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  1. #1

    Cool Crusader 454 / rattling noise in gear

    I have Crusader 454 with Velvet Drive. When put in gear I have rattling noise in forward and reverse not neutral. Had read several links looking for Solutions. I've tried testing for spark with the distributor cap and the sounds good. Removed coupler from Drive and still have noise in gear. Also heard there might be water on a cylinder. All spark plugs look normal. And the oil is still nice and clean. One mystery I have though is it looks like exaust sut floating on top of the coolant in the heat exchange. Was wondering if that meant a leak somewhere that could cause that knocking. If not getting ready to remove the gear to look at damper plate could use an opinion please

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Crusader 454 / rattling noise in gear

    when in gear, does it go away when the throttle is opened?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Crusader 454 / rattling noise in gear

    I have not. my troubles started When I hit a small board, bent wheel a little. caused vibration. Now that shaft is separated from transmission, I guess I can try.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Crusader 454 / rattling noise in gear

    Quote Originally Posted by SeaMcDog View Post
    I have not. my troubles started When I hit a small board, bent wheel a little. caused vibration. Now that shaft is separated from transmission, I guess I can try.
    That would not be a great test. Unloaded drive systems can rattle normally at low speed. So, no noise pre-impact, and now there is a noise?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Crusader 454 / rattling noise in gear

    took it up to 1500. still rattling. was just scared to go higher. its not that it sounds super bad, just...... scared

  6. #6

    Default Re: Crusader 454 / rattling noise in gear

    looking for input about the sut floating on the coolant in heat exchange....

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Crusader 454 / rattling noise in gear

    How many hours on the damper? If over 1k, plan on replacing it.
    Is the soot a new issue? Does the level of the coolant change either drop or become excessive? You need an inch of air space above the coolant level in the HE, if you do NOT have a recovery tank. If the level is stable, and this soot does not increase, I'd be tempted not to pursue. Best to pressure test these systems every now and then, though.
    How big a board was that? The VD is quite tolerant to most things that would allow the blade of the prop to remain attached. Except low fluid. Is there metal in the VD ATF?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Crusader 454 / rattling noise in gear

    good point. don't really know how many hours on boat. 1971 Bertram 31'. my engine mounts are ATTACHED TO GEAR BOX. ITS ALITTLE CROWED AROUND ENGINE. Where do you think I should lift the engine at. as thinking the thick part of the lip on bell housing? only other place would be oil pan.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Crusader 454 / rattling noise in gear

    Quote Originally Posted by SeaMcDog View Post
    good point. don't really know how many hours on boat. 1971 Bertram 31'. my engine mounts are ATTACHED TO GEAR BOX. ITS ALITTLE CROWED AROUND ENGINE. Where do you think I should lift the engine at. as thinking the thick part of the lip on bell housing? only other place would be oil pan.
    31. Classic, great seas boat. yes, VD has two mounts, 2 more on the engine. I've yanked my 454's out maybe 3x each at home using the davit. There was/should be, two lift rings on the engine itself. Like a rear intake manifold bolted ring and one more a bit forward of the carb area. You will lift the engine/VD out together.
    I had this done well enough, that from the word go, the assembly was sitting on the ground in about 30 minutes.
    My bell housing was aluminum, no way would I lift from that. Or, the oil pan, also s/b aluminum.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Crusader 454 / rattling noise in gear

    Thanks... don't have the means to lift the engine out. was thinking a board under jack and board across oil pan.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Crusader 454 / rattling noise in gear

    Do you want to pull the gear?

    If so, you can support the rear end of the engine by blocking under the xhaust manifolds....

    as far as the 'soot' in the coolant, are you sure its exhaust material??? There's lots of stuff that can be created in a poorly maintained cooling system....I believe you can get a test kit to check for combustion byproducts in the coolant....

  12. #12

    Default Re: Crusader 454 / rattling noise in gear

    Thanks MakoMark... as far as I know the boat hadn't ran for years. I did put 2 new exhaust elbows and thermostat and impeller. and have not put any hours on them. coolant flow seems great. bracing engine on manifolds is a great idea. I know I can lift back of engine under gear.
    Last edited by SeaMcDog; 08-04-2017 at 03:09 PM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Crusader 454 / rattling noise in gear

    If you loosen the lags (front and rear), a bottle jack can do the lifting....

    And if your intent is to pull the gear, it will help a lot to get two long studs for the gear-flywheel cover bolts - both getting the gear out and in of the damper....you may have to remove them to extract the gear from the engine bed area - usually not much 'free space' down there....

