DIY: V-drive Transmission Fluid Change - B52
This is specific to the 2003 MB Sports B52 Team Edition V3 / VX2 2-speed transmission. However, the procedure is the same for most v-drives.
Before you start, you need to know a few things:
1. What transmission do I have? There is a plate incoveniently located under the panel under the rear seat. If you have to get to it to see it - you'll need to pull the rear seat - back as well (see instructions later on pulling the seat back). The B52's with a 2 speed have an Italian-made ZF Hurth 90 IVTS V-drive. The plate tells you gear ratios and everything.
2. What type of fluid & quantity your's need? The ZF Hurth 90 IVTS here takes 5 quarts of Dexron III ATF if the plug is pulled (only 4 - if the plug is not pulled).
3. Do you have a filter? Mine did. I found that the PCM excalibur 330 engine manual for the 2003 (found online doing a google search) had the specs on what I needed. I am sure Indmar and all others are probably available online as well.
1. Hand operated transfer pump specifically suited to pumping oil & other petroleum products (like ATF).
2. Two empty plastic milk jugs - or other container needed for putting the old ATF in.
3. A few different sizes of funnels.
4. A small drain pan - small enought to fit under the transmission drain plug and hold at least a quart.
5. Wrenches. I needed one large adjustable crescent for the plug & a set of metric allens for the filter cap.
6. Filter if you need one (possibly some gasoline & small containers if you wash the filter).
7. Plenty of rags.
PARTIAL Fluid Replacement (using the pump - NOT pulling the plug):
1. Open the engine cover (usually your sun deck).
2. Pull out the transmission dipstick (usually located a bit hard to reach almost under the rear seat).
3. Put the transfer pump small tube down as far as it will reach in the transmission dipstick hole. AND the large tube into a gallon milk jug.
4. Pump out as much fluid as you can.
5. Replace your specified fluid (either ATF or gear oil - whatever your manual says specifically) until it reaches the normal operating marks on the dipstick & reinstall & tighten the cap.
6. Bring some fluid with you to top off the transmission after you run it. Stay near the dock incase you messed up. Don't just assume that everything is fine and you can go boarding without verifying there are no problems. Don't overfill beyond the Max line on the dipstick.
Ok, now you know the easy way - lets show the hard way - the most complete way that involves pulling the drain plug. It's not that hard - just takes a little more parts being removed for access and could be messier.
FULL Fluid & Filter Replacement (specific to the Hurth 90 IVTS on an 03 B52 Team Ed. with the VX2 two speed):
1. Open the engine cover (usually your sun deck).
2. Pull the rear seat cushion bottom off. Pull the rear seatback off (it is held in place by simple plastic automotive fasteners). You can get your hand under a bottom corner, usually, and tug each fastener loose. Try to be careful and pull only near the fasteners with a quick tug. If you do it carefully, you won't have to replace them.
3. The fiberglass access panel under the rear seat is held on by 4 allen head bolts. Remove those and pull off the panel - exposing the transmission, depth sounder transducer, and the Perfect Pass paddle wheel.
4. Pull out the transmission dipstick (usually located a bit hard to reach almost under the rear seat).
5. Put the transfer pump small tube down as far as it will reach in the transmission dipstick hole - AND the large tube into a gallon milk jug.
6. Pump out as much fluid as you can into the jug and then cap the jug. Keep rags nearby to catch drips off the pump when you pull it out.
7. If one has a drop-in transmission filter (on the 2 speed), it will be under a roughly 2.5" round black metal cap located on the passenger side of the transmission. The cap has an allen head bolt on the top. It says "tighten"; "Pull - Loosen"; "Push - Tighten" on it. There is also a tab on the cap that says "ATF". One would insert the allen wrench, turn counterclockwise until the "ATF" tab hits the transmission housing, then continue to loosen the allen head. This will decompress the large o-ring inside the cap. Then, one should be able to just pull the cap off. The only thing that holds the cap on is the compression of the o-ring. I couldn't break the allen head free - so I had to pry out the cap (not recommended). At the time, I didn't realize it was o-ring compression that held the cap on.
