more chasing him for the motor than the box though he does do work on boxes as well and while he is here doing the motor it makes sense to me to get the box done by him as well.

Speak to just about anyone around these parts and this guy is the go to Cummins man, even named his kids after the Cummins headquarters he is that passionate about them.
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Old 08-21-2016, 05:26 PM   #18
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Answering of phonecalls is no indication of skills on the tools.

I am more chasing him for the motor than the box though he does do work on boxes as well and while he is here doing the motor it makes sense to me to get the box done by him as well.

Speak to just about anyone around these parts and this guy is the go to Cummins man, even named his kids after the Cummins headquarters he is that passionate about them.
It sure makes a statement as to responsiveness and ability to reach him now or later if you need to. However, to each their own. If you don't return my phone calls then I don't choose to do business with you.
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Old 08-21-2016, 05:37 PM   #19
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If you don't return my phone calls then I don't choose to do business with you.
Neither do I, unless you are apparently the best guy around, charge a reasonable rate and I need your services.
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Old 08-21-2016, 07:37 PM   #20
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It sure makes a statement as to responsiveness and ability to reach him now or later if you need to. However, to each their own. If you don't return my phone calls then I don't choose to do business with you.
Isn`t it the converse? If you are phoning him, you already chose to do or explore doing business with him. He`s rejecting your approach by ignoring your calls.
Service people have peaks and troughs in demand, we have to live with that. I SMS/text my shipwright rather than call, he can respond when he`s not down a bilge covered in mess or similar.
I once waited 6 weeks for my mechanic to fix a leaking rear gearbox oil seal, other times he`s on the job in 2-3 days. He couldn`t see my concerns, said the Velvet Drive works until it runs out of oil and if it does, top it up. Fortunately IGs have accommodating under engine and gearbox trays.
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