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Old 13-10-2009, 13:44   #1
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Hand Cranking Volvo MD7B

I have just acquired a 1983 boat with its original Volvo MD7B engine. The engine is in good condition. I got a new hand crank from Volvo. However, the new hand crank is very tight on the crank shaft (I assume that is what the hand crank fits on to?) and though it will turn the fly wheel very well it is difficult to get the hand crank off.

Could someone please advise:

1. How loose is the hand crank supposed to be and is it dangerous to be tight?

2. What is the correct procedure for starting the engine using the hand crank. Should the ignition be on, should the throttle be open and if so how much?

Im a bit nervous to try it without a bit more information having read of people losing thumbs etc.

Many thanks.

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Old 13-10-2009, 13:52   #2
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I had a volvo md6b with hand crank. The crank went on a cam shaft above the fly wheel. The crank handel was very loose and had a lobe to disengage when the engine would run. The procedure was to put throttle at 3/4, turn key on, and release compression. Spin as fast as possible and close compression lever.
Hope this helps.

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Old 13-10-2009, 13:54   #3
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I have a hand crank with my Yanmar. Its a spin off type so when the motor moves faster than the crank it pops off. You dont want it to stick on!!!

The instructions read ...

Turn the ignition on (you dont want to wreck the aternator)
Open the decompression lever
Turn as fast as you F*%n can
Let the decompression lever go.

I have never been able to get it to go fast enough to start. I just make shure my seperate start battery is in good shape.
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Old 13-10-2009, 14:30   #4
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Too many years ago I had a Yanmar 7hp hand start in my RORC 32'. Great engine, easy to start.
I found a diagram for the MD7B hand crank here.
Your Volvo looks to be the twin cylinder 17hp engine, which is of a size that could be difficult to hand start.

The hand crank does not go on the crankshaft, but on a special hand start shaft (labeled 12 in the diagram referenced above.). This shaft (if similar to my old Yanmar) should be fitted with a ratchet so that it will turn the engine over one way but spin freely the other. This is essential if your hand, gripping the starting handle firmly, is not to be removed from your arm when the engine fires.
I could not find any direct reference to hand starting your Volvo, other than a suggestion that "the truth is, that beast took everything I have..". and related comments.
It would probably be best if you contacted your local Volvo dealer/mechanic. They should be able to give you a proper briefing on decompression, injector pump settings, throttle settings, correct technique, safety precautions and first aid.
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Old 13-10-2009, 15:31   #5
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The handle to be lose on the wheel - your wheel or handle must have paint on the adjacent parts - clean them and give them some grease - they must be free do disengage.

0) Gears in neutral,
1) If you have an engine battery switch - keep it ON (as if starting by starter),
2) The key in the ON pos (the one just next to START) - it is two clicks to the right on my panel,
3) Decompression lever - on the UP position (decompressed),

In this position you can easily turn the engine by hand - just pushing on the flywheel.

4) Handle in, give it a couple of quick turns - till it does not get any faster,
5) Now when it is in the full swing - decompression lever down, PUF, PUF, PUF ...
6) Job done!

Very easy.

Note - there is a special way of holding the handle - with the thumb facing along with the other fingers - ask someone to show you the trick - you want to avoid the situation when the engine kicks and you get your thumb bruised.

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Old 13-10-2009, 20:05   #6
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I handcranked an MD2B for nearly 10 years. That engine looks like the older brother of yours. The 2B had a cold start button on the back of the engine, if yours does, depress it and will stick down. Put the decompression levers vertical. If the boat is in a slip, trans in neutral. Crack the throttle open a bit. Start cranking the engine until you get as much RPM as you can crank into it. simultaneously, disconnect the crank and drop one of the compression levers. Engine should start on one cylinder on the first try. Drop all the rest of the compression levers and you are up and running. I hand cranked a 1, 2 , and 3 cylinder versions of the Volvo MD series of engines. The one cylinder was super easy to start, the two cylinder was easy to start, the 3 cylinder was a workout because of the friction and inertia of getting all three cylinders spinning. You probably should have the ignition on as I think there was a solenoid fuel shut off and the warning buzzers won't work. If there is a manual fuel shutoff, you don't need the ignition on.

If you are sailing, it's a lot easier to hand crank the engine with the transmission in forward. Almost like a push start as the water passing over the prop takes most of the effort out of it.

On the 2b, the crank goes on what I believe is the end of the cam. It was about the two o'clock position above the flywheel. The crank should be lose on the cranking shaft as you have to pull it off or it will thrash about on it's own as the engine starts. With a diesel, you don't have to worry about the engine firing backwards breaking your wrist. You really aren't cranking as you initiate the ignition cycle by dropping the compression release.

FWIW, I was always in the tropics starting the engine. Don't know how much fun it would be handcranking a cold engine in Barrow, AK.
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Old 13-10-2009, 22:57   #7
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What an excellent series of truly helpful and informative answers. Thank you ALL!

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