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Paragon rebuild question

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Oberon01
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Paragon rebuild question

Post by Oberon01 » Sun Dec 21, 2014 5:47 pm

I am having the paragon from my '61 Continental rebuilt, as upon inspection it appears to have suffered damage from water incursion, among other contaminants, apparently. Long story short, the price I am getting seems high at $2500, including $1450 in labor for a transmission that is delivered to the shop on a pallet.

Scarcity of parts aside, I have trouble with the labor number, as it is right there and ready to be done - no re and re or anything else like that. So, is the price good or am I out of line? My only experience prior to this was having the transmission behind the Scripps 208 in my 25' SP done and I think it was less than this, for a presumably much more robust transmission.

I also have a spare Paragon, thought it has a reduction gear on it - came out of a cruiser and was behind a 431 (thermostatically controlled cooling) whereas this one was behind a 430 - same engine but no thermostat system on it. Absent the reduction gear that is bolted on the back end, are these the same units? I suspect the Paragon with the reduction gear is a year or so newer.

Any help or advice would be appreciated.
1926 Mullins 16' Outboard Special
1940 CC 19'Custom
1946 Gar Wood 22' 6" Sedan
1946 16' Peterbrough Falcon
1947 CC 16' Special Runabout
1947 Chris Craft 22' Sportsman
1948 CC 25' Sportsman Sedan
1959 Feather Craft Islander Express Cruiser
1961 CC 21' Continental
1965 Glastron Futura 500 V -164
1965 CC Sea Skiff 24'

jim g
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Re: Paragon rebuild question

Post by jim g » Sun Dec 21, 2014 6:18 pm

If you have the HJA trans they are a very complicated trans to rebuild. They were only used on the lincoln engine. The trans on your scripps is a manual gearbox. It is much simpler the the HJA. As far as I know unless someone has a stash of NOS parts for the HJA's parts have not been available for many years. You will need to have at least one spare trans for parts. The front part of your reduction drive is the same internally. Plates, spring washers etc. As far as the labor charge I can't say as I have never rebuilt one. Nor would I ever attempt to rebuild one. When I talked to my marine trans guy. I told me he rebuilt a bunch of them back in the 60's and 70's. He also said they are not an easy trans to do when compared to the other hydraulic transmissions. He then told my he would not rebuild any of the HJA's because there are only used parts to repair them with and he couldn't warranty it.

If you could find the bellhousing and torsional coupler from a later 431 lincoln that used the HJ7's that would be better as you can bolt up any trans to it. Velvet drive, Hurth and paragons will bolt up in place of the HJ7.

Oberon01
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Re: Paragon rebuild question

Post by Oberon01 » Sun Dec 21, 2014 6:40 pm

Thanks Jim - I may have the bell housing - I have to check all the parts. I bought a spare 431 Lincoln with the trans attached and I confess to not knowing exactly what model of trans the parts engine had. I can find that out tomorrow. I have the transmission and I believe I kept the bell housing, though the engine itself was scavenged for parts. Buying that parts engine was a great move - it was almost free and it has already saved me very substantial grief. Sounds like these paragons were junk. I am not sure I understand the benefit of the Paragon, though I believe I have one in my '65 24' Skiff. It works okay, but there is nothing really "positive" in its' operation.

The rebuilder has the clutch pack that he says I need, and between he and I all parts required to rebuild the Paragon are there. The boat is being restored to a high show level, so I am trying to keep it original. But, that is occasionally challenging and this appears to be one of those times.
1926 Mullins 16' Outboard Special
1940 CC 19'Custom
1946 Gar Wood 22' 6" Sedan
1946 16' Peterbrough Falcon
1947 CC 16' Special Runabout
1947 Chris Craft 22' Sportsman
1948 CC 25' Sportsman Sedan
1959 Feather Craft Islander Express Cruiser
1961 CC 21' Continental
1965 Glastron Futura 500 V -164
1965 CC Sea Skiff 24'

jim g
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Re: Paragon rebuild question

Post by jim g » Sun Dec 21, 2014 6:58 pm

Back when they were new. It was a pretty good trans. Hydraulic trans were just coming out in the late 50's. So the HJA was a first generation hydraulic trans for a big block.

jfrprops
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Re: Paragon rebuild question

Post by jfrprops » Sun Dec 21, 2014 10:52 pm

I would never disparage the HF7 series....close to bullet proof and the pump would (to use the painful kidney example...) PASS BB's while a BW velvet would not pass sand....if you have that bellhousing....go with the HF7.....it can handle that big engine.
Got a few old HF units in my shed.....

