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Old 25-10-2015, 23:02   #1
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Volvo Saildrives, lub change and slippage

Question involves change of lubrication specifications for Volvo Saildrives, particulary 130SR-B. Several years ago Volvo recommended changing saildrive lube from ATF to standard 15w-40w oil. Reference was made in TSB about slippage in plates and replacement. Some research has indicated problems with larger engines, in my case a D2-40. I have began to experience some slippage on a 8 year old drive with very low hours (less than 300 total). Change to oil lubricant was made last season when shaft seals were replaced. Began to notice change almost immediately, dismissed it as dirty bottom or prop. This season it became obvious as it now requires 500-800 additional rpm to make cruising speeds.

Question is has anyone experienced this and is Volvo doing anything to address this. TSB states plate replacement in drive if "sliding". How is Volvo not responsible if they didn't specify correct lubrication and it creates subsequent failer in units.

If you have experienced this, what did you do? Thought was to try going back to ATF, but I believe damage is done and this is not cure. Feedback regarding any experience with this would be appreciated. Is Volvo doing anything to assist owners?
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Old 26-10-2015, 07:01   #2
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Re: Volvo Saildrives, lub change and slippage

I have a Volvo sail drive, not sure of the model. Engine is a Volvo Penta MD2040D. Th originally suggested using engine oil, 15-40w, they came out a few years ago saying to use 75-90w. Not sure if we are talking the same thing though.


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Old 26-10-2015, 07:02   #3
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Re: Volvo Saildrives, lub change and slippage

I change oil every 100 hours.


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Old 26-10-2015, 07:36   #4
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Re: Volvo Saildrives, lub change and slippage

The reason they went back to "classic oil" which was also prescribed for the predecessors (S120 and MS25) is because the transmission oil proved to be too thin causing more wear on the clutch plates. At least that is what I've heard.
I have just completed the installation of a new S130-B and did notice a marking on the side stating to use 15W40 oil only.
When changing from one oil to the other, you may need to flush the system once or twice to remove the old oil completely. But it may be that your clutch discs are worn too far already.
Formally Volvo Penta has no reason to repair the clutch free of charge, but given the hours on the drive I would expect them to meet you halfway when asked in a decent way. So that may save you paying for the parts. I don't expect you will be completely reimbursed though.
FYI working on the transmission side of the Saildrive is pretty specialized work requiring quite some special tools. I would not recommend you doing it yourself unless you have the experience.

BTW I would not use the drive in its current state, the slippage will cause a lot of heat that may make thing much worse. I presume you did check the oil level as I noticed the drive S130 is prone to having air pockets when refilling, giving you a false reading.
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Old 26-10-2015, 09:39   #5
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Re: Volvo Saildrives, lub change and slippage

For Landonshaw.

I have a new D2-75 on a 40 Ft yacht. I have not noticed any problem with the std oil, 15W-40. No oil usage, nothing.
But I have a problem succing out the oil out of the engine, because of the very small dia of the oil check pipe. How do get the oil out, even every 100 hrs.
And also out of the sail drive. This is also important for me.
Also it is a problem to completely get the oil out of the saildrive when the yacht is in the water. ?
Your answer is much appreciated.
s/y Sea Angel - UK
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Old 26-10-2015, 10:28   #6
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Re: Volvo Saildrives, lub change and slippage

Thanks for the replies. I am actually one of those types that checks my fluid levels almost every time I use the boat. In case of saildrive, I have had a problem with o-ring seals on drive dip-stick since day 1. Replaced it twice in 5 years of use and the third is leaking now. So I am constantly cleaning it up. When I replaced the seals on the prop shaft, drive was drained from the bottom plug. I did flush (fill and drain) drive with 15w-40 oil before final filling. As note; seals were not leaking, I was replacing prop with featering unit which doesn't require annual removal so I just did the maintance as preventative.

Anyway, I never had any noticable issues with drive when using ATF, it seemed to develop with the change to oil. Here in the states there is no Volvo support to end user. Any questions have to go through your authorized Volvo dealer, who often know little about saildrives or don't care enough to be much help unless you are on their workorder. That is too say answers to questions about any aspect of Volvo propulsion systems are extremely hard to come by.

In the case of my boat, engine box is very small and apparently engine/drive was installed in hull before liners. Rumor is that a good amonut of the interior wood and components need to be removed from surrounding to front of access to get the saildrive out. On a slightly older model of the boat that had a Yanmar saildrive before manufacturer was forced to change over, story goes there was multiple thousands of dollars in interior removal and replacement before any expense for the actual repair to unit.

