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Old 16-02-2014, 22:08   #31
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Re: Would you ever consider buying a boat with a Volvo Penta 2003 or 2003T engine?

Pretty much to be expected, people who have problems with any engine will post those problems, rarer for someone to post out of the blue with no problems. I installed the Volvo 2003 that is currently in our boat in 1985. It has 1 3/4 circumnavigations, and has been run in the worst possible way. Prior to our solar installation it was the battery charger, which is a terrible way to run a diesel.

In almost 30 years I've rebuilt the starter twice, replaced the alternator a couple to times, pulled and had the injectors rebuilt probably three times. I consider that pretty much regular maintenance (along with oil changes, impeller replacements, etc.). I really don't take care of it nearly as well as I should. It still starts each time I turn the key (although it has been taking a little bit more cranking than it should - signs of possible compression loss). It's long in the tooth and probably near its end, but has been faithful and reliable in the time we've had it. I really can't complain about getting the use out of it that we have.

Knowing how old even the youngest of these engines is I wouldn't consider it a selling point for a boat, but, if it runs easily when testing then I wouldn't be scared.
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Old 16-02-2014, 22:29   #32
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Re: Would you ever consider buying a boat with a Volvo Penta 2003 or 2003T engine?

just a quick comment - my neigbor has a 3cylinder Volvo diesel in his Sweden Yachts 36. He has sailed halfway across the planet and always complains that one could buy a new engine at a price of 4 spare parts for the Volvo. I don't know which parts, but the point is the Volvo parts are unique and thus overpriced.
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Old 17-02-2014, 06:34   #33
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Re: Would you ever consider buying a boat with a Volvo Penta 2003 or 2003T engine?

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Originally Posted by ErikFinn View Post
just a quick comment - my neigbor has a 3cylinder Volvo diesel in his Sweden Yachts 36. He has sailed halfway across the planet and always complains that one could buy a new engine at a price of 4 spare parts for the Volvo. I don't know which parts, but the point is the Volvo parts are unique and thus overpriced.
As I posted earlier in this thread, there is another thread on Volvo prices where I posted a price list comparing Volvo and Yanmar prices for common engine parts for similar engines.

There is no overall difference in prices between them. If you substitute identical Perkins parts for the Volvo parts, then it makes the Volvo actually cheaper than the Yanmar.

I can pick 4 parts from any engine you name that will cost almost as much as a new engine. I will start with the injection pump.

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Old 17-02-2014, 09:32   #34
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Re: Would you ever consider buying a boat with a Volvo Penta 2003 or 2003T engine?

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I think one could make a good argument that a reliable engine is far more important for coastal cruising than offshore passagemaking.

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Actually, on the Great Lakes it's possible for every surrounding shore to be a lee shore during one afternoon, so I grasp your point. On the other hand, you are often in shallow enough water to drop a hook and fix the problem/call for a tow/sail off the anchor when the wind favours it.

I've had to sail into my home dock with dead engines twice. I decided that I should learn to sail on and off a mooring to make my life easier. Of course, once I'd mastered that, I haven't had an engine failure since!
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Old 17-02-2014, 09:38   #35
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Re: Would you ever consider buying a boat with a Volvo Penta 2003 or 2003T engine?

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There seem to be plenty of people willing to say the 2003 type is a fine engine once you solve a couple known issues...cooling? And evidently the fixes are known now. There are a lot more Yanmars out there, so it's hard to tell but there are plety of stories with Yanmar issues too.... and many of them are catastrophic! I've had 9 diesel enigines, 3 were Yanmars and those three were the only problem engines of the 9... and big problems.... coincidence?
Yanmars are like Apple computers. I know they crash, and choose to spend less on the less-pretty PCs, which I can at least fix. (I've owned Apples and PCs in a professional capacity and find them near-identical in terms of functionality, except that the Apple software is more expensive and updated less frequently.)

But the people who pay more for the attractive Apple products are, shall we say, invested in the process in a way a PC buyer or the owner of a Samsung or Asus tablet is not.

But Yanmars are "the standard": People think they are great because there's so many of them out there. Me, I think they might be a little overcomplex and a little lightly built for the average cruiser. Fine for raceboats, though.
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Old 17-02-2014, 09:44   #36
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Re: Would you ever consider buying a boat with a Volvo Penta 2003 or 2003T engine?

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NEVER had hard starting or gearbox spline issues with mine. No glow pre heat. Hard starting in a diesel is often a sign of poor compression or inadequate cranking speed.

I do not think that the 2003T is a bad motor. As I said ours has 5000 hours on it since rebuild, 9500 hours since new. Still going fine.

