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Old 01-04-2012, 18:57   #1
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Volvo MD2040B Oil Loss

So, we put the boat back in the water this afternoon and motored over to one of the docks. Everything ran fine. As I finished tying up I got back in the cockpit and heard an engine oil alarm. I shut down....lots of oil under the engine, dip stick shows nothing! The filter was not leaking, dip stick in tight.

I added a quart of oil and fired it up to find oil GUSHING from the engine. It is coming out of a hole, about 3/8" diameter, a few inches to the right of the oil filter. The hole has always been there and it clearly is supposed to be there, but I have no clue why it is there and why oil is all of a sudden gushing out of it. I'll call the yard tomorrow, but any thoughts???

Gerhard
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Old 01-04-2012, 22:29   #2
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Can you post a pic?
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Old 01-04-2012, 23:39   #3
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Re: Volvo MD2040B oil loss

Looks like a plug goes in that hole. Probably a tapping in the oil journals. See link..

Volvo Penta Exploded view / schematic Cylinder Block and Flywheel Housing MD2040A - MarinePartsEurope.com
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Old 02-04-2012, 06:03   #4
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Re: Volvo MD2040B oil loss

I won't be back to the boat to be able to get a pic until probably Thursday.

Sailorchic, thanks. That indeed looks like it could be the issue. The diagrams I found didn't show those plugs. I was thinking that and searched around in the oily mess to see if something blew out but didn't find anything. The odd thing is that I don't recall anything in that hole before and I found a posting on another forum from years ago (with no replies) about someone that had two of these engines.....both with the hole, one shooting out oil the other not. Maybe this plug is set deep so it isn't obvious when casually looking at it? Anyway, I'll call a Volvo dealer today to see what they think.

Just frustrating...go down to the boat for a leisurely bit of work...yard says they would really like me in today....OK, they help me out, so I'll try and help them out since I didn't have much to do to get ready....then rushed...busted a handle on a seacock so had to deal with that, then went in and to a temp dock to do some other work...but then the engine started gushing oil...so didn't get that work done...now have to get that fixed so I can move the boat and still haven't done the other work. Bilge pumps are off because I have to get down there with my pump to clean up all the oil, so hope the thing doesn't have a leak! Anyone want a boat??
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Old 07-04-2012, 15:08   #5
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Re: Volvo MD2040B oil loss

Here is a pic. The oil is streaming out the hole just under the blue tape. The hole does appear to be right over the oil channel and I think it has always been there and not plugged. Note that to the right is a hollow bolt that connects an external oil line. I'm guessing that this might be a similar hole that can be used for a similar purpose on a different version of engine using this block and that the thin wall separating this hole from the channel finally gave way. Of course, that is just a guess. Unless anyone has any other ideas, I'm going to plug this and see what happens!
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Old 07-04-2012, 16:46   #6
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Re: Volvo MD2040B oil loss

I would tap it and plug with a pipe plug, you might stop it with a water jacket type plug if the size is right but it appears like it's about the right size for small taperd pipe plug ! justa thought
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Old 07-04-2012, 18:56   #7
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Re: Volvo MD2040B oil loss

Gerhard... From your original post, I gather you have run the engine in the past and had not experienced oil coming out of this opening. With that said, I would consider a few things...

1. Is this intended to vent any air or gasses from the crankcase? I'm assuming it probably isn't the case since no tube protrudes from that opening.

2. Is this opening threaded. If it is, it might be intended to be used for second oil pressure sending unit. My Perkins 4-108 has two openings where oil pressure sending units can be installed. One of the openings is much higher than the other. If the oil level is too high and the higher opening is not plugged, oil WILL come out of that opening.

I find your situation of greater concern, though. You mentioned the low oil indicator light/buzzer activated. If it was simply an opening intended for a second oil level/pressure sending unit, your oil alarm should not have activated if it was simply shedding excess oil.

