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Old 08-11-2016, 05:15 AM   #1
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Thumbs down Volvo TAMD40B

I am looking at a Atlantic Prairie with a Volvo TAMD40B engine with 1800 hrs. It is a 160 HP turbocharged engine. The only reviews I can find say they may be a problematic engine with cooling problems & parts are hard to find & expensive. Anyone with advice or experience with this engine, I would appreciate feedback.

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Bruce: 1sailor@optonline.net
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Old 08-11-2016, 10:48 AM   #2
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I have a TAMD 41P. It runs just fine with over 4,000 hrs.


Parts are not cheap but most diesel engine parts are not cheap. People who don't own Volvo diesels love to bash them but most people who do own them just go boating and don't worry about it.
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:21 PM   #3
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I had a TAMD 41p, 210 hp on my previous boat, a Camano 31, I had it for 4 years the previous owner for 2, it ran fine, the only problem I ever had was the plastic screw on cap of the engine mounted raw water strainer used to drip and finally cracked, maybe from over tightening. I bought a new cap no more drips.
everything else was fine.
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Old 08-11-2016, 02:43 PM   #4
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I have twin TMD40s and they are good engines. The bad part is that VOLVO parts cost three times that of Cat or Cummins, if you can find them. If I had known about them I would not have bought a boat with VOLVO engines.
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Old 08-11-2016, 04:18 PM   #5
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Do some research, find reliable engines with long overhaul cycles and then look for a boat with those engines. Look at engines w/o turbos. Turbos are used to get more hp out of a smaller engine. Cooling isn't just keeping the coolant below 200F. Besides the turbo to maintain, turbos cause excessive exhaust gas temperatures. EGTs cause increased wear of all cylinder components. Especially when run above 80% of hp.
Finding many engines of a particular manufacturer only means they give bigger discounts to boat builders. Besides, you can't scalp boat owners with high part prices if they don't have your engine. The boat builder isn't worried about repairs, longevity, ease of maintenance or economy. They just want to sell as many boats as they can build. OEM engine sales reps are a common sight at building yards.
Buying my current, last retirement boat, the engines were at least 50% of the decision.
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Old 08-11-2016, 05:38 PM   #6
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Volvo make solid engines, but the comment regarding the price of parts is true.
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Old 08-12-2016, 10:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Volvo make solid engines, but the comment regarding the price of parts is true.
That's where the Internet is your friend.
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Old 08-13-2016, 01:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
Do some research, find reliable engines with long overhaul cycles and then look for a boat with those engines. Look at engines w/o turbos. Turbos are used to get more hp out of a smaller engine. Cooling isn't just keeping the coolant below 200F. Besides the turbo to maintain, turbos cause excessive exhaust gas temperatures. EGTs cause increased wear of all cylinder components. Especially when run above 80% of hp.
Finding many engines of a particular manufacturer only means they give bigger discounts to boat builders. Besides, you can't scalp boat owners with high part prices if they don't have your engine. The boat builder isn't worried about repairs, longevity, ease of maintenance or economy. They just want to sell as many boats as they can build. OEM engine sales reps are a common sight at building yards.
Buying my current, last retirement boat, the engines were at least 50% of the decision.


Lepke, I would respectfully disagree with your take on turbocharged engines.
Turbos are used to help your engine get more efficient use out of your fuel, ie more bang for your buck, and less rainbow at the transom.
IF your engine/rig is properly set up, there is no maintenance involved in running a turbocharger. It will last as long as the rest of the motor, and probably the owner too.
Just because a motor utilizes a turbo does not automatically put it in the "hot rod" category.
My current boat is equipped with a Cummins 6BT rated at a mere 180 hp and even at that low rating, it still uses a turbo. This speaks clearly for the usefulness of turbos, as this same basic motor carries ratings of up to 370 hp!
By the way, this setup enables a 50' vessel to cruise at an honest 8 knots on less than 2 GPH.
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Old 08-13-2016, 02:51 AM   #9
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Lots of non high performance cars use turbos for efficiency, especially diesels. Gas too, look at VWs. My Peugeot turbo diesel, just 150KW, has 400NM of very useful torque.
About Volvo. A neighbour just bought a 2003 Riviera 39, nice boat. The marina mechanic said " nice boat, but it`s got a problem, 2 problems actually". He meant the Volvos, mentioned coolers, O rings, parts, etc. His comment not mine, but he`s an experienced mechanic, I`ll bear it in mind if I go shopping soon.
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Old 08-13-2016, 06:52 AM   #10
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Bruce we had a pair of 40A 155hp Volvo's years ago. The 40B's are 165hp I think. We never had any major problems with ours and for your normal service parts such as filters and impellers you can get after market ones for reasonable prices. The only problem comes if you do need genuine parts but even then there is a reasonable second hand market for them out there,

