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Old 10-27-2020, 10:42 PM   #1
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CAT oil analysis on gear - yellow flag?

Had CAT oil analysis done on gear for A GB I am considering. It appears that each component tested gets either a green, yellow, or red type of indicator in a box. They don't really tell you how to interpret them (although I will contact them soon), but for my port gear I got a yellow box saying to "Monitor Compartment". Appears some light amount of iron & debris was visible under the microscope and suggest changing oil and resampling in 50 hours.
When I first saw the yellow I thought oh no! It's a warning. I'm in trouble. But then again it says no other problems indicated at this time and afterall, they don't want another sample for 50 hours.
Just wondering if anyone has had same yellow flags on oil analysis ?
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Old 10-27-2020, 10:58 PM   #2
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Post the analysis. Also the gear make/model. Not uncommon for gears to have some crap in the oil.
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Old 10-28-2020, 05:07 AM   #3
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I change my oil and have Blackstone labs analysis done every 500 hours. A very thorough test that checks for wear metals and sodium (salt or brackish water) from a failing heat exchanger.

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Old 10-28-2020, 11:58 AM   #4
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Sorry can't find an easy way to copy analysis but equipment is a Marine Gear MG506, 2:1,. At this point I don't know how many hours were between oil changes but the tech said it looked dirty.
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Old 10-28-2020, 12:45 PM   #5
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I normally change the transmission oil when I change the engine oil in the fall. It always comes out absolutely clear and clean. I didnít change engine oil or transmission oil this fall since we only got about 10 hours on it this summer due to the virus. My mom lives with us and turned 100 last May so we cannot chance having anyone come in to check on her if we are gone. Maybe next year we will get to use the boat...
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Old 10-28-2020, 12:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Sorry can't find an easy way to copy analysis but equipment is a Marine Gear MG506, 2:1,. At this point I don't know how many hours were between oil changes but the tech said it looked dirty.
Do you have the ability to scan it and save it as a PDF file? If so you can attach it like a photo but people will have to click on it to open the file.
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Old 10-28-2020, 12:55 PM   #7
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I always change the gear boxes at the same time as I do the mains.

Oil is cheaper than clutches, gears, and bearings!

I never liked the CAT oil analysis color codes. I have had CATs for several years and have switched to Blackstone.
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Old 10-28-2020, 03:30 PM   #8
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I have an MG506. I too change the oil each time I change the engine oil, yearly.
I agree about the bit of dirt appearing and regular oil changes will control it.

Change the oil now but when you do so do so after a bit of a run to warm it up, stir any debris up, and get it suspended in the oil and then pump it out as soon as possible to catch as much debris as possible.

Then when you get another 50 hours on the gear take another sample.
THat will reduce debris and give you another new base line.
Then when the next engine oil change comes take another sample and change the oil again and continue to do so yearly.

I also concur with the suggestion to figure out how to post the actual report.
Cat should give you either and Email copy which can be diriectly loaded here as a PDF or a paper copy which can be scanned to a PDF and then loaded here.

I have used CAT reports for 30 + years both at work and for my boat. I don't have any trouble reading them. Practice of course but if you figure out how to load them we can help. I have seen other reports that leave stuff out.
Blackstone is a good one also. Never used them but have seen enough of them.
Presentations differ of course.



To load a report here go to:
>Use the GO ADVANCED box just below the reply box
>Then a different reply page will open with many more options
>scroll down to ADDITIONAL OPTIONS
>scroll down to ATTACH FILES and then click MANAGE ATTACHMENTS
>another box will open with several CHOOSE FILE boxes

>Click one and it will open and let you find the Cat oil report.
>Once found then click the report you want.
>It's name will appear in a box below.
> Click OPEN
>THe file will appear opposite the CHOOSE FILE box ,
> then find UPLOAD in the lower right hand corner and click that box and the file should appear in your reply page. THe notification is a bit small .

The report is now loaded and any of us can read it. AND comment which is maybe a good thing/or not.

I send in tests for the engine AND the gear box yearly as part of the regualr changes. THat can be a tip off that something is changing. One shots like this and every few years are of far less use.

ANy time I have done major work after the dust settles I send another test in for a new baseline, than another 50 hr to see if the baseline has changed for the worse.
Worked for me with a fuel dilution in the engine, gear box salt contamination episode, and so on. A warning instead of a failure.
Keep doing them
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Old 10-28-2020, 03:46 PM   #9
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Thanks guys for the replies and advice on posting. Hopefully you can now see the report.
Attached Thumbnails
Gear analysis.jpg  
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Old 10-28-2020, 04:52 PM   #10
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A little background on oil analysis may be helpful ...
Oil_Analysis_on_Diesel_Boats

It is critical how and when the oil sample was drawn (among other things).
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Old 10-28-2020, 04:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
A little background on oil analysis may be helpful ...
Oil_Analysis_on_Diesel_Boats

It is critical how and when the oil sample was drawn (among other things).
It sounded like he had the sample pulled on a survey, maybe. So hopefully the mechanic knows how to take a sample, maybe...
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Old 10-28-2020, 05:23 PM   #12
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I rotated it to proper orientation & save it as a pdf, maybe makes it easier to view........
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File Type: pdf Gear analysis.jpg.pdf (573.4 KB, 52 views)
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Old 10-28-2020, 08:23 PM   #13
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Copper, Cu ; Lead, Pb; Iron,Fe are just a bit high. This may be a result of oil to old, needing a change.

The dirt level can be seen indicated by the bottom row , Oil Cleanliness.
The ISO number gives a quick reference that can be compared for future use as the cleanliness improves, hopefully.


Doesn't look bad so do the oil change, Run it a while to mix it up , take a sample right then and then again when you have about 50 hours for comparisons.

I keep copies of mine in a file on my computer, one paper copy aboard the boat in a small binder, one copy at home in a file.

THe TD506 uses 30 wgt engine oil. If the ambient water temp yours runs in is 80o F or more then consider a 40 wgt. oil. Just run it a bit easily to allow the oil to warm up before really powering up. That gear box should run at an absolute minimum of 270 PSI, not less or there may be trouble brewing. Mine runs at somewhere around 320 PSI and has for years. I have heard of these things going as high as 350 PSI.
Oil quantity is about 4.5 qts.
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Old 10-28-2020, 08:24 PM   #14
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Rochepoint, yes the redo helped.
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Old 10-28-2020, 08:59 PM   #15
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Thanks again all. We are now surmising there may be a bit over 300 plus hours on the gear oil so maybe all will be ok once I change and check it again as suggested after 50 hours.
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Old 10-28-2020, 09:30 PM   #16
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Fe, Cu and Pb are in clutch facing material, there will always be some in the lube. Na is low, that's good. Looks about normal to me if all is working ok.
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Old 11-01-2020, 05:13 PM   #17
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Interesting analysis. I use Amsoil. I sent one sample in and they emailed me "the oil you said you sent isn't the oil we're sampling." Not only did they know exactly what oil I had sent, they knew it didn't match what I told them. The product had changed, still the same viscosity, but "improved". I had been using the newer version. They caught that. I was impressed.
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Old 11-09-2020, 01:40 PM   #18
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Most owners change their crankcase oil, but seldom service the transmission fluid. The report you received is surprisingly typical. I have seen more reports like yours, than otherwise.
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