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Dead transmission?


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Posting this for my sister. She has an early 2000’s (‘02?) VLX. It was running fine for about a month.

Now she has a problem: It stalls every time you put it in gear.

We can’t manually move the prop when in neutral. Is this normal for a v-drive?

It seems like they either have a transmission problem or some sort of mechanical binding.

any suggestions?

Edited by braindamage
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with engine off and boat in neutral, on my v-drive i can definitely rotate prop with my hands (not with one finger, but two hands and i can turn it like a stiff steering wheel). 

  • Like 4
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7 minutes ago, csleaver said:

It could be the v-drive is locked up.  See if there is oil in the v-drive, remove the 4 propshaft coupler bolts to see if the prop can be turned by hand.

I checked v drive fluid. It looks clear and red, so no bad signs there.

I was just looking up how to remove the coupling. It looks doable, but a PITA.

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39 minutes ago, csleaver said:

It could be the v-drive is locked up.  See if there is oil in the v-drive, remove the 4 propshaft coupler bolts to see if the prop can be turned by hand.

If I remove the 4 bolts but leave the coupling on the shaft, am I able to turn the propshaft without engaging the v drive?

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Early 2000s Malibu should have a Walters v-drive which has a metal dipstick and 30w engine oil for lube.  If it is a newer SkiVee, then there will be ATF in the v-drive.  Not sure exactly what year it was changed (maybe 2004?).

If the coupler bolts are removed, then the shaft can be turned independently from the vdrive, but the bolts can be difficult to access.

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3 hours ago, csleaver said:

It could be the v-drive is locked up.  See if there is oil in the v-drive, remove the 4 propshaft coupler bolts to see if the prop can be turned by hand.

I checked v drive fluid. It looks clear and red, so no bad signs there.

I was just looking up how to remove the coupling. It looks doable, but a PITA.

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I confirmed that it’s a 2004. The transmission says Walter on the top, but it has a plastic dipstick. The fluid is definitely NOT engine oil. It’s bright red like auto tranny fluid.

I’ll check the manual to see what’s recommended.

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If it is the ZF skivee transmission and vdrive, then the transmission will have a brown plastic dipstick, the vdrive will also have a brown plastic dispstick, and both of them will use ATF fluid.  As long as they both have fluid, then it would be less likely the vdrive would lock up, but it is still a possibility.

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Ok. Kind of embarrassed. The walters v-drive (with the metal dipstick) is totally dry. Should I put in fluid to see what happens or just figure out how to replace or rebuild it?

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I would try adding fluid before spending any money. Some luck out with no issues and others need replacing. 

Edit: Missed your original post where you said the prop won't turn and engine is stalling. You might be out of luck in that case.

Edited by Cole2001
  • Like 1
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7 minutes ago, Cole2001 said:

I would try adding fluid before spending any money. Some luck out with no issues and others need replacing. 

Edit: Missed your original post where you said the prop won't turn and engine is stalling. You might be out of luck in that case.

Yeah…that’s what I thought. We will put in some oil and see what happens. 

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The lower seals on those V drives goes bad and they'll start dripping 30W oil into the bilge.  My dad's is leaking too.

Only other thing to consider is if they hit anything, but that would look obvious.  A bent strut and propshaft will bind up and not turn easily.

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On 5/30/2023 at 9:52 AM, braindamage said:

If I remove the 4 bolts but leave the coupling on the shaft, am I able to turn the propshaft without engaging the v drive?

Yes.  Although I would probably jam a screwdriver between the coupler and the v drive flange to separate them 1/4" so you are sure they are not rotted together.

 

Edited by oldjeep
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It took 1 qt, even though the manual says the max capacity is 0.5qt. This baby was bone dry!

I was checking the bilge and didn’t see any substantial leaks. We plan to check it again to see if it’s leaking.

Edited by braindamage
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9 minutes ago, braindamage said:

It took 1 qt, even though the manual says the max capacity is 0.5qt. This baby was bone dry!

I was checking the bilge and didn’t see any substantial leaks. We plan to check it again to see if it’s leaking.

Not sure that adding oil to the Vdrive is going to fix anything.  There are not any clutches in there, just gears and bearings.  If it was locked up, its still locked up (just with oil in it)

 

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I would keep trying to turn it manually back and forth over and over with the tranny fluid back in there using the prop with both hands to see if it somehow breaks free from whatever.  if it is bone dry, it's also possible moisture got in there and could have created some rusting on the gears to bind them up eventually?  If using your hands doesn't work, if it were me, I would slap a pipe wrench on the shaft to see if I can break it free before I went out and bought a new one.

 

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We tried breaking it loose, but no joy. We have a new one on order arriving next week.

it doesn’t look like a complicated job, but the small space will be a PITA.

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2 hours ago, braindamage said:

We tried breaking it loose, but no joy. We have a new one on order arriving next week.

it doesn’t look like a complicated job, but the small space will be a PITA.

When you get the old one out you can see how many $$ worth of bearings it would take to fix it if the gears are ok.

  • Like 1
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We got a replacement v-drive. The drive shaft flange is held by 4 bolts. One of them is directly below the c-drive housing and therefore is inaccessible to a normal wrench.

The drive is seized, so we can’t move the shaft to access the bolt. Ideas? Is there a way to move the shaft from the front od the v-drive?

uggh….

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15 minutes ago, oldjeep said:

Can you unbolt whatever is keeping the drive down and tip the engine back enough to get at bolt?

The v-drive is free from the engine. It’s the drive shaft we can’t disconnect.

We tried lifting the drive shaft to create some space, but the flange holds it tight to the housing.

Edited by braindamage
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