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Old 24-10-2012, 05:24   #1
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Yanmar 40 versus Volvo saildrive

Having a chat to the marine maintainance owner the other day I asked what he thought of the Volvo versus the Yanmar 40 as fitted to my Lagoon 400, he felt the Yanmar's were OK, however the way he said it they were only just OK, he went on to state they are made up of bits from other manufacturer's, but in any event no way as good as the Volvo, he did mumble something about BMW bits used in the Yanmar, he is a Volvo agent. He is a good guy and has done some work on my craft and I will continue to use his services. I love my Yanmar's, they are turbine smooth, reliable, economicle, powerfull, just a joy to own. I just wonder what thoughts others may have, I always thought the Yanmar was the market leader. Regards Peter
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Old 24-10-2012, 06:46   #2
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Re: Yanmar 40 versus Volvo saildrive

Are you talking about the engine itself or the saildrive? The engines are very good - personally I don't think any better or worse than an equivalent Volvo, but you can expect good service from it.

The saildrives, on the other hand have more problems than Volvo saildrives. Yanmar seems to have a cone clutch problem that they can never solve. Their current solution is to change the owner's manual to state that the cone clutches should be removed and lapped every year as routine maintenance.

Google Yanmar saildrive problems, then Google Volvo saildrive problems. Night and day.

Mark
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Old 24-10-2012, 07:03   #3
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Re: Yanmar 40 versus Volvo saildrive

peterp,

I have had both Yanmar and Volvo Penta.

The only difference is the color of the engine.

The Yanmar sail drives on the other hand as colemj mentioned will be what keeps you up at night.
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Old 24-10-2012, 08:11   #4
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Re: Yanmar 40 versus Volvo saildrive

Yanmar SD40 and SD50 saildrives are terribly unreliable. Cone clutches need reworking every 500 hours or so.

Actually I saw the problem in action just earlier this week... Boat that we are travelling with pulls into marina with fast flowing current. Shoves lever astern... nothing. Quick exit forward and, yes, once again, cone clutch problem. Tends to happen without warning and at the most inconvenient time.

I don't have any personal experience as I have Volvos but I have lots of friends that do!!
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Old 31-10-2012, 16:37   #5
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Re: Yanmar 40 versus Volvo saildrive

I have worked in charter companies for many years and have experience with both engines. IMHO the Yanmar is far superior to the Volvo engine.
The Volvo electrical system is a disaster, especially the new model. Far too complicated and all low voltage (3V). Also, Volvo is almost impossible to deal with as a company. No technical back up whatsoever. You cannot even contact them directly.
Since they bought Perkins, a lot of their engines are not real Volvos just re-painted Perkinses. There are no factory improvements to ongoing problems e.g. The fuel filter bracket bolts on the 50hp engines have been breaking for almost ten years, usually within six months of new. If Yanmar has a consistent problem, it is fixed with a factory mod, usually within a year. Volvo sea waterpumps have notoriously bad impellers and most of the engines have corrosion problems. A Yanmar sea waterpump is virtually indestructible. The best part is that it is easy to order a workshop manual and a parts manual for the Yanmar. Try to get one for a Volvo...
I have SD 50 saildrives on two 3JH4Es. They are now approaching 5 years and have just passed 1500 hrs. They have not given me any problems whatsoever. However, I change the oil every hundred hrs and the seals every year. Changing the oil is very easy and convenient. Changing the seals every haulout takes me about an 1.30 each drive. Like all cone clutches, they do not like abuse. Going directly from ahead to astern without hesitating fractionally in neutral will destroy any of them in short order and not changing the oil regularly is detrimental to any transmission

Eddie
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Old 31-10-2012, 17:03   #6
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Re: Yanmar 40 versus Volvo saildrive

This is just a thought but Mercury had a problem with cone clutches on the Bravo drives. Apparently the fix was to go from three oil relief grooves to six on the clutch cone.
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Old 01-11-2012, 06:39   #7
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Re: Yanmar 40 versus Volvo saildrive

Quote:
Originally Posted by slosaileddie View Post
I have worked in charter companies for many years and have experience with both engines. IMHO the Yanmar is far superior to the Volvo engine.
The Volvo electrical system is a disaster, especially the new model. Far too complicated and all low voltage (3V). Also, Volvo is almost impossible to deal with as a company. No technical back up whatsoever. You cannot even contact them directly.
Since they bought Perkins, a lot of their engines are not real Volvos just re-painted Perkinses. There are no factory improvements to ongoing problems e.g. The fuel filter bracket bolts on the 50hp engines have been breaking for almost ten years, usually within six months of new. If Yanmar has a consistent problem, it is fixed with a factory mod, usually within a year. Volvo sea waterpumps have notoriously bad impellers and most of the engines have corrosion problems. A Yanmar sea waterpump is virtually indestructible. The best part is that it is easy to order a workshop manual and a parts manual for the Yanmar. Try to get one for a Volvo...
I have SD 50 saildrives on two 3JH4Es. They are now approaching 5 years and have just passed 1500 hrs. They have not given me any problems whatsoever. However, I change the oil every hundred hrs and the seals every year. Changing the oil is very easy and convenient. Changing the seals every haulout takes me about an 1.30 each drive. Like all cone clutches, they do not like abuse. Going directly from ahead to astern without hesitating fractionally in neutral will destroy any of them in short order and not changing the oil regularly is detrimental to any transmission

