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Old 05-07-2015, 02:59 AM   #1
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Replacing Engine After Only 335 Hours!

You may remember me as the guy who couldn´t figure out why his new D4´s were "using" oil.

This “oil consumption” issue has been tough for me to understand, mainly because the dipstick readings have varied wildly depending on how long I waited before checking. I have come to learn that the range between the “min”, “max” lines equates to about 24 oz., and it’s wise to wait overnight before checking. I know- this sounds crazy to have to wait this long but it´s true.

With this new knowledge my latest estimate is that the port engine has burned about 24 oz., and the starboard about 7 oz., over the last 15 running hours. The fuel burned over this period was approximately 65 gallons per engine. No obvious smoke nor leaks have ever been noticed.

This has been pretty typical and an ongoing issue since I bought the boat new in 2012.

Obviously, the port engine continues to show that it has a more serious issue than the starboard.

After logging only 335 hours Volvo has decided to replace the long block on the port engine, under warranty. They say that the starboard is "within specs".

I guess I´m OK with this but I know it´s going to be a pain, even assuming that they put it all back together and don´t screw up anything else. I'm awaiting details on just how they're going to do this because the access hatch is only about 3' X 2 1/2' and aft of the engines. What if they have to cut up my salon floor??

They say the boat has to be hauled to do it.

Any comments or suggestions before I head down this road?

Thanks!
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Old 05-07-2015, 06:42 AM   #2
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Well, at least Volvo is doing it and not you. My only suggestion would be to oversee the work as closely as possible, and check out the reputation of whoever they propose should do the work.
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Old 05-07-2015, 07:17 AM   #3
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The most common method of checking oil level is to operate to warm , shut down , wait 2-3 min and check it.

Oil will usually look "overfilled" after 24 hours to drain to the oil pan.

I would look in the Volvo books to see what their desire is.
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Old 05-07-2015, 07:48 AM   #4
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Ask the yard who's to do the work, about vessel protection. You can have the best mechanic but if he's like a bull in a china store interior surfaces can be easily damaged.

I'd take lots and lots of pictures before the yard starts any work particularly around the hatches, walls, flooring, etc, in addition to the engine compartment. Vessel protection of the living spaces and surfaces is critical during serious mechanical repairs. We had a yard pull fuel and water tanks on a boat. Two guys spent 3 days laying cardboard, plywood, removing furniture, covering counters before they started. When the job was complete, they spent almost as long restoring and cleaning everything.
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Old 05-07-2015, 09:16 AM   #5
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new engines require some heavy loading to seat the piston rings. Low speed operation may not be enough. If it were me I would run the new block hard for a while after a few hours of operation.


Volvo may have a recommended break in procedure.
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Old 05-07-2015, 09:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
The most common method of checking oil level is to operate to warm , shut down , wait 2-3 min and check it.

Oil will usually look "overfilled" after 24 hours to drain to the oil pan.

I would look in the Volvo books to see what their desire is.
I have checked and used their recommended method and I wound up overfilling because the oil hadn't settled out. Subsequently, the crank case breather filters get fouled with oil and the engins burn the excess trying to "get happy". All this in addition to the engine burning oil anyway, apparently due to an internal problem.

I don't understand your saying that by waiting the oil level will look "overfilled". Seems to me that full settling will yield the most accurate reading.

I do appreciate your help. Thanks.
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Old 05-07-2015, 09:36 AM   #7
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335 hours should be more than enough to break it in. That is equivalent to over 15000 miles if in an over the highway vehicle.

We had a late model Audi with very low miles and the gasoline engine was burning a quart every 2000-3000 miles of synthetic oil. It was under warranty. The dealer did a oil consumption check and admitted it was burning oil but Audi said it wasn't using enough oil to replace/repair the engine under the warranty. I did an internet search and found numerous complaints about the same year and model of engine and the claim was Audi received a bad batch of piston rings from a supplier. Soon after, I traded the car in and will not buy another Audi because of that episode. Not sure who makes the rings for European engines but sometimes QC can apparently slip on them. I think you are fortunate Volvo is owning up to it but no matter, a car or a boat is a great inconvenience to the owner in this type of repair.
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Old 05-07-2015, 09:43 AM   #8
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335 hours should be more than enough to break it in. That is equivalent to over 15000 miles if in an over the highway vehicle.

We had a late model Audi with very low miles and the gasoline engine was burning a quart every 2000-3000 miles of synthetic oil. It was under warranty. The dealer did a oil consumption check and admitted it was burning oil but Audi said it wasn't using enough oil to replace/repair the engine under the warranty. I did an internet search and found numerous complaints about the same year and model of engine and the claim was Audi received a bad batch of piston rings from a supplier. Soon after, I traded the car in and will not buy another Audi because of that episode. Not sure who makes the rings for European engines but sometimes QC can apparently slip on them. I think you are fortunate Volvo is owning up to it but no matter, a car or a boat is a great inconvenience to the owner in this type of repair.
Thanks for the story.

Yes, they have been good about it so far.
I noticed the oil issue shortly after taking posession and brought it to the dealer's attention right away.

