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Old 08-05-2011, 13:13   #1
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Crank-Starting Penta MD2003

I have a Volvo Penta MD2003, on the cylinder head there is a diagram showing the procedure for crank starting and there is a part number for a starting handle so you would assume that it's OK to use it to start the engine.

When asked my Volvo main dealer for the starting handle he said "you don't want to do that boy" apparently the cranking dog is fitted to the timing shaft and by using the hand to start the engine you can damage it.

I sent an email to Volvo's head office technical department, who just fobbed me off to the man dealer again ( I really do appreciate good service, don't you).

I suppose I could find another main dealer and ask them but thought I would check with you guys first.

Has anyone used the starting handle on the MD2003 and if so where there any problems?

Thanks guys.
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Old 08-05-2011, 13:49   #2
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Re: Crank starting Penta MD2003

I've got a crank handle for a Volvo MD2 if you need one. Hand started my MD2 for more than 10 years. The MD2 was designed as a marine engine with humongous flywheel and compression releases. You need the flywheel to build up inertia so the rotation will continue through a compression stroke. The compression releases allow you to get the engine rotating with the crank. Without the compression releases, you cannot crank a diesel. The compression is so high, you can't rotate the engine past the compression stroke with a crank.

The routine on the MD2 was to push the cold start button down, lift the compression releases, crank the engine building up as much rpm as I could, deactivate the compression release on one cylinder and then the other after the initial cylinder was firing. The MD2 would always start on the first try but we were never where it was even cool when I handcranked it. If you are underway, cranking the engine with the transmission in forward, made cranking a lot easier.
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Old 08-05-2011, 14:34   #3
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Re: Crank starting Penta MD2003

Thanks Peter, love t come to Hawaii to collect it but. it's along way from the UK and even further from Croatia where my boat is and I am siting as I type.

The only problem then is I don't have a flywheel fitted, not sure what I can do abouth that?
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Old 08-05-2011, 14:50   #4
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Re: Crank starting Penta MD2003

Your flywheel is at the back of the engine were the gearbox joins the engine block, where as on an older volvo it was at the front.

However, given the difficulty of starting these engines with a good battery I think you are on a hiding to nothing. Do you have the decompression lever fitted to the top of the engine? our VP2003 engine is a 1988 build and doesn't have one although the crank fitting is. Without the decompression lever I doubt you will be able to turn it over fast enough to start even when warm.

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Old 08-05-2011, 15:09   #5
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Re: Crank starting Penta MD2003

What kind of whimp are you, letting two oceans and a continent stop you from dropping by for a cuppa.

I don't know that an engine without a big flywheel would be impossible to start. Do know that that honking flywheel on the MD2 stored a lot of energy once you got it spinning. The must have thing is compression releases. You just aren't going to be able to crank a diesel without them.
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Old 08-05-2011, 15:35   #6
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Re: Crank starting Penta MD2003

Just a tip for cold-starting the Volvo MD2003 engine:

Pull the engine stop fully out and then push it back in before attemtpting to start the engine.
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Old 08-05-2011, 15:44   #7
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Re: Crank starting Penta MD2003

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weyalan View Post
Just a tip for cold-starting the Volvo MD2003 engine:

Pull the engine stop fully out and then push it back in before attemtpting to start the engine.
The throttle lever needs to be moved beyond 3/4 position and then the engine stop lever pulled out fully and pushed back in. This opens up the rack allowing over fuelling to assist the starting.

However, even with big batteries starting a cold VP2003 can be interesting in the depths of winter at 51.north

As Roverhi states without the decompression lever, you will never turn the engine over fast enough.

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Old 09-05-2011, 08:22   #8
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Re: Crank-Starting Penta MD2003

Fortunately I do have the decompression lever, so I am taking it that it's OK to use the cranking handle to start it - always supposing that I had one.

Next time I am in the South Pacific I will look you up and have that coffee (and the cranking handle) Peter O, but Croatia is a great place to sail and I can't see myself leaving here real soon but keep the pot hot anyway :-)

Thanks for your help guys.

Happy sailing

David
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