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Catalina 310 transmission problems

KenA

.
Jun 28, 2020
6
Catalina 310 Annapolis
Our 2001 Catalina 310 transmission -- HURTH HBW 50 -- was rebuilt three years ago and a year later blew up and had to replaced. Since HURTH is out of business, we had installed a TWIN DISC TMC 40. The transmission makes a fair amount of noise and the fluid goes brown in a few hours. We replace the fluid every 10 hours. We have had the cable adjusted and had the engine mounts adjusted, but all to no avail.
Does anyone have suggestions on the next round of repairs?
And if we have to again replace the transmission (yuck), is there a better transmission out there for the Catalina 310 since Hurth is out of business?
Thanks, Ken A
 

Attachments

Dec 25, 2008
1,569
catalina 310 Elk River
Your damper plat may be seized up, although they usually strip out first.
Also do not idle your engine it generates lots of torsional vibration which is hard on the tranny.
 

Tom J

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Sep 30, 2008
1,630
Catalina 310 Quincy, MA
When did Hurth go out of business? Not surprising that they did. A few years ago, a friend was on his third new Hurth tranny, with no feedback from Hurth about what was wrong with the first two trannies.
 

paulj

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Mar 16, 2007
1,358
Catalina 310 Anacortes,Wa
"Our 2001 Catalina 310 transmission -- HURTH HBW 50 -- was rebuilt three years ago and a year later blew up and had to replaced"

I am interested on a discription of how it blew up.
paulj:hook2:
 

JRT

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Feb 14, 2017
1,809
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
What does a blow up transmission start to do as an indicator? I think we are pretty easy users with lake sailing for a few hours and really only run the motor about 15-20 min then sail or motor for about 45 min to a cove for lunch. I'm constantly impressed with the motor and transmission on my 310.
 

KenA

.
Jun 28, 2020
6
Catalina 310 Annapolis
We are on the Chesapeake and that means some days with a lot of mototing when winds die. We also took the sailboat from Maryland down and back on the ICW to North Carolina. That's a lot of motoring. The term "blew up" is probably misleading. A year after having it rebuilt because it was taking 20 seconds to get it to finally shift into gear, it simply would not go into forward. Gears shot -- and the recommendation was made not to try to rebuild it again.
 
Oct 17, 2011
230
Catalina 310 Chesapeake (Middle River, MD)
We are on the Chesapeake and that means some days with a lot of mototing when winds die. We also took the sailboat from Maryland down and back on the ICW to North Carolina. That's a lot of motoring. The term "blew up" is probably misleading. A year after having it rebuilt because it was taking 20 seconds to get it to finally shift into gear, it simply would not go into forward. Gears shot -- and the recommendation was made not to try to rebuild it again.
I am in the same boat (literally, lol). I have been dealing with it taking 20-30 seconds to shift into forward (reverse is instant). I replaced the transmission fluid twice last season and greatly improved the situation. When cold, it takes maybe 5 seconds to shift, once warm, fairly instant. I do fear that a transmission rebuild or replacement is sometime in the future though....
 
Oct 17, 2011
230
Catalina 310 Chesapeake (Middle River, MD)
We are on the Chesapeake and that means some days with a lot of mototing when winds die. We also took the sailboat from Maryland down and back on the ICW to North Carolina. That's a lot of motoring. The term "blew up" is probably misleading. A year after having it rebuilt because it was taking 20 seconds to get it to finally shift into gear, it simply would not go into forward. Gears shot -- and the recommendation was made not to try to rebuild it again.
Were you still able to shift into REVERSE after it failed?
 

Tom J

.
Sep 30, 2008
1,630
Catalina 310 Quincy, MA
I am in the same boat (literally, lol). I have been dealing with it taking 20-30 seconds to shift into forward (reverse is instant). I replaced the transmission fluid twice last season and greatly improved the situation. When cold, it takes maybe 5 seconds to shift, once warm, fairly instant. I do fear that a transmission rebuild or replacement is sometime in the future though....
This is the exact problem my friend had with his new Hurth trannies, and this issue has been discussed at length before on this forum. He had a new Universal engine installed on his boat a few years ago, with a new Hurth tranny. A year later, he had the delayed shift into forward issue, and almost drifted ashore when he attempted to leave his mooring. Shifting into reverse was no problem. Hurth replaced that tranny, and the new, new tranny immediately had the delayed shift into forward issue, with no problem into reverse. I went aboard his boat, and we disconnected the shifter cables and shifted by hand, but the problem persisted. Hurth replaced the tranny again, and as far as I know, the new, new, new tranny has been working ok. I did notice that the tranny fluid in the tranny I looked at was clear, so it did not have the ATF fluid I use in my Hurth. I asked the owner to contact Hurth and find out what fluid it was, and what was wrong with the other trannies, but Hurth did not respond.
 

