Catalina 34

General Activities => Main Message Board => Topic started by: Colonel Butler on November 01, 2019, 10:51:34 AM

Title: C34 MkII Low Speed Transmission Chatter & Damper Plate
Post by: Colonel Butler on November 01, 2019, 10:51:34 AM
It is the end of the boating season here in Niagara so after haul out last week, I decided to remove the transmission and investigate the condition of the damper plate. I'm assuming it is the original, a R&D 22B4. Seems to be in perfect condition. Splines on both the damper and transmission show no excessive wear. Very little backlash in the gearbox. After looking at this forum, the C350 and the C36 forum, I get the sense that a change in damper flexibility may eliminate or reduce the rattling noise which is a product of a lightweight flywheel on this engine combined with low RPM.

PYI (the North American agent for R&D) sell more flexible dampers. The original 22B4 has a deflection of 3 degrees. They sell a high deflection model 22AM4 that has 30 degrees deflection. I would like to hear from other owners that have tried to get rid of the low speed rattle by changing the damper and what type of damper has worked or not worked. I am also considering installing the R&D flex coupling insert.

I won't be reassembling until the spring so I have lots of time to research and make my decision.

Thank you
Title: Re: C34 MkII Low Speed Transmission Chatter & Damper Plate
Post by: Stu Jackson on November 01, 2019, 06:46:57 PM
Nice report, thanks.

IIRC, the C36 skippers seemed to have more transmission and damper plate issues than "we" C34-ers ever have reported.

I'll go poke around the C36 Forum.  You could, too.

Also superb of you to post about something BEFORE you did and wondered...doh!

Thanks again for bringing up this issue.  I still have no idea why the C36 folks had to suffer:  same engines, essentially same boat.  But they have recorded and shared their experiences.

Now we just gotta find it.  :D
Title: Re: C34 MkII Low Speed Transmission Chatter & Damper Plate
Post by: Jim Hardesty on November 03, 2019, 06:19:49 AM
Colonel,
A suggestion.  To your signature add your boat details and your sailing area.  It helps getting the best answer to your questions.  Take a look at what others have done.
How low is your idle speed?  What RPM do you get the chatter?  I don't notice any chatter on Shamrock but is rough at RPMs below the recommended idle.
Jim
Title: Re: C34 MkII Low Speed Transmission Chatter & Damper Plate
Post by: Stu Jackson on November 03, 2019, 08:19:02 AM
OK, here's the first one I found on the C36 site from a search on "damper plate".  Many more show up, for different engines.

https://www.catalina36.org/forum/technical-discussion/damper-plate

Now that you can get to the C36 forum so easily, please feel free to search away there.

Please also let us know if/when you find something pertinent to your question.

Good luck.

edited to include link
Title: Re: C34 MkII Low Speed Transmission Chatter & Damper Plate
Post by: Colonel Butler on November 04, 2019, 05:58:18 AM
In answer to the question about what RPM I hear the rattling, it occurs when in gear between idle (900 RPM) and seems to go away at around 1100 RPM. Very annoying when low speed maneuvering. Also, just can't be that good for the gearbox. I spoke with another Catalina owner (C310) at our club who had "the noise" and his transmission failed. He had it rebuilt and installed the Sach's spring type damper plate and all is well now. His was the M25 Universal engine.

Title: Re: C34 MkII Low Speed Transmission Chatter & Damper Plate
Post by: Roc on November 04, 2019, 08:41:37 AM
Not sure if the boat is new to you, but there is a normal chattering of the damper plate at idle and goes away at the RPMs you state.  What you may hearing is normal.
Title: Re: C34 MkII Low Speed Transmission Chatter & Damper Plate
Post by: Jim Hardesty on November 05, 2019, 06:29:46 AM
Quote
Not sure if the boat is new to you, but there is a normal chattering of the damper plate at idle and goes away at the RPMs you state.  What you may hearing is normal.

Thanks Roc,
I've been following this discussion thinking that Shamrock may have a problem.  You put my mind at ease.  Others have described the noise as quite bad, not Shamrock, I don't believe.  Not many newer Catalinas around here to compare with.  I thought it was rough diesel idle.  Don't think it's change in over 1000 engine hours.  But my hearing has, worries me that I may miss a developing problem.
Jim
Title: Re: C34 MkII Low Speed Transmission Chatter & Damper Plate
Post by: Roc on November 05, 2019, 10:58:44 AM
The chatter I hear (it is quite loud and sounds horrible, like someone flailing maracas), has been like that since the boat was new when idling in gear.  It has not changed.  It disappears at around 1000-1100 rpm.  If I'm moving at idle, I usually toggle between forward and neutral anyway.  Or if I need to keep moving at idle, I just inch up the throttle at just the point of becoming quiet.  I don't like to keep the boat in gear at idle just because I don't like the sound and I'm thinking having it chatter extensively, can't be doing any good.  But it is normal.  I understand there are newer damper plates of a different design that don't chatter, or at least much less intense, than the one's in our boats.  I'm guessing the damper plate is an old design, and newer Catalinas probably use the most current design without the chatter.  Also, if the diesel is Yanmar, or other brand than the "Universal" in ours, that trans design must be different and may not chatter.
Title: Re: C34 MkII Low Speed Transmission Chatter & Damper Plate
Post by: Jim Hardesty on November 05, 2019, 11:52:33 AM
Quote
If I'm moving at idle, I usually toggle between forward and neutral anyway.  Or if I need to keep moving at idle, I just inch up the throttle at just the point of becoming quiet.  I don't like to keep the boat in gear at idle just because I don't like the sound and I'm thinking having it chatter extensively, can't be doing any good.  But it is normal.