Eddie
Hello Eddie, I have the SD50 on two 3JH5E, thanks for your informative post, 1500 hours with no issues is excellent. Iím due for anti fouling soon, Iíll follow your annual oil change routine, which seals do you refer to? Agree important to be able to talk to the manufacturer, I spoke to our Yanmar folk here in Australia got through immediately to a very helpful engineer, amongst other things he sent me a Global Technical Bulletin PDF re the sail drive dipstick, explaining why it has been replaced from October 2009 production engines with a longer one details in the PDF. Also a PDF re after engine shutdown converting to sailing, the power levers go to reverse then to neutral, he sent me this as I asked why my folding props sometimes made a whirring sound mainly on the starboard engine whilst under sail with the engine shutdown and in neutral, I knew it was the props still turning but was not aware that I should follow the above procedure, no doubt every one else knows this but I did not, keen to try it out next time we are out sailing, the above applies to folding and feathering props not fixed props. Not sure if I can attach the PDF but will have a go. Regards Peter
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:04   #8
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Re: Yanmar 40 versus Volvo saildrive

Hi Peter
The seals I refer to are the propshaft seals. They should be replaced annually. You may get away with it for longer, but it is not worth the risk of getting water in the drive. There are two seals per drive.
They are easy to replace. Once you have removed the prop and anodes it is simple to remove the two allen screws that hold the unit in place, gently tap the unit with a rubber mallet or a soft piece of wood to unstick it. Then you should be able to extract it by hand. Be aware that the bearing on the inner end of the shaft will hit the helical gear before you get it all out. So the shaft will have to be tapped back in as you remove the bearing carrier. Once you have the unit in your hand it will be a simple matter to tap out the old seals and replace them. Pay attention to their orientation. One faces in and the other out. Be aware that there is a white plastic shim between the two seals. Avoid damaging this when you remove the seals as you will have to re use it.
For putting in the new seals it is best to have a drift of the correct diameter to avoid damage. Take your time and tap gently and make sure you are going in straight. Grease the seal lips with good quality marine grease. When replacing the bearing carrier fit the shaft first and then gently push and tap the carrier into place. Make sure you don't pinch the o-rings. I replace the o-rings every other year. grease lightly before inserting.
Buy a workshop manual and a parts book. They are very informative.
Oil changes are very easy with an electric M/cycle tyre pump and the correct Yanmar fittings. It takes longer to put in the fresh oil than it does to remove the old. Refilling is best done overnight. Put one liter in in the evening and the second liter the next morning. Far less frustrating.
Make sure you use the correct oil.
Have fun
Eddie
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:12   #9
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Re: Yanmar 40 versus Volvo saildrive

WOW.
Those prop shaft seals last about 10 years on the Volvo sail drives.
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:19   #10
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Re: Yanmar 40 versus Volvo saildrive

I had bad experience with Volvo D2 40. My engine is 4 years old, and after 2 years I started to have problems with heavy smoke over 2500trmn. We tried and verify all systems and found no problem. The only solution was to remove the Calosta (the piece that opens water flow over 80į).
The problem in this situation is not so much the engine but the Vovlvo service in my area that is near zero!
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:17   #11
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Re: Yanmar 40 versus Volvo saildrive

Quote:
Originally Posted by slosaileddie View Post
I have worked in charter companies for many years and have experience with both engines. IMHO the Yanmar is far superior to the Volvo engine.
The Volvo electrical system is a disaster, especially the new model. Far too complicated and all low voltage (3V). Also, Volvo is almost impossible to deal with as a company. No technical back up whatsoever. You cannot even contact them directly.
Since they bought Perkins, a lot of their engines are not real Volvos just re-painted Perkinses. There are no factory improvements to ongoing problems e.g. The fuel filter bracket bolts on the 50hp engines have been breaking for almost ten years, usually within six months of new. If Yanmar has a consistent problem, it is fixed with a factory mod, usually within a year. Volvo sea waterpumps have notoriously bad impellers and most of the engines have corrosion problems. A Yanmar sea waterpump is virtually indestructible. The best part is that it is easy to order a workshop manual and a parts manual for the Yanmar. Try to get one for a Volvo...
I have SD 50 saildrives on two 3JH4Es. They are now approaching 5 years and have just passed 1500 hrs. They have not given me any problems whatsoever. However, I change the oil every hundred hrs and the seals every year. Changing the oil is very easy and convenient. Changing the seals every haulout takes me about an 1.30 each drive. Like all cone clutches, they do not like abuse. Going directly from ahead to astern without hesitating fractionally in neutral will destroy any of them in short order and not changing the oil regularly is detrimental to any transmission

Eddie
Caterpillar owns Perkins, not Volvo. Volvo simply uses Perkins engines in some of their models.

Volvo is difficult to deal with as a company since they make you go through their dealers, but their dealers have been good to deal with. As with any, there can be bad ones, but that goes for any engine dealer.