BillyK

.
Jan 24, 2010
483
Catalina 310 Ocean City, NJ
One thing i've learned is that all rebuilds are not alike. A lot of them just replace the clutch plates and call it a day. A good rebuild includes a lot more parts such as thrust plates and other wear items. I had my HBW rebuilt by a cheap guy and it literally lasted a year. Then i took it to eastcoasttransmissions in north jersey and it has lasted 100's of hours reliably so far.

this delayed shift into forward sounds like a tolerance issue within the trans where the plates are not making solid enough contact and have to build up heat before they actually grab. not a good state to be in where you need to create wear to get engaged.

maintenance matters as well. These HBW's have so little fluid in them that it really pays to change it out every couple of months.. i change it spring, mid summer and then fall.. if we take a long trip, i'll change it after the trip is over. heat kills these things... if you can put on a water block to cool them, you'll get a lot more life out of them too... the Catalina 310's with the universal are pretty convenient for the water block attachment.. its right in line with the raw water line heading to the pump.. simple job to put one on.
 
  • Like
Likes: BC Bernie
Aug 29, 2016
76
Catalina 2004 310 (Hull #250) BC
One thing i've learned is that all rebuilds are not alike. A lot of them just replace the clutch plates and call it a day. A good rebuild includes a lot more parts such as thrust plates and other wear items. I had my HBW rebuilt by a cheap guy and it literally lasted a year. Then i took it to eastcoasttransmissions in north jersey and it has lasted 100's of hours reliably so far.

this delayed shift into forward sounds like a tolerance issue within the trans where the plates are not making solid enough contact and have to build up heat before they actually grab. not a good state to be in where you need to create wear to get engaged.

maintenance matters as well. These HBW's have so little fluid in them that it really pays to change it out every couple of months.. i change it spring, mid summer and then fall.. if we take a long trip, i'll change it after the trip is over. heat kills these things... if you can put on a water block to cool them, you'll get a lot more life out of them too... the Catalina 310's with the universal are pretty convenient for the water block attachment.. its right in line with the raw water line heading to the pump.. simple job to put one on.
Great info. Any chance you could post pics of your water block set up?
 
Oct 17, 2011
230
Catalina 310 Chesapeake (Middle River, MD)
good to hear. If my transmission fails on me while in the bay, my back-up (pun intended) plan is to reverse back to port if there was no wind....or maybe call Towboat US.
 

paulj

.
Mar 16, 2007
1,358
Catalina 310 Anacortes,Wa
Our 2001 Catalina 310 transmission -- HURTH HBW 50 -- was rebuilt three years ago and a year later blew up and had to replaced. Since HURTH is out of business, we had installed a TWIN DISC TMC 40. The transmission makes a fair amount of noise and the fluid goes brown in a few hours. We replace the fluid every 10 hours. We have had the cable adjusted and had the engine mounts adjusted, but all to no avail.
Does anyone have suggestions on the next round of repairs?
And if we have to again replace the transmission (yuck), is there a better transmission out there for the Catalina 310 since Hurth is out of business?
Thanks, Ken A

Did the twin disc tmc 40 transmission sound like this?????


paulj:hook2:
 
Oct 1, 2008
8
catalina 310 # 22 sausalito
Our 2001 Catalina 310 transmission -- HURTH HBW 50 -- was rebuilt three years ago and a year later blew up and had to replaced. Since HURTH is out of business, we had installed a TWIN DISC TMC 40. The transmission makes a fair amount of noise and the fluid goes brown in a few hours. We replace the fluid every 10 hours. We have had the cable adjusted and had the engine mounts adjusted, but all to no avail.
Does anyone have suggestions on the next round of repairs?
And if we have to again replace the transmission (yuck), is there a better transmission out there for the Catalina 310 since Hurth is out of business?
Thanks, Ken A
Ken I replaced with Twin Disc in April of 17, Haver over 150 hours on new. I did have it done by a Breta Msarine Dealer which charged about $2500 for complete job. Not cheap but worth it. Noise level diminished after about 20+ hours but still to this day is louder then prior. You might look for a Beta marine dealer and have them check out the job as it was done. FYI a number of Years ago mt boat yard raised my engine mounts by about 1&1/2 inch which allowed the mounts to be tightened down reducing vibration a lot. Also Call Twin Disc @ 262-638-4000 and get their advise.
I am happy with Twin Disc and wonder if installation is the problem. Look for 2nd opinion.
Good Luck, Jim Lewitt