Volvo Penta MD7A wont go into reverse - SailNet Community

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Diesel This is a new forum dedicated to diesel engines and their applicable accessories.


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Old 03-23-2013
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Volvo Penta MD7A wont go into reverse

Volvo Penta MD7A wont go into reverse. Forward and neutral are no problem at all. Does anyone have a suggestion about what could possibly cause this to happen?
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Old 03-23-2013
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Re: Volvo Penta MD7A wont go into reverse

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Originally Posted by shelby904 View Post
Volvo Penta MD7A wont go into reverse. Forward and neutral are no problem at all. Does anyone have a suggestion about what could possibly cause this to happen?
Maybe try disconnecting the cables and try shifting by hand at the transmission?

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Old 03-24-2013
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Volvo Penta MD7A wont go into reverse

Check to make sure it's not just the prop slipping. Ours would do forward and neutral, but had no thrust in reverse. Ended up needing to replace the shaft prop key.

Will your shifter click into reverse or no?
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Old 03-24-2013
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Re: Volvo Penta MD7A wont go into reverse

Thanks for the replies. I know its not the prop because I opened the engine compartment and watched the shaft turn in forward and stop in neutral and also do nothing in reverse. I am hoping it's as simple as the cable, that will be the first thing I try tomorrow. If that don't work Im not sure what to do. Maybe check the fluid levels in the transmission and if needed figure out what and how to add. If that's not it. I really don't know what, because I simply refuse to throw any more money at this relic with overpriced parts.
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Old 03-24-2013
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Re: Volvo Penta MD7A wont go into reverse

1st check the fluid level in trans. 2nd check that the cable is actually moving the shift arm all the way into reverse (remove cable end and move manually all the way and compare to where the cable moves it). I'm pretty sure that your transmission uses a cone type clutch and it may be worn out, but it's probably just the cable. If you leave it in reverse for a minute or so at high idle does it start to turn the shaft?
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Re: Volvo Penta MD7A wont go into reverse

Thank You JRD22 I will follow those instructions to the letter tomorrow morning.
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Old 03-24-2013
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Re: Volvo Penta MD7A wont go into reverse

I'm not an expert on your transmission but my dad had an older Volvo and it started having a mind of it's own about when it would engage or not and it was the cone clutch. The part for his was no longer available so he re-powered. Our MS4 Volvo trans started dropping out of forward gear if we reduced throttle and wouldn't re-engage unless we revved the engine just a bit. It was also the cone. The part was available and solved the problem.
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Old 03-25-2013
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Re: Volvo Penta MD7A wont go into reverse

Thanks Again for the replies. I am almost 100% certain the cone clutch has failed. I checked the fluid level today and it was low so I topped it off, tried it and nothing. then I disengaged the cable and tried to engage reverse by hand and nothing. I forgot to mention , when I first checked the fluid level there was some black particles on the dip stick, it was not metal, it was either plastic or most likely rubber.

My next question is, assuming I can actually get the part to fix it, how hard of a job is this to accomplish. If it is too hard or cost too much money I am thinking seriously about repowering.


What do you guys think?
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Old 03-26-2013
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Re: Volvo Penta MD7A wont go into reverse

Volvo can tell you whether it's available or not, that's the first call to make. The one we had replaced in our MS4 was $6-700 for the cone, total with gaskets and seals was $1000 to have it done at Volvo (I took it out and re-installed). Coastal Marine in Seattle is the Volvo distributor for this area, good parts dept.
800-223-5284
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Old 03-27-2013
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Re: Volvo Penta MD7A wont go into reverse

Thank You all for your response and information.
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