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Discussion Starter #1
I have a Volvo Penta 2003 diesel.
Cannot get a Tachometer for the new engine panel anywhere. Backordered, none to be found anywhere.
Because of the yard doing work, my travel, etc. I didn't launch the boat until the end of July. Noticed the engine wasn't charging the batteries so I checked the alternator. No output, but I knew the alternator was good when I put the boat up. So I checked the engine panel and found some wiring frayed and corroded. (That happens when it takes direct blasts of seawater racing offshore!) So I ordered a replacement panel and cable. Came in without the tach which was on backorder. Coming up on 7 weeks now and I still can't use my boat. Dealer said NOT to use the old tach as it could cause problems.
I will NEVER have a Volvo engine in a boat again. Not the first time I've had trouble getting parts. End of rant.
 

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Learning the HARD way...
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You aren't the only one...

The sailing school that I had worked for posted on FB in July how they were GRATEFUL that Volvo was replacing the TWO engines in the 2010 catamaran that they owned. I assume that Volvo cut them some kind of deal, but still; the boat was out of commission for MONTHS, I am sure that there were many phonecalls and much negotiation involved, and two new diesels needed?

Maine Sail posted, long ago, that if he were to look at a boat with a Volvo, it would be scratched from his list of candidates unless the owner reduced the price to cover a re-power. See https://www.sailnet.com/forums/diesel/257985-westerbeke-versus-volvo.html
 

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don't see why you can't use the boat. I have used many boats that had a broken tach and it did not stop us from going sailing. The alternator not working could be why the tach was not working many diesels use the alternator signal to run the tach
 

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My MD17D tach is reading about 2/3 of what it should be. Engine is 34 yrs old. Tach seems impossible to find. I have yet to confirm that the sender leads are OK.... If they are it's the gauge. I will look for a replacement... but it will come off an old boat as part is no longer made.

I can motor with it... I just guestimate the RPM.... not something that needs to be precise.
 

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First off, I'm guessing Volvo does not manufacture the tach. There are half a dozen companies that make them and like the Onan genset engines made by Kubota, a little research may lead you to a source for parts beyond the labelled engine manufacturer.
I second using the engine w/o a functioning tach. We did that for about 5 years, just using a bad alternator as a tension wheel for the belts. But we have solar, a windgen and a genset to power multiple battery chargers underway, if needed.
However, how is it that you hold Volvo responsible for "That happens when it takes direct blasts of seawater racing offshore!"? Perhaps the whole problem could have been avoided with a little care beforehand.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
don't see why you can't use the boat. I have used many boats that had a broken tach and it did not stop us from going sailing. The alternator not working could be why the tach was not working many diesels use the alternator signal to run the tach
The existing panel has several wires that are frayed and somewhat corroded. It's 30 years old. Just a matter of time until more goes wrong.
I was told that the tach has to be installed for the panel to work. I don't know, but that's what the Volvo guru said. And I wasn't about to use the old panel (which did start the engine) KNOWING that I couldn't charge the batteries, as well as wondering if or WHEN something else was going to go wrong and then I wouldn't even be able to start the engine. Just not a good idea to go out in a boat with a known problem. Regardless, it p!sses me off that Volvo can't keep a part in stock. It's not like it's something unusual or even goes to a rare engine.

And I agree with MAINESAIL. NO Volvo engines in the next boat.
 

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What is the engine? The instrument panel which comes with my 1985 MD17D has 2 gray wires for the tach... The transducers is mounted on the engine block. The other wires for the tach are for lighting.

I have altered the volvo / VDO panel

I don't use the old AMP and oil pressure idiot lights... added an separate OP gauge. Installed a switch to disconnect solar panels
 

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Volvo doesn't make the tach for your boat - it is made by VDO. There is nothing on your panel that prevents you from using your engine without the tach. You could even buy a different tach from VDO. I've done this several times, and it only takes a small amount of effort to calibrate it. It is cheaper also.

Mark
 

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Volvo doesn't make the tach for your boat - it is made by VDO. There is nothing on your panel that prevents you from using your engine without the tach. You could even buy a different tach from VDO. I've done this several times, and it only takes a small amount of effort to calibrate it. It is cheaper also.

Mark
Volvo doesn't make any of the gauges or the key switch... As Mark said.... VDO...
 

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You aren't the only one...

The sailing school that I had worked for posted on FB in July how they were GRATEFUL that Volvo was replacing the TWO engines in the 2010 catamaran that they owned. I assume that Volvo cut them some kind of deal, but still; the boat was out of commission for MONTHS, I am sure that there were many phonecalls and much negotiation involved, and two new diesels needed?