Volvo's had no electrical system on their smaller engines prior to their new models, so no disaster there. I have no experience with their new models.

Reading Yanmar threads on this forum leads one to believe that Yanmar also have many issues that remain unsolved for years - even with many customer complaints and detailed descriptions. Their backward mounted water pump requiring complete removal to check the impeller was/is notorious, and they solved their poorly engineered cone clutches by simply changing the manual to state that they need to be removed and lapped every year. That is hardly responsive (or responsible) action.

It is very easy to order a Volvo workshop manual and parts manual. Caterpillar gives away the parts manual and the workshop manuals for most of their smaller engines can be found on line for free.

I'm sorry, but saying the Yanmar SD is good because you haven't had problems with yours is the same as me saying all Volvo engines are good because I haven't had problems with mine. I haven't, so everything you posted must be mistaken...

Again, google Yanmar saildrive problems and Volvo saildrive problems. The difference is night and day.

Resorting to changing the oil and shaft seals every 100hrs is almost impossible in a cruising boat (well, oil is easier to do). Volvo's 250 hr gear oil change recommendation is much more doable, as is their 5 year shaft seal change recommendation.

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Old 01-11-2012, 10:22   #12
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Re: Yanmar 40 versus Volvo saildrive

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
WOW.
Those prop shaft seals last about 10 years on the Volvo sail drives.
Actually, Volvo recommends they be changed every 5 years. I changed ours at 10 years, even though I had no reason to suspect them, and they looked as new as the ones I put in. Ours are 120's, so the recommendation on your 130's may be different.

I am very happy I don't have to replace the main boot every 2 years! That is quite a job.

As a catamaran with two engines, the Volvo saildrives allowed me to set them up as counter-rotating. Not possible with Yanmar.

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Old 01-11-2012, 11:10   #13
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Re: Yanmar 40 versus Volvo saildrive

IIRC, Volvo invented the saildrive...
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Old 01-11-2012, 12:15   #14
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Re: Yanmar 40 versus Volvo saildrive

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
As a catamaran with two engines, the Volvo saildrives allowed me to set them up as counter-rotating. Not possible with Yanmar.

Mark
Huh? Why not. I certainly can on my SD20s, same gear ratio both directions, reverse the prop pitch and flip the shift linkage.

Although, I can't imagine needing to do such, I've never noticed any prop walk running 16x12 fixed two blade.

FWIW, I change the seals every haul out, so the longest on one set is ~3 years. They are cheap enough, it doesn't make any sense not to change them every time.
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Old 01-11-2012, 15:47   #15
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Re: Yanmar 40 versus Volvo saildrive

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Caterpillar owns Perkins, not Volvo. Volvo simply uses Perkins engines in some of their models.

Volvo is difficult to deal with as a company since they make you go through their dealers, but their dealers have been good to deal with. As with any, there can be bad ones, but that goes for any engine dealer.

Volvo's had no electrical system on their smaller engines prior to their new models, so no disaster there. I have no experience with their new models.

Reading Yanmar threads on this forum leads one to believe that Yanmar also have many issues that remain unsolved for years - even with many customer complaints and detailed descriptions. Their backward mounted water pump requiring complete removal to check the impeller was/is notorious, and they solved their poorly engineered cone clutches by simply changing the manual to state that they need to be removed and lapped every year. That is hardly responsive (or responsible) action.

It is very easy to order a Volvo workshop manual and parts manual. Caterpillar gives away the parts manual and the workshop manuals for most of their smaller engines can be found on line for free.

I'm sorry, but saying the Yanmar SD is good because you haven't had problems with yours is the same as me saying all Volvo engines are good because I haven't had problems with mine. I haven't, so everything you posted must be mistaken...

Again, google Yanmar saildrive problems and Volvo saildrive problems. The difference is night and day.

Resorting to changing the oil and shaft seals every 100hrs is almost impossible in a cruising boat (well, oil is easier to do). Volvo's 250 hr gear oil change recommendation is much more doable, as is their 5 year shaft seal change recommendation.

Mark

Mark

Please read again
I said not one word against Volvo saildrives. I did not even say SD50s were perfect. All I said was that I had no problems with MINE in 1500hrs.
I did not say I changed my oil seals every hundred hrs, much less that it was necessary. For all I know Yanmar seals will last as many years as Volvo seals. Changing the oil is such a simple procedure on the SD50 it is worth doing regularly. The oil seals are cheap and easy to change. I also change the engine oil and filters every 100hrs. It is just good practice. I think Yanmar recommends every 200hrs, but in the charter business it was mandatory to change every 100hrs and as a mechanic all my life I learned that your oil can never be too clean and it is a small price to pay for longevity. Think of a car: If you drive it for 100hrs at 50mph you will have covered 5000 miles. Yanmar's waterpump moved to the front more than five years ago and never required complete removal for inspection. Some models it was necessary to remove the pump for replacement of the impeller. But the average Yanmar impeller has a service life at least twice as long as the Volvo's though.
You are quite right about the purchase of Perkins. I was misinformed
Have fun
Eddie
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