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KH18 transmission.

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
I need some advice. Since we've owned Dana we have always freewheeled the transmission when sailing. Last season she developed a slight "ticking" sound when freewheeling at slow speeds. This year that ticking has gotten stronger and louder. When in gear, both forward and reverse, the unit works fine. My thoughts are that the transmission is beginning to give up the ghost. Mack Boring (the engine is the Yanmar 3QM30H) tells me that the KH18 transmission is no longer available. I have found someone in New Jersey who will rebuild the unit over the winter. Does anyone have or had experience with similar noise from the transmission? Would anyone know of a KH18 transmission that is available to purchase? Thanks.

Jim
 

Cardo

Member
Hey Jim,
I have a PRM 90. I do not know if this would be useable for your engine. Maybe check out the specs and see if it might work with the clearances and gear ratios that you need.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Rich

I am not familiar with a PRM 90. Is that a transmission? What kind of engine is it off of? The KH 18 is unique to the Yanmar 3QM30H. My main question was if anyone had experienced any noise from the tranny while freewheeling? If so, what was the diagnosis, and what was the solution?

Jim
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Terry

I find it rare that a question has been asked on the Board and there isn't someone who has some experience with or a solution to the question.

Jim
 
Jim, I'll share what little knowledge I have. I have the same transmission. I can't freewheel because it produces a grinding, not ticking, type noise. This is the same noise that I got from my earlier boat which had the 2gm and the same Kanzaki make gear. In both boats, I sailed with the gear in reverse. What's different though with the Morgan is that when the engine is running and in gear, I hear a whine type noise in forward and reverse. That I did not get from my 2GM. So I had two separate mechanics come to hear this engine and gear run. I put it under a load in the slip. They both thought it sounded a little noisy but normal. But as to a ticking noise when freewheel under sail, I can't say I have that sound. I might mention, that before the two mechanics looked at the transmission, I had the gear removed and taken to Laborde Diesel a marine Yanmar dealer, because of a small gear leak from the output shaft. They replaced that and replaced the input shaft seal as well. I mention this because when they were replacing the seals, I asked about a grind when running. They turned it by hand but thought all was ok. I hope you find further information that relates more toward the symptoms in your transmission but thought this might help nevertheless.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
John

Thanks fo getting back to me with your thoughts. The reason I'm concerned with the ticking sound while freewheeling is because it only recently began and it appears to be getting worse. For all the years that we allowed the shaft to freewheel we heard only the sound of the shaft rotating in the packing gland. Now this is a new sound and it's changing. So this winter I will pull the engine out into the main cabin, remove the tranny, have the unit rebuilt, and put it all back. I find that I would rather go through the effort and expense then to have the tranny fail while on a cruise away from home.

Jim
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
Jim, I can remove and replace the transmission on my Perkins easily without moving the engine. I assume you have thought of that with the Yanmar.
 
Yes, that would concern me too. Good luck Jim with project. BTW, Terry brings up another point. My boat was on the hard when the transmission was removed. However, I don't believe we had to drop the rudder and so the shaft was moved back only so far until it made contact with the rudder.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
The KH18 transmission is part and parcel with the large plate that covers the damper plate. To remove the the unit from the engine requires undoing 12 bolts around that cover plate. With the engine in place the bottom bolts can't be reached. It could be done by loosening everything and raising the rear end of the engine to access those bolts. But if every thing has to be freed to work, why not move the engine out into the main cabin where it will be easy to do the job and not have to be crawling into the tight space behind the engine. I have done this before in 2006 and have the system of 2" galvanized pipes and two 1/2 ton chain falls ready to go. While the engine is out there are numerous other jobs that will be easier to do on the engine and in the engine compartment. Also the rudder does not need to drop down if the Engine is out of the way.

The photos are from my 2006 move of the engine. 0536 is the engine sitting on a cradle on the stbd bunk. 0540 is the engine compartment ready for the engine to move back in. 0551 is the rig to move the 630lb engine forward. The pipes are supported by 4x4 timbers above the companionway and the main cabin hatch. 0555 is the engine being moved back into place with the two 1/2 ton chain falls. The job was done slowly by one person, me.

Jim
 

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mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
That's a nice rig for removing the engine, Jim!

