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Transmission Whine


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As the season comes to an end I have noticed that the transmission whines when not in gear. When put in to gear the whine instantly disappears.

The transmission fluid level is right on and the fluid is change annually.

We have 208 hours on this wakesetter direct drive

Should I be concerned?

Edited by mschofield
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I agree that if it is neutral it is less likely to be the transmission (still could be as the engine side still spins). What does it do when you rev up the engine with the tranny 'out of gear' (knob pulled)?

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Some great questions:

- The whine is high pitch.

- We'll be out on the water tomorrow, I'll see what happens to the whine when revving the engine

- We think the transmission because that seems to be where the sound is coming from. I'l try to isolate it better tomorrow

Regarding the muffler bearing...we are obsessed with it so we grease it every third outing...so it can't that!

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Bring a 2-3' piece of hose or tube with you out on the water. Something about the size of a garden hose. Put one end right in your ear and hunt around with the open end to isolate the noise's origin.

Aren't the lake icing up by now over there?

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Okay... a bit more info. It is definitely the transmission. When in neutral, with or with out the silver knob pulled out the transmission whines and the prop spins...enough to push the boat forward. I tried going from forward to reverse, it didn't matter, when in neutral the prop tuned clockwise and the transmission whined.

The linkage seemed intact and the selector on the transmission case seemed be i the right spot.


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when in neutral the prop tuned clockwise and the transmission whined.

Seems like the trans is still engaged slightly when it shouldn't be. You said the linkage and cable connections looked like their in the right place at the trans. end. How about behind the throttle knob. I'd stick my head behind there and see if anything obvious is out of whack. Then I'd go to the town spa and get a pizza.

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Does the DD have the Borg Warner Velvet Drive transmission? If so, they do turn some while in neutral. I had a whine on mine just before it went out. Usually the whine would be coming from the pump in the tranny.

If it is not the velvet drive, this may not apply.

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Semi-hijack...We are having the same problem with the whine that sounds like it is coming from the transmission. We only have 85 hours on the '05 WSLSV. It does not spin the prop or propel us forward when in neutral, but in neutral and slightly in gear the noise (whine) is bad. Once we accelerated more the whine goes away.


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I have a 96 Response LX that has 750 hours and the ZF Hurth transmission also makes a whining sound while it is in Neutral. It has done this all the time I have owned it (2 seasons) and I have put on at least 150 hours and it has not gotten any worse.

I have talked to a couple of marine transmission repair technicians and they say that it is probably due to torsional vibration or harmonics in the drive system.

They suggest next time I have the engine out to replace the damper between the engine and transmission.


I dont plan on doing that anytime soon with any luck...

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