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Old 09-22-2012, 12:13 PM   #21
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Most of the time a little " Macgyver" engineering can remedy the stock configuration.

We were headed out of one of the southern passes in Fiji on our passage to New Zealand in 1994 when I the bilge alarm went off. A quick assessment was that the heat exchanger had blown through a couple of tubes. We pulled back into the lee of a reef, removed the exchanger... JB welded the offending tubes shut and continued the passage south. When we sold the boat a couple years later the same heat exchanger was in service. Many times yacht owners will ONLY use the " stock" setup as they are led to believe ( a lot of the time by marine trades mechanics ) it is the only way.
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when you get a chance take a look at a 41TMD volvo nd look at the oil cooler and you might change you mind the casting in the block has two holes that have o rings that the cooler gets hooked on to.the whole deal sucks you cant even plug the holes up and run without the oil cooler
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Old 09-22-2012, 12:36 PM   #22
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Reports on usefulness, longevity, or caution points for Volvo Penta V-6 or straight-6 diesels? Early 80ís models I believe... with about 1400 hrs. Thanks in advance for info! - Art
Art, I hope by now you've learned to take what you read on an Internet forum with a grain of salt. In this case, the whole shaker.

You've read about what some guy heard about, you've read speculation that Volvo won't be supporting it's products because it bought another company, and you've read that someone heard about someone who is replacing a perfectly good Volvo engine because they are afraid they won't be able to get repair parts.

Interspersed in the middle of all this crap are a couple posts from folks who actually own and operate a Volvo powered boat. Like these people, I have a Volvo (TMAD41P built in 1999 with over 3K hours). I have had no issues with it and it runs just fine.

Volvo has been around for a long time and it appears it will be around for a long time to come.

My suggestion - If you like the boat and the engine checks out OK, buy it
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Old 09-22-2012, 01:11 PM   #23
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There are plenty of times jury rigging or substitution will keep an engine going. But if something in the core engine breaks or fails--- which apparently is the case with the engine in our electronics supplier's boat--- you have no choice but to get an original part from the engine manufacturer.
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Old 09-22-2012, 01:25 PM   #24
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when you get a chance take a look at a 41TMD volvo nd look at the oil cooler and you might change you mind the casting in the block has two holes that have o rings that the cooler gets hooked on to.the whole deal sucks you cant even plug the holes up and run without the oil cooler

Ok.... but your not thinking far enough out side of the box. With the proliferation of cad/cam programming you can walk into a machine shop that can scan the mounting surfaces of the oil cooler to the block, and design a adapter that can then connect the new adapter to the engine block ( with the o rings ) then connect that to a aftermarket cooler. Even the podunk little town I live in ( pop. 9000 ) has a shop that can do this. will this adapter cost less than $ 1000... probably, add aftermarket oil cooler, mounting bracket... back in business.
Ok, I will admit this is out of reach for folks that cannot even change the oil in their boats ... but as I have seen on this forum there are plenty of members that would not even blink at this task.
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Old 09-22-2012, 01:35 PM   #25
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Ok.... but your not thinking far enough out side of the box. With the proliferation of cad/cam programming you can walk into a machine shop that can scan the mounting surfaces of the oil cooler to the block, and design a adapter that can then connect the new adapter to the engine block ( with the o rings ) then connect that to a aftermarket cooler. Even the podunk little town I live in ( pop. 9000 ) has a shop that can do this. will this adapter cost less than $ 1000... probably, add aftermarket oil cooler, mounting bracket... back in business.

That's all very nice, but it's totally impractical for 99 percent of recreational boaters. AND-- if that's what it takes to keep an engine running, then it's not an engine I would want in anything I owned, and I would think it would not be an engine that any manufacturer would want to put in their products. The ideal engine--- particularly one stuck down in a crowded and awkward engine space--- is reliable and long-lived but when it does need repair the repair should be as dirt-simple as possible to make. Not something that requires a frickin' cad/cam shop.

Boeing, whose products make our boats look like single blocks of wood, spends bazillions of dollars on what we call maintainability. The objective being to make the product as easy and as fast as possible to fix. Requiring a customer to break out the cad/cam mill to fix something they ought to be able to remove and replace in 30 minutes is an unacceptable solution, not only to us but to our customers.

On a much smaller scale, a marine or automotive engine is no different. If I have to cobble up or manufacture solutions to overcome an engine problem, I'm not going to figure out how to do that. I'm going to figure out how to get rid of the damn engine.
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:28 PM   #26
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Ok.... but your not thinking far enough out side of the box. With the proliferation of cad/cam programming you can walk into a machine shop that can scan the mounting surfaces of the oil cooler to the block, and design a adapter that can then connect the new adapter to the engine block ( with the o rings ) then connect that to a aftermarket cooler. Even the podunk little town I live in ( pop. 9000 ) has a shop that can do this. will this adapter cost less than $ 1000... probably, add aftermarket oil cooler, mounting bracket... back in business.
Ok, I will admit this is out of reach for folks that cannot even change the oil in their boats ... but as I have seen on this forum there are plenty of members that would not even blink at this task.
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With a machining and fabrication background I completely agree with the above statement. The factory engineered it and had it fabricated in a machine shop. A competent machinist can reverse engineer it and make it serviceable again. Happens all the time with classic out of production cars and machinery equipment.

