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Old 10-10-2020, 21:53   #1
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1980 Volvo MD2B Refresh or No?

A 1980 Volvo came with a 37 Albgerg I bought but it is up in NC (Iím in S FL). Its been sitting for 10 years and I am trying to figure out if its worth the time and expense to go get it and get it refreshed and put in. Iíve attached some pictures of it.Click image for larger version

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Old 11-10-2020, 07:45   #2
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Re: 1980 Volvo MD2B Refresh or No?

Looks like a late model MD11C to me....but it's still 40 years old.

If the engine was running well when it came out of the vessel then it might be worth a bit of paint and TLC, but if it had problems 10 years ago then it might be more prudent to put the money into a newer engine with better parts availability.

You can probably part out the engine and gear box...
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Old 11-10-2020, 08:29   #3
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Re: 1980 Volvo MD2B Refresh or No?

MD2B are great engines but that one looks to be salt water cooled. Many were. That's a negative. Also a negative is the rebuild procedure is more difficult than many diesels out there. (special shims etc) Not sure about parts either. Seems like it's a bit small for that boat anyway. I had one in my 30 ft boat.
I would opt out in this instance.
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Old 11-10-2020, 08:39   #4
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Re: 1980 Volvo MD2B Refresh or No?

What DougR said.
+ I don't know what volvo parts prices are like in the USA but here they are horrendous to the point that I wouldnt buy a vessel powered by a volvo.
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Old 11-10-2020, 09:03   #5
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Re: 1980 Volvo MD2B Refresh or No?

Besides the outrageous parts prices, they have a unique "backwards" starter, will only fit a Volvo MSB transmission, and if it's the one with the V-belt groove on the flywheel, it takes a special alternator.
Besides that, it's painted an ugly green.
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Old 11-10-2020, 10:51   #6
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Re: 1980 Volvo MD2B Refresh or No?

Nothing to do with a Volvo Penta or any other brand. After 10 dysfunctional years and in the shape we can see here, any 40 years engine with unknown history wouldnít worth the investment, unless you are a diesel mechanic with some spare time to play.
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Old 11-10-2020, 13:59   #7
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Re: 1980 Volvo MD2B Refresh or No?

I had the same engine on my 32 footer. Reliable as long as it kept the oil inside the block. I asked the price of spare parts and total haulout of the engine. For the same price I got a Nanni Kubota 30 hp with 100 A alternator installed by professional. You will need a new (RH) propellor and shaft (different cone in Volvo propellors) too. It was wonderful improvement: no noise, no oil in the bilge, smaller and lighter engine.
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Old 12-10-2020, 08:26   #8
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Re: 1980 Volvo MD2B Refresh or No?

There has to be a reason as to why the engine was taken out. Best find out before you do anything.
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Old 12-10-2020, 08:30   #9
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Re: 1980 Volvo MD2B Refresh or No?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewie12 View Post
There has to be a reason as to why the engine was taken out. Best find out before you do anything.


The previous owner didnt want to bother with it and planned on putting in a new one. I think Im gonna pass and just do electric. Found a good price on the batteries and a good motor.
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Old 12-10-2020, 09:25   #10
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Re: 1980 Volvo MD2B Refresh or No?

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Originally Posted by SailnParadise View Post
The previous owner didnt want to bother with it and planned on putting in a new one. I think Im gonna pass and just do electric. Found a good price on the batteries and a good motor.
Good idea. You may want to see many other threads here discussing electrical propulsion etc. the most recent by a Danish owner of Moody 28 that generated quite a lot of responses - many are irrelevant, as usual

Consider the range needed in case you only have a motoring option, and the battery bank you can create for shore power charging - with a small boat I wouldnít plan on any significant other sources of available energy inputs: solar, wind, hydro and genset. (Just in case of emergency, a 2Kw Honda/Yamaha on board could add a little extra peace of mind)

For most day sailing situations, an electric propulsion is a great solution.

Best of luck!
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Old 12-10-2020, 10:42   #11
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Re: 1980 Volvo MD2B Refresh or No?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeValency View Post
the most recent by a Danish owner of Moody 28 that generated quite a lot of responses - many are irrelevant, as usual
Do you have a link? would be interested in that conversion.

