PDA

View Full Version : Transmission problems and how to check trans fluid?


hz900
07-22-2006, 01:40 AM
'92 Prostar 205

Had my first problem with the boat last weekend since I bought it in the spring. I've been taking it out every weekend since April with no problems prior to this. I put the boat in the water and had several people with me and they were all sitting in the rear of the boat. I warmed the boat up and took off from the dock and then made a hard turn (right). This is the first time it happenned, I felt the trans slip during the turn. I wasn't really sure what happenned so I went up the river a ways to get the boat good and warmed up (its very cold natured) and then put a skier in the water. I had the rope tied to the back of the boat and when I went to pull the skier up (with the other people still sitting in the rear) the trans started slipping, or atleast thats what it felt like. The rpms climbed and the boat wasn't pulling forward. It was only for a second or two and I could still pull the skier up. It did this several times. I did notice that if I eased into the throttle instead of gunning it that it was not as bad. I skied last and tied off to the middle of the boat and had everyone get in the front and it didn't do it that time. I then dropped everyone off at the sand bar to chill and took the boat by myself and ran the crap out of it, including hard starts and sharp turns/donuts at full throttle and nothing went wrong.

Now you know the situation, so whats the problem or what areas should I look at? Is it possible the trans fluid is just low and sloshing around not allowing the transmision to build enough pressure. What is the proper way to check the trans fluid? Also I know nothing about what kind of tranmission is in these boats, can anyone give me specs on it and how it works?

I'm pretty mechanically inclined and rebuild cars as a hobby so fixing/tearing into something doesn't scare me, I just don't have any experience with direct drive boats. Is there a shop manual I can buy for reference (Such as I have a helms manual for my car)?

Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance for any suggestions.

bigmac
07-22-2006, 07:33 AM
Does your boat have the 1:1 Velvet drive, or the 1.5:1 Powerslot?

The fluid level doesn't have to be very low for the thing to be slipping. Check the tranny with the engine/transmission at operating temp - run it around for at least 5 minutes. With the boat level like in the water, shut the engine down and pull the transmission dipstick within 30 seconds or so (before the coolant lines drain). If the level is low, look carefully in the bilge for transmission fluid. If there's transmission fluid there, start thinking about transmission seals, leaking coolant hose, or the O-ring at the shift linkage, the most likely sources of a leak. Observe the fluid on the dipstick...it should be a deep cherry red. If it's pink and frothy at all, likely source is water leaking into the transmission from the transmission cooler, in which case the cooler needs to be replaced. Smell the fluid - if it smells burnt at all, probably time for a rebuild. Slipping can overheat the clutch plates and warp them.

Whichever, plan on changing the fluid. Get a suction pump to suck it all out and refill with Dexron III or IV. These transmissions are very simple - single speed, no torque converter. If there's no water, and no leak into the bilge, your clutch plate may just be old and tired - time for a rebuild.

boyd
07-22-2006, 10:25 AM
Just had the same problem with a pcm 1:1 trans. If you are mechanically inclined you may be able to do it. However, trans. rebuilding is not (to me) an average job. The parts for the rebuild, as best I can remember were about 400-450. To get it rebuilt was about 7-900. A "new" trans from the PCM factory is about 1200. Take your pick. HOpefully for you it's the fluid. Mine slipped occationally for 2 years. Only on hard pulls so I didn't do hard pulls. Otherwise it was great. I just sold mine as is and told the people it may be needing a trans. rebuild. I sold it cheap enough and they were happy. I was leaning toward the new trans. from the factory with the one year warranty. There is a place in Ohio that will do the rebuild that I found.
They said between 7-900 depending upon what it needed.
Good luck. You might just want to finish out the summer without doing real hard pulls and wait til the rush season is over. The guys told me that if I kept hitting it hard where it would slip, this would cause the plates to actually melt together and cause more damage where the rebuild would be more toward the 900 range.
BOYD

André
07-22-2006, 10:28 AM
Low fluid...
Had the same thing happenned to me at the start of the season.Was low about 3 ounces...

hz900
07-22-2006, 10:41 AM
Thanks guys. Going to check the fluid level today and if find it to be a little low I'm going to refill and take it out tomorrow to see if that solved the problem.

As far as a leak, Thats very possible. This thing has got leaks all around the engine (ie there is oil residue all over the place). I was just waiting until the winter to clean it up and replace some seals.

bigmac
07-22-2006, 10:53 AM
Thanks guys. Going to check the fluid level today and if find it to be a little low I'm going to refill and take it out tomorrow to see if that solved the problem.

