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Old 28-10-2018, 13:27   #16
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Re: Volvo Penta MDI (Black Box) failures

I agree V-P has really dropped the ball. The recall is years late, only applies to some engines, and has not been publicized. OTOH if it had been earlier they wouldn't have had a reliable replacement - which itself is shameful.

Unlike the old Volvo marine engines, Volvo did not design these; they are Perkins/Shibaura 400-series diesels that were first marinized by Perkins-Sabre, then sold the business to Volvo. The MDI is one of the few original V-P contributions from what I can see, and clearly an embarassment.

BTW while researching this I found that the earliest D2-40F engines don't actually meet the claimed EPA standards, and themselves are subject to a recall beginning in 2017 and ending July 1, 2019. They will be switching out my engine for a new one with 2 year warranty, which will meet the standards. They do transfer some parts and accessories in the process. I will be looking into whether they transfer the MDI, in which case I will pursue the MDI recall first. Fun & games...

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Old 28-10-2018, 19:47   #17
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Re: Volvo Penta MDI (Black Box) failures

On a catamaran with twin D2-55 installed in August 2016, it went through at least 5 units until Volvo finally changed MDI for the InteliDrive ComAp units (after market Czech made units) which have worked perfectly so far. I went through several MDI units, the latest being part number 23231607, and this latest unit lasted less than 24 hours.
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Old 28-10-2018, 23:03   #18
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Re: Volvo Penta MDI (Black Box) failures

@alamoana: Sorry to hear of the problems, but that does look like a good solution if a bit overkill. Which model do you have, the Nano? Did they integrate the original controls and instruments or just use the InteliDrive's panel? Having looked at the documentation I think installing and configuring one from scratch without a configuration file and wiring diagram from VP or ComAp would be a large job. I am not finding anything like an application note online.

Needless to say the failure of the latest MDI design does not sit well...

Greg
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Old 29-10-2018, 04:57   #19
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Re: Volvo Penta MDI (Black Box) failures

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarinaPDX View Post
@alamoana: Sorry to hear of the problems, but that does look like a good solution if a bit overkill. Which model do you have, the Nano? Did they integrate the original controls and instruments or just use the InteliDrive's panel? Having looked at the documentation I think installing and configuring one from scratch without a configuration file and wiring diagram from VP or ComAp would be a large job. I am not finding anything like an application note online.

Needless to say the failure of the latest MDI design does not sit well...

Greg


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They integrated the new one and took away the old one. The original Voltmeter was never accurate either. Volvo Penta in Peru has plenty of experience with this panel as they have done this swap in several fishing boats too. They will also put an oil pressure sensor now that the control unit is in place. They also had to place a new box with relays and breakers which we mounted away from the engine.
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Old 29-10-2018, 23:24   #20
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Re: Volvo Penta MDI (Black Box) failures

Thanks for the info. From the photo that appears to be the InteliDrive WP model. They sell several add-on boxes so that is hard to guess. These units have a mind-boggling number of options, and to program correctly would require a lot of knowledge, so someone has invested significant time. It would be nice to get the application info out there on the web for those of us not living in Peru - even in Spanish I could sort it out. It is understandable if they don't want to do it though. And at this point I have no idea what such a system would cost.

Thanks again.

Greg
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Old 30-10-2018, 02:23   #21
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Re: Volvo Penta MDI (Black Box) failures

The kinda shocking info upthread only reinforces an old prejudice against Volvo marine engines. Why would an informed yottie want to buy into this sort of problem? They may eventually overcome the problem, but that is of scant compensation to those who have suffered through all these loss of usage (or worse) trauma.

I sure like my elderly Kubota based Nanni...

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Old 30-10-2018, 16:51   #22
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Re: Volvo Penta MDI (Black Box) failures

@Jim Cate: I bought the Volvo-Penta in large part because I thought I knew that it started life as a Perkins, then marinized by Perkins-Sabre, so should be pretty solid: VP had precious little to do with designing the engine (how is that for a vote of confidence in VP?). In fact, the engine is designed and manufactured by IHI Shibaura Machinery Corporation in Japan. It is marketed in the EU by Perkins-Shibaura, a joint venture, but best I can tell Perkins itself never touches the engine although there may well have been some sharing of IP. The marinizing components were originally designed by Perkins-Sabre, and presumably are now added by VP. The MDI with control box seems to be the lone original VP contribution (the instruments themselves are purchased in). They should have out-sourced the MDI as well... Anyway, the MDI problems are not indicative of any issues with the Shibaura engine. It is quite possible to rig up traditional start/glo/stop switches and conventional gauges, although this might not meet the EPA standards. Or use the Intelidrive system. If VP doesn't get the MDI right soon they risk a class action suit (not the best solution IMHO).

BTW I think it should be possible to use the optional VP accessory gauges with one of the CANBUS outputs of the Intelidrive system, if anyone cares. The standard tach/digital display may not be so easy if it uses proprietary PCNs - an unknown to me.

Yes, better to be confidently cruising then messing with this stuff.

Greg
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Old 09-02-2019, 11:56   #23
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Re: Volvo Penta MDI (Black Box) failures

We just had two new D2-40s installed as part of Volvo's recall campaign on the engines. We have also had a couple of MDI failures on the old engines.

As the tech was hooking up the new engines part of his Volvo required diagnostics was a voltage check. He was shocked (not literally)/surprised/alarmed to find that our start batteries were sitting at 13.8V when he checked. He reported that Volvo has supposedly identified a root cause of MDI failures - voltage above 13.8V. He says Volvo has found that the bulk of failures seems to occur where solar or other charging sources keep the start batteries at 14.2/14.4 (pick your number). Volvo is now requiring technicians to check voltage during install and advise customers (me) that anything above 13.8V could damage the MDI. Volvo sets their alternators at 13.8 and recommends that they be the only charging source for start batteries and that systems not be connected that can raise the engine electronics voltage above 13.8V.

Do not know the veracity of any of that, one tech's report (he is a Volvo certified tech) to me. Seems a very poor design if there is no over-range capability (even 10% over 13.8 would get you to 15.2) in some electronics, but I've seen sillier design decisions. If true, could be a problem for a lot of us that use automatic combiners, echo chargers, etc. that keep the start batteries up from other sources when not using the engines.
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Old 09-02-2019, 15:00   #24
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Re: Volvo Penta MDI (Black Box) failures

Interesting. I had two new Volvo's installed last year, have replaced at least 7 MDI's in total since and according to my battery voltage monitor, the Volvo alternators put out over 14 Volts when the engines are turning.

I wonder how Volvo will argue that one?
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Old 10-02-2019, 13:14   #25
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Re: Volvo Penta MDI (Black Box) failures

If it weren't for the glow plug load I'd put a regulated 12V supply in front of the MDI on one side of my boat and leave the other side hooked up normally and see what happens. I have the supply but it won't support the glow plug load and as we move to colder climates I may actually need them.
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Old 10-02-2019, 15:59   #26
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Re: Volvo Penta MDI (Black Box) failures

My original equipment Volvo d2-75 alternator puts out over 14v as well. On my third MDI, this last one under the recall.
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