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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 11-04-2005
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Volvo MD7A-1977

I have a 77 Dufour 31 that has a MD7A Diesel.
Have had the boat only 5 months. All of a sudden had a problem getting into forward gear. Reverse no problem. Have had the transmission looked at and find that someone
had put transmission oil in it instead of
engine oil. Actually there was nothing in it, it had leaked out. Anyway the parts that are worn are $1700. The labor has been
quoted at $1200. The engine runs great, cranks immediately and have had no problems
there. The boat has a dripless, new water pump and raw water strainer. Question is as boating is new in this household, Is it feasible to spend $2900 to repair the transmission for a 28 yr old engine or should I just start saving for that repower. Without the transmission repair I will probably miss the next sailing season.
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Old 11-07-2005
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Volvo MD7A-1977

I had an 1980 MD7A that went bad, and it cost me about $9000 to repower with a Yanmar 2GM20. You are still thousands ahead by fixing the transmission, but who knows how long a 28 year old engine will last? I would get more estimates, and look at making the repairs yourself. With no prior experience I did the repower, other than the alignments.
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Old 11-07-2005
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Volvo MD7A-1977

Thanks for your reply. The estimate is from
the local volvo dealer. I know they are probably not the cheapest, but I had 3 other
diesel mechanics already look at it that could not help me with the parts for the volvo. They only were interested in repowering for me. I think I am going ahead with the repair and cross my fingers on the engine. Currently I just don''t have the know how to tackle this myself. Thanks
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Old 11-07-2005
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Volvo MD7A-1977

Also out of curiosity, what kind of boat was
your MD7A in. I have been told that certain
repowers fit certain boats better. Does it always mean replacing the shaft, prop etc?
I have been told that the Beta will drop right in where a MD7A comes out without making special fitting arrangements. My Volvo is in a 77 Dufour 31.
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Old 11-08-2005
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Volvo MD7A-1977

My boat is a Santana 35. It doesn''t matter much about the boat: the MD7A is going to sit on supports of a certain dimension no matter what kind of boat is in question. I repowered with the Yanmar without having to make any alterations to the boat. I had to replace the prop (actually, just the blades) because the engine spins the opposite way, but I still have the same shaft. You can go on line to any of the manufacturers - they all have the dimensions to their engines posted somewhere - and you can compare them to see if you will have to alter the boat.

I also discovered that Volvo parts and expertise are in short supply and expensive. It''s a tough choice, and I am glad I was forced to make mine. The engine would not run, and I wanted something I wouldn''t have to worry about for the life of the boat.
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Old 11-08-2005
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Volvo MD7A-1977

Drynoc,
Thanks for the info. Actually I found a used
transmission at Marine Parts express for $800. Also the parts for about $400. I cannot understand why the local marine Volvo
dealer asks $1700 for the parts unless there is more parts than I am aware of. Marine Parts Express was very helpful and recommended the used transmission saying that replacing the parts is not a trivial thing due to getting the correct tensions etc. The boat is new for me and I just spent
$6000 getting alot of upgrades at the boatyard (ouch) and having Sailcare refurbish the sails. I had planned to repower with a newer engine when I purchased the boat, just not this year. Thanks again for your input. Denise
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Old 11-09-2005
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Volvo MD7A-1977

If you planned to re-power anyway, I would not fix the transmission. If the expense is inevitable, it will be less now than in the future. I would also go with the used transmission parts, if you decide to go that way, provided there is some sort of guarantee associated with them.
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