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Old 08-13-2016, 07:02 AM   #11
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Thank you all for your input. I spoke to a very experienced mechanic here who knows this engine & he said they were very good and, with the proper care & maintenance, would be good for 6-7000 hrs. without any problems. It's probably 100 HP more than I need for this boat. I had only 65 HP on my last boat, a 43' sailboat that weighed 32,000 lbs., so I will not be stressing it cruising at around 1800 RPM, but will still be keeping the carbon from building up!
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Old 08-13-2016, 07:28 AM   #12
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The newer Volvos have a turbo and a supercharger. The D6 is 5.7 l, and develops 370 HP. They have been out for awhile, and I have not heard of any serious issues with them.
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Old 08-13-2016, 08:25 AM   #13
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"Volvo make solid engines, but the comment regarding the price of parts is true."

The problem is in many sizes Volvo did not make the engine , just bought it from somewhere.

The Volvo built products will usually have parts , the marinizations frequently have parts problems even when new.
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Old 08-13-2016, 10:38 AM   #14
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Are you referring to older TAMD, or the D lines they have been putting out?

My understanding is they manufacture these at their plant in Sweden.


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The problem is in many sizes Volvo did not make the engine , just bought it from somewhere.

The Volvo built products will usually have parts , the marinizations frequently have parts problems even when new.
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Old 08-13-2016, 11:34 AM   #15
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FF- Volvo actually made the 40 series.

To the OP- The 40 is a good engine. A little dated as it is a glow plug engine, so you take a little efficiency hit. Lots of these still out there running fine.

Regarding parts, I have not kept up with parts availability for these. Suggest you contact a Volvo dealer and ask if an entire oil cooler is available. If an aftercooled unit, ask if the aftercooler is available.

Also what gear is installed? Some Volvo gears are troublesome and if you change to a different one, all the mount dimensions have to change.
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Old 08-13-2016, 05:28 PM   #16
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I own a '83 Atlantic 30 with the TAMD40B volvo. Bought used with 1300 hrs-Changed oil and filter and water pump-pump locked up with a bad bearing from water leak when bring the boat home after purchase-Got parts out of Norfolk, Va.. Expensive, if you don't need them They had all the gaskets, orings, bolts,etc. Have put about 400 hrs on it and just add diesel and change oil. You'll cruise at 6 to 7 knots at 1600 to 1800 rpm-my mechanic says it'll outlast me run at those speeds. One more thing-I get about 4 mpg. I did run the boat for 72 hrs straight and burned 82 gals. going up the Atchafalaya river-6knts upstream at 1800 and 7.5 knots downstream at 1600.
With that said, I would prefer to have a Cummings or Cat or even a old GM-only because every mechanic down here, in oil country, can keep you going and parts can be had almost anywhere.
You should have a little leverage on price with the volvo.
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Old 08-13-2016, 06:47 PM   #17
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There is a Riviera 3600SY ("Sports Yacht", no FB) for sale here with Volvo D3`s, anyone familiar with them?
It`s a Mk1 (some have Cummins).The Mk2 has an interior redesign, but comes with Volvo IPS, I`m not going there.
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Old 08-14-2016, 12:03 PM   #18
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There is a Riviera 3600SY ("Sports Yacht", no FB) for sale here with Volvo D3`s, anyone familiar with them?
It`s a Mk1 (some have Cummins).The Mk2 has an interior redesign, but comes with Volvo IPS, I`m not going there.
I am not familiar with the D3. You may get some feedback on boatdiesel.com.
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Old 08-14-2016, 01:49 PM   #19
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D3 is a hyper-output car diesel with marine bits strapped on. Not in same category as the old skool 40 series.
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Old 08-14-2016, 04:52 PM   #20
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D3 is a hyper-output car diesel with marine bits strapped on. Not in same category as the old skool 40 series.
Sounds like a similar deal as the VW Diesel Rabbit engine that it is used in older sailboats.
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