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Old 23-03-2014, 12:02   #1
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Volvo Penta Gearbox MS4A

My gearbox does not go in reverse any more since I had to go full reverse recently, crossing the panama canal. Since then it is only making nasty noise in reverse. Lukily forward is still working (although putting it in gear makes a nasty noise) so I made it out of the canal without having to be towed.
Now I am looking for workshop manuals or anything that can help me take gearbox out and apart.
If someone owns a manual for the gearbox I would be happy to pay for the cost for getting it scanned in a copyshop...
Kind regards
Thomas

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Old 25-03-2014, 02:18   #2
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Re: Volvo Penta Gearbox MS4A

Sorry to here your problem. I had two of these volvo gearboxes. Typical problem caused by worn out bearings and main tapered shaft. Many parts not available any more. Cheapest solution is to fit ZF 25A or ZF45A new gearbox which is a direct replacement. These will not let you down and are heaps better than the volvo. Even if the parts were obtainable they will cost more than a new ZF gearbox. The latter are around US $3K new. Hope this helps. Regards RobK
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Old 25-03-2014, 05:45   #3
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Re: Volvo Penta Gearbox MS4A

Thank you RobK. I have already looked the ridiculous prices at volvo and also seen that many parts are out of production. I was planning at looking for replacements today so your post comes very handy....

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Old 28-03-2014, 18:11   #4
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Re: Volvo Penta Gearbox MS4A

After all I was lucky, not the transmission is broken but the flexible coupling between the transmission and the shaft. Anybody knows whats is a good replacement coupling for a MS4A and a 30mm shaft?

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Old 28-03-2014, 21:42   #5
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Re: Volvo Penta Gearbox MS4A

Quote:
Originally Posted by SYQi View Post
After all I was lucky, not the transmission is broken but the flexible coupling between the transmission and the shaft. Anybody knows whats is a good replacement coupling for a MS4A and a 30mm shaft?

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If your transmission lines up with the hub toss that thing away and bolt it straight up.
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Old 05-01-2016, 13:57   #6
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Re: Volvo Penta Gearbox MS4A

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robk View Post
Sorry to here your problem. I had two of these volvo gearboxes. Typical problem caused by worn out bearings and main tapered shaft. Many parts not available any more. Cheapest solution is to fit ZF 25A or ZF45A new gearbox which is a direct replacement. These will not let you down and are heaps better than the volvo. Even if the parts were obtainable they will cost more than a new ZF gearbox. The latter are around US $3K new. Hope this helps. Regards RobK
Hello RobK,
What was your experience with the ZF45a to date? I am looking at replacing not one but two MS4A VPs that are on the back of GM 305s. Do they really bolt right up? I understand from one source the engine would need to be raised, and a longer prop shaft... then from another move the engine forward.. Just looking for experience before I jump one way or another
r
Ed
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Old 05-01-2016, 19:13   #7
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Re: Volvo Penta Gearbox MS4A

Robk has passed away, Aug 2014, and the boat sold. He will be unsubscribed from the forum.
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Old 10-01-2016, 06:03   #8
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Re: Volvo Penta Gearbox MS4A

Hello DiverSailor,
The MS4 transmission can be replaced by the ZF 45a but it's not an exact replacement. Both transmissions have an 8 degree down angle, but the ZF has slightly more drop center, about 3/4 ", and it is also about 3/4" shorter than the MS4. Unfortunately I am not at home right now and thus can't give you the exact dimensions. In any event, this means that the engines will have to be raised and moved rearward these amounts inorder to match the gearbox output flange to the existing prop shaft flange position. Alternatively, you might raise the engine and slide the shaft forward if you have the extra length, or fit a drive saver if there isn't one there already.

The MS4 transmission was a mechanical gear with a cone clutch, and the forward and reverse reduction ratios were identical to each other, but the ZF is a hydraulic actuated gear, and as I recall there is a slight difference between the forward and reverse ratio. This shouldn't give you any problem and I doubt you will have to do anything with the props.

Another thing that is different is that the ZF gear uses an external oil cooler, as opposed to the internal cooler on the MS4, so you will have to make some changes to the raw water plumbing lines. (Don't forget to buy a cooler and hoses along with the transmission)

Lastly, this would be a good time to check and probably replace the torsional spring plates on the flywheels, especially if they are the originals units. These things don't last forever.

DougR
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Old 10-01-2016, 07:11   #9
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Re: Volvo Penta Gearbox MS4A

If any MS4a or other VP transmission owners are interested,
I found Wilbur at French Creek Marine, NY 315-686-3621 has a warehouse full of VP parts, "tons of parts" including new transmissions, new and used parts.. pricy to what the market will bear.. but he has them and VERY knowledgeable on all of it.. I was impressed... (I admit it I am frugal... I just need one part... 853523... to get back to sea...

French Creek Marina (315) 686-3621
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Old 10-01-2016, 07:16   #10
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Re: Volvo Penta Gearbox MS4A

Quote:
Originally Posted by DiverSailor View Post
If any MS4a or other VP transmission owners are interested,
I found Wilbur at French Creek Marine, NY 315-686-3621 has a warehouse full of VP parts, "tons of parts" including new transmissions, new and used parts.. pricy to what the market will bear.. but he has them and VERY knowledgeable on all of it.. I was impressed... (I admit it I am frugal... I just need one part... 853523... to get back to sea...

French Creek Marina (315) 686-3621
Great info Mr DiverSailor...

Welcome to the forum !
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Old 10-01-2016, 07:24   #11
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Re: Volvo Penta Gearbox MS4A

FCM sold me a faulty Volvo pump...discontinued part.. very hard to impossible to get. Don't know if it was new and sitting on a self for decades (doubt it) or rebuilt. It leaked... and it was spendy.

I called Wilbur and told me I would get it rebuilt and to give me some credit. No go... he wanted the part back!

I found a shop in LI who rebuilt and resealed and balanced the pulley for $150 WOW. And they have rebuilt the 30 yr old one for the same which I now have as a spare or for sale.

FCM has a large inventory... of old volvo stuff. Buy at your own peril.
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Old 10-01-2016, 07:39   #12
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Re: Volvo Penta Gearbox MS4A

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandero View Post
FCM sold me a faulty Volvo pump...discontinued part.. very hard to impossible to get. Don't know if it was new and sitting on a self for decades (doubt it) or rebuilt. It leaked... and it was spendy.

I called Wilbur and told me I would get it rebuilt and to give me some credit. No go... he wanted the part back!

I found a shop in LI who rebuilt and resealed and balanced the pulley for $150 WOW. And they have rebuilt the 30 yr old one for the same which I now have as a spare or for sale.

FCM has a large inventory... of old volvo stuff. Buy at your own peril.
Even BETTER INFO!
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