I do the same.  Now that I've read about it will probably notice it a lot more.
Jim
Title: Re: C34 MkII Low Speed Transmission Chatter & Damper Plate
Post by: Breakin Away on November 05, 2019, 08:30:48 PM
Yes, all this sounds very familiar. :( Now I have something to worry about. Hopefully the winter will be long  enough that I'll forget about it by next spring.  :wink:
Title: Re: C34 MkII Low Speed Transmission Chatter & Damper Plate
Post by: Geoffreykwright on November 06, 2019, 11:49:07 AM
Sundowner III (Cat 34 Mk II, Hull 1494, year 2000) chatters A LOT when in idle forward...speed it up a bit and goes away.  Neutral is fine.  Not 100% sure at what RPM the chatter goes away since I think my tach is off.  She's put away for the winter now, but I plan to check the accuracy with a laser tachometer in the spring.

Does this sound like what others are describing?
Title: Re: C34 MkII Low Speed Transmission Chatter & Damper Plate
Post by: Jon W on November 06, 2019, 03:06:37 PM
I may have missed this but how did you identify the noise was from the damper plate? Did you go below while in fwd with the engine covers off and engine exposed?
Title: Re: C34 MkII Low Speed Transmission Chatter & Damper Plate
Post by: Colonel Butler on November 13, 2019, 07:50:35 AM
My conclusion that the chatter was induced by the damper plate was based on some research of the C36 forum and the experience of a C310 owner at our club who had similar noises on his M25 engine. He cured his low speed clatter by changing to a damper plate that had less stiffness.

To me it sounded like a the pulsations from the diesel at slow speed were not dampened sufficiently by the flywheel or the damper plate and the rattle sound was from low load backlash in the gearbox. (I'm a mechanical engineer and spent my 37 year career in power plant maintenance). I just don't think that exposing the gearbox and splines to that sort of service would be good in the long haul. I just purchased the boat with only 370 hours on the engine so would like to address it now.

The damper plate was in perfect condition. In talking to the rep at R&D, I discovered it was the stiffest version and they have two others with more flexibility. I'm going to order the most flexible version on their recommendation and install it next spring before launch. Will update the forum on the results.
Title: Re: C34 MkII Low Speed Transmission Chatter & Damper Plate
Post by: Breakin Away on November 13, 2019, 10:22:10 AM
Your hypothesis sounds very plausible. Thanks for posting.

Going by memory, my motor idles at about 800 RPM and chatters when in gear. The chatter disappears at 900 or 1000 RPM, and I'll quickly put it at that speed after shifting into gear. I am tempted to readjust the idle speed to 900-1000 to work around the problem, but of course shifting at a higher speed could create other problems. If I also have a stiff damper plate, would that better facilitate shifting at the slightly higher speed without causing any damage to motor or transmission?
Title: Re: C34 MkII Low Speed Transmission Chatter & Damper Plate
Post by: Jon W on November 16, 2019, 01:29:37 PM
Guess I'm lucky. I had various chatter/clatter/vibration noises at 850-1000 RPM in forward on my MK1 M25xp. It would go away then return around 1800, then quiet and smooth at 1900 RPM and above. Turned out to be the grates on the stove, companionway stairs, poorly stowed companionway drop boards, galley plywood floorboard, aft cabin and head doors. Some grate clips, felt pads, and dedicated storage for drop boards made a dramatic improvement. Still have some vibration noises. I don't think it's related to the damper plate, but will be paying more attention. Thanks for posting.
Title: Re: C34 MkII Low Speed Transmission Chatter & Damper Plate
Post by: Colonel Butler on June 23, 2020, 10:44:50 AM
Last fall I started this thread looking for some input on solutions for a low speed clatter I was hearing in the drivetrain of my 2006 MkII. The boat was new to me and I was just not liking the sound I was hearing when idling in gear. All of the investigation I was able to  undertake on this and the C36 forum pointed to the damper plate being the problem. The original spec was too stiff, not absorbing the power pulses at low speed, causing backlash in the gear box.

Last fall I split the coupling and removed the gearbox, heat exchanger and bell housing to get at the damper plate. It was a R&D Marine polymer style plate rated at 3 degrees deflection. I talked to the folks at PYI who are the US distributor and they recommended that I change it to the high deflection model, 22AM4, which has 30 degrees deflection. They also recommended a flex coupling 910-014 for the coupling.

