Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 15-02-2014, 17:12   #1
Registered User
 
JulieMac's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Florida
Posts: 130
Would you ever consider buying a boat with a Volvo Penta 2003 or 2003T engine?

Seems like the Volvo Penta 2003 & 2003T engine is prevalent on many of the boats that I'm considering purchasing.

I've read horror stories from some owners, and diesel mechanics-at least online. Comments like, "run away", "worst engine they ever made", "outrageous replacement parts prices", or "Volvo outsourced components, cheap junk" are prevalent.


Does anyone have any much experience with these engines? And to my question, would you avoid buying a boat you liked for many other reasons, just because of the 2003 or 2003T engine?


Should I just move on? Help!
__________________

__________________
JulieMac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-02-2014, 18:16   #2
Moderator
 
a64pilot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Albany Ga.
Boat: Island Packet 38
Posts: 17,032
Re: Would you ever consider buying a boat with a Volvo Penta 2003 or 2003T engine?

Opinions are like A$$ holes of course, but I don't want a Volvo Penta, seem wonderful when they are working and then when they don't the horror stories begin. Maybe its as simple as the local mechanics where I've been just aren't familiar with them, but I've heard personal stories, and have assisted in fixing one or two, but the I know someone who has a friend stories are the most prelevant.
__________________

__________________
a64pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-02-2014, 18:19   #3
Registered User
 
Stu Jackson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Cowichan Bay, BC (Maple Bay Marina)
Posts: 6,385
Re: Would you ever consider buying a boat with a Volvo Penta 2003 or 2003T engine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JulieMac View Post

I've read horror stories from some owners, and diesel mechanics-at least online. Comments like, "run away", "worst engine they ever made", "outrageous replacement parts prices", or "Volvo outsourced components, cheap junk" are prevalent.
Julie, haven't you just answered your own question? Who else would know better?
__________________
Stu Jackson
Catalina 34 #224 (1986) C34IA Secretary
Cowichan Bay, BC, (Maple Bay Marina) SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
Stu Jackson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-02-2014, 18:36   #4
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Would you ever consider buying a boat with a Volvo Penta 2003 or 2003T engine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Opinions are like A$$ holes of course, but I don't want a Volvo Penta, seem wonderful when they are working and then when they don't the horror stories begin.
Yanmar 4JH4AE catastrophic breakdown experience

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-02-2014, 18:48   #5
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Would you ever consider buying a boat with a Volvo Penta 2003 or 2003T engine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JulieMac View Post
Seems like the Volvo Penta 2003 & 2003T engine is prevalent on many of the boats that I'm considering purchasing.

I've read horror stories from some owners, and diesel mechanics-at least online. Comments like, "run away", "worst engine they ever made", "outrageous replacement parts prices", or "Volvo outsourced components, cheap junk" are prevalent.


Does anyone have any much experience with these engines? And to my question, would you avoid buying a boat you liked for many other reasons, just because of the 2003 or 2003T engine?


Should I just move on? Help!
Without a doubt, the 200x model engines are the worse ones Volvo ever sold, and they are the engine models that gave Volvo the everlasting big black mark in people's minds.

Having said that, there are many of them running just fine, and several threads on CF with posts by people who have them and give feedback on them.

Personally, those are the only Volvo models I would generally steer clear of. However, if I really wanted everything else about the boat and the engine is in great shape at the time, it wouldn't stop me from buying the boat. If you are buying a 1980's boat with any brand engine and you plan to have and use that boat for many years, a repower is probably in your cards at some point anyway.

As for parts pricing, I don't know about that specific engine, but general comments on Volvo pricing being out of line are only made by people with no actual knowledge or experience (in other words, they are talking out their rears). Yes, their prices are expensive, but so are Yanmar's. I have posted several times on other threads direct comparison between Volvo and Yanmar prices for the same components and there is absolutely no overall difference - Volvo is cheaper for some things and Yanmar for others.

If you get a later-model Volvo, which is really a Perkins, then you will find exact replacement Perkins parts for it at much less cost than Volvo's. And far less than equivalent Yanmar parts.

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-02-2014, 19:08   #6
Moderator
 
a64pilot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Albany Ga.
Boat: Island Packet 38
Posts: 17,032
Re: Would you ever consider buying a boat with a Volvo Penta 2003 or 2003T engine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post

Yes, I think that one is an exception, or maybe the valve was rusted shot or something similar. It's when there are more than a few failures that maybe you can form an opinion.
Funny thing is the little Yanmars have a very good reputation in the small tractor etc. world, the little 90 deg V 2 cyl Kawasaki gas motor is about bullet proof in that application as well.
One thing I'm sure of is these modern Diesels shouldn't be run like the old ones, you have to let them turn higher RPM, they won't live if you over prop them and try to run them like a Perkins RPM wise.
__________________
a64pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-02-2014, 19:49   #7
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Would you ever consider buying a boat with a Volvo Penta 2003 or 2003T engine?

The Perkins/Volvo engines are also widely used small tractors, generators, etc. Probably in wider usage than the Yanmars for those applications. Caterpiller, Detroit Diesel and others also use them under their brand names.

Funny thing I noticed about Yanmar fans is that every example I find of a bad Yanmar product is always brushed off as an exception - yet every one-off Volvo example they find is damning of all Volvos in general throughout the ages.

Again, I do think that particular Volvo is a bad egg in general, but can be fine in specific.

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2014, 01:11   #8
Sponsoring Vendor
 
Neptune's Gear's Avatar

Community Sponsor

Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Gulf Harbour, New Zealand
Boat: Farr Phase 4, 12.8m
Posts: 992
Re: Would you ever consider buying a boat with a Volvo Penta 2003 or 2003T engine?