Is it pricey? Yes and no, it can be. But not always as pricey as you may be led to believe.

Eventually it will be needed for almost any currently available engine/equipment to keep it running. It is what aftermarket companies step in and do all the time if enough demand is there.
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:32 PM   #27
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That's all very nice, but it's totally impractical for 99 percent of recreational boaters. AND-- if that's what it takes to keep an engine running, then it's not an engine I would want in anything I owned, and I would think it would not be an engine that any manufacturer would want to put in their products. The ideal engine--- particularly one stuck down in a crowded and awkward engine space--- is reliable and long-lived but when it does need repair the repair should be as dirt-simple as possible to make. Not something that requires a frickin' cad/cam shop.

Boeing, whose products make our boats look like single blocks of wood, spends bazillions of dollars on what we call maintainability. The objective being to make the product as easy and as fast as possible to fix. Requiring a customer to break out the cad/cam mill to fix something they ought to be able to remove and replace in 30 minutes is an unacceptable solution, not only to us but to our customers.

On a much smaller scale, a marine or automotive engine is no different. If I have to cobble up or manufacture solutions to overcome an engine problem, I'm not going to figure out how to do that. I'm going to figure out how to get rid of the damn engine.

Really.. you of all people should notice the vast difference between marine and aviation products and more important their support. In aviation parts, the engineering design/support is a quantum leap ahead of what we get in our boats... not to mention the process of AD's ( airworthiness directives to the non fliers ) to get necessary repairs implemented prior to a critical failure. But even with that govt. mandated program in place a reputable company like Boeing has still unexpected flight control issues in it's 737, and has had 747's lost in flight . But the program catches most issues.

We don't have the luxury in the marine industry of having design changes that are not correct implemented by direction of either the mfg. or the coast guard. And Boeing does regularly do the engineering to make fixes that show up in it's aircraft... they just do a large scale version of what I am referring can be done , engine mounts, door hinges, literally 1000's of changes keep our airplanes very safe. Just imagine if Ford/Lehman had a program in place... fuel pumps, oil pumps would have had fixes done to correct their shortcomings. Just because a mfg. makes something doesn't mean that it is the best, or the only way to do something. It is too bad that just about every boat I have ever seen built prior to 1990 has had to have it's fuel system " cobbled" up with those horrible aftermarket Racor filters... or do you not have one of those cobbled up boats?
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:01 PM   #28
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i never said that the engine wasnt any good all that i said was the parts were hard to get and very expensive,ill take a DD any time,you buy parts in any corner drug store LOL
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:49 PM   #29
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i never said that the engine wasnt any good all that i said was the parts were hard to get and very expensive,ill take a DD any time,you buy parts in any corner drug store LOL
Capt Jerry,
The volvo's do appear to be good base motors, I think one of the issues is that Volvo seems to reinvent the wheel on every new series of marine engine they build, then they discontinue production of parts destined to fail, oil coolers, heat exchangers, exhaust parts. In the recent past I have been researching on one of these engines as a boat I am interested in has a out of production volvo. I have already been looking at the issues with having some of these parts fabricated when/if they fail. On my last trawler the John Deere never needed anything other than raw water impellers after the first season when I had to replace the exhaust elbow/riser.. and I fabricated the unit up myself for a fraction of the John Deere replacement part, but I do know most owners don't want to take on projects like that.
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:53 PM   #30
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Art, I hope by now you've learned to take what you read on an Internet forum with a grain of salt. In this case, the whole shaker.

You've read about what some guy heard about, you've read speculation that Volvo won't be supporting it's products because it bought another company, and you've read that someone heard about someone who is replacing a perfectly good Volvo engine because they are afraid they won't be able to get repair parts.

Interspersed in the middle of all this crap are a couple posts from folks who actually own and operate a Volvo powered boat. Like these people, I have a Volvo (TMAD41P built in 1999 with over 3K hours). I have had no issues with it and it runs just fine.

Volvo has been around for a long time and it appears it will be around for a long time to come.

My suggestion - If you like the boat and the engine checks out OK, buy it
TY, Ron - LOL

Although I love to hear actual experiences, opinions, guesses, hear-say and what-ifs, If it all checks out on boat... I'll refill my salt shaker...

That said - There has been plenty input to this thread to chaw-on re Volvo engines!

