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Old 31-05-2010, 23:38   #1
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Volvo s130 Saildrive Issue - Clutch Slippage


I have 2 Volvo D1-30s on my 44' cat, each with a 130 Volvo Saildrive. In mid-March 2010, with about 600 hours on the engines, the port saildrive started failing intermittently in forward gear only ... I'd move to engage the gear, and it would slowly engage in idle, but as I revved up, no power (most of the time). Sometimes it would engage, but often not. The drive seems to engage reliably in reverse, and, with multiple tries, I can usually get it to engage in forward. Once in forward, it stays in forward. It's getting it into forward reliably and timely that's the issue. If it's in gear, taking it out (to idle, for example) puts everything back to square one, and I'm rolling the proverbial dice when I look to re-engage in forward.

Obviously troubling in tight anchorages, like the one in Galapagos where it first happened. Luckily, there were some local pangas who helped push me clear of other boats, as I lacked the ability to turn the boat.

In the Marquesas, I encountered another cat that had the same issue, and he said it was the thrust washers or bearings, and that Volvo was aware of the issue and was working on it.

I am now in Tahiti, having had a few heart-stopping moments in the Tuomotus, and I have discovered other tales of 130-woe on the web, and wonder if anyone has any ideas. We're working through both my US dealer and the authorized Tahiti dealer to resolve this, but I get conflicting advice re: a prop issue vs. a gearbox issue, and whether this can be fixed in or out of the water.

Advice and insights welcome.
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Old 01-06-2010, 06:03   #2
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First, check the obvious like the cable linkages and oil. Probably a worn clutch. Volvo went to a disk clutch pack in the 130 instead of the cone clutches in previous models and I know several boats with early drives where these wore out fairly quickly.


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Old 05-12-2010, 14:55   #3
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Volvo has now issued a bulletin indicating that these drives should have their oil replaced -- they now call for SAE15W40 oil, instead of the previously-indicated ATF.

See your Volvo dealer for more information.


s/v ile de Grace
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clutch, saildrive, volvo

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