Volvo Penta MD2 Valve Job - SailNet Community

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Old 03-02-2013
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Volvo Penta MD2 Valve Job

Looking for advice/thoughts on the Volvo Penta MD2. I'm aware of the parts/expense issue but wondering what the cost of a valve job would be on a 1976 MD2. I've got a mechanical engineer bff that I might be able to ply with enough whiskey to get the job done. I'd like to hear thoughts on what it would cost to do the job two ways - 1) Pay for the parts/sucker the friend or 2) Pay a mech start to finish.

The background is that I've found a boat that seems to be otherwise perfect (for me) but has an original (I think) MD2 that is blowing a bit of oil. I see myself offering on this boat but would like to know what I'm looking at for engine repair costs. It doesn't sound to me like the need is immediate but rather something I'd tackle next winter.
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Old 03-02-2013
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Re: Volvo Penta MD2 Valve Job

Prob,

Blowing oil? Where's it coming out?

It could just be that the head needs to be retorqued.

It could also be that the head is warped, or rings are worn, or the cylinders are worn, or the valves are shot, or the valve guides are worn, etc, etc.

You really won't know until you get the head off of the block.

Since the boat's not yet yours, you are at a bit of a disadvantage since you can't start pulling parts for a proper diagnosis.

If I were in your shoes, I'd call a local shop that works on Pentas. Ask them what they'd charge you for a complete top end job. Let the seller know that your offer price reflects this anticipated expense. If he balks, tell him you are assuming risk anyway since the top end job is not guaranteed to fix the problem.

Now after you own the boat, much of the work you can do yourself (if you or your friend can wrench.) A decent top end job should include having the valve seats reground (not just lapping in the new valves.) Unless your BFF has a machine shop in his basement, at least that part will need to go out. If the head's warped, that'll also need machine shop attention.
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Old 03-02-2013
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Re: Volvo Penta MD2 Valve Job

Excellent point. I am trusting the seller's diagnosis that it "needs a valve job." I think he's making an educated guess but given that he's an engineer, I give it a bit of weight. Having said that, you're right - it could be one of many scenarios. I'll see if I can ascertain from him just where it's coming from and why he thinks it's a valve issue.

Lucky for me, BFF #2 has a machine shop. ...now if I can just get them together to work with me! I'll call a shop and see what the best/worst case scenario is. I think I'm very likely to offer on the boat either way. It's just a matter of factoring in the anticipated costs and managing expense expectations.

Thanks again.
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Old 03-02-2013
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Re: Volvo Penta MD2 Valve Job

Unless something broke or a valve got burned or something like that, it is simply a waste of time to do a valve job in an old, worn engine. It's similar to putting a bandage on a wound that needs stitches.

If the valves are worn to that point, so are the bearings and the rings and the cylinders.

Doing a valve job will simply hasten the demise of the engine since it will increase the cylinder pressure on all the other worn out parts.

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Re: Volvo Penta MD2 Valve Job

Don't waste your time and money on the valve job. Your engine is in great shape, but it is carboned up. Put it on a "Seafom diet" and in the fuel and crankcase oil, and she will get better every day you use it.
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