As far as a leak, Thats very possible. This thing has got leaks all around the engine (ie there is oil residue all over the place). I was just waiting until the winter to clean it up and replace some seals.Don't forget to look for leaks at the coolant lines and at the shift lever where it enters the tranny.

hz900
07-22-2006, 01:25 PM
Just pulled it out and looked at it. I didn't even start the engine and warm it up, I just pulled the dipstick to see what the fluid looked like and wow! Its a light brown color and is very frothy, and the boat has been sitting for a week. It looks like when you have a head gasket blow on an engine and the coolant mixes with the oil.

Does dextron III come in these or is it some other kind of fluid from the factory. It does not smell burnt at all and feels like engine oil more than trans fluid (yes I'm looking at the trans dipstick not the engine dipstick). I see two lines going up from the trans to something mounted on the left side of the block where the water pick up lines come in, I'm assuming that is the trans cooler. Any way to take this apart to see if that is the problem, and if I need to replace it how much should I expect to spend on the part? Also I don't trust the local Mastercraft dealer for various reasons, can I order this part online? Is there any other way water can be entering into the transmission other than this?

Is there any other way to drain the trans other than the suction pump method?

WTRSK1R
07-22-2006, 02:13 PM
Frothy fluid is strong indicator that there is water in the transmission fluid. :( You may have a leak in the transmission cooler and the fluid is mixing. Although if that were the case, I would think that over time the level would be going up too. :confused: There is no other way that I know of to change the fluid other then to pump it out the dipstick tube. I would get a small pump that hooks to a drill, and use that to extract the fluid. There are lots of other tools available, but for the $10 or so that the drill pump will cost it does a fairly nice job. If it were me, I would pump it all out, replace it with clean fluid warm it up, and then change it again just to be sure the water is all out of the transmission. The bad thing is that since oil is lighter then water, if you do not pump it completely out it may take a couple of changes right after warming it up and mixing the water in to get it all out. It can be done though, and if that is all it takes, the effort is well worthwhile and pretty low cost. You will then need to keep and eye on the fluid to make sure it does not start to get frothy again.
By the way, if you need it Discound Inboard Marine does sell a manual for the transmission once you figure out which model you have, and the guys there are more then willing to spend time with you on the phone if you need troubleshooting help in the future. www.skidim.com

bigmac
07-22-2006, 02:22 PM
Just pulled it out and looked at it. I didn't even start the engine and warm it up, I just pulled the dipstick to see what the fluid looked like and wow! Its a light brown color and is very frothy, and the boat has been sitting for a week. It looks like when you have a head gasket blow on an engine and the coolant mixes with the oil.

Does dextron III come in these or is it some other kind of fluid from the factory. It does not smell burnt at all and feels like engine oil more than trans fluid (yes I'm looking at the trans dipstick not the engine dipstick). I see two lines going up from the trans to something mounted on the left side of the block where the water pick up lines come in, I'm assuming that is the trans cooler. Any way to take this apart to see if that is the problem, and if I need to replace it how much should I expect to spend on the part? Also I don't trust the local Mastercraft dealer for various reasons, can I order this part online? Is there any other way water can be entering into the transmission other than this?

Is there any other way to drain the trans other than the suction pump method?

I don't know about the fluid - usually it's Dexron but some trannies in some years used engine oil. Walters V-drives, for example, and current Hurth's. My transmission calls for 15w40. Either oil will work, apparently, but you should follow mfgr's directions. These transmissions are very simple as transmissions go. Is your's a Velvet drive or Powerslot? Look at your propshaft. Powerslot had a 1 1/8 inch diameter shaft.

Transmission coolers, look here at SkiDim (http://www.skidim.com/products.asp?dept=1099). They're probably not worth trying to repair. Get new coolant-line hoses too.

Suction is the only practical way to get the fluid out of the transmission AFAIK.

boyd
07-22-2006, 03:40 PM
On the face plate of my trans. (pcm 1:1) it calls for 20/20 oil.
However, when I spoke with the pcm people they told me now they recommend Mercon Dectron III. It could very well be oil.
boyd

bigmac
07-22-2006, 05:19 PM
On the face plate of my trans. (pcm 1:1) it calls for 20/20 oil.
However, when I spoke with the pcm people they told me now they recommend Mercon Dectron III. It could very well be oil.
boyd

Dexron is basically 20 weight oil that is highly filtered and lacks all the anti-soot additives. And it's colored red.

bigmac
07-22-2006, 05:22 PM
By the way, if you need it Discound Inboard Marine does sell a manual for the transmission once you figure out which model you have, and the guys there are more then willing to spend time with you on the phone if you need troubleshooting help in the future. www.skidim.com

I have a pdf of the Velvet drive installation and service manual.

jimmer2880
07-24-2006, 06:12 AM
Or.... you might have picked up water through the dipstick if the boat ever had lots of water in it.

Or - over years, it's possible you it had condensation build and if the fluid was never changed, it would have picked that up as well.

My point is. Before you go ordering a rebuild kit, change the trans fluid. THEN, if it gets frothy again, start looking for where the h20's coming from.