8. Pull the metal mesh ATF filter out of it's housing and set it aside with the cap. Strangely, I found dirt, fir tree needles & hair in the filter!! Wipe out the filter housing with rags until clean.
9. Now I had a choice - A. Buy a new filter (about $50 and hard to find - I couldn't find the exact part number 33112301007 - but skidim had a replacement that they "thought" could work 3312199031. I wasn't willing to take the chance and read that other people had simply cleaned their filter and put it back in. It's metal mesh - so??? why not??) OR - B. Clean the filter. I cleaned mine by washing it in a container with gasoline the best I can & picking out the large chunks. Then, I dried it with compressed air. Finally, I bathed it in fresh ATF. I figured if i limited the exposure to gasoline, dried it and then completely bathed it in the ATF - there shouldn't be any contamination worries with 5 quarts going back in. It is the boat owner's choice. PLEASE do NOT lecture me on using gasoline for cleaning. If you dissagree - find out the best/correct solution and do that. This is my choice.
10. Locate the drain plug on the bottom, passenger side of the transmission. Place a pan small enough to catch the quart left in the bottom. Pull the plug and drain the rest. I didn't have a pan small enough - so I put my smallest plastic pan down there and held a funnel small enough to guide the fluid into the pan. I also had to remove the PerfectPass paddle wheel housing to get my pan in there!! Not a big deal though. I put the paddle wheel back in with the arrows facing toward the bow & fully secured it the same way it came out. Out came some shiny, sand sized metal in the bottom of the pan. Glad I did it now. Who knows how long that has been in there. Do shops pull the plug for you - or do they pump? Hmmm.... better ask!!
See the wrench at the bottom?
See the fluid with shiny metal sand?
11. Replace the drain plug - don't strip it!!
12. Reinstall ATF filter. Just push the cap back on (assuming you "unsandwhiched" the o-ring with the allen bolt loosening - otherwise you will never get the cap back on!! Took me two hours until I finally got the allen bolt loose before the cap would go back in) & tighten up the allen head to re-compress the o-ring which snugs up the cap enough to hold it in place.
13. Place a funnel in the dipstick hole and fill with Dexron III Automatic Transmission Fluid (or other manuf. recommended fluid) until it reads just to the middle of the two marks on the dipstick (for me it was 4.5 qts.). I figured I'd leave it there, run the boat in the water until it's warm - then re-check and top off if needed later. I figure I'll probably be exactly 5 quarts.
14. Put the dipstick cap on and screw it down hand tight. Clean up.
15. Replace the fiberglass cover & seat cushions & close the sun deck.
Like I said, you probably are better off having the shop do this for you during winterization. But when you don't have the money, or are able to do it without messing it up - why not? Plus, you know your boat better and know exactly how it was done.
Feel free to post comments, corrections, etc. I tried to be accurate - but could have missed something.
Nice write up sam! Just did all my fluids this weekend too! My Trans filter is a biaotch to get to!
Keep your oil I'll pick it up.:D
Only thing I would add is to run the engine to normal operating temp before you start.
Nice write up. -Pics didn't load for me btw.
When my x-star transmission started slipping out of gear at 10mph I tried everything I could to fix it. Went to the dealership for some guidance and was told in a completely matter of fact voice "Just buy a new transmission, they're only like $5-6,000." Seriously. Thanks guys.
I ended up replacing fluid, rebuilding the trans, and in short pulled it in and out about 6 times with it continuing to do the same thing. Finally I found the filter was all clogged up. I cleaned it out, pretty much exactly as you did. (Mine was a Hurth V-Drive, the filter has the large allen bolt on the top of a round plate.) Found a bunch of chunks in it, and presto. Transmission fixed for years of enjoyment. Moral of the story, some dealerships are heartless bastards and clean your transmission filter.
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