FROM: Gene Gruender

Transmission update


We got our new transmission for Rainbow Chaser yesterday. The machinist brought it over, figured out what would make the old and new mate up and took it away. Tonight he brought it back, ready to bolt together.

What we ended up doing is taking the front of the old transmission, throwing away the rest. then they machined the old transmission front to accept the new transmission. It became sort of a "Bell housing" for those familiar with how car motors are put together. A new coupler was turned from stock to mate the transmission to the prop shaft, all the motor mounts were cut and re-welded to sit the motor 2 1/4" lower, since the offset of the shafts was different in the two transmission.

The other difference is, the two transmissions run in different directions. so, the new transmission will run in what would normally be
reverse to go forward. It's not a problem, though, since the tranny is made to run either way.

We'll spend tomorrow getting the new stuffing box in, Then I'll go in the water and re-install the propshaft and strut. Then I'll set the motor in place and get things aligned. I'll have to get everything to hook up again, re design the shift linkage, and it'll be pretty well together. Maybe by Monday we'll be going again.

Thanks for all the friends, the ones we've met and the ones we haven't, for all the information, advice and contacts we've gotten. It's certainly helped. Special thanks to Don Denning, who spent time on the phone educating me about small engines and how to understand SAE types, etc, so I'd know what the heck I was talking about. A big thanks to Hugo Geistman in GA who has a transmission just like my old one (only in better shape) who offered to send it to me to get me going. If I hadn't already gotten the new one, I'd sure have taken him up on his offer. And thanks to all who sent kind words of encouragement. The cruising community is one of the most close knit bunch around, even if they are spread all over the world. What a great bunch of people!

Gene Gruender
Rainbow Chaser
Recovering in Bowtie Marina, Lake Charles, La