I am guessing pressure is developing in the crankcase and oil is exiting from that port due to the pressure. This can be from various sources, including a faulty valve or seal or head gasket. It is difficult to tell.

If this opening was never plugged AND you had previously not experienced oil exiting from it, chances are plugging it would defeat its purpose.

I checked the boatdiesel.com forums and there was a report of the exact problem you were referring to. Here is the post:

Topic: Volvo MD2040 Catastrophic Oil Loss
Originator: Kevin Salt [email] Guest Date: July 04, 2005 - 05:12 AM My oil pressure alarm went off yesterday and I found oil spewing out of a small hole (about 1/4") in the engine block just to the left of the oil filter. Oil was coming out fast enough to completely drain the engine in few minutes. The oil filter has about 80 hours on it. I have 2 of these engines (the boat is a catamaran), the other one has the same hole, but nothing coming out of it. Any help would be appreciated, hard to find a working mechanic on the 4th of July.

I have photos, but this site will not let me upload them or link to them.

Unfortunately, there were no responses. I wish there were, as it sounds exactly like what you've experienced.

Try posting a description of your problem on boatdiesel.com. There are a lot more members now than there were back when the above post was made. Hopefully, you'll get some good info.

Please keep us posted on your progress.
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Old 11-04-2012, 08:12   #8
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Re: Volvo MD2040B oil loss

Thanks for all the suggestions. I did see that post on boatdiesel.com. Too bad there were not any replies. I sent the pics to Dick Vosbury at Vosbury Marine up in Annapolis. Here is the reply I received:

"Gerhard, hole is for a vent plug. It is missing. If you look at your pics just forward of oil filter you will see a small dimple. that is another one of these plugs. Volvo does have a part number for them. If not just go ahead and plug hole."

I sure wish those guys were closer to me because they are always helpful.

Anyway, I won't be able to get back to the boat for a couple of weekends, but when I do, I'll plug it and see what happens. Hopefully the engine didn't sustain any damage....
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Old 20-05-2012, 04:54   #9
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Unhappy Re: Volvo MD2040B oil loss

Hi,
Just wondered if you had any update on this? The same thing has just happened to us, two hours in on a passage from Thailand to Madagascar. We are now back in Thailand waiting for someone to come and look at it next week (while the weather window quietly drains away!). It has happened to us three times. First was put down to a faulty crankshaft seal, which we replaced. Next two times it looked as if it was coming out the oil filter. Someone told us yesterday that non-Volvo filters had rounded seals that don't fit as tightly as flat Volvo ones. We are hoping this is the case. Anyone else heard this?
Thanks,
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Old 20-05-2012, 16:00   #10
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Re: Volvo MD2040B oil loss

I think we may have different problems. The hole in the block in my engine seemed to have some sort of seal farther in, but in another similar engine, this hole is plugged with a vent plug as the Volvo rep indicated. There actually is a Volvo part for it. I was able to hammer it in place with a coating of JB Weld for good measure. All appears well when I ran it up to temp. I have not had it out yet for a real good test, but that is coming next weekend.

If you really do have the same problem, the plug part numbers are as follows:

9mm plug 861806
5 mm plug 3580456 (according to the schematic but listed as 3807215 on the package they sent me)

I needed the 5 mm plug.

So, if you have the same hole squirting oil, the 5 mm plug appears to do the job.
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Old 21-05-2012, 03:52   #11
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Re: Volvo MD2040B oil loss

Hi Gerhard,
I think you are right about it being different. Checked ours and the plug is intact and showing no signs of leaking. Changed the oil filter and motored slowly for five hours to the anchorage off the marina to wait for tomorrow's tide and the new filter had started leaking oil by the time we anchored.

I'll keep this thread posted on the outcome in case it happens to anyone else and good luck with your test.

Thanks,
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Old 22-08-2012, 10:50   #12
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Re: Volvo MD2040B oil loss

Update: We replaced the oil filters with Volvo ones, and have had no problems since, even after motoring 1000 miles down the west coast of Sumatra! Phew.
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