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jorgenl 12-01-2008 05:37 PM

Volvo Penta diesel mechanics in the Norfolk, VA area?
Does anybody know a good Volvo Penta mechanic in the Norfolk, VA area?

We are looking for a new boat and some of the potentials has a Volvo Penta engine.

klubko 12-01-2008 06:53 PM

we also have Volvo Penta. Lots of people will discourage you, since parts for Volvo are very expensive. Look especially on mounts, which tend to be very light and brake (ours did). Don't hire a specialist Volvo Penta mechanic unless you know he's really good. We had extremely bad experience with professionals from Volvo. I would find "normal" marine diesel mechanic that does lot of work for "normal" people with "normal" size engines. Other than that Volvo's are good (regardless what people say). Good luck.

r.furborough 12-01-2008 07:08 PM

Mechanic in Norfolk, VA
Try AALL Marine - (757) 295 3052 ask for Mike Monteith, he is also a sailor and prices accordingly.

Rockter 12-01-2008 08:30 PM

Jorg :

I have got a Volvo MD17C in my ship, from 1977.

It's not a bad motor, but the spare parts are ASTRONOMICALLY EXPENSIVE!!!!!

I mean out of sight.

In 1997, they wanted (then!) 1300 (about $2200) for an exhaust manifold, 300 (about $500) for a piston (they don't sell oversizes... you have to buy the piston and liner kit). The list goes on.... 49 for a final drive seal.... I found one for 3.50.



I advise you not to either.

The early motors (MD2, MD3, MD11, MD17) are sound enough... it really is a sound motor series..... it's just you will be close to insolvency if anything semi-major goes wrong. The third-generation motors, the 2000 series, did not have the same reputation for reliability, and fairly promptly, the Perkins-based "Volvo" motors followed.

Here is a wee summary..... Volvo-Penta engine overlook

Note the reference to "lunatically".

It's a pity about the prices. It does not have to be like this.

There are plenty of other fine engines around. I have always liked the look of the Kubota motors (one variant is the Beta Marine series). They are top-flight Japanese motors. Another good motor is the Perkins, or the British-built Lister Petter. A manifold for the Lister Petter 40 hp was about 185 back then, I remember.

I have no interest in the sale of any of these motors. I just don't want you to learn the Volvo parts lesson they way I have.

firehoser75 12-01-2008 09:49 PM

Agree with Rockter
I have a Volvo engine in my boat. I have experienced the extremely high parts prices, but also the lack of availability of parts. This summer, my engine (at 700-750 hours) suffered 2 different breakdowns. The first one was when the freshwater pump pulley broke in half. Due to the fact that there was no wind that day, I was towed in. During the tow, I phoned the mechanic and he tried to find a new pump (in case we needed it) and a new pulley. Both had to come from Europe (we didn't order the pump as it was not needed).
Later in the summer, the engine had a total failure when a nut came off one of the con rods resulting in severe damage to the crankshaft (there is another post on this site for this one). For this repair, several of the parts had to come from Europe. Each time the part had to come from Europe, there was additional freight charged.
Volvo Canada has not exactly been good with their customer support.
My advise, avoid Volvo if you can.
Good luck,

camaraderie 12-01-2008 10:59 PM

Up the bay in Deltaville there is a GREAT diesel guy named Henry Lackey who installed a Volvo for me in an earlier boat. He is reasonable and knows his stuff if that is not too far out of the way for you.

Deltaville Diesel Co., Inc., Henry Lackey, PO Box 343, Deltaville 23043 804-776-6331

Rockter 12-02-2008 07:11 AM

Firehoser :

How did the crankshaft saga work out in the end?

firehoser75 12-02-2008 08:31 PM

Volvo Repair Update
I am not trying to hijack this thread, but I will give Rockter a brief answer to his question. Sorry.
The engine has now been rebuilt, along with some additional "maintenance" items like a new exhaust elbow, rebuilding of the injectors, saildrive hull seal replaced, etc. It seems to be running well (so far only a few hours on it).
I intend to do a full update after everything is settled, but here is the short version so far. My hull and machinery insurance will provide "some coverage" for this failure and the invoice is in their hands now (minus of course any work not directly related to the failure). I am awaiting their response. I contacted Volvo Canada again, and they are a little more receptive than before the engineer's report. After much back and forth, they have verbally (will not put anything in writing) offered to cover the difference between what insurance pays and what I am "out of pocket" (for the breakdown). We will see, I still don't (completely) trust them.
I will update either on the old thread or create a new one once this is settled. I want to be fair to all parties and to insure that interested people are fully informed.:)


Rockter 12-02-2008 09:23 PM

You know what a damn good engine series would be?
The Volvo series that included the MD17C, but with Lister-Petter, or Yanmar or Perkins spare parts prices.
It won't happen.
Volvo lost their way a long time ago, and a lot of their customers.

dwwilde 01-25-2009 03:19 PM

Norfolk Area Volvo Penta Mechanic
Try Action Master Marine 757-531-2628. They have been very helpful to me on repair advice for my DIY efforts. They are located in the Little Creek area.

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