On the list of things to do when the engine is out: Check the idler sheaves on the steering system. They are mounted on ceiling of the engine compartment, aft end. Super easy access with the engine gone, a complete bugger to reach with the engine in place. Ours failed shortly after our new engine was installed.

1633968260521.png
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Mark
That is a great idea. Mine must be due for a little TLC. Actually, the more I think on this plan to pull the engine, the more things I find to inspect and repair. I've a feeling this is going to be a long cold winter.

Jim
 

Warren Holybee

Active Member
Jim,
Nice work on the engine bay! Very well done and tidy. I like seeing wires nice and neat, and you even labeled "TB-14"!
The factory idler plate is steel, and almost surely very rusted if it hasn't been services/replaced. The new ones are thick aluminum. Of course if you take that out, you "need" to replace the chain and cable, and the engine control cables, wheel brake pads, and needle bearings. I didn't find it too difficult with the engine in though. But I can be a contortionist, and my entire body from head to waist fits through that opening in the quarter berth.
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
Jim, you know your boat and engine. Yhanks for the photos. Your 40 year old Yanmar and the engine bay look brand new. Wow. I wonder if that old Halon extinquisher will still work though. I got rid of mine.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Terry

I see you caught that. The Halon extinguisher was there when we bought the boat in 1987. Soon after that Halon became politically incorrect. I thought hard about getting rid of it, and almost did, before I realized that the gas in the bottle is not a threat to the atmosphere if it stays in the bottle. So I figured I am doing the earth a favor by storing the Halon away. Of course if the temperature in the engine compartment reaches the point where the little metal link melts and dumps the gas and saves my boat, then I will be very apologetic to Mother Earth. The major reason it is still there is that I have no other use for the space that it hangs in. If I needed that space, it would have been long gone. I have implemented other ways to fight an engine compartment fire which are my primary goto methods. But if the Halon still works after all these years, who am I to be politically correct?

Jim
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
Jim, would like to hear your other fire fighting ideas. Last year I bought a fire port--little rounf hatch type gizmo thru which one can point an extinguisher. Have yet to figure out where to put it. Thanks. Your advice is always welcome.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Terry
My alternative to an automatic system in the engine compartment is a dry chemical bottle hanging next to the companionway steps. Just below the bracket and hidden by the bottle is a hole into the engine compartment. If the engine is on fire, pull the bottle off the bracket, stick the nozzle in the hole, discharge. The good thing about this system is that you don't have to open the step allowing oxygen to feed the fire. The bad thing is that it is not automatic, someone has to be there to engage the system. The other bad thing, as with any discharge of dry chemical, is the clean up after the fire is out. There are systems on the market that are automatic and use a chemical similar, but not Halon, that are rather expensive to install.

Jim
 

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jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Mitchell

Those photos were taken during the winter of 2006 when the engine was moved into the main cabin to be refurbished. I will be able to get the chance to clean up the space again this winter. Thanks.

Jim
 

dickkilroy

Richard Kilroy
sure looks very good on everything Jim as everybody else has said
I would try contacting ZF transmission. They are a German company but have an American operation that is in Miramar Florida. Phone number is 954-441-4040.
these guys had a transmission that would replace the one on my Catalina 38th the engine was a universal 5424. The people in the Caribbean drainEd the oil on my tranny and didn’t put any in. They therefore had to replace the transmission. I am not sure what the model was on the original universal.
good luck.

Dick
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
Jim - I should have added on my note about the Idler: I know Jim & a bunch of people on here know what an Idler is, but there are also a bunch of new owners who might not know what the heck it is. So the picture, etc. was for them, not you! I hope you realized that.:)
 

dave_a

Dave Ahlers
I need some advice. Since we've owned Dana we have always freewheeled the transmission when sailing. Last season she developed a slight "ticking" sound when freewheeling at slow speeds. This year that ticking has gotten stronger and louder. When in gear, both forward and reverse, the unit works fine. My thoughts are that the transmission is beginning to give up the ghost. Mack Boring (the engine is the Yanmar 3QM30H) tells me that the KH18 transmission is no longer available. I have found someone in New Jersey who will rebuild the unit over the winter. Does anyone have or had experience with similar noise from the transmission? Would anyone know of a KH18 transmission that is available to purchase? Thanks.

