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Old 15-08-2012, 18:57   #1
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Volvo MD2010 Head Gasket & More

PART I

For those that have been around a while the saga of my diesel may be familiar. It died last year and in the interim I have stuck an outboard on while I survey the options. It is a 2-cylinder Volvo MD2010B

History -

The engine was overhauled sometime before I bought it (~2005 I hear) - I know the guy who did it and he was always a bit dubious as a mechanic.

- The engine became hard to start and I put it down to fuel/air leak and would bleed and then reassemble but where it took a couple of revs in the past it started to need lots of cranking. Once running no smoke at all but in hindsight may have seemed "underpowered."

- As part of troubleshooting I noticed that there was little suction through the air intake and suspected low compression. In the end it would crank and not even hint at kicking over. I even sprayed ether in the inlet and no joy.

- I did not have a compression tester but still remained convinced the engine had no compression. The question is how do you lose compression in all cylinders at once (break all rings at once? fail all valves at once etc. - not logical)

- There was no obvious oil in water, water in oil or anything like that.

- I was not interested in pulling the engine and just giving it to someone. The overhaul could be $7000 on an arguable $10,000 boat. Ouch...

- Many Maxi's here have had the diesel and saildrive pulled and get by on outboard power. This was a seriously considered plan but after living with outboard power for a year (I am a real procrastinator) I have decided I don't like the outboard - It is underpowered and a PITA (lean over transom to shift to reveres etc.) and I don't have a decent charge system for the boat (I installed about 2 amps of solar)

So after lots and lots of discussion there was an aha! moment. If the headgasket leaks "across" the two cylinders there would be no compression!

So the plan was developed to do a simple head gasket change. I have procured all the Volvo parts to do this (a surprisingly small box of parts for $600) and last weekend the work began.

Here are some initial photos -

1 - Electrical removed, minor cooling lines removed
2 - Water pump and adapter removed, heat exchanger core removed
3 - Valve cover removed
4 - Rocker arms removed, ready for head removal.
5 - Oil - No water or diesel in it.

A couple of findings so far

- The oil level rose sometime at the end - I have never been able to explain this.
- I broke a stud on the heat exchanger and a second stud is "frozen" to the HE - The broken stud looks like a non-Volvo part - POS. All the Volvo bolts and studs are pristine - they use good hardware in this tough environment. We removed the head with HE attached and will separate on the bench.
- After sitting a year I am very pleased with the lack of corrosion and general good condition of things.
- I used a suction pump through the dipstick to extract the oil. Later I drained the residual - You can see it is about a cup of oil. If you do oil changes with a suction device this could explain why your oil looks dirty shortly after oil changes - the suction device definitely doesn't get it all.

Stay tuned for part 2 - The Reveal!
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Old 15-08-2012, 19:25   #2
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Re: Volvo MD2010 Head Gasket & More

PART II - The Reveal

So now a confession - The engine was rotating freely when I "gave up." A year later it is now seized and after putting a 1/2 bar persuader it won't budge at all...

So I am very concerned about what I am going to see in the cylinders. I suspect the rings have stuck to the walls.

Volvo say that if you see blowby from the head gasket you scrap the head. You cannot mill the head or deck the block according to them. This concerns me. I want to find blow-by between cylinders but "not much" and definitely no hard erosion. The flatness check should be something like .0035. I am prepared to mill .002 off the head if I have to.

- The #2 inlet valve had really excessive clearance - I am fearful now this could have simply been bad valve adjustment - yikes! Should have done that a long time ago.
- We had been spraying WD40 in the cylinders while persuading things so it's pretty wet in there. But the Valve train is in good shape. The pushrods are straight, there is no evidence of the valve stem or pushrods being hammered due to the excessive valve clearances so I am pretty happy
- During disassy I noted some "carbon" in the fresh water circuit. Not lots but run a finger around the various water jacket ports and you can blacken your finger. Maybe some combustion product getting into the water - another pointer to head gasket. Last year I had the heat exchanger core out and there was no carbon evidence at all - this is definitely something new.