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Old 12-10-2020, 13:16   #12
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Re: 1980 Volvo MD2B Refresh or No?

Back in the 80'S my Volvo MD2 died, while cruising Malaysia,i was anchored up a river South of Penang, [Lumut], with the help of a local mechanic, [i was the helper], we rebuilt the engine, the closest supplier was in Hong Kong, and expensive, we source out pistons,[BMW], that fit, had a local tinsmith make a new head gasket , fuel pump off a Volkswagen, ect., interesting experience, engine ran for year's after the rebuild.
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Old 12-10-2020, 16:35   #13
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Re: 1980 Volvo MD2B Refresh or No?

Good motors but given what looks like a lot of rust on the intake, that it's salt water cooled and the exhaust manifolds are no longer available you might be better off replacing it. If you are parting it out I would be happy to take some bits off your hands as I have that engine. Still running fine and I had converted to fresh water cooling and machined the flywheel to accept twin 3/8" belts so I can run a 120Amp alternator. Please PM me if you want to sell pieces off it.
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Old 12-10-2020, 17:20   #14
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Re: 1980 Volvo MD2B Refresh or No?

Just did a complete head and cooling system on a 6 cylinder 82 hp 1957 Ford engine. Certainly not a cheap exercise but very much cheaper than replacing the engine. And very, very much faster.
A common issue with replacement engines is that often it's not just the engine that needs replacing. The wiring, instrumentation, gear/throttle system, engine mounts, cooling plumbing system, fuel plumbing, exhaust system, shaft couplings etc. Sometimes the complete engine beds. Virtually nothing matches. This extra work MAY take many months and cost a motza.
As has been recently discussed on this forum, the drama of engine removal and replacement can be heart stopping.
It may pay to get an engineer familiar with older Volvos, to do some compression tests etc. to see if the engine has any major problems and give some ball park cost estimates A head rebuild can also show if there are any piston and cylinder issues as well.
Also, looking at what appears to be very generous space around the engine, it may be possible to replace wet cylinder liners (if it has them); end seal/bearings and possibly more while in situ.
Rust? Don't be put off by appearances. Track down what the rust means - what causes it?
Get some professional advice. Engine work is not really for the ignorant.

An observation by a local mechanic was that newer engines are often designed with higher power to weight ratios than older engines which generally means more thermal stress and a shorter working lifetime. Hotly denied by local salesman. Having said that, I would expect instant rebuttals and anecdotes. Can't speak for the older Volvos though, except for the horrendous parts prices.
Another consideration actually implied by someone else is that a new engine may be "smoother". If you head for a small 3 or 4 cylinder replacement engine that would probably be an expected outcome. That may be relevant. The two cylinders shown is possibly why it has such a monster flywheel - just to smooth out an inherent diesel banging.
Another issue you may wish to check out is the sump oil. Many older engines should be run on mono-grade oils. e.g. SAE 30W, not 15-30 W.
Apparently modern multi grade oils have detergents that can cause oil leaking at the rings with consequent problems. Check the handbook. It really does matter. Modern is not necessarily appropriate.


Electric option? Just please do your homework.
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Old 12-10-2020, 19:38   #15
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Re: 1980 Volvo MD2B Refresh or No?

That "monster flywheel" is really useful. One of the good points about those old volvos is that thanks to the monster flywheel its a breeze (well quite a strong one ) to hand start, no need for a dedicated start battery.


Its quite easy to convert to fresh water cooling and they do seem to last forever if this is done. The fitting after the exhaust manifold where the water is added rots out regularly and is amazingly expensive. A permanent easy fix is to weld up a replacement in stainless.


The commonest fault I have seen is the water jacket around the gearbox. It has four inlet/outlets at 90deg . The standard fitting is to have the water enter at 9o'clock and leave at 3. What happens is the water runs round the bottom of the jacket and the top chamber fills with hot steamy vapour and rusts out the jacket . Its simple to fix, blank off the horizontal fittings and make the 6 o'clock the inlet, and the 12 the exit.


They just thump on forever......but if you don't want it someone will be in the market for spares. don't dump it.
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