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Prop Ticking

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
I have a new event going on this season. My 1978 382, hull #53, has the Yanmar 3QM30 with about 6400 hours on it. The transmission is the original and has never been repaired or overhauled. I have always allowed the prop to freewheel whenever we are under sail. From the cockpit we could always hear a very low steady hum of the prop spinning while under sail. This year, for the first time, we are hearing a distinct ticking sound from the prop at slow sailing speeds. The frequency of the ticking increases as the boat speed increases until about around 3.5 kts when the sound disappears. If I put the transmission into reverse to stop the freewheeling the ticking stops. The sound drives Bonnie crazy. Is this telling me that the transmission is in need of a little TLC?

Jim
 

dickkilroy

Richard Kilroy
Jim wish I could help. I have the same engine and transmission rigs that you do in my hull number 74 of the 382 serie. I have always kept my transmission in forward gear while sailing. When doing racing I would go below and align the prop with the shaft keyway through the quarter berth access panel. Mine is the original two blade prop that came with the boat.
One thing I do remember from the very beginning, as the original owner of the boat, was that on our first sail the transmission failed and would only go into reverse. In this gear it would work, Forward, forget it. A friend of mine who bought hull number 64 on the same date I ordered my boat had the same failure. In another area on current postings on this site there is other transmission questions on the 3QM30 Transmissionon. I have always used automatic transmission fluid.

Dick
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Dick

A good number of years ago Yanmar put out a notice to put 30# oil in the tranny as opposed to ATF. I even called Mack Boring to confirm what I was reading. Been using the oil ever since. My prop is a three blade 16RH11 that I always have allowed to freewheel while sailing. My hope is that I have picked up something on the shaft or prop that is rotating around and ticking on the hull at the slower speeds. At the higher speeds, whatever it is is no longer hitting anything. I have a diver going to clean the bottom this week so maybe he'll find the culprit. I was hoping that it isn't the tranny. Does anyone ever experienced the same kind of ticking sounds? If so what was the solution?

Jim
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Terry

Nothing yet. My guy cleaned the bottom late last week and I haven't had the chance to talk to him yet. It's been so damn hot here, we haven't been out to go sailing in a while.

Jim
 

dave_a

Dave Ahlers
Jim, first let me say I have no experience with Yanmar transmissions. I assume that most internal gearbox parts (gears-shafts) are not available any longer. So preserving them is good strategy.
It might be prudent to look into the feasibility of replacing the output shaft bearing in the trans. since it has the most strain (shaft play and thust).
As you likely know, bearings die when the cage that retain the balls fail. If you catch it early enough the shaft doesn't wobble and ruin gear faces. It's possible that's the ticking sound (cage fail). Could also be a lot of other things, so ID'ing where the noise is coming from is the obvious place to start.
On my Perkins, I could pull the ZF/Hurth out w/o too much trouble. (I had a lot of anti-seize on couplings, shafts, bolts).
Anyway my 2 cents, food for thought.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Dave
Getting a handle on where the noise is coming from is my objective for this weekend. With the boat sailing and the prop freewheeling and Bonnie on the helm, I'm going to get down in by the tranny and listen. I should be able to isolate if the ticking is from the shaft, tranny, stuffing box, etc. This is all assuming the bottom cleaning guy tells me there is nothing dangling from the shaft or prop under the boat. If it is coming from the tranny, I'll try to baby it along for the rest of the season and pull it for a rebuild over the winter. It is the original unit so it is 43 years old. Thanks for you advice, it is much appreciated.

Jim
 
You can buy a mechanics stethoscope. Not very expensive at an auto parts store. They work remarkably well. You can hear valves in an engine operate, and if one is noisy you can even determine what one it is, or if a bearing is making noise you can hear exactly what one.

It might be useful to isolate noises from each other and to pinpoint an orgin.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Warren
In the Navy we'd investigate noises in the pumps with a long fat screwdriver. With the handle held to your ear and the blade against the pump or bearing it was amazing how easy it was to hear where a problem was. But that was almost 50 years ago. Right now I will be happy to know whether the noise is coming from the tranny or not. If it is I'll have it fixed, if it isn't, I'll breath easier.

How are you faring in Hampton Roads? Did you find a job? Be careful, there seems to be a flair of the virus in that area.

Jim
 
Yes, I'm working at WAVY-TV. Nice job that pays well. Just a 5 minute walk from the boat. Working keeps me from socializing, so I'm not really high risk.
 

royaltern

Bert Willett
Sounds like you are in a good place and situation. I stoped in Portsmouth on my way from Rock Hall to Key West and back. Nice town.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Warren

God to know you are refilling the cruising kitty. What are your plans for continuing on to the West Coast? Who knows, if you get to do some exploring in the Chesapeake, you may just decide to stay. While you are in the Chesapeake, do not miss going up the Potomac River to Washington DC. The trip up the River is 45 miles of mostly motoring but staying in DC is wonderful.

Jim
 
Unfortunately, I am working full time which doesn't leave much time for cruising. I do hope to explore a bit, but haven't' figured any of it out yet. Trips by car are more likely for places like DC. I'm trying to get back to the west coast as quickly as possible, which is still a few years out.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Warren
Glad to hear you have settled back into a dirt dwelling existence. But when you get the chance, don't neglect to explore the Bay from the water. There is nothing like it on the West Coast. You will enjoy it immensely. It would also be a shame to have sailed the East Coast without making a visit further North to Maine.

Jim
 
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