I have a 2003t. It has 5000 hours since a rebuild. It smokes a bit, but has been very reliable. The cooling system pipes are the biggest weak point with stupid rubber seals. However, properly maintained, they can be a great motor.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
__________________
Matt Paulin
Neptunes Gear Ltd
www.neptunes-gear.com
Neptune's Gear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2014, 02:26   #9
Bailing as fast as I can.
 
GILow's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Boat: Swanson 42
Posts: 3,585
Re: Would you ever consider buying a boat with a Volvo Penta 2003 or 2003T engine?

I totally rebuilt Dad's MUCH older Volvo inboard (130HP Petrol) for him a few years ago and was shocked at some of the design decisions, including running the water pump">raw water pump straight off the cam shaft, so that if-when the raw water pump seal failed, it dumped seawater into the sump. Lovely. Also, it became clear after a while that I was actually working on a Ford block, with marine addons. I don't know if Volvo have lifted their game since then, but it was enough to scare me away from them for the foreseeable future.

I guess what I am saying is that if I saw a boat with a Volvo engine, I would at least quarantine a bit of cash to replace the engine if needed, and hope to be pleasantly surprised in the future.

Matt
__________________
GILow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2014, 06:32   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Would you ever consider buying a boat with a Volvo Penta 2003 or 2003T engine?

No, Volvo are still just making gasoline I/O's based on poorly marinized Ford truck motors - all of their models are exactly like that 1970's petrol engine you worked on. Best to stay completely away from them. No other engines have problems like all of the Volvos.

But thanks for making my point for me!

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2014, 06:57   #11
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2005
Boat: Outbound 44
Posts: 4,567
Re: Would you ever consider buying a boat with a Volvo Penta 2003 or 2003T engine?

The 2000x are not great engines. The cooling system is generally troublesome. If you buy a boat with one I think the key is to not put a lot into the engine. Its old and not getting younger. If you put in $1500 to get it running sweet, then a year latter you put in $2000, you are now well into the cost of a repower. I replaced my 2003 after I owned it for 10 years, 19 year old engine. Cost $12.5k installed Yanmar 3YM
__________________
Paul L
http://svjeorgia.blogspot.com
Paul L is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2014, 07:42   #12
Senior Cruiser
 
Vasco's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Toronto
Boat: CS36Merlin, "La Belle Aurore" Ben393 "Breathless"
Posts: 7,133
Re: Would you ever consider buying a boat with a Volvo Penta 2003 or 2003T engine?

Just can't resist a Volvo post. When I started sailing in 1984 I bought a new boat Volvo 2002. Yuck! But being a slow learner I bought another new boat in 1988 - Volvo 2003! One trip south and I replaced the motor with a Yanmar 3GM30F. Still have the boat and the Yanmar. Without a doubt the 2000 series was the worst engine ever built by Volvo. I have posted extensively on it including referrals to a charter operation that had them in the eighties. I made a vow after my second one that if I were ever to buy another boat with a Volvo in it I would factor in the cost of a re-power.
__________________
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/beneteau393/
Vasco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2014, 09:12   #13
Registered User
 
JulieMac's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Florida
Posts: 130
Re: Would you ever consider buying a boat with a Volvo Penta 2003 or 2003T engine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
I made a vow after my second one that if I were ever to buy another boat with a Volvo in it I would factor in the cost of a re-power.
Yes, I will have to factor that into a potential purchase price. I'm sure the seller will feel that the engine "runs, and is serviceable", but having to set aside $10,000-12,500 for a re-power is daunting.

Said engine is a 2003t with about 2100 hours on it, and is 25 years old. Service record indicates annual oil/trans & filter change. Other than that, going back to 1999, when bought was purchased I only see:

- Hours 1533 - New Water Pump Drive Shaft Gear
- Hours 1756 - Rebuilt Alternator & New Packing for Stuffing Box
- Hours 1900 -Reworked Ignition Wiring Harness for Loose Connection
- Hours 1938 - Stuffing Box Adjustment

One last thing, this boat has been on the hard up north since 2011, and presumably the engine has not been run since then.

What do you think??
__________________
JulieMac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2014, 09:53   #14
Senior Cruiser
 
Vasco's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Toronto
Boat: CS36Merlin, "La Belle Aurore" Ben393 "Breathless"
Posts: 7,133
Re: Would you ever consider buying a boat with a Volvo Penta 2003 or 2003T engine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JulieMac View Post
Yes, I will have to factor that into a potential purchase price. I'm sure the seller will feel that the engine "runs, and is serviceable", but having to set aside $10,000-12,500 for a re-power is daunting.
It might cost you more than $12500. Might need a new prop (Volvo is left hand, most others right hand), new exhaust, many require a larger exhaust outlet. I would say closer to $15K if you get it done. Bed might have to be modified too. In a boat of this vintage (late eighties early nineties) it might not be worth it.
__________________
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/beneteau393/
Vasco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2014, 09:56   #15
Moderator
 
a64pilot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Albany Ga.
Boat: Island Packet 38
Posts: 17,032
Re: Would you ever consider buying a boat with a Volvo Penta 2003 or 2003T engine?

Mark, I assume you have a Volvo, my experience is with the power boat versions and I don't like them.
But, then I prefer Chevy over Ford too although many years ago I used to run a Mopar. Parts for Mopars were far and few between and expensive when you could find them, on the other hand every redneck had a small block Chevy, parts were all over the place and cost pennies on the dollar compared to Mopar and Fords. All were good motors, just you could race a GM for far less money and you spent a lot less time waiting for parts.
Most all modern engines are quite good actually, what separates the good from the bad is usually the quality of preventative maintenance performed
__________________

__________________
a64pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
buying, engine, penta, volvo

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:15.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.