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Old 10-03-2020, 19:38   #1
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Swap Atomic 4 for Volvo MD2B ?, 30' Pearson

Greetings,

The Volvo is a '73, or thereabouts, 25 hp and came from a 32 Westsail,
and includes transfer case and prop.

1. How difficult, generally speaking, is it to remove the A4 and install the Volvo?
2. Is the Volvo MD2B considered a "good" engine?
3. What about transmission, will a new/different transmission be needed?
4. Any other tips or warnings?

Thank you for your advice!
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Old 10-03-2020, 20:41   #2
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Re: Swap Atomic 4 for Volvo MD2B ?, 30' Pearson

Partial answer to my own question:

This Beta Marine website has a detailed discussion of swapping
A 4 for a Beta Diesel. Although some of the information is
Beta engine specific, there are some general guidelines such as compatibility
with prop shaft, prop, hoses, engine mounts, etc.


http://www.betamarinecanada.com/pdf/A4_guidelines.pdf
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Old 11-03-2020, 06:19   #3
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Re: Swap Atomic 4 for Volvo MD2B ?, 30' Pearson

The Volvo MD2B is physically too big to fit in a Pearson 30
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Old 11-03-2020, 06:49   #4
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Re: Swap Atomic 4 for Volvo MD2B ?, 30' Pearson

The MD2B was a good engine in its day, as evidenced by the fact that it's still around and running. However it is false economy, even if the engine is free, to be installing a fifty year old engine in a boat today. Things get old and tired, parts get hard to find, and it won't do anything for the value of the boat.

Far better to find a more modern engine, new if you can manage, and install that. Depending on your plans for the vessel, it might make the most sense to stick with your A4 engine, or install a reconditioned A4 if yours is dead.
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Old 11-03-2020, 07:37   #5
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Re: Swap Atomic 4 for Volvo MD2B ?, 30' Pearson

Thank you for your reply. Based on some of the information I've
collected, I'm going to shelve this project for now.
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Old 11-03-2020, 10:31   #6
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Re: Swap Atomic 4 for Volvo MD2B ?, 30' Pearson

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailon1 View Post
Thank you for your reply. Based on some of the information I've
collected, I'm going to shelve this project for now.
What’s wrong with the A4 ?
Does it run ? Do you want to sell it ?
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Old 11-03-2020, 11:49   #7
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Re: Swap Atomic 4 for Volvo MD2B ?, 30' Pearson

I loved the MD2b in our Westsail. Super reliable, econmical, and it could be hand cranked which we did for 10 years. It's an old fashioned big and heavy salt water cooled engine. Salt water cooling isn't that big a deal as it was designed so everything that touched the briney coolant could be replaced and the engine could be rebuilt in place in the boat. Unfortunately Volvo has seen fit to price the NOS parts out of sight and some may be NLA.

Look for a low hour Yanmar 2GM20F or 3GM30F or a Kubota conversion of similar size. Have seen them with under a 1000 hours advertised in the $2,000 range on a regular basis. The 16hp 2GM should work just fine as it does in my 7,500 displacement boat.
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Old 11-03-2020, 12:07   #8
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Re: Swap Atomic 4 for Volvo MD2B ?, 30' Pearson

Although not exactly answering your question...I had an early 70's Pearson 30. The original A4 had been replaced with a 1985 Volvo Penta 2002 (18hp).

It seemed to me to be a tight fit, and I was never happy with the engine mounts. The engine "danced" significantly at low rpm.

However, the Volvo never gave me any grief, and started right up, every time, first click, even after sitting all winter. Ran very well, except for the "dancing" mentioned above. It was easy on fuel, burned no oil, and easily pushed the boat to hull speed.I cruised at 5 knots at 2000 rpm.

Hope this helps.
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Old 11-03-2020, 12:40   #9
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Re: Swap Atomic 4 for Volvo MD2B ?, 30' Pearson

When we bought our '63 Alberg 30 many years ago it had a Volvo MD7A 13hp triple diesel that worked well, excellent fuel.efficiency (1500 rpm motorsailing was 1 gal/8 hours.
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Old 11-03-2020, 16:26   #10
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Re: Swap Atomic 4 for Volvo MD2B ?, 30' Pearson

I really think you should consider One of the Kabuta swaps that Beta Marine has. Kabuta is a very dependable motor in today’s market. It does not even need all the computers and electronics that the others do. I have a beta marine generator with a Kabuta motor that has run over 16,000 hours without a single problem.
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Old 11-03-2020, 16:42   #11
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Re: Swap Atomic 4 for Volvo MD2B ?, 30' Pearson

Thanks for the suggestions!
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Old 11-03-2020, 16:46   #12
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Re: Swap Atomic 4 for Volvo MD2B ?, 30' Pearson

If you decide to go with a Kobuta-based Beta engine, I've got a 2010 B-16 available: https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...rs-230161.html
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Old 11-03-2020, 19:52   #13
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Re: Swap Atomic 4 for Volvo MD2B ?, 30' Pearson

You'll have better luck finding a KUBOTA.
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Old 11-03-2020, 21:02   #14
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Re: Swap Atomic 4 for Volvo MD2B ?, 30' Pearson

I just scrapped a Volvo Md11d replaced with a beta 30 you can’t buy parts for the old Volvo s and when you do find some there very expensive
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Old 13-03-2020, 20:28   #15
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Re: Swap Atomic 4 for Volvo MD2B ?, 30' Pearson

I have a 1976 Pearson 30 that I put a Yanmar 3GM30F into. I have lots of space and love the Yanmar 30. The only thing that I changed as far as mounts go was to use some 1/4 inch steel bar stock to offset the mounts otherwise easy job to do. I also changed to prop to match my engine. I have plenty of extra power and get hull speed at half throttle.

I have a Yanmar 2GM that I had a top-end rebuild done and willing to sell. It came with my boat. But I wanted more power for our strong currents here.
Let me know if you are interested in it. It is light enough that you need nothing special to get it into your boat.

Feel free to contact me about the information on repowering your Pearson 30.
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