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Old 09-22-2012, 10:25 PM   #31
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I went down to my boat today, principally to change the fuel filter on the Starboard engine. I found that since I have been home, 6 whole days, A pigeon has nested in the roof of my shelter and was making one huge pile of crap and feathers on my deck below her entry/exit from the roof nesting area. So it took me all afternoon to cut out all of the 6 mil poly that had holes potentially allowing more pigeons to nest, and to clean up the mess, so the filter will wait till I next get so motivated.
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:54 AM   #32
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It is too bad that just about every boat I have ever seen built prior to 1990 has had to have it's fuel system " cobbled" up with those horrible aftermarket Racor filters... or do you not have one of those cobbled up boats?
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Major big difference between installing a newer stand-alone fuel filter and having to have an actual core engine component machined because it takes too long to get the proper part. Or it's become impossible to get the part.

Your analogy between Boeing and marine engines is meaningless because while we are constantly improving our products and designing and making new components, WE'RE doing that, not our customers. Our customers don't see or have to do any of this. They simply get the new component and install it. If they had to design and fabricate new components to keep their airplanes operating (outside of the engines which we have no responsibility for) because we no longer supported them Airbus would have a whole lot of new customers.

We boaters are the equivalent of the customer. If an engine manufacturer or an aftermarket supplier can't supply what's needed in terms of engine core components, I'm going to get rid of the engine. And by the same token, if a manufacturer or aftermarket supplier no longer supports a certain engine I'd be a real dumb-ass to buy a boat with that engine, wouldn't I?

The only reason the Ford Lehman engines are still viable is because of the aftermarket support they have. You can get rings, valves, valve guides, injection pump overhauls, etc, etc, etc from suppliers other than Ford of England who stopped giving a crap about these engines decades ago.

But if our engines fail in a way that is not supported by the aftermarket folks and requires having core components custom machined then the Lehmans are coming out of the boat and going into the dumpster and new engines are going in.

We're not talking about keeping some historical artifact running here, like an Atlas or a Washington where fabricating parts is the only option to keeping these museum pieces running. We're talking about a 1950s era tractor engine that is easily replaced. Custom-machining core components for these things is just dumb as far as I'm concerned.

Volvo marine diesels are excellent powerplants. There seems to be little argument on that and my own limited experience with them in Hawaii bears that out. But from an awful lot of customer testimonials Volvo engines-- at least the older ones-- have spotty manufacturer support and parts can be extremely time consuming and expensive to get. So it's a no-brainier to me to simply not buy a boat with Volvo engines. There are too many good boats out there to have to settle for something that requires you to hire Acme Machining in order to keep it running.
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:36 AM   #33
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Any upside at all to Volvo that you see?

For an owner NO,

For a boat builder YES.

Volvo was very!!! price competative for an OEM , so some builders would stick them in to save a few bucks.

For us the ability to hand start our offshore designed boats was a plus, so we chose them.

2 hand cranks cranks was cheaper than using a Perkins or similar with a Hyd motor and pump setup.

In retrospect the hyd could have been used for the windlass , and for sheet winches on the accumulator , with the hand pump replacing pressure.

Would have made single handed tacking , full battened main hoisting , and dink recovery easy. Tho not cheap.

In our experience Volvo does not stand behind the warentee at all well.

The engines we used was the MD 3B , and were delivered with faulty valve springs that rusted and snapped in use.
Eventually they replaced the springs with ones dipped in plastic tool dip.

FINE ENGINEERING?? Tool dip???
These were sold thru the parts folks , but replacement of cylinders destroyed by valve heads was not done. We ate the cost , and switched engine mfg.
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:51 AM   #34
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Major big difference between installing a newer stand-alone fuel filter and having to have an actual core engine component machined because it takes too long to get the proper part. Or it's become impossible to get the part.

Your analogy between Boeing and marine engines is meaningless because while we are constantly improving our products and designing and making new components, WE'RE doing that, not our customers. Our customers don't see or have to do any of this. They simply get the new component and install it. If they had to design and fabricate new components to keep their airplanes operating (outside of the engines which we have no responsibility for) because we no longer supported them Airbus would have a whole lot of new customers.

We boaters are the equivalent of the customer. If an engine manufacturer or an aftermarket supplier can't supply what's needed in terms of engine core components, I'm going to get rid of the engine. And by the same token, if a manufacturer or aftermarket supplier no longer supports a certain engine I'd be a real dumb-ass to buy a boat with that engine, wouldn't I?

The only reason the Ford Lehman engines are still viable is because of the aftermarket support they have. You can get rings, valves, valve guides, injection pump overhauls, etc, etc, etc from suppliers other than Ford of England who stopped giving a crap about these engines decades ago.