So let's pull the head and get this over with...

- Photo 1 - The valves - I want to believe the blackness between the cylinders is blow-by but I am leaning now towards the valve clearance theory. Although sooted and carboned the valve and precombustion chamber all look good. The valves sit up on the seats so the seats/valves don't appear to be excessively worn.
- Photo 2 - Number 1 cylinder. Very clean, no burning, no scratches from piston skirt and no ridge. I am pretty amazed. However both cylinders have a "pool" of WD40 that is not draining - strange.
- Photo 3 - Pretty much exactly like 2. The engine has probably only 350-500 hours on it and things look amazingly good. I expected at least corrosion pititng and stuff from sitting around.
- Photo 4 - Head gasket. I wish I could have found the gasket blown but it also looks in great shape. I could wink and convince there myself there is blowby but this gasket is in somewhat perfect shape. Rats...

Stay tuned for Part III - The next steps...
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Old 15-08-2012, 19:46   #3
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Re: Volvo MD2010 Head Gasket & More

PART III - Next Steps

So things look OK with the engine. I have to fix the HE studs and get it separated from the head without cracking or damaging the head. Work to do and source new studs.

What about the siezure? So scenarios go through your mind. What if the tranny is in gear and the prop is barnacled - mess around with that theory a bit.

Let's get ever bigger bars. A hammer to pound the bars. Tap the top of the pistons, tap harder, get a bigger hammer - these are things that lead you down bad rabbit holes. It is always better to work smarter, not just get a bigger hammer.

The best way to unfreeze the pistons is to flip the block over, remove the conrod bolts and tap the conrod studs. You still may break a ring but you won't break a piston (likely)

So two engine mount bolts, 6 saildrive bolts and the engine control removal and the block will be out.

If we are going to remove the conrod bolts why not inspect the conrod bearings and replace them. There are 2 oversizes so I gotta measure first. I am not going to remove the cam, injector pump or big end bearings at this point. With <500 hours I am sure the bottom end will hold up for a long time to come.

If we are going to remove the pistons why not inspect and replace the rings? While they are out let's hand hone the cylinders. They look in great shape so this should work.

While the head is on the bench why not remove the valves and springs and inspect and hand lap the seats? Then do a leak test on them to verify they are sealing?

I bought a bunch of other stuff for the head gasket job and all that will be done. New lift pump, new overhaul kit for raw water pump. The injectors are new last year.

At the end of this I will hopefully have this thing purring again and it should last another 5-7 years.

Oh - and do a much better paint job. The last one was a disaster and is just flaking off.

Photo 1 - The tranny is starting to split...
Photo 2 - Engine separated
Photo 3 - Engine flying out the companionway
Photo 4 - Engine bed. Most of the rust is cosmetic and flaky. At this haulout I had planned to pull the engine anyway to clean and paint the bilge, install a new floor (behind tranny for batteries) and paint this all up. A long while back I bought a new saildrive boot and engine mounts in anticipation of doing this all before the engine quit. I have already installed a brand new and yet unused exhaust system - part of the first round of troubleshooting. While I am in there I am also going to clean up the wiring.
Photo 5 - Doug. A great helper on this. Actually my biggest fear was dropping the engine or head into the water as we transferred it to the truck - LOL. All good.

At the end the engine and equipment bay should be good to go for a long time.

I will post updates in a few weeks when things start to come back together.

PS - The best thing about being a bachelor is the conversion of my dining table to an overhaul bench and the spare bathtub into a parts wash - LOL...
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Old 20-08-2012, 06:07   #4
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Re: Volvo MD2010 Head Gasket & More

So I know I am supposed to be getting one broken Volvo MD2010 back together but sometimes you gotta go backwards to go forwards.

I am in the bar Saturday after bringing Relax Lah around for haulout. I am showing a budy photos of the engine and he says - "You oughtta talk to XXX. He has had all sorts of dramas with his engine and he has switched to outboard power."

I am intrigued, "What happened?"
"Some sort of water leak and heat exchanger problem. The engine was running fine when he pulled it out. Couldn't source a heat exchanger or something... You could drop your heat exchanger on his motor and be running this weekend."