JOhn in Va.
1980 Fairchild Scout 30
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1921 Old Town Charles River 17' (founding Captain, James River Batteau Festival)

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Re: Paragon rebuild question

Post by joanroy » Mon Dec 22, 2014 6:18 am

I paid $6000 to have my two Paragons rebuilt three years ago. That included the removal and installation. I'd say your estimate is in the ball park. What can you do? It's a boat$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

jfrprops
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Re: Paragon rebuild question

Post by jfrprops » Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:04 am

Yes, the price certainly reflects the fact that all the guys that once knew how do rebuild these units are dead and gone.

I knew three and none are still with us. 15 years ago there were a few...but even then there was little demand for their work and so why teach another generation? The old timers had all sorts of tricks for working on paragons....I recall one, likely I posted before, in which the expert showed me that when reassembling HF units you had to fight the usual urge to mount the casing in a vise and insert the guts....you had to mount the shaft in the vise and lower the case over it....otherwise you would almost always break the snap ring grease seals around the shaft. That kind of old school knowledge is rare now days.

Great Lakes Power products still has parts.

John in Va.
1980 Fairchild Scout 30
19?? custom Argentine Runabout 16'
1954 Whirlwind deluxe dual ckpt 16'
1921 Old Town Charles River 17' (founding Captain, James River Batteau Festival)

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Re: Paragon rebuild question

Post by Peter M Jardine » Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:15 am

Great Lakes doesn't have parts for the hydraulic paragon any more. The real difference between the HF and the hydraulic is the reverse is hydraulic too...... The HJA meant you could put a substantive amount of power through the transmission in reverse I believe.

JimG, as usual, is correct. I researched getting parts, and couldn't find any. That transmission was heavy and expensive to build, which is why it was discontinued.

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Re: Paragon rebuild question

Post by jim g » Mon Dec 22, 2014 1:57 pm

Internally the HJA are nothing like the HJ7. THe HJ7 and the later P series had different sizes of trans for different horsepower. Like Velvet Drive has the 71 and 72 series.

YOu might want to check Van Ness I know he has built some of the HJA's.

The HF2's and later paragons are all hydraulic. Although the HF2 use's a 10 inch long nose gear its still completely hydraulic. The HF7 is when the industry set the standard for the circler mount pattern which is why you can bolt up any other brand trans.
Last edited by jim g on Wed Dec 24, 2014 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Greg Wallace
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Re: Paragon rebuild question

Post by Greg Wallace » Tue Dec 23, 2014 8:33 am

Have you checked with Kalamazoo Marine Gear?
Greg Wallace 23 Custom 22166 former Chris-Craft dealer Russells Point, Oh.

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RRGadow
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Re: Paragon rebuild question

Post by RRGadow » Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:56 am

Dave Van Ness....Those prices sound a bit high.
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Tom Gruenauer
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Re: Paragon rebuild question

Post by Tom Gruenauer » Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:49 pm

I have removed this post.
Last edited by Tom Gruenauer on Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Paragon rebuild question

Post by evansjw44 » Tue Dec 23, 2014 4:53 pm

OK this post is about HF7s. I have them on my 327Fs. I had a local trans guy rebuild mine. He charged me for the tear down and reassemble ($600) plus parts. Out the door for about 1200. The point is that a good "gear guy" can rebuild a HF7. He just has to know where to get parts. I supplied a trans manual and a source for parts. Now, he didn't have to pull the trans or re-install it, just rebuild it. The only comment I would make is that that the rebuild instructions are for a std rotation engine and if yours is opposite your trans guy might set it up for std rotation instead of opposite. The major difference is the oil pump which can easily be rotated to be opposite vs std. You don't necessarily have to pay marine prices to get work done by professionals. Local marine trans shop wanted $2200 to do mine. If you have a reduction gear, get the gear bearing replaced no matter what.
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jfrprops
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Re: Paragon rebuild question

Post by jfrprops » Tue Dec 23, 2014 6:07 pm

I may have misunderstood the post....in that I was rating the price as not that excessive assuming we were talking about an old/rare HFA series....Jim Evans is correct about the HF7's and right also about this not really being a marine exclusive rebuild job. That M word always means more $.

