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Old 05-27-2017, 09:08 AM   #1
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Paragon transmission problem on FL 120

I have a paragon p33l attached to a ford Lehman 120 in my trawler. The transmission is making a rubbing/light grinding noise in forward and reverse (at first, it didn't make a noise when idling in forward, only when we put the throttle up a little.) No noise in neutral. Oil is brown and could be described as "burnt smelling". It smells like used engine oil to me. Oil level is good and has never been low. Oil has not been changed in quite a while though. Anyone have any ideas what could be the problem or a good direction to look? Thank you! In Daytona Beach, FL now.
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Old 05-27-2017, 09:30 AM   #2
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard. Hope you find an easy and cheap resolution. Alas, I'm NOT the one to advise you much on mechanical solutions.
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Old 05-27-2017, 12:14 PM   #3
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First thought would be worn clutch plates that are slipping. I would probably pull the outlet hose off the oil cooler to make sure cooling water was passing through. If it is a high hour transmission with original clutch plates then it's probably time for an overhaul.

If you do remove the transmission change the damper plate while it's out.
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Old 05-27-2017, 02:17 PM   #4
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Finally!

Someone with the same transmission as me!

I would agree that the clutches and/or plates are probably on their last legs. Since you have nothing to lose, you could try changing the fluid. The manual says "Type A" transmission fluid or Dextron or Ford transmission fluid.(apparently it's not too fussy)
You should change it every 200 hours or once a season.

Now since it hasn't been changed in a long time, one of two things will happen:
1) it will quiet right down and run smoothly like a new transmission
2) it will puke it's guts out, scream and screech and catch on fire

So be prepared to have it rebuilt if you get door number 2.
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Old 05-27-2017, 10:27 PM   #5
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Dirty oil should not cause a noise, especially a new noise.
As suggested you most likely have one of two noise sources , or both, going on:
---clutches worn to the point of replacement.
---damper plate in need of replacement.

The do have a life and can fail leaving you without a drive.

The oil should be replaced every year or as suggested 200 hrs. Different gear but I do mine once yearly when I do the engine oil.

You could try changing the oil but be very aware of the noise. If it continues then do not wait to long as some damage can be done meaning , too often, a much higher cost and longer down time.

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Old 05-28-2017, 01:25 AM   #6
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I have a Paragon gearbox. I think the oil has been changed only three times in the 14 years we've had her, but we are rather low mileage folk, and the oil still looks very clean, and it works faultlessly with no funny noises. One tip I did find out about though. If you remove the rather long bolt, from what doubles as the filler hole, you have to screw it fully back in to test the system, tempting though it might be not too, thinking after the drain and re-fill that you might need to add more after it has gone through a few forward and reverse cycles. To my horror - then relief - when I worked it out - if that filler bolt is not right back in, the reverse will not engage. Just sayin'...
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Old 05-28-2017, 02:57 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by alormaria View Post
Finally!

Someone with the same transmission as me!

I would agree that the clutches and/or plates are probably on their last legs. Since you have nothing to lose, you could try changing the fluid. The manual says "Type A" transmission fluid or Dextron or Ford transmission fluid.(apparently it's not too fussy)
You should change it every 200 hours or once a season.

Now since it hasn't been changed in a long time, one of two things will happen:
1) it will quiet right down and run smoothly like a new transmission
2) it will puke it's guts out, scream and screech and catch on fire

So be prepared to have it rebuilt if you get door number 2.


Short, straight forward and to the point.
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Old 05-28-2017, 02:14 PM   #8
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UPDATE:
Drained all the oil and replaced with Type F ATF. I researched this a ton and type F is for older Ford engines before 1985 I believe. A replacement for type A. They also have type FA at NAPA which is the same part number as type F which the guy said is the same, just different packagaing.

Anyway, drained the oil and put new oil in (about 2 quarts) level was right, started the engine, let it warm up, checked the oil, level was still good. No noise in nuetral still and no shaft movement in nuetral. As soon as I put it into gear I got the same rubbing/grinding. This time when I put it back in nuetral the shaft kept spinning (not sure if this was happening before). Put my hand on it to see if I could stop it but no, it was definitely being powered by the engine. Shut down the engine, started back up, no shaft spin in nuetral, back in forward, same noise and shaft spin, back in nuetral, no noise but same shaft spin, shut it down.

Started taking things apart. Disconnected shaft coupling from reduction gear?, about 2-3 tablespoons of black powder fell out of this coupling connection. Anyone know what this could be? I then disconnected the reduction gear from the reverse gear housing (I think I have these terms correct). That came off smooth and everything looked ok. Reduction gear felt like it spun normal and smooth. I then disconnected the rest of the transmission from the bell housing (all this after I disconnected oil cooler lines and shifter cable of course). The inside of the gear connected to the bell housing looked gross. Black, oil coated rust flakes? and gunk. The shaft exiting the gear on this side spins fine and smooth. There was some oil left in the bottom of the bell housing that was light brown like the old ATF. Is the oil in the bell housing suppose to be engine oil or atf? Sure enough the damper plate springs were destroyed. Small pieces of metal at the bottom of the bell housing.

