View Full Version : Transmission Failure... Need Help!!

08-27-2007, 01:41 PM
Transmission Failure.. Need help!


I have a 82 S&S with a velvet powerslot 1.52:1 transmission.. Today I was going full speed for about 10 mins back to the dock after about an hour or two of skiing and the transmission just went out! I got a tow back to the dock and after taking a quick look at it decided to try it again. Backed off the dock and it worked fine... Shifted it into forward and goosed it a couple time and then it went out again... now it is making noise like there might be some teeth bouncing around inside the transmission which means one of the gears is stripped.. But the fact that I backed off of the dock and put it into gear a couple time and it acted and sound fine is weird to me... Any ideas before I open it up? As far as I know the transmission has never had any work on it ..

08-27-2007, 03:03 PM
I'm not sure what you mean by "the transmission just went out". You mean it started slipping? Locked up? Engine RPM's spiked? Engine bogged down? Wouldn't shift? Forward and/or reverse? Shifted OK but wouldn't engage the prop? Would it idle forward in gear? What does your transmission fluid look like? Milky strawberry-colored or the normal deep red of Dexron? What is the ATF fluid level like? Low? High? Does it smell burnt? Did you try changing the ATF to see if that had any effect? Any ATF in the bilge?

There's a lot of info here on Team Talk about that transmission - search on "powerslot". Additionally, there's lots of information at SkiDim. Look at this link (http://www.skidim.com/products.asp?dept=1102&pagenumber=3&sort_on=&sort_by=) and for $18 you can buy the rebuild manual.

08-27-2007, 03:14 PM
Sounds like it may be the damper plate not the transmission itself. A sudden failer of a Velvet drive would be odd.

08-27-2007, 04:56 PM
It almost felt like a broken drive shaft or threw a prop... The engine's rmp peaked but the boat suddenly slowed to a stop.. I pulled the throttle back as soon as it happened and cut the boat off... we got a tow back to the dock and I checked the prop and shaft but they were both ok... I then started the boat up again and put it into reverse and backed the boat off the dock (and it acted fine) then I put the boat into forward and gave it some gas a couple times and then it spun into neutral again... The fluid looked fine in the transmission but it was a little low so I topped it off but no change.. there was no burning smell or any oil in the bilge.. Any ideas?

88 PS190
08-27-2007, 05:33 PM
Flex disc, you might be able to remove an access plate from the bellhousing, and if screws or junk fall out that's your puppy.

Normally if that goes out the boat will rattle in neutral.

these guys... http://www.skidim.com/products.asp?dept=1100

we replaced ours, you have to remove the trans/bellhousing to do the project, if you feel like trans work at that point its easier.

08-28-2007, 08:34 PM
I did not even know there was a access plate in the bellhousing.. Good to know I will take a look... Where exactly is it located?

09-08-2007, 03:22 PM
You guys were right.. I pulled the transmission this morning and there was a crack in the damper plate.. I am going to order the parts and put the ole girl back together and hopefully this will fix the problem.. Thanks for your help!

09-08-2007, 04:32 PM
Another question for you guys... I have the transmission out of the boat... if I turn the engine side of the transmission I should not be able to hold the prop side of the transmission stationary..(with it in gear) it seems like if one turns the other should too... am I wrong in assuming this?

88 PS190
09-08-2007, 05:20 PM
these transmissions work on pressure generated by the pump in order to engage the forward or reverse gear.

If you wanted to engage the trans in gear you'd have to get approx 500 rpm on the input shaft to generate enough pressure. So maybe if you have very quick fingers.

09-08-2007, 05:35 PM
Ha! Thanks! I know that I found one of the problems, but I want to make sure there are no more before I put this thing back together... I know that if the damper plate is cracked the engine will produce a weird sound at low rpms, but will that make the transmission not engage (which is what happened to me) Thanks again for all the help!

88 PS190
09-08-2007, 05:35 PM
unless the center slips, you should still move.

09-08-2007, 06:24 PM
Are you saying that the damper plate has a crack in it, or did it self-destruct? If the thing is cracked but still functions to link the engine and trans, then your problem lies within the trans.