As I do most all my own repairs and have full factory manuals for engine and drive I am aware of what's involved and what's needed. It is not a job I would take on by myself, deferring to a dealer.

As to support from Volvo given the low hours and such, like mentioned there is little contact available with them directly in US. If your dealer isn't willing to take up your cause you have limited options. Even my dealer has indicated they sometimes find it frustrating dealing with them to get answers.
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Old 26-10-2015, 10:37   #7
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Re: Volvo Saildrives, lub change and slippage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Theo Roorda View Post
For Landonshaw.

I have a new D2-75 on a 40 Ft yacht. I have not noticed any problem with the std oil, 15W-40. No oil usage, nothing.
But I have a problem succing out the oil out of the engine, because of the very small dia of the oil check pipe. How do get the oil out, even every 100 hrs.
And also out of the sail drive. This is also important for me.
Also it is a problem to completely get the oil out of the saildrive when the yacht is in the water. ?
Your answer is much appreciated.
s/y Sea Angel - UK
Next to the dipstick there is another (shorter) pipe with a yellow rubber cap on it. This is intended for draining the oil. It actually connects to the bottom of the oilpan enabling a full drain.
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Old 26-10-2015, 10:45   #8
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Re: Volvo Saildrives, lub change and slippage

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoC View Post
Thanks for the replies. I am actually one of those types that checks my fluid levels almost every time I use the boat. In case of saildrive, I have had a problem with o-ring seals on drive dip-stick since day 1. Replaced it twice in 5 years of use and the third is leaking now. So I am constantly cleaning it up. When I replaced the seals on the prop shaft, drive was drained from the bottom plug. I did flush (fill and drain) drive with 15w-40 oil before final filling.
...
As to support from Volvo given the low hours and such, like mentioned there is little contact available with them directly in US. If your dealer isn't willing to take up your cause you have limited options. Even my dealer has indicated they sometimes find it frustrating dealing with them to get answers.
If this O-ring is leaking this may point to a excessive pressure being build up in the saildrive. That could be caused by too much heat generated. There is no breather point on the saildrive, it's hermetically closed.

It's bad you see such poor support from VP and it's dealers. Here in Europe it's a bit better I think like with most of these companies they tend to be very shy in helping customers out. I can only recommend you seek contact with VP directly, explaining you want a decent answer from a global market leader as that is their own promise on their website.
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Old 26-10-2015, 12:49   #9
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Re: Volvo Saildrives, lub change and slippage

Thanks for the insight Aluijten. Here's a classic example of Volvo support here. The first time I replaced o-ring I discussed the problem with dealer and they told me to replace the o-ring, which is what I did. It was good for a time and started to leak again. Another replace. Now that I think about it the previous times the leaking was very, very minor, just a nuicence to my impeccably clean engine. With the change to higher viscosity it got worse and why I was constantly dabbing it up. It wasn't losing so much as it affected level in drive though.

Anyway this theory could explain a lot of what I have observed. The boat is primarily day sailed and raced. The motor has a short run most days, so phenonomen of leaking never gets a chance to be real bad. I do make it a point to run the engine for 30 minutes upon initial start-up while motoring out (I do purposely put it under load, not just leisurily motoring). It runs an additional 25-30 mins. coming in. Duration of sails is usually such that it doesn't really cool down in the hour or 2 we are out. Most years it only gets 2 good runs of 3 hours or so when delivered at start and end of season. We never really push it for long periods of time, which could explain a lack of notice of subtle changes in operation not being so obvious.

Most seasons we sail it 3-4 times a week. That said, since we got the boat new in '06', it has had 1 season out of water and 2 seasons of only about 20 days of use.
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Old 26-10-2015, 14:17   #10
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Re: Volvo Saildrives, lub change and slippage

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoC View Post
Most seasons we sail it 3-4 times a week. That said, since we got the boat new in '06', it has had 1 season out of water and 2 seasons of only about 20 days of use.
Looking at the picture I see something disturbing. Why is there a electric wire connected to the saildrive on the left lower stud (seen from the picture) next to the reverse-switch mechanism?
It is really important to keep the saildrive electrically isolated from everything else.
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Old 26-10-2015, 22:08   #11
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Re: Volvo Saildrives, lub change and slippage

Aluijten,

Very observant of you. That wire connection is a lead to a connector in the cockpit of the boat for connection of an overboard zinc. There is a long story of the boat consuming prop zincs every 45 days, on a mooring 300 yards from shore. I used to have an internal contact at Volvo N/A and reviewed it with him, and the boat manufacturer, they both said there was not a problem with having a zinc attached to the drive to try to elimanate the problem. The zinc is rarely connected and the wire you see is just attached to a plug in cockpit. This zinc problem and what initially caused it due to manufacturering shortcomings of the boat builder is not really material. I have to say I am very impressed you noticed it.

