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Old 02-09-2011, 11:13   #1
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VP MD17C 2 Questions

Hi guys, this is my first inboard engine so I'm learning as I go. I am mechanically inclined so that helps a bit.

1. The stop cable is binding badly. I need to replace it. I am a little leery because it comes in two pieces and the upper handle portion is discontinued so I don't want to damage it. Is there a trick to separating these pieces? After that I'm good this just has me uncomfortable. The volvo dealer has an aftermarket cable he thinks will work fine. Any thoughts or should I bleed my wallet dry on OEM?

2 Maintenance: I was told one thing but have been reading another around the Green Death.

I am looking at yearly maintenance needs for this beast. So far these are my plans: (sailing in the Great Lakes)

Change oil/filter at the beginning of each season (I was told every 200 hrs) Am I shooting myself in the foot?
Check belts tension every 30 days
This is raw water cooled I plan to change the impeller with the oil. Is this overkill?
I plan to change the primary fuel filter (Racor) at the beginning of each season.

This has a sail drive transmission. Should I change the gear oil with the engine oil?
I need to look at when or if any seals were changed. I know the big keep water out seal should be done every 7 years and I don't know when it was last done but I do have a mountain of maintenance records to look through.
Check annodes beginning of each season. Speaking of annodes should I have more than one? The existing is on the shaft.

I do have a shop manual and I am as prepared as I can be to be raped on parts. Was this engine manufactured by someone else and rebadged? If so I'd like to use those parts but I'm not willing to shoot myself in the foot to save a few bucks.

So far this engine has treated us very well. The only issue I've spotted thus far is the stop cable which isn't really the fault of the engine.

Thanks for any and all advice!
SC
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:39   #2
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Re: VP MD17C 2 questions

On your stop cable, is the stop arm it is connected to spring return? I don't have the 17C, but do have a similar engine. When this happened to ours I replaced the stop cable with a piece of multi-strand SS fishing leader. Put a single little turning block down in the engine room and then up to the handle. Pull on the handle stops the engine. Let go and the spring return pulls it back. Really simple, really cheap (less than $10 all in), really easy to fix, and really easy to disconnect when I want it out of the way to work on that side of the engine. If your cable route is such that you can't just run a wire (too many turns, etc.) then you may be stuck with a push-pull, any marine aftermarket product should be just fine.

The rest of your plan seems pretty reasonable, and you should be able to find the parts somewhere else, but not having that engine I've never done a cross for it. Maybe someone else has? There's almost always a Fram cross for the MD oil filters, and a Bosch cross for the fuel filters (which then usually crosses to a NAPA). Water pump impeller can be a little more difficult, I start with Jabsco, but there are too many out there without having looked at it.
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:40   #3
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Re: VP MD17C 2 questions

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Originally Posted by Dsanduril View Post
On your stop cable, is the stop arm it is connected to spring return? I don't have the 17C, but do have a similar engine. <snip>. If your cable route is such that you can't just run a wire (too many turns, etc.) then you may be stuck with a push-pull, any marine aftermarket product should be just fine.

The rest of your plan seems pretty reasonable, and you should be able to find the parts somewhere else, but not having that engine I've never done a cross for it. Maybe someone else has? There's almost always a Fram cross for the MD oil filters, and a Bosch cross for the fuel filters (which then usually crosses to a NAPA). Water pump impeller can be a little more difficult, I start with Jabsco, but there are too many out there without having looked at it.
There are quite a few turns and it kind of takes a strange route. I don't recall seeing a spring at all. The cable attaches to bracket of sorts that pushes a plunger in. (please forgive layman terminology) The handle will not rebound on it's own. As for the connection between the two I'm not terribly sure. It's in a tube of sorts that I can't really see into. I know someone out there has figured this out already on a 30 year old engine. Hopefully they'll chime in. I can damage the cable just not the handle and it's 4-6" of tubing since it will be a bear to find a replacement.

Thanks for the tips!
SC
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Old 02-09-2011, 14:18   #4
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Re: VP MD17C 2 Questions

For the cable I would first disconnect the cable at the engine and check if the stop plunger works smoothly. If not then free it up with some penetrating oil. If free then pull cable and work penetrating oil into the cable to free it up.

A Telex control cable can be used to replace the old cable. You want to use the red Telex cables of the same size and its associated hardware. This stuff should be available from West Marine.

I don't replace the impeller until the engine start to over heat. There is no zinc in these engines. I believe that daily fuel, oil, engine, and transmission checks are more important. If it doesn't look right -- change it or fix it -- ASAP.

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Old 02-09-2011, 14:26   #5
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Re: VP MD17C 2 Questions

Remove the impeller for the winter layup and keep it wet in a jar. Replace the impeller if it appears to be worn or is starting to crack or the blades seem stiff. Lubricate it with a compatible lubricant such as K Y Jelly. Reinstall in the spring just before launch.

Waiting until your engine starts to overheat is folly in my opinion. Many people replace the impeller each season, which is probably over kill.
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Old 02-09-2011, 15:43   #6
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Re: VP MD17C 2 Questions

When my MD17C start over heating I first clean the raw water filter. Retest. Check and replace the thermostat if necessary. Retest. Check and replace the impeller if necessary. Retest. Check the exhaust hose for blockage.

In 35 years I have replaced 5 thermostats, but only 2 impellers on the engine.

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Old 02-09-2011, 15:58   #7
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The engine end works smoothly that was my first thing to check. I am 99.9% sure the cable is toast. I doubt it ever saw lubrication.

Good idea on the impellor. I too would be reluctant to wait until over heating but I do keep a spare of most things on board. A wet jar I can make and KY is sold all over.

Thanks it is appreciated. Viking do you have a sail drive with this? Any experience there?
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Old 02-09-2011, 17:00   #8
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Re: VP MD17C 2 Questions

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The engine end works smoothly that was my first thing to check. I am 99.9% sure the cable is toast. I doubt it ever saw lubrication.

Good idea on the impellor. I too would be reluctant to wait until over heating but I do keep a spare of most things on board. A wet jar I can make and KY is sold all over.

Thanks it is appreciated. Viking do you have a sail drive with this? Any experience there?
sc
Considering that they are stored dry -- I can't imagine how keeping an impeller wet will be helpful. I use sillycone grease to lube the impeller. Thing with installing the impeller is to make sure that the blades are bent in the correct direction. The way the engine normally turns. Also, make sure that if you turn the engine using the flywheel you turn in in the correct direction. This is not an absolute thing because the engine is being turned backwards very slowly. Just a suggestion.

Sorry, no experience with the sail drive.

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Old 02-09-2011, 18:01   #9
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Re: VP MD17C 2 Questions

When we had an MD 17C I had a bit of SS cable round a turning block coming out to a pull ring under the companionway steps. Worked well.
For maintenance, just get a user handbook and follow the recommendations.
Some things to watch:
I found the gearbox rather fragile, ( cones wore, and there is a circlip on the helix shaft that can pop off, leaving you without drive) so make sure that you leave a space of time between shifts to allow the prop to stop spinning. Make sure you only use plain engine oil or maybe ATF in the box, as any anti friction additives can make it slip.
Another problem can be if the rear seal on the water pump leaks, it can pump water direct into the sump. You can enlarge the drain holes at the rear of the pump to guard against this.
I have also heard that valve springs can rust due to inadequate tappet cover ventilation but have not experienced that.
The fuel system in these engine does not have a continuous return to tank, which makes them quite touchy to any air leaks in the fuel piping, but with a well set up system this is not a problem.
A final thing to keep an eye on is the joints in the cooling system. They were a push together system with rubber rings which can leak with age.
Regards,
Richard.
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