John in Va.
1980 Fairchild Scout 30
19?? custom Argentine Runabout 16'
1954 Whirlwind deluxe dual ckpt 16'
1921 Old Town Charles River 17' (founding Captain, James River Batteau Festival)

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Re: Paragon rebuild question

Post by jim g » Tue Dec 23, 2014 6:42 pm

We don't know which trans he has. But as most of the lincoln engine came with the HJA's thats probably what he has. Chris Craft did come out with a adapter plate and a different torsional coupler to mount the HJ7.
Last edited by jim g on Wed Dec 24, 2014 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

davidvn
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Re: Paragon rebuild question

Post by davidvn » Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:38 am

The HJA or HJAD Direct Drive was used on the 430 Lincoln engine. It had very few applications elsewhere. It is significantly more complicated than the HF7 or the P Series Gears from Paragon. Even if the rebuilder had the parts on the shelf, he could still spend 2 full days from start to finish to properly rebuild it. You need to take into consideration the time spent on the phone to track down the parts which can also take hours. Most quality shops need to charge close to $100 an hour for labor. So the simple math puts $1,450.00 as a reasonable price for labor. We can rebuild 2 HF7 transmissions in 1 day and probably get 3 70 Series Velvet Drive transmissions done in 1 day under normal circumstances. The parts prices for the HF7 & Velvet Drive transmissions are predictable. The parts prices for the HJA series are more of a commodity and may require the purchase of a donor transmission and the disassembly of that unit to provide the needed parts.

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Re: Paragon rebuild question

Post by Tom Gruenauer » Wed Dec 24, 2014 7:18 am

I have removed this post.
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RRGadow
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Re: Paragon rebuild question

Post by RRGadow » Wed Dec 24, 2014 9:48 am

davidvn wrote:The HJA or HJAD Direct Drive was used on the 430 Lincoln engine. It had very few applications elsewhere. It is significantly more complicated than the HF7 or the P Series Gears from Paragon. Even if the rebuilder had the parts on the shelf, he could still spend 2 full days from start to finish to properly rebuild it. You need to take into consideration the time spent on the phone to track down the parts which can also take hours. Most quality shops need to charge close to $100 an hour for labor. So the simple math puts $1,450.00 as a reasonable price for labor. We can rebuild 2 HF7 transmissions in 1 day and probably get 3 70 Series Velvet Drive transmissions done in 1 day under normal circumstances. The parts prices for the HF7 & Velvet Drive transmissions are predictable. The parts prices for the HJA series are more of a commodity and may require the purchase of a donor transmission and the disassembly of that unit to provide the needed parts.

There you go...nice breakdown of the cost....you did a great job on my trans!
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Re: Paragon rebuild question

Post by Al Benton » Wed Dec 24, 2014 1:01 pm

I removed a couple of Posts from this thread in the interest of keeping the subject focused on current topic.
Al
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jim g
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Re: Paragon rebuild question

Post by jim g » Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:01 pm

I made a couple of corrections to my post. The later trans for the lincoln is the HJ7. Its a bigger version of the HF7. The HF7 were built for small block engines. Chris Craft started using the HJ7 on the 431 lincoln starting with engine number 503230. You could change your HJA to a HJ7 with the adapter parts Chris Craft made. With the adapter parts you can bolt up any modern trans. Paragon P series, Velvet Drive, Hurth etc.

I've posted a page out of the parts book showing what parts you need to go from the HJA to a HJ7.

Hope this helps.
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tkhersom
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Re: Paragon rebuild question

Post by tkhersom » Wed Dec 24, 2014 3:13 pm

I had my two Paragon's rebuilt last year. About 3K for bearings and labor for 2 reverse gears 2 1/2 to 1 reduction. I specified that I wanted USA bearings so I think the parts were about $1600 and labor around $14 or $1500 for the pair. I suspect these are very different animals. I did have to supply my own pins and new bushings as they were not available anywhere that I could find them.