In the course of dismantling, I managed to uncover a couple of other issues. The heat exchanger mounting brackets had broken and it was held in place by the hoses. Also, a couple of hoses had almost chaffed through so I managed to address these issues also.

The cutlass bearing had worn and required replacement. This required the acquisition of a Strut-Pro to change it without removing the rudder.

This spring I had to wait for the Sailing Club to get out of COVID lockdown to get to the boat to start reassembly but finally, was able to get it put back together and get it launched in late May. I did an in the water shaft coupling alignment.

I am happy to report that the chatter is no longer present and the drivetrain is very smooth. Here are a few photos of the finished installation and the Strut-Pro in action.[/img]
Title: Re: C34 MkII Low Speed Transmission Chatter & Damper Plate
Post by: Ron Hill on June 23, 2020, 02:42:28 PM
Colonel : You're looking good!!!  :thumb:
Title: Re: C34 MkII Low Speed Transmission Chatter & Damper Plate
Post by: andre on June 24, 2020, 01:50:25 PM
Hi sir, I have changed my damper plate and rebuilt my transmission before to go for a long trip in the south So my question is when you install the flex coupling do you need to modify the length of your shaft and what is the thick of your flex coupling. I have a 1 inch diameter shaft I think is like you. Thank you
Title: Re: C34 MkII Low Speed Transmission Chatter & Damper Plate
Post by: Colonel Butler on June 25, 2020, 04:23:26 PM
The flex coupling takes up some of the limited room between the stock stuffing box and coupling making assembly a bit difficult. I had enough steam tube protruding into the boat that I was able to cut off approx 3/4" and shorten the stuffing box hose by the same amount and still get two clamps on the hose over the stern tube. the prop is now sitting about 1 1/2" further from the strut but I don't think that is any problem.
Title: Re: C34 MkII Low Speed Transmission Chatter & Damper Plate
Post by: andre on June 27, 2020, 04:07:25 AM
Thank you
Title: Re: C34 MkII Low Speed Transmission Chatter & Damper Plate
Post by: Breakin Away on June 27, 2020, 06:25:59 AM
You should be OK with your prop sticking 1.5" further out from the strut, but mainesail has noted on his websites that Catalinas, in particular, can be prone to dynamic whip of their shafts, and advises that the shaft be sized to place the prop as closely as possible to the strut. As I recall, there are many factors that contribute to this: prop type, weight, and setback of blades on the hub (he ditched his brand new, heavy, folding prop for this reason), shaft material (bronze worse than SS because it's softer), distance from prop to rudder (hydrodynamic interactions between the prop and rudder can make this worse), and number of blades on the prop (2-blade worse than 3-blade because both blades interact with the rudder at the same time).

This is all from memory, because I am unable to find his post on the topic on either of his websites. Perhaps he can post a link and/or additional comments.

I posted this not to criticize, but merely to advise you that if you discover vibrations in your system, to consider your shaft extending the extra distance beyond the strut as a possible root cause.
Title: Re: C34 MkII Low Speed Transmission Chatter & Damper Plate
Post by: Ron Hill on June 27, 2020, 11:24:51 AM
Guys : The normal distance between the prop and the strut is "one shaft diameter".  For a C34 that would be one inch.   :thumb:

A thought
Title: Re: C34 MkII Low Speed Transmission Chatter & Damper Plate
Post by: Colonel Butler on June 28, 2020, 04:38:42 AM
OK, thanks. Will keep that advice in mind if I detect vibration. Right now it seems smooth throughout the RPM range. I am using a Varifold 3 blade propellor.
Title: Re: C34 MkII Low Speed Transmission Chatter & Damper Plate
Post by: Breakin Away on June 28, 2020, 07:11:12 AM
OK, thanks. Will keep that advice in mind if I detect vibration. Right now it seems smooth throughout the RPM range. I am using a Varifold 3 blade propellor.
I think that 3 blade is much less likely to suffer this sort of problem, which is why I went with a 3 blade Flexofold instead of 2 blade.

Although I could not find any reference on mainesail's websites, I did find this forum post. I recall reading additional details about bronze vs. SS shafts (and other contributing factors) somewhere else, but can't find them now:

https://forums.sailboatowners.com/threads/folding-prop-is-gone.141820/
Title: Re: C34 MkII Low Speed Transmission Chatter & Damper Plate
Post by: Jon W on August 28, 2021, 09:29:22 AM
Colonel, lately I started hearing (or noticed) the chatter at low rpm's when in forward gear and remembered your post. Is the 22AM4 high deflection damper plate still smooth and quiet a year later? Which engine and transmission do you have? Thanks for the help.
Title: Re: C34 MkII Low Speed Transmission Chatter & Damper Plate
Post by: Ron Hill on August 28, 2021, 01:11:47 PM
Jon : The C34 MK II came with a M35 BC engine.  Completely different damper plate than your M25XP engine!!

A thought
Title: Re: C34 MkII Low Speed Transmission Chatter & Damper Plate
Post by: Jon W on August 28, 2021, 03:13:10 PM
Thanks Ron. I saw the silver engine in his photos, but you never know so thought Id ask.