Intrigued I am.

Well to make a long story short the poor guys has been in a nightmare from hell for about a year. He had the exhaust riser split and spew seawater all over the back of the engine. Apparently/maybe fried the starter. Also the heat exchanger core was installed wrong, chaffed and failed, leaking raw water circuit into the sea water. Neither of these seems like a big drama although the heat exchanger housing is very dear from Volvo at $1280 and the internal coil pack is $959. It is probably the worst external part that can fail on the engine but fixable as parts are still made - Although $2200 makes outboard power seem attractive.


So he gives the project over to a local guy (used to work on my boat and is a butcher) - He ends up with some new parts - Alternator, starter, impeller and some gaskets. But no heat exchanger. Months go by. XXX whacks an outboard on like I did to go sailing.

More months - Finally XXX says, look make progress or give me the engine back. The mechanic) in the meantime has a stroke. Gives the engine to his "buddy" - XXX has paid the first guy for some labor and some of the parts. The new guy does no better. XXX finds out the engine has been stripped to piece parts!

Some time in all this XXX decides to pull the saildrive and patch the hole in the boat making the common Maxi switch to outboard power complete. Out of 11 Maxis in Singapore 2 (counting mine) have the inboard diesel.

A few weeks ago XXX asks for the whole thing back - The second guy wants S$1,000 for "work done." Poor XXX. He probably has S$3,000 in parts in this plus probably S$3-4,000 in the outboard.

So I go see XXX - I don't find out it is in pieces until today. I am still thinking whack my heat exchanger on and reinstall. No such luck. I don't even know if all the parts are there but I see the new alternator and starter and know these are pricey. I find out the saildrive is there and I know that can be a US$2,000 item second hand and goes on a lot of boats besides mine.

I offer and we settle.

The new starter is $522 from Volvo. The alternator is $618 from Volvo but no one buys from them. It is an aftermarket and we bought one like it for about $300 a few years ago.

I am debating whether to whack his engine back together as a short block or just clean and preserve for the day I might need a head/block/crank/cam/valves/pistons/rods or injection pump.

There are a few other new parts but the saildrive if I can flip it makes me whole along with the starter and alternator puts me ahead.

So I am a bit chuffed but now have two exploded volvos in my living room instead of one. Maybe I should convert the apartment fully and go into business...
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Old 20-08-2012, 06:43   #5
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Re: Volvo MD2010 Head Gasket & More

I can why everyone has gone outboard .
This rebuild had better be a labour of love or you will be very depressed
Good luck with it all.
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Old 20-08-2012, 16:30   #6
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Re: Volvo MD2010 Head Gasket & More

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
I can why everyone has gone outboard .
This rebuild had better be a labour of love or you will be very depressed
Good luck with it all.
They are all a labor of love to some degree. Having used the outboard for almost a year I know I don't like it.

I know I will go through a lot of pain and frustration getting it back together but I know it will be worth it...

It also should keep me out of the cat houses for a few months...
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Old 20-09-2012, 17:18   #7
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Re: Volvo MD2010 Head Gasket & More

Well - Finally got a little more disassembly done. The heat exchanger stud (about 4 inches through the exchanger) was seized in the heat exchanger so I finally cut it loose and pulled the valves.

Pretty ugly on both intake and exhaust but the exhaust side is a disaster. Plenty of corrosion built up in the port.

I looked at the spare engine I bought and while better it is not much better. At this point the original head has a cut off stud in it. Both will neat new seats. I will do flatness checks and see if one head or the other is the better candidate for build. Also have to look at 2 sets of valves, springs, keepers, lifters etc. and see if I make up a good set from what I have or buy new.

Next is to get the bottom end apart to size the bearings and get some parts on order including bearings and rings.

Photo 1 - Cylinder 1 exhaust valve seat completely corroded
Photo 2 - Cylinder 2 exhaust valve seat completely corroded
Photo 3 - Spare engine seat condition
Photo 4 - Spare engine seat condition
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