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Old 01-06-2012, 17:47   #1
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Volvo Saildrive Shift Problem

I am having problems shifting from reverse (engine off) into neutral, prior to starting the engine.

I sail with the gearbox in reverse, which feathers the prop. Before starting the engine, I move the shift lever to its neutral position then start the engine.

It seems very reluctant to come out of reverse, I am careful not to apply excessive force to the shift lever.

If I heave-to, I am able to engage neutral, just like 'normal'.

So far there have not been any issues with the reverse to neutral shift with the engine running - this only occurs engine off, while sailing.

Any ideas on what I could do to fix this problem? Your thoughts and comments appreciated!
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Old 01-06-2012, 18:09   #2
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Re: volvo saildrive shift problem

My catamaran (2 volvo saildrives) has a similar problem. I don' t have folding prop's but I like to lock my props (by putting in astern) to cut down on the noise and vibration. My port saildrive will go back into neutral no problem but the starboard one has to be started in reverse then switched to neutral. I don't know the reason but there is another post here somewhere where the guy has been doing this for years with no problem. You might need to bypass the neutral safety switch (if it has one).
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Old 01-06-2012, 19:33   #3
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Re: volvo saildrive shift problem

The way out is you pull the stop then turn the engine, then shift into neutral, push the stop in, start the engine.

You can also start the engine while the gears are engaged backwards, then shift into neutral, but why should you.


BTW you may be able to lock the shaft by engaging the gears forward. This works on older, heavier engines and provided the boat is not smoking.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:15   #4
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Re: volvo saildrive shift problem

I appreciate the 'work around' but its not really solving the problem.

I have sailed ca. 15K miles with this boat in the last 18 months, and this problem only occurred the last two days - something has changed.

Sitting here on a mooring ball, engine off and it will shift repeatedly through reverse, neutral and forward without issue.

Maybe I'm over analyzing the issue, and I should be content with the work-around, but generally I have found problems coming back to haunt me at the worst moments i.e. what happens when this issue occurs and starting/rotating the engine doesn't solve it?

Any other thoughts?
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:57   #5
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Re: volvo saildrive shift problem

Check your props to make sure they are clean and are folding completely and symmetrically. It sounds like you are experiencing enough water flow over them to cause them to lock against the gears/engine. This could be due to them not folding completely (barnacle in the gears?) or one blade out of alignment with the others (worn gear teeth?) or enough growth on a single blade to cause asymmetric water flow.

A test is to fold the props by putting them in reverse and then shifting back into neutral right away. They should stay folded and not rotate. If they are rotating, then that is your problem.

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Old 02-06-2012, 14:40   #6
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Re: Volvo Saildrive Shift Problem

Thanks Mark! growth on the prop could well be the problem, as she has not been sailed for the last two months, while I was away. I will get in the water here and check it out.

All the best,
michael
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Old 13-06-2012, 21:57   #7
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Re: Volvo Saildrive Shift Problem

It turns out that I must have picked up some line or netting somewhere - this prevented the prop from folding properly - cleared it away and all is good again! Thanks for all the help and suggestions.
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