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Crusader 454 / rattling noise in gear

    dog,

    That rattling noise is sometimes caused by an engine that needs a tuneup. A plug that is not firing, a carb that needs adjusting, etc. etc. Now may be a good time to do a good tuneup before pulling that tranny apart. When you ran it up to 1500 rpm was the drive shaft still disconnected? You really need a load on the engine to see it the rattling goes away at higher rpms.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Crusader 454 / rattling noise in gear

    First of all thank you everyone for taking the time to try to help me out. Eric I think the engines running good. The spark plugs are firing I timed it I can rev It Up all the way in neutral she sounds good. When I revved it up to 1500 the the drive shaft was connected. I have since disconnected the driveshaft and it still sounds the same.. if there is something else you want me to try again I will because the last thing I want is to unnecessarily drop the gear box to get to the damper plate... Mako mark I was hoping to inspect the damper plate and find bolt. loose spring broke or something will I still have to take the gearbox all the way out and put it on the deck. I can take my hand and turn the coupler on the gearbox and I can hear a slight noise of course the engines off. No grinding no clunking just I feel something. I still think it's the damper plate but I really don't know but I guess I'm going to find out soon:-)

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Crusader 454 / rattling noise in gear

    The bell housing has to come off the block to get to the damper. And, I believe you have a lower gard piece of sheet metal that needs to come of too to clear the flywheel.
    This is all pretty easy when it all is hanging on a chain. With it sitting on wood, dirt, deck, its going to be more jacking and blocking, I'm afraid. The oil pan stays on, at least. Of course, if you have a leaky rear seal, this is the time, and then the pan does come off.

    one more item. This is the time to check the ring gear on the flywheel for worn, missing teeth. They can cut off the old and push on a new one pretty cheap.
    Last edited by diver_dave; 08-04-2017 at 07:27 PM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Crusader 454 / rattling noise in gear

    What would be a good method for checking to see if each sparkplug is firing? Tried pulling one wire off at a time and listen for change in engine performance. Is there a more sure way.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Crusader 454 / rattling noise in gear

    UpDate! decided to pull gear. With all the help it was pretty easy! Boards under exhaust to hold engine up. boards under gear to help move. sheet metal on back removed. Gear slid right off. and bell housing. Did not see a reel loose spring like I thought on damper pate. was play in couple spring. will replace damper (not sure amnt hrs 1985 eng ). Can the gear be bench tested? when I spin coupler side of gear, other side doesn't spin?

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Crusader 454 / rattling noise in gear

    if the springs aren't tight, change the damper....and get two as the other side is likely to be in the same condition....good fall project if you want to get back out soon....

    The gear can be bench tested....you need to accomodate the fluid path and find a way to spin the input shaft fast enough for it to 'work'...spinning the coupler wont do anything productive.

    The 'pull a wire' test give more distinguished results when the ngine in question is "in gear" - which needs another set of hands, for a number of reasons...

  20. #20

    Default Re: Crusader 454 / rattling noise in gear

    Will pull the fly wheel today to get damper plate off ( and look 4 #). Looking 4 a shop that would have means to bench test gear while off. no luck yet.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Crusader 454 / rattling noise in gear

    Hopefully, you mean pull the flywheel cover....and like dd pointed out, there will be a plate blocking off the lower (oil pan side) open portion of the cover. You won't need any number off the plate. Tell your supplier you have a 454 with a 10-18 gear (verify the number on the gear's ID plate).....

    The guy I use has a homemade adapter made (i suspect) from an old dampler plate that fits into his BIG air drill.....imagine you could use a "hole hawg" with a similar adapter....

  22. #22

    Default Re: Crusader 454 / rattling noise in gear

    Thank You MakoMark & DD, I DO HAVE A 10-18. I WAS WONDERING HOW TO REMOVE the damper plate. are u saying drill out the ??rivits that hold it on. how about reattaching new damper plate.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Crusader 454 / rattling noise in gear

    with the engine cribbed up, you need to remove the flywheel housing and the cover plate at the bottom.

    That will expose the flywheel....the damper plate is bolted to the flywheel - 6 bolts. remove them and the plate should come off painlessly....

    new plate get bolted on....we always used new bolts and red locktite when replacing the dampers at the shop....

    Finally, you may want to get a pair of long studs for reinstalling the gear.....

  24. #24

    Default Re: Crusader 454 / rattling noise in gear

    Thank you MM. my mistake.... thought the damper plate was just the part I middle, not the whole mounting plate. when I ordered the plate I saw my mistake.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Crusader 454 / rattling noise in gear

    A good VD repair shop will bench test the xmission using an electric motor to drive it, and a pressure guage to measure the oil pump output. Transmission Marine in Ft Lauderdale being one of those shops.

    Did you check for metal in the ATF?

  26. #26

    Default Re: Crusader 454 / rattling noise in gear

    THANK YOU Diver Dave..... just happened to be at Lauderdale Marine Center when I read your post! Gear was in truck. ITs on the bench. Cant really say I checked to good for metal n atf. hose on bottom of gear is drain, I left attached to remove gear. fluid on clean rag looked clean..... off to Bahamas today for a charter. Bringing you n M.M. back some fish

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