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Old 03-02-2016, 21:27   #1
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Volvo Sail Drive Problem. won't engage forward drive

Hi. I have a volvo penta sail drive that will not engage forward. It started playing up about 8 months back sailing Indonesia to Philippines. If I slowly eased it neutral to forward several times it would eventually engage. Now it won't engage at all. I have checked all cables and the the shift lever on top of gearbox. These appear to all function normal. Problem deeper in gearbox? Reverse works fine. The drive was installed new 2010 along with new Volvo Penta motor, only been run for 650hrs. I'm moored in remote area of Philippines. Any help or suggestions on what the problem might be would be appreciated.

Thx Doug
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Old 03-02-2016, 22:07   #2
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Re: Volvo Sail Drive Problem. won't engage forward drive

I don't have any personal experience with those, but if it were me I'd ask someone to try shifting while I was below watching what the cable is doing or not doing. Could the cable have stretched or come loose? I'm just stabbing at it.
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Old 03-02-2016, 22:15   #3
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Re: Volvo Sail Drive Problem. won't engage forward drive

Thx DL. Have already checked all cables and shifters all the way to gear box. these work fine. Cheers
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Old 03-02-2016, 22:22   #4
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Re: Volvo Sail Drive Problem. won't engage forward drive

After glancing through that other thread about saildrives I'd suggest sending a couple of those folks who responded with private messages directly. I bet they will be able to help you diagnose it.
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Old 03-02-2016, 22:25   #5
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Re: Volvo Sail Drive Problem. won't engage forward drive

I'll probably get jumped on by the experts, but you might try changing the oil, maybe something light like ATF.
I'm in the middle of resurrecting an old Volvo MSB, replacing the bearings and cleaning all the gunk out of the cone clutches. They have to start to engage and then they are driven into the cone by engine torque. (And THAT's why it's recommended to leave it in reverse while sailing.)
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Old 03-02-2016, 22:45   #6
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Re: Volvo Sail Drive Problem. won't engage forward drive

Thanks Bill. Already use ATF oil. Had a suggestion I try heavier oil. Cheers
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Old 04-02-2016, 08:44   #7
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Re: Volvo Sail Drive Problem. won't engage forward drive

DON'T USE ATF OIL - only normal engie oil SAE-15W/40 - same as in the engine - (Even if the manual say ATF. VP have issued a service bulitin reversing this info to SAE-15W/40 ) .
MAKE sure you get all oil out - if on land, open bottom screw an flush it - if not replace the oil 2-3 times after short running.


Worked 100% again for me after replacing the oil to SAE-15W/40
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Old 04-02-2016, 09:02   #8
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Re: Volvo Sail Drive Problem. won't engage forward drive

I agree you should use the same oil as the engine.
When re-filling the transmission, check level with dip stick, but do not screw down the dip stick.

Run engine briefly and try forward or reverse and check transmission level again.
There is a chance an air bubble will form mid-way down the sail drive. So you thought you filled sufficiently but you actually need to add more oil.
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Old 04-02-2016, 09:18   #9
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Re: Volvo Sail Drive Problem. won't engage forward drive

As dreyer said, get rid of the ATF. The ATF overheats and causes clutch parts to warp. Had 2 clutches replaced before Volvo changed to 15w/40. The second one started working after the switch to oil but then only lasted about 6 months. I found I could usually get it into fwd gear by shutting it down, putting it in gear, and then starting it in forward gear (did not have lockout installed to prevent starting in gear).
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Old 04-02-2016, 09:51   #10
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Re: Volvo Sail Drive Problem. won't engage forward drive

Had the exact same problem with my volvos just clean out the ATF flush with oil 40w and now have 400+ hrs without any further problems
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Old 04-02-2016, 11:33   #11
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Re: Volvo Sail Drive Problem. won't engage forward drive

Ive just had the same problem with a Volvo D2-75, a 73 hp engine with sail-drive.
After too long diagnosing the problem we found it was the sacrificial rubber bush in the propellor hub.
However, the issue differs depending on the type of prop you have. Some props don't have this sacrificial bush. In those cases there is a sacrificial component in the clutch.
So it is likely your diagnosis is that it is either of these sacrificial components: in the propellor hub or in the clutch.
The first is easy to check, Take the prop off (if it is a Flexofold prop, the hub will come off with the prop) and if you are careful you can do it in the water, without lifting the boat.
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Old 04-02-2016, 19:34   #12
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Re: Volvo Sail Drive Problem. won't engage forward drive

Thanks to all for the replies and advise. I will run with changing the oil 15W-40 and see how we go. The mechanic I communicated with in Aus. suggested same.

Cheers Doug
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Old 05-02-2016, 07:50   #13
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Re: Volvo Sail Drive Problem. won't engage forward drive

We had exactly this problem. Woke up in the morning and had only reverse gear. Fortunately we were near a very capable boatyard (Agmar Marine, on the north end of Leros Island in the Aegean), and they were able to locate a used replacement for the sliding sleeve that was worn. See Figure 22, p. 25 in the Volvo MS2-SD120 manual, available here. I'll load in a picture below.

http://www.plaisance-pratique.com/IM...120_manual.pdf

- Mark
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Old 05-02-2016, 14:09   #14
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Re: Volvo Sail Drive Problem. won't engage forward drive

Earlier ATF oil ruined my VP gearbox. Complete revision was the only thing.
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