I'm pretty meticulous, especially about stuff that I know how to check. Checking oil levels is about as easy as it gets!
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Old 05-07-2015, 09:52 AM   #9
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As previously mentioned, insure you have a written contract covering damage and repairs to your vessel during this install - for mechanical, electrical and cosmetic problems that arise. It will occur.
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Old 05-07-2015, 05:48 PM   #10
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Cooling my jets on this.

Here is more background:

1) the local rep has visited the boat one time, back in October, Where the engines performed perfectly on this sea trial. The mechanic hooked up his computer testing equipment and all looked good.

2) also, at that time, he took oil samples which showed no issues.

3) no smoke indicating burning oil- ever!

With this info along with the challenges on checking the levels, I've asked the Volvo rep to do some further investigation before we take drastic action. I asked them to take another oil sample, determine the actual oil volume in the engine and perform any other tests that may identify the problem.

Given all of these facts I'm sure this is a more prudent course of action.

Also, I'm sure that this is better for Volvo too, assuming they back me up when the verdict comes in.

Your posts have helped me on this decision. Thank you.
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Old 05-07-2015, 06:39 PM   #11
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I am not a mechanic but the way the testing was done on the Audi, they filled up the engine with oil, had me drive for 1000 miles or so and then brought the car back in to measure the amount of oil consumed. The car did not appear to be smoking.

Not sure an oil sample would detect rings or pistons that originally were not the correct tolerance or had impurities in the materials or some other latent defect.

Having Volvo measure the oil consumption is probably best way to go. It sounds like what was done with our Audi. All engines will use some oil but Volvo should be able to tell you what the expected consumption range should be. Ideally, oil should not have to be added between the factory published maintenance interval on a new engine.

I don't envy your problem. I would be damned PO'd if I had a new boat that had to be cut up to replace an engine.
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Old 05-07-2015, 06:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
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I don't envy your problem. I would be damned PO'd if I had a new boat that had to be cut up to replace an engine.
Right! Exactly what I'd like to avoid if at all possible.
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Old 05-07-2015, 07:42 PM   #13
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Cooling my jets on this.

Here is more background:

1) the local rep has visited the boat one time, back in October, Where the engines performed perfectly on this sea trial. The mechanic hooked up his computer testing equipment and all looked good.

2) also, at that time, he took oil samples which showed no issues.

3) no smoke indicating burning oil- ever!

With this info along with the challenges on checking the levels, I've asked the Volvo rep to do some further investigation before we take drastic action. I asked them to take another oil sample, determine the actual oil volume in the engine and perform any other tests that may identify the problem.

Given all of these facts I'm sure this is a more prudent course of action.

Also, I'm sure that this is better for Volvo too, assuming they back me up when the verdict comes in.

Your posts have helped me on this decision. Thank you.

I would think that if Volvo decided to go to the expense of replacing the engine that they were 99% sure that is what needs to be done unless you are a mafia leader and they just don't want to p#ss you off. Companies don't go to that trouble and expense unless they feel they have to.
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Old 05-07-2015, 08:03 PM   #14
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I agree with taking lots and lots of pictures of all your interior surfaces. I would ask them if they have to cut anything, where and why. Good luck. Thank God they are doing it!
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Old 05-07-2015, 08:12 PM   #15
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If not being visibly burnt, where else could the oil go? A leak would be obvious.
Audi and VW share engines. VW engines have a reputation here for using oil, check regularly or get caught. My 1999 Passat had a warning message I saw once.
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Old 05-07-2015, 08:22 PM   #16
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Had a Harley once that was easy to tell when it was low on oil, it stopped leaking. I don't envy your troubles, best of luck with the outcome. Take the engine, and lots of pictures.
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Old 05-07-2015, 09:29 PM   #17
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Diesels initially smoke when the engine is consuming oil. Once they reach operating temperature, they can consume a moderate amount of oil without smoking. Also, if you have a turbo or blower that is leaking oil into the intake, this will occur while the engine isn't running. So there be oil in the intake to generate smoke when the engine is cold and then started. On a piston ring leak, oil doesn't leak buy the ring while the engine isn't running. As a result, there is no oil to make smoke on start up. The ring likely leaks less with the cold oil. Once the oil is warm and oil starts leaking by the ring, the engine is able to consume more oil without smoking.

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Old 05-07-2015, 11:34 PM   #18
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How do you run the boat? Planed out or trawler speed? If you run trawler speed, the rings may have never had a chance to seat in.

24oz is a good bit of oil to use in 15hrs, but not horrible. I'd be pee'd off if a new boat burned that much. But the fix is going to be very disruptive for what? A few bucks worth of oil a travel day?

Maybe make a deal with Volvo where you accept the burn rate in exchange for an increase in warranty period.
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:45 PM   #19
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Like Ready2go, I can`t see Volvo replacing the engine unless they know something. It`s as big a warranty job as it gets. They may even know something they prefer not to share. 2 engines presumably built round the same time and identically used should not be so markedly different in oil use. I`d let them do the swap. Great advice on taking lots of "before" pics.
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Old 05-08-2015, 02:22 AM   #20
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I can`t see Volvo replacing the engine unless they know something.
Yup. Sure it's a pisser having to open a new boat up. Worse would be to have to do it in 24months or whatever on your dollar.
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