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Old 05-06-2016, 13:04   #1
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Volvo sail drive 120S-E

Hi all,
Today I was checking the oil in my sail drive (Volvo Penta 120S-E) and unfortunately the dipstick broke and the bottom part fell down the hole. Any ideas how I can retrieve it.
Can I still start the engine without doing any damage?

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Old 10-06-2016, 20:30   #2
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Re: Volvo sail drive 120S-E

I would definitely remove it as if it got caught between gear teeth it could well split the top housing. Try removing the shift mechanism and seeing if you can fish the broken piece out. Failing that you will need to remove one of the bearing housings to gain access. PM me an email address if you need a PDF of the manual. It is possible to open up the top housing without removing the saildrive but the engine will need to be uncoupled and moved away,


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Old 10-06-2016, 21:31   #3
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Re: Volvo sail drive 120S-E

it is made out of plastic. I wonder if it would float on oil? maybe you could overfill the case and it will float out. kind of a long shot but maybe worth a try.
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Old 11-06-2016, 11:21   #4
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Re: Volvo sail drive 120S-E

Thanks for your replies.
The plastic dipstick sinks in gear oil, I've tried that already.
I've also tried one of those boroscope cameras but could not locate it.
I have now towed the boat back to the shipyard and had it lifted again. I only just launched her 2 weeks ago.
The plan is to remove the rear engine mount and then unbolt the gearbox back plate and just hope it comes out with the gear oil.
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Old 12-06-2016, 10:36   #5
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Re: Volvo sail drive 120S-E

Tough spot Bozza. Sounds like you are onto the best possible solution. I was just going to suggest seeing if you can capture it with one of those fluid pumps used for oil changes but that would be a stretch. If you hadn't changed the seals etc. on the drive when you were out last might be a good opportunity to do that anyway. I have a 120s and to do that you drain off the saildrive fluid anyway from the bottom of the unit so if yours is similar it might make it through to the gearing exposed when changing seals. It could get stuck further back uo in the drive however I suppose. Dunno if that helps...
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Old 15-06-2016, 19:50   #6
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Re: Volvo sail drive 120S-E


Correct me if I am wrong but doesn't that sail drive use the same top gear set as the MS2B transmission which is subject to spline failure? If so I would like you all to know that as a non profit organization we salvaged a 2003 and after spending much time and money on getting it running. discovered the well known to everyone else it flaw. So I sought to find a solution for this, and contacted Next Wave Marine systems Inc. Who normally build drives for large commercial vessels. They have kindly built a miniature prototype drive for our 2003 series Volvo Penta.

So for those of you still running 2000 series? Can I recommend you view the video of our engine? FYI

This can be shipped to anywhere in the world and installed with simple tools. it does not require any machining. BTY... I do not represent their company... so contact them direct if you would like additional information, attention Barbara Mark, <>,

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