Transmission Change

Discussion in 'Catalina 310' started by gsaoulli, Aug 5, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. gsaoulli


    Joined Jan 6, 2013
    7 posts, 0 likes
    Catalina 310
    CA Toronto
    Good Morning To All,

    I have a Catalina 310 sail boat with a M25XPB Universal marine engine. My Transmission is a Hurth Model ZF5M and is in the process of failing. Any recommendations to rebuild or replace this transmission with a better transmission.

    Many thanks

  2. FastOlson


    Joined Apr 8, 2010
    1,083 posts, 152 likes
    Ericson Yachts Olson 34
    US Portland OR
    Just wandering around the sailing web for several years, it looks like many owners seem to be happy with the 'Technodrive TMC 40' transmission as a replacement. This was standard equipment on our new Betamarine 25, installed this spring. (for whatever that's worth)

    Your curent transmission model must be a successor to the Hurth 50 that was attached to the 1988 M25XP that we took out. The Hurth 50 has a poor reputation, especially after a rebuild, altho some owners have had some success.
    Keep us posted as you research toward a solution.

  3. JK_Boston_Catalina310


    Joined Nov 18, 2010
    2,042 posts, 144 likes
    Catalina 310
    US Hingham, MA
  4. Benny17441


    Joined May 24, 2004
    5,749 posts, 417 likes
    CC 30
    US South Florida
    Transmissions are usually items that have a long useful life, how long do you intend to keep that boat? Any older transmission whether having a good reputation or not would need to be rebuild before installation, might as well rebuild what you got.

  5. KZW


    Joined May 17, 2014
    607 posts, 52 likes
    Catalina 310 #307
    US Bluewater Bay, FL
    For all those non-310 owners: The Hurth Model ZF5M transmission as connected to the M25XPB Universal diesel has a dismal reputation in the C-310 community. Based on the write-ups in this forum, it appears one can expect failure any time after the 500 hour point.

  6. uralite


    Joined Apr 26, 2018
    130 posts, 42 likes
    Catalina Catalina 30
    US Bayview
    I had a Hurth HBW50, it failed and I replaced it with a PRM 60. Direct bolt in. I called Mike from Harbor Marine and he took me through the process and knows more about transmissions on the west coast then anyone else. 4-5 independent people from CA to WA all referred me to him. CAN'T SAY ENOUGH ABOUT HIS KNOWLEDGE OF CATALINA AND UNIVERSALS. I get nothing from the advertising of his services. I would call him and get the best recommendations for that boat and engine combo, he has them in stock and also that is where local people will order from is what Im told from the Hurth dealers in CA. Mine died at 600 hours. He told me it was a poor design, would cost more to rebuild, and there is a better design on the market. Rebuild cost, $1500-1600 with less then 500 hours expected versus $960 for knew bolt in PRM. I wish my little put put had a transmission cooler, if you can get one, might be worth upgrade. I did motor mounts, damper plate (or tried) and also transmission. If my engine was actually a Universal standard rig, it would have been much easier, but you can read about the process if you search for Hurth transmission in Catalina 30 forum. Also PYI has a superior damper plate for Universal then the stock one. I also got my mounts from them, seem good.

    FastOlson likes this.
  7. paulj


    Joined Mar 16, 2007
    1,275 posts, 42 likes
    Catalina 310
    US Anacortes,Wa

    What transmission did you get to replace your Hurth?


  8. iSailor


    Joined Oct 17, 2011
    216 posts, 11 likes
    Catalina 310
    US Chesapeake (Middle River, MD)
    Curious, what symptoms did you have to make you think it was failing? Mine takes a while to engage in forward. It engages immediately in reverse though. I have been trying to determine if it was a cable adjustment issue or actual mechanical issue in the transmission.

  9. paulj


    Joined Mar 16, 2007
    1,275 posts, 42 likes
    Catalina 310
    US Anacortes,Wa

    For the last 12 years.....
    After backing out of the slip, I have put the trans in forward and idled about 1000 rpm until I am away from the marina slow area.
    Then increase rpms and on my way.
    Last week I had the boat surveyed and the surveyor started the engine while I cast off the lines. He put the trans in forward and we moved out of the slip, as soon as we cleared the slip he sped up to about 1800 rpm and the engine rpm increased but the boat speed did not increase. It seemed to me that the trans disengaged.
    After some excitement moving the shift handle in and out, he brought the rpm back to about 900 or a 1000 rpm and the boat started moving forward again.
    During the rest of the sea trials this did not occur again.

    A few days later some one else wanted to take the boat out and the same thing happened again.
    Seems to me that the trans has to warm up a bit before you increase the rpms.
    Seems some captains can not wait to get out the gate.

    Trans Hurth HBW 50.

    paulj :hook2:

    JRT likes this.
  10. JRT


    Joined Feb 14, 2017
    1,172 posts, 390 likes
    Catalina 310
    211 US Lake Guntersville, AL
    @paulj I have the exact same process and I believe the previous owner did the same thing. Never in a rush and just happy to be out!

  11. PlaneTom


    Joined Oct 4, 2014
    6 posts, 4 likes
    Catalina 310
    73 US Monterey
    I think this is a common symptom with this trans as the clutches wear. Ours seemed to be getting a bit worse, and adjusting the linkage helped a bit. On a recommendation from a friend at the local boatyard, I changed the oil in the trans and it got MUCH better. Not perfect, but a big improvement. The oil that came out was extremely dark, which is not the color for the recommended ATF, it was very dirty. It has been about 8 or 9 months of light use since, so I will change it again soon.
    I didn't use the drain plug, just a large syringe with a small tube on it through the fill hole, the whole process was maybe 10 minutes.
    I realize this doesn't cure the transmission, but it did make it engage reliably and quicker. Bought some time to research and plan other options.

  12. justsomeguy


    Joined Feb 20, 2011
    6,899 posts, 1,182 likes
    Island Packet 35
    US Tucson, AZ/San Carlos, MX
    If you have failing forward gear clutch discs in a Kanzaki-Hurth, new friction discs are about $110.00 apiece. :cuss:
    You'll need 4 of 'em.
    Not a terrible job, just a PITA.

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