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Old 27-02-2012, 17:34   #1
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Volvo Penta Diesel Starting Problem

I'm looking at a CS30 to buy that has a model 2002 Volvo Penta engine. The boat was built in 1986. When looking the boat over I noticed two cans of engine starting fluid. I questioned the broker about it, he contacted the current boat owner and the reply I received was the engine has a problem starting if it sits a few weeks without being run. Is this a good engine or am I worring about nothing?

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Old 27-02-2012, 17:42   #2
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Re: Volvo Penta Diesel starting problem

Is it raw water cooled or fresh water cooled? Well I guess it's a fresh water boat so the question may not be relevant. But my understanding is the raw water cooled versions of that engine are very problematical in salt water.

I would have the engine started when it's cold. If it starts right up that's a good sign. If not, it may be an indication of a compression problem in one or both cylinders.
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Old 27-02-2012, 17:46   #3
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Re: Volvo Penta Diesel starting problem

Thanks for the reply. I failed to mention it is a fresh water boat. The current owner has raced it for many years. I'm looking to buy it as a crusier/day sail but don't want any problems trying to start it if the weather turns.
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Old 27-02-2012, 17:59   #4
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Re: Volvo Penta Diesel starting problem

the volvo 2002 engine has a neat little feature that is designed as a "cold start"... that is "cold" as in cold weather and also "cold" as in not used for a while...

If you fully pull out the engine-stop cable and push it back in again (as if you were stopping the engine) it will start a lot easier than just a normal start...

this is not a trick / joke... it is actually in the owner's manual... just not many people seem to know about it.

We have a 2003 of similar age (late 80's) and it starts fine every time...
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Old 27-02-2012, 18:05   #5
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Re: Volvo Penta Diesel starting problem

Yes, for a cruising boat you need a reliable engine so if you are serious about buying the boat, you should definitely arrange for an engine survey including a compression test. If the mechanic doing the survey is local, it should only take a half hour or so if there is fuel and a battery at the boat it might not cost you more than 1 or 2 hundred bucks.
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Old 27-02-2012, 18:40   #6
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Re: Volvo Penta Diesel starting problem

Not specific to this engine, but a couple of general things to check common to any marine diesel:

Exhaust Elbow. Excessive carbon build up in the exhaust elbow can cause hard starting -- in severe case almost impossible to start. Inspect the exhaust elbow (and as suggested have the mechanic do a compression test).

Glow plugs. If the relay or the plug itself is bad then the plug will not pre-heat properly. Easy to test by any competent mechanic.

Regular use of starter fluid is potentially damaging to the engine so the cause of the problem really should be isolated and repaired before it turns into a bigger problem.
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Old 27-02-2012, 19:34   #7
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Re: Volvo Penta Diesel starting problem

I was told the engine does not have a glow plug, is this true?
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Old 27-02-2012, 19:50   #8
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Re: Volvo Penta Diesel starting problem

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I was told the engine does not have a glow plug, is this true?
I think that is correct.
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Old 27-02-2012, 20:03   #9
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Re: Volvo Penta Diesel starting problem

Use starting fluid very sparingly,,also,,pre heating the intake air will also help with starting.
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Old 27-02-2012, 21:42   #10
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Re: Volvo Penta Diesel starting problem

It may also be possible it has a tiny fuel system leak, allowing air into the line after sitting for a while.
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Old 27-02-2012, 23:40   #11
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Re: Volvo Penta Diesel starting problem

I have had several old tractors that were like what you are describing. Start them every 3 or 4 days and they start right up, but let them sit and you have to bleed the whole system. It could be a very small leak in the piping , or the front seal of the injector pump. I managed to find an injection shop that didnt say they had to rebuild the whole pump, and simply replaced the front seal. It worked fine for years. The first thing to check is pipe fittings and the gaskets on all of your fuel filters. If that doesnt solve it , call around to injection shops and find one that seems to make sense to you. If the engine starts a day after it has been run, but not a week or so after running ,it is most probably an air leak and not low compression or a bad injector. Also, if you need to use fluid to start the engine, use WD40 rather than either. it works just as good and doesnt remove the lubrication from the cylinder walls. My 2 cents worth._____Grant.
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Old 28-02-2012, 07:09   #12
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My Volvo MD2010 went from hard to start cold to zero compression in 3 months. I was on starter fluid the last month...

- fuel system air leak upstream of injector pump
- low compression

Insist on a cold and warm differential compression test by a disinterested professional third party.

This could be a really expensive lesson...
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Old 28-02-2012, 08:11   #13
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Re: Volvo Penta Diesel starting problem

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I was told the engine does not have a glow plug, is this true?
Maybe so, not all diesels do. Don't know this specific engine.
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Old 28-02-2012, 08:28   #14
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Re: Volvo Penta Diesel starting problem

Hi,

I have a Volvo 2002, same age, cold start procedure is as described above, mine can be a little slow in very cold weather but the above process works. They were not built with glow plugs. Generally speaking, having had it for 7 years, its a great little engine, its simple and solid. Starter fluid is never a good option - OMHO. I believe I have a PDF of the manual if you need it - PM if you purchase.

Regards,

Ed
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Old 28-02-2012, 09:29   #15
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Re: Volvo Penta Diesel starting problem

How many hours on the engine? When was the last time that the injectors were pulled and serviced? The 2000 series engines were not Volvos shining light in history. They are serviceable and can be kept running a longtime with a little bit of continuous care.
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