Here is a link to that search. http://www.chris-craft.org/discussion/v ... f=6&t=8741
Troy in ANE - Former President CCABC

1957 CC 21' Continental "Yorktown" (Mom's boat)
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Oberon01
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Re: Paragon rebuild question

Post by Oberon01 » Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:17 pm

The original transmission from the Continental is an HJA-D. The other one with a reduction gear does not have a tag, but the following numbers: 6E 4117 P44R Z7730L I am not sure what these mean. But, it did come off a 431 Thermocon so it is more recent than the original transmission. Does anyone know if the clutch pack from this would work on the HJAD?

I would rather go with the original transmission for the sake of originality, but I would rather not buy a clutch pack if the one in my spare transmission will work.

Thanks all - this has been a very informative thread.
1926 Mullins 16' Outboard Special
1940 CC 19'Custom
1946 Gar Wood 22' 6" Sedan
1946 16' Peterbrough Falcon
1947 CC 16' Special Runabout
1947 Chris Craft 22' Sportsman
1948 CC 25' Sportsman Sedan
1959 Feather Craft Islander Express Cruiser
1961 CC 21' Continental
1965 Glastron Futura 500 V -164
1965 CC Sea Skiff 24'

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Re: Paragon rebuild question

Post by jim g » Mon Dec 29, 2014 11:25 pm

You have a P44 series. Its a very good trans. It is actually a later model trans then would have come on the 431. The P series came out in the late 60's. Nothing in that trans will work for on a HJA series. Matter of fact nothing from any other trans will work on a HJA. I know you want to keep the original trans. You just have to decide what its worth spending to do it. If you look at the parts book page I posted. You have the 2 pieces on the 431 that you need to bolt up any newer or brand new gearbox. The adapter plate and the torsional coupler you have are very hard to find and are very desirable parts. If you want to sell them let me know.

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Corsair
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Re: Paragon rebuild question

Post by Corsair » Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:07 pm

I am looking for a shop to rebuild a pair of Paragon transmissions attached to 1961 Lincoln 431 engines.
The ones in the boat are: Starboard- HJAC25 S/N 4P6357 & Port - HJAC25-O S/N 4E5582. (not a typo it is 4E)
I have two sets of spares: Starboard - HJAC25 S/N 4P2642 & Port - HJAC25-O S/N 4P8743
and the other spares: Starboard - HJAC25 S/N 4P1904 & Port - HJAC25-O S/N 4P8797
I plan to send my four spare transmissions to a rebuild shop so they can build one good transmission each for starboard and port engines. When they come back I'll swap them into the boat and keep those for spares. I am looking for references on rebuild shops. The only two names I have so far are Marysville Marine in Marysville, Michigan and Van Ness in New Jersey. I'm in Minnesota so shipping could be an issue.. Sure would appreciate input or references on a shop. If I can get reliable transmissions I see no need to change - even if I had access to the required adapters. Thank you!

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maritimeclassics
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Re: Paragon rebuild question

Post by maritimeclassics » Tue Aug 23, 2016 7:21 am

The right guy is an elderly gentleman at Kalamazoo Marine Gear (269) 345-0629 He is retired but comes in for certain projects and hopefully still willing to do it.
Family member of Chris Craft founder
Owner of Maritime Classics
http://www.maritimeclassics.com
Ph# 231-486-6148

Restoration Projects:
1936 25' Gar Wood Custom
1947 Ventnor Hydroplane
1957 17' Deluxe Runabout
1948 25' Chris Craft Sportsman Twin
1959 19' Sliver Arrow Hull #75
1929 26' Chris Craft Custom Runabout
1937 25' Chris Craft Custom Runabout

Greg Wallace
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Re: Paragon rebuild question

Post by Greg Wallace » Wed Aug 24, 2016 7:55 am

Are you referring to Mark Gernspeck? He sure knows his way around all the old stuff.
Greg Wallace 23 Custom 22166 former Chris-Craft dealer Russells Point, Oh.

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maritimeclassics
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Re: Paragon rebuild question

Post by maritimeclassics » Wed Aug 24, 2016 3:20 pm

Yes, I believe that is the guy
Family member of Chris Craft founder
Owner of Maritime Classics
http://www.maritimeclassics.com
Ph# 231-486-6148

Restoration Projects:
1936 25' Gar Wood Custom
1947 Ventnor Hydroplane
1957 17' Deluxe Runabout
1948 25' Chris Craft Sportsman Twin
1959 19' Sliver Arrow Hull #75
1929 26' Chris Craft Custom Runabout
1937 25' Chris Craft Custom Runabout

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