So now I need to know if it is just the damper plate or clutch plates as well. Am I getting water or something I'm not suppose to in the bell housing? What do you guys think? Thank you!
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Old 05-28-2017, 03:46 PM   #9
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Just took off my dampner plate with 2 springs missing.


Early symptoms in North Carolina included several incidents with loud screeching, sounds of washers in a tin can and smoke detectors going off.


Nothing more till 100 hrs later and the engine froze up from those spring parts jamming between the flywheel the bell housing.


Hard to say if there is anything else with the transmission....engine is fine...haven't put the tranny back yet as everyone has suggested replacing the front seal before reinstalling the tranny.
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Old 05-28-2017, 04:05 PM   #10
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Just took off my dampner plate with 2 springs missing.


Early symptoms in North Carolina included several incidents with loud screeching, sounds of washers in a tin can and smoke detectors going off.


Nothing more till 100 hrs later and the engine froze up from those spring parts jamming between the flywheel the bell housing...
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Old 05-28-2017, 04:09 PM   #11
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Yep 15 miles from home...good thing I know the local assistance tower owner who let me tow my boat back to my slip.....
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Old 05-28-2017, 04:43 PM   #12
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Just took off my dampner plate with 2 springs missing.


Early symptoms in North Carolina included several incidents with loud screeching, sounds of washers in a tin can and smoke detectors going off.


Nothing more till 100 hrs later and the engine froze up from those spring parts jamming between the flywheel the bell housing.


Hard to say if there is anything else with the transmission....engine is fine...haven't put the tranny back yet as everyone has suggested replacing the front seal before reinstalling the tranny.
Why are they recommending replacing front seal? Are you getting oil leaking into bell housing?
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Old 05-28-2017, 04:46 PM   #13
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no but is common on my Borg warner...and the front seal is a bitc* to change as you have to pull everything apart...the rear seal less common and easier to change...even in the water.
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Old 05-28-2017, 07:55 PM   #14
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ATF fluid in the bell housing may be a result of a slight leak in the tran. front seal. Engine oil would indicate a leak in the engine rear main seal. Shouldn't be any oil there.

Clearly the damper plate needs replacement but the symptoms you describe continue to sound like slipping clutch plates.

You have already done the hardest part by taking everything apart. Order a rebuild kit (that will contain gaskets, 0-rings, seals, and clutches) and rebuild it while you have it apart.
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Old 05-28-2017, 08:11 PM   #15
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Greetings,
Mr. 1CB. I concur with both the analysis AND the rebuild with seal replacements (engine rear and tranny front). You should then be good for the next 30 or 40 years or so...
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Old 05-28-2017, 11:59 PM   #16
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Undoubtedly you need a new damper plate.

Your symptoms describe some damage to the clutch plates. The driving forward of the prop shaft when in neutral is typical.

It is driving the prop forward, correct?

If the driving is not to strong and ONLY in forward it may be ok to just live with it. If the forward drive is too strong and causes too much handling trouble then it may be best to get it repaired properly.

I have a similar situation with my gear, drives forward in neutral. It hasn't changed in over 30 years. It does cause some trouble from time to time as it means the boat will not just sit still when the engine is running. That's what I was told by the repair shop , also read the same from Boatdiesel's Tony Athens many years later.
I keep an eye on it but it is no worse than when it started.

But get the damper plate replaced.
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Old 06-03-2017, 02:45 PM   #17
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**update**
Replaced damper plate, took apart transmission, replaced seals, gaskets, and clutches (old clutches didn't look bad - straight and minimal wear). put everything back together, mounted it up and tested it. Absolutely no drive/response in forward. If I push the throttle a bit in forward still no response but I get a loud "whine". As soon as I put the lever in reverse I get the same loud "whine" right off the bat and no shaft response. This is driving me crazy. Oil level is good, brake band looked ok, throttle linkage is all working correctly. Any ideas??
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Old 06-03-2017, 03:50 PM   #18
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**update**
Replaced damper plate, took apart transmission, replaced seals, gaskets, and clutches (old clutches didn't look bad - straight and minimal wear). put everything back together, mounted it up and tested it. Absolutely no drive/response in forward. If I push the throttle a bit in forward still no response but I get a loud "whine". As soon as I put the lever in reverse I get the same loud "whine" right off the bat and no shaft response. This is driving me crazy. Oil level is good, brake band looked ok, throttle linkage is all working correctly. Any ideas??
Are your linkages good?
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Old 06-03-2017, 04:02 PM   #19
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Are your linkages good?
yes, all linkages to the gear box are working correctly and smooth
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Old 06-03-2017, 08:32 PM   #20
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Something put together wrong. Drive plate backwards??
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