Maine Sail posted, long ago, that if he were to look at a boat with a Volvo, it would be scratched from his list of candidates unless the owner reduced the price to cover a re-power. See https://www.sailnet.com/forums/diesel/257985-westerbeke-versus-volvo.html
The replacement engines are because of a recall that isn't due to any operational issues at all. Volvo sold engines into the US market during a short period that did not meet the emission requirements, or did not do the required testing. They were forced to stop selling the engines, and had to recall the ones they did sell and replace them. So they retuned the engines and came back on the market with them.

People are grateful because they get brand new engines for free. Pretty sweet deal.

Volvo didn't "cut them a deal" - they had to replace them for free. There weren't any phone calls or negotiations - they only had to contact a Volvo service center and schedule the work. Since these need to be installed by certified independent Volvo mechanics/dealers, any backlog is due to them, and not Volvo. I know several people who had the exchange done within a day or two, as well as several people who waited months - the only difference was which business they chose to do the work. While waiting for a service slot might take some time, there is no reason the boat would be out of commission once the new engines arrived and the boat was being worked on. It is a direct swap like for like, and doable in a single day.

It is funny that people who find Perkins engines acceptable go on at lengths attacking the exact same engine, down to the nuts and bolts, when it is painted green and a Volvo sticker is placed over the Perkins sticker.

Granted, the OP's 200X series is not a Perkins, and is one of the worse engines made. However, all of Volvo's small engines in the past 26 years are Perkins that are painted green.

Mark
 

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People are grateful because they get brand new engines for free. Pretty sweet deal.
Volvo didn't "cut them a deal" - they had to replace them for free.
https://www.volvopenta.com/marineleisure/en-en/for-owners/your-engine/recall-information.html

Yup! My boat goes to the local Volvo marine shop next week for this. "Penta D2xx recall campaign". Hell, if you have any Volvo, might as well check the serial against their site...
The 2011 engine with <500 hrs on my boat that's being replaced runs perfectly, which put this boat at the top of my short list to begin with (despite hearing horror stories about Volvo parts costs), and a free do-over with a brand new engine sealed the deal.
Dealer said the "new" engine is utterly identical to the original (D2-40 with saildrive). Volvo's deal covers the cost of the re-power (yard fees and all), but any work on other components (saildrive, controls, instruments, electrical) are not covered.
How often do you get to start at 0 engine hours, for free? I'm looking forward to it, even if parts will be a hassle down the line. God bless the EPA!
 

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......it p!sses me off that Volvo can't keep a part in stock. It's not like it's something unusual or even goes to a rare engine.

And I agree with MAINESAIL. NO Volvo engines in the next boat.
Volvo deserves some of its rep, but I think the rants are grossly overstated.

To begin with, when did you buy this boat? That engine has not been made in 29 years! You'll find it difficult to source some parts for any make/model which is that far out of date, unless the part carried over into future years or was a much more ordinary wear item.

If you owned Volvo, would you put a tach on the shelf and wait a few decades for someone to douse theirs with seawater to come looking for one?

I have a Volvo as well. It definitely requires more TLC than it's comparable Yanmar. The parts can be more expensive, but not as much as ranted. I use MarinePartsExpress.com and order everything online. JD, the owner, is excellent at sorting out oddities too.

My Volvo has never let me down, but it does require more maintenance.
 
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If you expect marine engine service to work like your local car garage on a 3-10 years old car with tens of 000’s of similar cars around you may want to review your course...
like anything in sailing, it is a matter of proper maintenance over time by the owner - never trust the shop only.... In my cruising boat, I have a Volvo Penta TMD31B (100HP), 28 years old that still work like new! Not all the parts are available new at Volvo in the US but there are tons available online from European vendors - that’s how I get most of my genuine parts - at a lower cost than in the US.
Your service shop had to know that as well and get you the tach on time.
Good luck.
 

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My Volvo has never let me down, but it does require more maintenance.
Curious as to what additional maintenance yours requires.

We've owned 4 Volvo's - 2 MD20xx series, and 2 D2-xx series - and none of them have required more than normal routine maintenance expected from any engine, none have given us any problems, and they are all easy to work on. The one Yanmar we own is a different story - the raw water pump is mounted backwards making it completely inaccessible without removing the entire pump completely, some of the hoses are routed in ways that chafe and are also inaccessible, the exhaust elbow design is a nightmare waiting to happen, and there are other ways it is illogical and compares unfavorably to Volvo. It also has only required routine maintenance, albeit more difficult to perform, and has not given any real problems. We owned 2 Kubota-based engines, and these are the most rugged, easiest to maintain, logical engines I've dealt with.