That said, the problem with the drive is such that, in reality, it has been in failure mood since day one and Volvo/Penta doesn't appear to be stepping up and accepting responsibility. I discused the problem with authorized dealer, 2 different ones in fact as it has gone on, and no assistance or good advice. A boat with less than 300 hours on the drive train, that the plates experience failure due to inappropriate recommandations of lubricant on Volvo's part is fraudualnt in nature.

Imagine a new Volvo car that they told you to replace the transmission oil with one that didn't affectively lubricate the trans and when it failed they said we are not responsible. I don't know, but 300 hours on a boat drive train is like what, 10,00 miles on an eqivalient automobile system?

Anyway, Not sure what I will do at this point. Have the winter to think about it. Going forward "I will never buy" another boat with a Volvo moter/drive. And in addition, will pass that advice, and this story, on to any who ask.

I think I need some understanding of what seems to be the default checks on this sites discussion I disabled, and never noticed before, added to our discussion, involving parsing links and retriving titles from external links. I'm new to site and wonder what that was?
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Old 27-10-2015, 02:55   #12
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Re: Volvo Saildrives, lub change and slippage

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoC View Post
Imagine a new Volvo car that they told you to replace the transmission oil with one that didn't affectively lubricate the trans and when it failed they said we are not responsible. I don't know, but 300 hours on a boat drive train is like what, 10,00 miles on an eqivalient automobile system?
Not so hard to imagine as that is fact of life with the VW/Audi DSG transmission according to my garage/workshop

But I still feel you should try to contact VP international. I've had lots of good experiences with VP saildrives, most (new) boats in Europe are using saildrives with a significant share for VP. I've just changed to a D2-40 and that engine is so much nicer then the 3 cylinder I had before. So I would not say VP is all bad, but they should help you with your troubles, that I agree on.
Good luck chasing up the Swedes! Make them hear you!
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Old 27-10-2015, 06:17   #13
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Re: Volvo Saildrives, lub change and slippage

Theo Roorda, Prior to changing the oil I run the engine to get it warm. I then have a oil pump with a hose on it that I stick down where the oil stick is. I pump up the canister about 20 pumps and after 5 - 10 minutes the oil is drained. I do realize that ALL of the oil is not out, but every 100 hrs I believe I am not leaving enough in to harm the engine. At that time I also change the oil filter. I use the same canister on the S-drive oil.

West Marine Manual Oil Extractor - 6.5L is the device and it works well. I do this in the water.
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Old 27-10-2015, 10:14   #14
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Re: Volvo Saildrives, lub change and slippage

In refernece to the oil pump-out question and advice. On the D2-40 as well as other newer Volvo engines there is a separate pump-out access below the dip-stick. The Volvo OEM system involves attaching a pump (you can purchase from your dealer) to it and drawing the oil out. It is a tube with a rubber cap on it.

This access actually works better than going down the dip-stick tube. That said I had the old style, pump it up/vacuum system for extraction for many years and it worked fine. I invested in the Jabsco 12 volt electric vaccuum pump attached to a 3.5 gallon tank and it is much better and faster. There is a bigger one for not much more money that is even better and supposedly will suck out cold oil. I have also found mine effective for pumping out diesel tanks if needed for inspection and/or cleaning.

Installing a new filter each time is cheap added protection. I actually pump out my crankcase than add a quart of new oil and pump it out before refilling.
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Old 30-10-2015, 17:45   #15
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Re: Volvo Saildrives, lub change and slippage

I have the Yanmar SD-60 that has a ZF part number. I used the tube mounted on the base unit but with the West Marine suction pump drew a quart out but with the tube put down the filler cap removed 1.5 quarts total. It seems that with the smaller diameter tube that came with the pump I could not insert it lower in the leg. A fellow owner did state that he extracted about 2 quarts by using the same tube in the kit. He must have found the sweet spot in the tube and went down farther.
I am using engine oil as speced by Yanmar.
In the spring I will haul out n drain the sail drive then fill from the bottom for a air free fill.
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