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Old 30-04-2021, 06:10   #1
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Volvo penta 120s saildrive problem

Hey guys, I have a 120s saildrive on a Volvo penta md7b engine that will not go into neutral when the engine is running. It will shift into forward and reverse just fine, but if I want to go into neutral I have to first shut off the engine, shift into neutral and then turn the engine back on.
Anybody got any ideas?
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Old 02-05-2021, 11:55   #2
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Re: Volvo penta 120s saildrive problem

Anybody?
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Old 08-05-2021, 05:55   #3
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Re: Volvo penta 120s saildrive problem

This happens when there is wear in the internal shift mechanism. It might be able to be adjusted with shim removal from the outside, or it might require replacement of some worn shifter parts.

Unfortunately a full description of the cause and remedy takes more time than the forum allows to answer, so I suggest an experienced technician have a look at it.
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Old 08-05-2021, 10:49   #4
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Re: Volvo penta 120s saildrive problem

Thank you.
Any shot fairly handy guy on a budget, but certainly a non-mechanic has chance tackling this on his while in the water?
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Old 09-05-2021, 17:51   #5
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Re: Volvo penta 120s saildrive problem

Itís possible that you can try to do some adjustments from the outside, and itís possible to check to see if there is lots of wear on the shifter parts.....

The photos are from a new MS2 inboard transmission, but basically the same as your saildrive.
Photo #1- from the outside...you see the adjusting bolt with its shims, which is mounted in the threaded hole on the outside of the shifter mechanism, also see the shift shoe & spring which is mounted in the shifter on the inside. The spring end of the shift shoe pushes against the end of the adjusting bolt.
Photo#2- The shift shoe located in the shifter
Photo #3- looking in the gear you see the groove in the shift cone where the shift shoe rides, and allows the shoe to move the cone up or down to engage the cone clutch.

The pressure of the shift shoe against the cone allows the shoe to break the ďsuctionĒ of the cone and the gear and pop the cone out of engagement when the engine is running. When the engine is not running there is no ďsuctionĒ so it shifts easily. ( Itís not really suction, but itís the force generated by the cone being mounted on helical splines on its shaft.)

As wear occurs on the cone and shift shoe the pressure between the shift shoe and the cone lessens and shifting becomes harder. What you can do is remove one shim at a time from under the bolt head and test the shifting. Hopefully you will regain shifting before running out of shims. If wear is too great you may have to replace the shift shoe or the shift cone.
If you decide to remove the shift mechanism to have a look for wear, be sure to reinstall the shift shoe the same way it came out. It isnít semetrical, one end of the shoe protrudes further than the other and that end wraps around the shift cone.
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