BUT, like all motors, it must be properly maintained. Also, the Volvo rev counter was not accurate. Mine was reading 30% high! The carboning of the exhaust elbow is caused by running the engine too slow - can be related to the taco/rev counter problem! The Turbo will carbon as well if this is the case. IF you get one, part of your initial maintenance needs to be removing and cleaning all heat exchangers (OIL, Water and refrigeration, if fitted), check both water pumps (raw and fresh), remove and check turbo and exhaust elbow. In the cooling pipe between the thermostat and the exhaust elbow is a small plastic flow restrictor. Make sure there is a small hole through it - it's prone to blocking, and will cause overheating. Often neglected/forgotten by mechanics working on this motor. I'm pretty familiar with this motor, and happy to provide info/advice to anyone who has one with problems...
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A generous offer. Everyone is familiar with certain makes of motor and "idiosyncracies"; an example I know of is the trick with starting a cold Honda 2000 or a Honda BF100 or a Honda BF2...a couple of pulls with full choke, then back the choke off to half, and then pull: vrrrroom! Count to 10 and then lean out the choke, otherwise they may stall.

But that "trick" is in no manual. It's just something you do with a Honda, and other Honda-owning people seem to know it.

So I guess my question is: if all these tips and tricks are known about the Volvo 2003, why aren't they in the manual? Most of us are trying to run our boats conscientiously and economically, not join the Freemasons so we can practice the secret handshake.
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Old 17-02-2014, 11:34   #37
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Re: Would you ever consider buying a boat with a Volvo Penta 2003 or 2003T engine?

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Yanmars are like Apple computers. I know they crash, and choose to spend less on the less-pretty PCs, which I can at least fix. (I've owned Apples and PCs in a professional capacity and find them near-identical in terms of functionality, except that the Apple software is more expensive and updated less frequently.)

But the people who pay more for the attractive Apple products are, shall we say, invested in the process in a way a PC buyer or the owner of a Samsung or Asus tablet is not.

But Yanmars are "the standard": People think they are great because there's so many of them out there. Me, I think they might be a little overcomplex and a little lightly built for the average cruiser. Fine for raceboats, though.
Yanmars are no more or less complex than any other diesel engine of similar size/features. Most average cruisers have small light diesels. Larger boats can fit low rev larger engines, but most cruising boats do not have these.

Apple software is free and updated almost continuously. Really. It is free. Guess how much Windows costs? Office? Not free, I guarantee.

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Old 20-02-2014, 12:34   #38
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Re: Would you ever consider buying a boat with a Volvo Penta 2003 or 2003T engine?

Julie, as you have probably gathered there are those that don't like the last Volvo made engine that they built for marine use before buying in Perkins. Of course if you would prefer another manufacturers 26 year old engine then you should choose another yacht. Me I am quite happy that Volvo still have a plentiful supply of spares for the 200x series engines. Also worth pointing out there are thousands of these engines in boats world wide.

Our 2003 has been fine for the last 7 years, its now 26 years old. We had the spline problem sorted and whilst there was some wear on the gearbox splines it wasn't that bad. Cost in the UK was 500.

Starting can be a problem in the winter, but using the cold start method and switching in the house bank solves this.

We will replace it eventually, but I am hoping for another 5 years so have just replaced the engine mountings, not bad after 26 years I suppose.

What I did find useful was an Italian tune up. I Rev'd the bollix out of it for 10 hours during a stormy Channel crossing which did it a world of good and it started much easier for the rest of that season.

Would I buy a boat with another 2003? yes if it checked out okay.

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Old 20-02-2014, 21:03   #39
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Re: Would you ever consider buying a boat with a Volvo Penta 2003 or 2003T engine?

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What I did find useful was an Italian tune up. I Rev'd the bollix out of it for 10 hours during a stormy Channel crossing which did it a world of good and it started much easier for the rest of that season.

Pete
Ha, ha. I never heard that phrase. By "Italian tune up", am I to understand you kind of beat up your engine for half a day? Sounds like a mafia movie to me!
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Old 22-02-2014, 02:31   #40
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Re: Would you ever consider buying a boat with a Volvo Penta 2003 or 2003T engine?

The idea is to work the engine hard so removing the carbon from inside and the exhaust. I suspect the previous owners only used the engine very lightly at low revs which does a diesel no favours at all. We have the same problem with our car which only does short journeys when the wife drives to work. Come annual inspection time I take it for a blast down the motorway beforehand so it clears out all the crap ready for the emissions test.

As to the trip it was a 70 mile dash across the channel into the teeth of a gale to escape being held captive in port by striking French fishermen.

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