PDA

View Full Version : Brown Transmission Fluid 2002 X Star


Floydage
09-11-2011, 05:33 PM
Hi, I just got back from the lake and when I went to take out the drain plug in the center of my boat noticed that it was a brown milky color. There was quite a bit of it in the bilge area and around the center ballast. I checked the trans oil dip stick and it was all brownish white. Does anyone know what would cause this?
We ran the boat all day, did not notice anything unusual, and it has 310 hours on it. I just had the impeller changed, could this problem be related to it? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

trickskier
09-11-2011, 06:09 PM
Sounds like the seal is bad leaking water into the transmission. Did you check the transmission fluid level to see if it was too full?

Floydage
09-11-2011, 06:16 PM
Yes the fluid level is fine. It happened towards the end of the day. At one point earlier I had looked in the bilge area and the water was clear (small amount) when we pulled the boat was when I noticed it. Boat is always garaged, we live in N.CA so not too cold in the winter. I have read some on the transmission cooler, what is this and where is it located? Thanks!

Floydage
09-11-2011, 06:25 PM
I just looked again at the dipstick. It is pretty high up on the stick. There are two notches at the bottom of the stick and the white stuff goes up about another inch or two from that. I am guessing that it too full. If this is a seal is it a big repair? thanks!

vision
09-11-2011, 08:09 PM
I am not sure what engine (LTR?) you have, but there are likely two thick walled, approx 3/4 inch in diameter, black hoses coming from the transmission to a metal tube that is in the fresh water intake circuit. A large diameter water line will then be going in and out of this large tube. This tube is your transmission cooler. it is nothing but a mini radiator and if it has rotted on the inside, it is pushing water into your transmission instead of just cooling the circulating oil. The fluid level in the transmission therefore rises and begins to leak out the vent into your bilge.

Make sure to change the transmission oil ASAP. I would change, drain, and change again. Then replace the transmission cooler (SkiDim perhaps?). Again, yours may be different. Your manual may show the transmission cooler, as the strainer which MC recommend you clean before each outing (which I believe almost no one does) is located at the bottom of the transmission cooler.

Floydage
09-12-2011, 12:59 AM
Thanks Vision,
I am not sure about the engine size, the boat is a 2002 X Star, it says Vortec on the engine. It looks like a Chevy engine, 8 cylinder. I looked around but did not see the cannister/cooler that you mentioned. Is it on the side or in back? It looks like the white stuff is coming from the front of the enigine (where the tranny is) right behind the rear seat. I do see large hoses that are there, but not sure where the cooler is. Assuming that the problem it is the cooler, is that a big repair? Do they have to pull the engine to replace it? Thanks

vision
09-12-2011, 01:57 AM
Thanks Vision,
I am not sure about the engine size, the boat is a 2002 X Star, it says Vortec on the engine. It looks like a Chevy engine, 8 cylinder. I looked around but did not see the cannister/cooler that you mentioned. Is it on the side or in back? It looks like the white stuff is coming from the front of the enigine (where the tranny is) right behind the rear seat. I do see large hoses that are there, but not sure where the cooler is. Assuming that the problem it is the cooler, is that a big repair? Do they have to pull the engine to replace it? Thanks

No, it is reasonably simple to replace on most models. Follow the cooling hoses from your transmission. On the 5.7 Indmar motors which is likely what you have, they should terminate in a heat exchanger about the size of small beer can on the starboard side of the motor. But it does vary with engine model.

Go ahead and drain and replace the transmission oil so that the water does not sit in the transmission.

Floydage
09-12-2011, 01:30 PM
Thanks for the pic. I will drain the fluid ASAP, I was worried about that, the water sitting in it over a time and then potentially rusting the parts. The Mastercraft dealer can't get me in for two weeks so I better do this quickly. I also noticed that there is a suction sound when I remove the dipstick. This seemed ususal to me also. I will start with the cooler, is there also a screen or filter of some sort that I have to clean?

vision
09-12-2011, 07:22 PM
Thanks for the pic. I will drain the fluid ASAP, I was worried about that, the water sitting in it over a time and then potentially rusting the parts. The Mastercraft dealer can't get me in for two weeks so I better do this quickly. I also noticed that there is a suction sound when I remove the dipstick. This seemed ususal to me also. I will start with the cooler, is there also a screen or filter of some sort that I have to clean?

Yes, at the bottom of the transmission cooler/heat exchanger, if you remove the water hose and reach in there is a screen to trap debris. Good to check every few outings.

93Prostar190
09-12-2011, 09:16 PM
Be sure to check the fluid per the manual ... usually when hot and as the engine has just been run .... in some cases the fluid may read a bit higher when cold on the dip stick .....

Floydage
09-12-2011, 09:36 PM
Thanks, I am going to drain it out tonight, I am worried about the water sitting in the transmission. Does anyone know why there is a suction or pressure when I take off the cap/dipsick? Is this indicative of the cooler or a seal?

Floydage
09-13-2011, 12:13 AM
Thanks again for all of the help. So I took off the transmission cooler and it looks to me like it is fine. Not sure what a bad one looks like, there is a little rust on the end but it looks solid. I am assuming that a bad one would be rotten inside, but that appears to not be the case. So if the cooler is fine, then how could water have gotten into the system? There is water at times in the bilge, but never enough to turn on the pump. Also if the cooler was bad and it got water in the system is it possible for so much water to be in the tranny that it blows the seal? Thanks!

76S&S
09-13-2011, 09:28 AM
There have also been several 02's to have the seal on the transmission fail. Roughly $1,000 for your dealer to pull the trans and change the seal.

Jeff d
09-13-2011, 02:14 PM
Unless its a catastrophic failure you usually won't be able to tell it's bad by looking at it. A radiator shop can pressure test the cooler for you. They will likely charge less than $20 for this. I brought mine to a local place and they did it for free.

The fact that you have water in the transmission suggests 2 possible scenarios:
1) you have a bad seal AND you rode around with a lot of water in the bilge. The water can't just get in there because the seal is bad. You'd have to have enough water in the hull up to the level of the seal at least under acceleration when the water runs to the back.
2) bad cooler. Water pushes into the transmission from the cooler leak, displacing the oil until it flows out of the vent.

Floydage
09-18-2011, 12:07 PM
Well I finally took it in to the shop and was quoted 2,000 bucks to replace the seals. First big repair on the boat, but seemed expensive. They said they have to pull the engine and remove the back seat, 12 hours labor. Also they told me the transmission sits real low in the body of the boat and gets wet, that's what makes the seal fail. Does all this sound right?

Thrall
09-18-2011, 12:55 PM
$2000 sounds steep.
I'd think you could get the v drive out w/o pulling the engine, but not real sure of the access in a 205V.
Seals are cheap and easy to replace. $95% of the cost is getting to them.