Jim

Jim, I just checked in on the M38 site to see how everyone is doing. I saw your post. A couple thoughts:
Ticking is can be the start of a bearing failure. The cage holding the balls or rollers comes apart and starts hitting things. Once the cage/retainer falls apart, all the balls get loose and a catastrophic trans failure occurs. My old Atomic 4 had a perished output bearing (caused by 3 broken motor mounts), replaced the bearing and worked fine afterward. Caught in in time. It sounded like rocks tumbling in a cement mixer. The A-4, 2 or 3 guys could remove by hand. A little different from a Kubota.
I'd suggest trying to ID the trans bearing sizes, see if they are available from a bearing supply house (if Kubota is no help). Do what you have to do this winter but fix it before she blows!
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Dave

Thanks. I think you are correct. Something is rotten in the tranny. So this winter she goes to the shop for an overhaul. Hopefully all the needed parts will still be available. She only needs to make the one mile move from the mooring to the boatyard to end this season.

Jim
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Mark

After you mentioned the idler blocks, I got to thinking:"Why haven't I inspected those before". With some long and hard thought, I came to the realization that I never inspected them because Dana doesn't have any Idler Blocks. The steering system on the early 382s was from a company named "Orion". At some point they went to the Edson equipment. The Orion pedestal's chain drive is made up with two cable runs similar to the Throttle and shift cables, but only larger in size. Those cables on Dana have been inspected and appear to be OK. But now that the subject has come up, and since I will be removing the engine, I may as well change them as well. My winter list is growing in leaps and bounds. Speaking to a guy from Edson at the show, he tells me there is a bearing in the wheel shaft into the pedestal that should be changed about every 10 years. Mine is only 43 years old. I wonder if it's time???

While we are on the subject, Our compass is a Danforth Constellation 5". The unit works fine but is always leaking fluid. The gasket has been replace twice now and still it has a fairly large bubble. I wonder if I should have it repaired again or just replace it with a new one? Any suggestions?

Jim
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
Jim - ha! that's funny. Why the heck haven't you inspected those idlers?!
I didn't realized that 382s didn't have them.
Yeah, I replaced that bearing in the wheel shaft when I ripped everything apart to replace the idlers. Was fairly straightforward.

I think our compass is the only thing on Zia we haven't ripped apart. And I have no knowledge of them. I know I wouldn't spend a bunch of money on mine because I have a hand bearing compass that I use for real (non GPS) navigation. If I ever need to do that again, I'm ready. ;) I know I'd still want a ships compass for maintaining a bearing, but I don't think I need a big expensive one for that.

Completely off topic ...
I met a very cool lady last night who used to sail all around the Pacific in the 1960s. Navigating to tiny islands using a sextant. On cloudy days, they couldn't get a position. So they spent many days in a row not knowing where they were. And before watermakers, so they had to haul everything and catch rainwater. No EPIRBs or hope of rescue if bad things happened. No accurate weather forecasts while under way. Very adventurous souls, and makes me realize how spoiled we are nowadays.
 
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terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
Jim, I have the Constellation compass too. I had it refurbished by a compass guy when it developed a bubble. The problem with replacing it, I think, is finding one that would fit in the black contraption it fits in sitting on top of the steering pedestal. It seemed to me if I got a new compass, I would have to get one of the stainless Edson binnacles. Not cheap, like everything from Edson.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Terry
I went on the Danforth website to ask about service for the Constellation compass. They want almost $300 for an overhaul. So I figured I'd just fill the bubble with fresh oil. They have a quart of compass oil for $23. Of course when I went to order the oil, they wanted $16 for shipping. Guess they really don't want to sell their product. Time for plan B.

Mark
I would love to meet your cool lady. Back in the 70s we navigated everywhere by dead reckoning. Time, speed, distance and a healthy respect for the currents at the moment. A far cry from how we do it today. As much as I am nostalgic for the old ways, I am very much happy with the little black triangle the appears on the chart plotter to tell us where we are. I have numerous sea stories of having buoys appear on the nose after a two hour journey in the fog. They are fun to tell sitting back with a dark & stormy. I prefer doing it with chart plotter, radar and AIS these days.

Jim
 
Jim,
West Marine actually stocks Ritchie compass oil. Here is their part numbers
Model # 289118 | Mfg # SH-0154
I think about $20 for a pint and it also comes in quarts.
Mitchell
 
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