09-08-2007, 06:42 PM
it was cracked so you could see one of the springs.. There was a fair amount of pieces floating around in the flywheel housing.. here are some pics... what other things should I look at while I have the transmission out?




09-09-2007, 07:53 PM
Do you guys think that I have more problems in the transmission?

09-09-2007, 08:55 PM
Slightly damaged but still looks like it can transmit torque from the engine to tranny (just a coupling). How many hours are on this if you don't mind me asking? There is a manual for these at correctcraftfan.com. Also a member over there Eric Levine who may live down by you specializes in these rebuilds if you are interested. In buying parts, some available readily are not recommended by him. I hate to divert you to another seemingly competetive site, but old boat dudes have to help each other.

09-09-2007, 09:53 PM
I dont know how many hours are on the transmission... I bought the boat with a rebuilt engine and the hour meter was reset with the engine rebuild..

09-09-2007, 10:06 PM
I replaced that on my '76. Ran flawless until I sold it three years later. Of course YMMV

09-09-2007, 11:08 PM

09-10-2007, 12:38 AM
If you haven't checked out the basic health of the unit, maybe you should reassemble. Is it possible you have an improper adjustment in the morse linkage that does not allow the transmission to engage in the forward detent causing it to slip out of gear? After reassemble you might check the pump pressure with a gauge as outlined in the setup manual.

09-10-2007, 10:37 AM
Try Fantastic Finish in Clevland, OH.

09-10-2007, 10:51 PM
You should be able to use compressed air to check if the forward and reverse clutch packs are working. Any mechanic with auto transmission experience should be able to show you how in a couple of minutes.

There should be a test port that has a removable plug, this is typically used for pressure testing. You can remove it and apply compressed air while moving the linkage to the forward and reverse positions. While turning the input shaft you should see movement on the ouput shaft.

09-11-2007, 04:33 PM
Can you test the clutch pads without a load on the transmission? I tried to find someone local that would dyno it for me today, but no luck so far!

09-19-2007, 05:26 PM
I drained the fluid today and there was only a few bits of metal in the bottom (which from my understanding is ok). any other ideas of what to do?

09-20-2007, 01:09 PM
I would recommend taking your trans to somebody who can rebuild it for you. This is probably a 8 or 9 on the difficulty meter for the average DIYer.

If you want to tackle it yourself then I would suggest buying a remanufactured trans and installing it yourself.

Good luck,

09-20-2007, 04:59 PM
I just want to make sure the transmission does need a rebuild.. So many people have told me that these things give warning before going out, but I have not had any slipping at all (before this major one). I was pulling skiers all that morning and it did not slip at all. But totally went out on the way back to the dock without any one skiing so essentially no load.. I want everyone to know that at this point I am really searching for other things it might be but I did notice, while I was taking the transmission out, that the nut on the linkage that controls gear selector on the transmission was loose... this would allow the gear selector (on the tranny) to move freely forward off of the linkage. This would allow the boat to slip into neutral from reverse.. But my question for you guys is that if that gear lever moves too far forward while the boat is in forward is will the transmission go into neutral.. Hopefully you guys can follow what I am trying to say, but maybe I need some pics to explain... Thanks

09-21-2007, 07:15 AM
is there any way it is just the pump going bad? how hard is that to replace? again I am reaching ! thanks

09-21-2007, 03:00 PM
You've been going about it backwards.

Should have been checking everything you could before taking it out.

Since it is out, I would recommend having someone air check it for you. You can use compressed air to apply both the forward and rear clutch packs. Turn the input shaft by hand while doing this. The output shaft should turn as you move the linkage into forward. The output shaft will not turn while in neutral and the output shaft will turn again in reverse, the opposite way. If you don't get the expected results then there is a problem that would justify opening up the transmission.

If it air checks OK then re-install the trans and double check all the things that should be looked at...
Fluid condition/level
Linkage/cable adjustment
Running pressure checks at the test port

Hope this helps some