As for parts, Volvo is no more expensive than Yanmar. Certain parts cost more, but others go the other way.

For example, the following prices are $Volvo/$Yanmar for comparing the MD2030 to the 3YM30 (these seemed to be equivalent engines used in similar boats).

Oil filter: $12/$7
Fuel filter: $16/$5
Thermostat: $17/$30
Impeller: $20/$17
Head gasket: $96/$78
Mixing elbow: $248/$186
Fresh H2O pump: $286/$318
Raw H2O pump: $258/$238
Alternator: $611/$833
Starter: $516/$367
Injector: $239 ($137 exchanged)/$193 (no exchange price listed)
Injector pump: $864/$2,300
Heat exchanger: $517/$1,400

If you ignore the oil and fuel filters (which are readily available for the Volvo engine from other manufacturers in most autoparts stores for far less) then the pricing of parts seems to be very close between the two manufacturers until you need something like a heat exchanger or injector pump. Then the Yanmar pricing is eye-popping.

Mark
 

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My 32 YO 2002 runs like new, it is RWC so there's a simplicity I really like, most expensive parts so far were the 4) Motor mounts, one was just broken, $750 as I recall, need to do all at that age, probably the originals! Hell, they will recommend 5 yr replacement cycles, who does that? That said I would never do any major work to a 30 YO motor, I would just re-power, probably with Beta. Personally and with no experience I don't think I want a sail drive so that might put a Boat out of consideration for me. I'm seeing so many recent re-powered Boats on market lately selling for less than the price of the Motor, that's a good place to start when shopping.
 

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I had a 1979 MD7a on my old boat that served me well for the 16 years I owned the boat. I did have the engine rebuilt shortly after I got the boat, and yes, the bearings and gasket kits were a bit pricey but not prohibitively so. I rebuilt it because it was smokey and it became clear that the previous owner did not maintain it well. The fuel system was fouled by dirty biodiesel.

After the initial overhaul I had to do very little in the way of repairs. The mixing elbow rotted out, which cost around cdn$200 and was in stick locally. The thermostat failed a couple of times, which WAS overpriced at $125, and the oil pressure switch started leaking, and I was able to replace it with a $25 automotive part.
Certainly there were some aspects of the design that made me shake my head, such as the ridiculous spring clip retaining system for the copper water pipes, or the water pump on the back of the engine, but at the end of the day it all worked well.

I don't think you can condemn volvo for not having ready stock of parts for a 35 year old engine. I would be more inclined to fault your "volvo guru" mechanic for not being able to source a tach somewhere else, or reuse the old tach, at least temporarily. Some techs just want to order a part based on the manufacturer part number, when the reality is, a few phone calls and a bit of research would likely produce a cross reference part number that may be readily available. That tach could be sitting on a shelf somewhere locally, with a different part number on the box. It happens all the time in my trade.



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The biggest problem with Volvo are their very high prices for spare parts.
They really are astronomical.
Check out what a typical heat exchanger costs, and they tend to corrode and fail.
Make sure you are sitting down first.
 

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The biggest problem with Volvo are their very high prices for spare parts.
They really are astronomical.
Check out what a typical heat exchanger costs, and they tend to corrode and fail.
Make sure you are sitting down first.
****
I can understand the frustration, but my impression is that Yanmar parts are generally not any cheaper. I had Yanmars with former boats.
As for Volvo, I’m ordering parts online through quite few European sources, especially as my good old TMD31B has been discontinued years ago.
The good thing is that with most parts of Volvo, these are identical to their trucks models and OEM parts are generally available at ‘non marine’ prices.
 

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The biggest problem with Volvo are their very high prices for spare parts.
They really are astronomical.
Check out what a typical heat exchanger costs, and they tend to corrode and fail.
Make sure you are sitting down first.
See post #14, and be happy you aren't buying a Yanmar heat exchanger.

Of course, that post compares only two engine models, and things may be different for different models. However, I'd bet a donut that prices overall between Volvo and Yanmar are similar.

We have a Yanmar engine on our Kohler generator. Surprisingly, parts through Kohler are cheaper than the exact parts through Yanmar.

Mark
 

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Is Yanmar your only comparison?
Try comparing with Kubota (Beta Marine) or Lister-Petter or Perkins.
What do you think?
It is best not to defend the sky-high spare parts prices from Volvo by comparing them with another outfit that are similar.
My point was one of contrast, not similarity.
 
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