Then in the space of a week, I find out that two of my nearest and dearest machine friends are failing because of their transmissions.
One in the boat, and one in the washing machine. Both transmissions were about 30 years old.
The first thing that comes into my mind when I hear the word transmission is radio signals, followed by car transmissions. Now I am aware transmissions whir in many machines, doing their good turns all around.
Our Maytag washer, for instance, which has served us well for 25+ years. Two or three visits from the repairman over the years, but other than that, no issues. This time, it didn't take the serviceman long to pronounce he couldn't repair it (or if he did, it would cost as much as a new machine). He showed me the evidence: fused machine parts, rusted bits, and burnt casings. He asked if we had smelled anything burning before it stopped agitating. Yes, indeed.
With Yondering, we had been noticing it was difficult to get the boat into forward gear, so Rob replaced the shift. Sometimes when it was in forward it would slip into neutral. We continued to have occasional problems, nothing major. But you can't really let little things go if they have such big implications. Upon investigation, it will be no easy fix. Right now the engine is entirely out of the boat and in the mechanic's shop. We are waiting to hear the details about what we'll need to do to make it safe and reliable.
In the meantime I've learned a little bit about engine transmissions.
The washing machine transmission turns the drum of the washer and helps transition the washer through its cycles. Removing the transmission can be a daunting task, and the repairs can be as expensive as buying a new washing machine. Signs and symptoms signal that the transmission in the washing machine is going bad, so look for these discrepancies before throwing out the washer: noise, smell, agitator, spin cycle.
So your boat’s marine gear has three functions that are completely different from your car’s transmission. One is to engage and disengage the engine from the propeller—in other words, to provide neutral. Another is to provide reverse rotation so that you can back your boat into your slip. The other function of the marine transmission is to set the ratio between engine rpm and propeller rpm. The marine transmission performs one other vital function: It is the most convenient location from which to drive an auxiliary device, such as a hydraulic pump.
Everything You Need to Know About Your Boat's Transmission