But if our engines fail in a way that is not supported by the aftermarket folks and requires having core components custom machined then the Lehmans are coming out of the boat and going into the dumpster and new engines are going in.

We're not talking about keeping some historical artifact running here, like an Atlas or a Washington where fabricating parts is the only option to keeping these museum pieces running. We're talking about a 1950s era tractor engine that is easily replaced. Custom-machining core components for these things is just dumb as far as I'm concerned.

Volvo marine diesels are excellent powerplants. There seems to be little argument on that and my own limited experience with them in Hawaii bears that out. But from an awful lot of customer testimonials Volvo engines-- at least the older ones-- have spotty manufacturer support and parts can be extremely time consuming and expensive to get. So it's a no-brainier to me to simply not buy a boat with Volvo engines. There are too many good boats out there to have to settle for something that requires you to hire Acme Machining in order to keep it running.

Whew....
I guess you really missed the point of all this.
The notion that you MUST wait and search forever And pay too much for accessories that are BOLTED on to ANY engine on Any of our boats doesn't hold true for all of us. What I was trying to point out was that if one is capable ( and I am not sure that you are with your haste to chuck a perfectly good engine in the trash because a bolt on part might not be available ) there are alternatives to stock bolt on parts. The notion that this would make the motor any less viable it frankly very short minded. My comments were never directed to Volvo in particular, it was directed at ALL marine engines.
Keep in mind that most (not all but a large percentage ) of marine engines are truck/industrial engine to start. Even the highly regarded Lugger engines start as tractor or truck blocks and Lugger bolts on all the marine parts to make it a " Marine" engine. Personally I believe it would be a really stupid thing to spend $20,000+ to pitch a motor because the "stock" heat exchanger or oil cooler failed and for one reason or another stock unit wasn't available or cost effective to replace.
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Old 09-23-2012, 02:19 PM   #35
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Personally I believe it would be a really stupid thing to spend $20,000+ to pitch a motor because the "stock" heat exchanger or oil cooler failed and for one reason or another stock unit wasn't available or cost effective to replace.
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I agree with that. The Volvo part our friend has been waiting for for over three months now is a camshaft as well as some other valve train parts. THAT'S the kind of part I'm talking about. Parts that are specific to the engine core that would require exacting and one-off machining to make.

But my main point is that if an engine has a reputation for requiring custom solutions to overcome what should be a routine and timely repair or replacement, I'd be a complete fool to buy a boat with that engine unless I was willing to replace it with an engine with good factory or aftermarket support.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:59 AM   #36
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........But my main point is that if an engine has a reputation ...............
You have to watch those "reputations". They are nothing but opinions and since the popularity of the Intenet, some people feel the need to try to spread their opinions as facts.
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:12 AM   #37
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Have been running my VOLVO engines for 12 years now and I would never buy another boat with VOLVOs. Replacement parts cost triple that of Cummins or Cat, if even availible. VOLVO is infamous for not supporting its older products. The engineering is ingenious though. Changing a raw water impeller is a snap, as the pumps are located on the top of the engine. This year I pulled out my port side MS3 transmission, lapped in the shift cones and was back in business. Really easy to work on. Just hope you don't need parts as none are availible.
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:21 AM   #38
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Have been running my VOLVO engines for 12 years now and I would never buy another boat with VOLVOs. Replacement parts cost triple that of Cummins or Cat, if even availible. VOLVO is infamous for not supporting its older products. The engineering is ingenious though. Changing a raw water impeller is a snap, as the pumps are located on the top of the engine. This year I pulled out my port side MS3 transmission, lapped in the shift cones and was back in business. Really easy to work on. Just hope you don't need parts as none are availible.
Thanks, ancora... that's a straight shot from a genuine user of Volvo. Will keep it in mind as I further review the 1981 42' Burns Craft sport fisher. Volvo's evidently have 1500 hrs. Owner is ill so we've had difficulty getting together at boat for my full review. Time will tell!
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:07 PM   #39
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You have to watch those "reputations". They are nothing but opinions
A guy waiting over three months for a Volvo part is not an opinion, it's a fact. People who found Volvo parts totally unobtainable in places in the southwestern Pacific is not an opinion, it's a fact. The owner of a commercial tuna fleet who is thinking of swapping out all his Volvo prime movers because of the high cost of parts and the costly delays in getting parts is not an opinion, it's a fact.

You get enough of these facts together and you have a reputation. Such seems to be the case with Volvo engines. Therefore, the logical conclusion I have come to is never buy boats with Volvo engines, particularly older boats with older models of Volvo engines.

Doesn't matter if they're good engines. If the support and parts availability is as bad as a very large number of people have experienced it to be there are too many other options to bother putting up with the Volvo Hassle.
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:11 AM   #40
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If you try, you can find someone who will swear he will never buy a (insert any manufacturer) engine.

Some of these people are pretty smart, some are not.
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