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Old 07-03-2014, 05:48 PM   #1
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Transmission died while docking

Hi i am ferrying my boat from vt to fl and made it to Cape May, NJ. I stopped and helped another trawler that was aground, ended up freeing the trawler but wrapped my prop in his anchor line. Was able to free the line. Continued on for 2 hours and when docking the transmission would not go into gear.
The motor is a Ford Lehman Sea Lion 1980 I believe it is a velvet drive. Any idea what is bad and approximate cost?

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Old 07-03-2014, 06:16 PM   #2
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Unfortunately, nobody can diagnose your problem over the Internet, you'll have to have a qualified mechanic examine it and quote a cost. At the low end, your linkage is out of adjustment. At the high end - replacement transmission.
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Old 07-03-2014, 06:21 PM   #3
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Look in dipstick hole with engine idling. If oil is not splashing around, you may have a stripped torsional coupler. That's the thing that mounts on engine flywheel and trans input shaft sticks into. Low dollar item, but trans must be slid back to replace.

Also, oil level ok? fwd and rev not working? Any noises?
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Old 07-03-2014, 09:10 PM   #4
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Dang!! No good deed goes unpunished!

Does the tranny fluid smell burned? Any leaking?
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Old 07-03-2014, 09:28 PM   #5
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Well, at least it broke down at the dock. Had a similar experience when the propeller shaft fell apart.
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:59 PM   #6
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I had a velvet drive. The gear failed after a normal run and when the gear was taken out of forward it would not engage following. The salt water oil cooler made of bronze I'd guess, had pin holes throughout and in the process due to a weak seal, allowed the transmission fluid to be sucked out with the overboard.
Being without automatic transmission fluid, the standard oil, on board I dumped in a full measure of engine 40# oil. Marine Tex'ed the cooler and came home in fine style abit worried of what damage might had been done.
Contacted my boat doctor who stated that one of the reasons that automatic transmission fluid was the oil to use other than lubricants additives favorable to the gear, was that the dye color allowed owners to identify the oil in the bilge. He went on to state that most commercial gear applications had switched to a motor oil and no damage was expected.
We continued on with this oil and of course, a new cooler installed, for two more years when I had the engine overhauled and took that opportunity to rebuild the working gear as a precaution.

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Old 07-03-2014, 11:47 PM   #7
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I hope that you (cough) looked at the linkage?
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Old 07-04-2014, 01:47 AM   #8
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—Good point!! This happened about six week past. Fishing for salmon in the mooching method. Engaged in reverse to gain some room from the closing shore. Nothing! In somewhat quick step it was found that the end of the shifting cable which is Bakelite material had split allowing the end to slip off the cotter pin security. We used a bit of the two part epoxy “Plummer's epoxy” stick we carry onboard for just such need where fast curing material is required. Overlapped that with a couple of strips of gorilla tape to hold till the epoxy set and we were good to go. Left is as is. It is as good as new.
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Old 07-04-2014, 04:53 AM   #9
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One of the reasons for the lack of drive may be that the drive plate has finally given up on life. I would check this first because there's no point in spending mega dollars on unnecessary gearbox overhauls.
It's not such a big job if you are reasonably handy.
Disconnect the prop shaft and slide it back, replace any nuts with rounded flats.( Use proper size spanners next time).
Disconnect the gear throttle linkage, mark the settings with felt tip pen.
(I use a white paper corrective fluid pen, it's great for putting fitting dates on batteries too)
Disconnect the oil cooler and clean it thoroughly.
Remove the bolts holding the gearbox (don't forget the one underneath the box) and slide back.
Look at the back of the flywheel and you will see the clutch drive plate attached with 6 set screws, remove the screws and drive plate and check.
There are 2 types of drive plate and I would recommend you fit the heavy duty type for longevity of life.
Reassemble and test.
It's also a good time while you are there to check the engine prop shaft alignment is perfect.
When all that's done get yourself shipshape and Bristol fashion and go for a run ashore for a well earned steak dinner with a beer or three.
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Old 07-04-2014, 09:12 AM   #10
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At least you caught the right weekend to be stuck in the marina.
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Old 07-04-2014, 12:48 PM   #11
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Have you checked the shaft to see if it's turning? Saw a guy a few years ago shift into reverse and nothing happened. We got him in the slip and started checking things and couldn't find anything. After awhile had him fire it up & shift it back and forth, the shaft was turning, his prop had spun off when he shifted into reverse when he started to back into his slip.
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Old 07-04-2014, 02:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by River Cruiser View Post
Have you checked the shaft to see if it's turning? Saw a guy a few years ago shift into reverse and nothing happened. We got him in the slip and started checking things and couldn't find anything. After awhile had him fire it up & shift it back and forth, the shaft was turning, his prop had spun off when he shifted into reverse when he started to back into his slip.
Something similar happened to Seaweed a few years back. I shifted into reverse and nothing. (Was setting the anchor)

The cause was a sheared (split lengthwise down the middle) keyway. Fortunately my prop was still there, but nothing happens when that baby is not intact.

Good thing too: Keys (on Seaweed, a 5/16" square piece of stainless) are cheap. The old one was bronze and of indeterminate age.

An iron one was installed as a temporary measure. That was a mistake because as it rusted it stuck to everything. To get it out required heat of a welder -- which happened to be close by. I'm not certain that a blow torch could not of have done the same thing.

Anyway, here's hoping it's a keyway.
And for the experts, is it called a key or a keyway? Specifically the square peg part.
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Old 07-04-2014, 03:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janice142 View Post
............ And for the experts, is it called a key or a keyway? Specifically the square peg part.
The "square peg" part is the key. The slot it fits into is the keyway.
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Old 07-04-2014, 03:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by River Cruiser View Post
........shaft was turning, his prop had spun off when he shifted into reverse when he started to back into his slip.
The test is to see if the boat moves forward. If it does, the prop is still attached.
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Old 07-04-2014, 04:00 PM   #15
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Transmission died while docking

No "expert" here but it is a key that fits into a keyway.

http://m.grainger.com/mobile/product...-Key-Kit-5A201

I keep one of these in my service truck.

Edit: just saw Ron's post above.
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Old 07-04-2014, 04:01 PM   #16
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Janice, I have always thought of the key fitting into the keyway. In other words the slot is the keyway and the rectangular piece is the key.
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Old 07-04-2014, 05:38 PM   #17
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We lost reverse on Apophyge when sliding into the dock for a haulout. Pulled in slow and relatively parallel and pulled her into reverse and nothing happened. I tossed a line to a worker and he was able to keep us from crashing into the abutment. A bolt holding the end of the control cable down vibrated loose and the cable was just having a merry time sliding back and forth. It was a ten minute fix (5 of that unloading the lazzerette) but could have been ugly.
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Old 07-04-2014, 06:45 PM   #18
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I've had problems on this journey with the shift control on Seaweed. I think now it's resolved. Waiting for more time underway to confirm the fix is actually a permanent solution. Vibration is my enemy. Have blue loctite and have used same.
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:51 PM   #19
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Thanks for all the replys. Went to check the linkage and the shaft was not connected to the transmission! Made a funny sound whe turned. I am a diver, looked at the prop and shaft it was wedged againts the rudder. Pushed it foewarsd and now turns fine with no play. Waiting in a new coupler

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Old 07-07-2014, 05:54 PM   #20
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You dodged a bullet on that. Good luck.
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