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Old 09-04-2020, 19:40   #1
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Volvo md7a to md17???

Hi everyone,

Long story short I think I cracked the cylinder wall in my md7a or the head. Tomorrow I will take the head off and look and see what damage has occurred. I was having a starting problem and with alot of process of elimination I have come to the point where I turn the engine over without injectors in, and on the lower cylinder injection port I have water spraying out. Yup water..ugh!.
So tomorrow I will pull the head off and see where i'm at. Basically what i'm hoping to obtain from you engine guru's out there is my options. I'm thinking of possible putting a new sleeve in if possible.
Or I have a line on a md17 and would it be possible to slip that in instead. The engine is located far away. So i will get some measurements from seller but also looking for some insight from the more knowledgeable.
I have a saildrive 110s and from what I can see it would match up??
Another is the size and motor mounts. Are the mounts in the same place as the md7a??
How much longer is the engine?
If the md17 wasn't set up for a saildrive is it easy to convert to?
Are alot of the parts between the md7a and md17 interchange; worth me keeping the md7a??

Thanks in advance for the help!
Kevin
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Old 09-04-2020, 21:24   #2
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Re: Volvo md7a to md17???

Hi kevin, I too have been working on two md7a engines. I;ve learned a little in the process. The heads are hard to crack without highly overheating. The injectors are pressed into a copper sleeve previously pressed into the cylinder head. Also a rubber o-ring I believe before the copper sleeve. Copper sleeve is thru water and can leak maybe out lower injection connection. I believe the lower line is the excess fuel return to fuel pump. Injectors are usually difficult to pull. It may be easier To pull injector before pulling head. I broke an injector trying to pull it. On two md7a engines pulled 4 injectors breaking 1 in the process. I built a tool to grab injector lower down rather than screwing onto top of injector [which broke first injector] With injector removed you should be able to pressurize water jacket to determine where water is coming from. The injectors are very solid built. Hard to imagine water finding its way into an injector from the head. Maybe I misunderstand what you mean by "lower injector port" If water is coming out fuel return line its not likely from the head, but probably from fuel supply. You could disconnect upper fuel line from injector ,attach rubber hose to line from injector pump put hose into glass jar and turn engine to see if water in fuel. Engine may start on remaining cylinder so maybe hose both lines into jar. If you need to pull injectors much patience penetrating oil etc. The injectors are expensive new[3 to 400.00] but can be found used for 1 or 200$ with considerable searching. The copper sleeves are hard to find for md7 engines. As per your other question the md17 engine is 3 cylinder and double the HP. of md7a so longer with 3 separate heads so most parts not interchangeable I would think. Sounds like water in fuel .Good luck with the project. I'd like to follow your progress. Potbellypirate
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Old 10-04-2020, 01:22   #3
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Re: Volvo md7a to md17???

Hi potbelly

Thanks for your reply. I already pulled the injectors out and had them bench tested by a shop. They are as good to factory specs as they could be.
What I meant by water coming out, is when I crank the engine without the injectors in. Water sprays out the "lower cylinder" aft cylinder (sits lower then the front) by a bit from angle it sits in the water. I would call no 1 or 2 cylinder but not sure which is which.
I already played the fuel game thinking that was the problem for the no start. Changed filters, bled, checked injectors which is how I've come to the point I am at now.
I realize the md17 has the extra cylinder but I am hoping if someone has some specs on it, it might fit in the engine bay.
I guess I could always modify the engine mounts to fit but ideally it would be nice if they were in the same place as the md7a?
I looked on a beta marine PDF and it shows the md7a, md11, and md17 being compatable to the 110s saildrive. Anyone with experience with this?
Also maybe suitable alternatives? I just started looking at electric to match to the saildrive. Gotta dive down the research rabbit hole.
Trying to keep this as cost affective as possible. Boat is old 28' windward which I have been slowly bringing back to life to get my young family out on the water for some exploring and fun. Will buy better boat down the road once I have used this one for the learning curve but need to try and get a few more seasons out of it.
Cheers!
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Old 10-04-2020, 12:27   #4
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Re: Volvo md7a to md17???

Ahoy Kevin, Your md7a may be worth saving if rest of it is ok. My parts shopping experience has been frustrating and rewarding. I remember 2 different cylinder heads for sale I believe around $500 or 6. One was minus the injectors. In my blundering thru the internet I found the injector I needed for approx. $50 Two headgasket sets both for approx. $90 each. I need new copper injector sleeve as one pulled out with broken injector. No way to remove it from broken injector as is stuck tight. Sleeves are available but expensive. A European source may be best price as md7 engines are more common there. Mechanics don't like working on old volvo engines as they are hard to disassemble without breaking rusted in bolts. I've had good luck with the 2 i'm doing .I've only broken the one part [injector]. Both engines had little wear. No ridge in cylinders and little wear of rings. Am installing new rings [approx $50 per cylinder x 4] One used injector two head gasket sets one injector cleeve and o-ring and assorted gaskets. Will have injectors checked out. Spray patterns look right and all similar. Will adjust injector pumps myself after reassembly of engines. Also need part of exhaust manifold with thermostat housing. Cylinder heads water passages had clogging of black deposits. I was able to get them reasonably clear. I believe clogging caused by engine not run at proper temp as explained in previous forums. Heat exchanger systems help avoid problems with clogging of these great old engines. Bottom end good as plastigage showed little wear of bearings. Boatyards would rather sell you new yanmar etc. for easy $. These old volvos are good for many years trouble free use if properly maintained. Md17 may be overpowered for your boats hull speed as may not work hard enough to maintain proper rpm and temp. Also may require different prop. I hope you can reserect the md7a. If not will you be parting it out? Lots of good parts there. difficulty of repairing old volvo depends on amount of rust. My two were quite rust damaged but castings are thick so survive rust. Thermostat housing is weak link in raw water cooled volvos. Heat exchanger system more complex but preferred in long run. Good luck with your project and I'll watch for progress. potbelly pirate
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Old 10-04-2020, 12:38   #5
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Re: Volvo md7a to md17???

Hi kevin.I forgot to mention I have md7 repair manual I could copy and send parts of if you need. Very simple basic engine built like a rock. Manual is surprisingly short. potbellypirate.
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Old 11-04-2020, 10:14   #6
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Re: Volvo md7a to md17???

Hi Kevin - Most Volvo engines will be compatible with your 110 saildrive unit - Definitely the MD2, MD11 and MD17 models. I have lots of freshwater (Great Lakes) used parts for all of these models as well as a freshwater MD7A but it was seized when I got it but can pull apart and check if you need any of the parts. If your MD7 is not repairable (or for reasonable price) I have a 2002 model - good runner that will bolt right up to your 110 saildrive. - Craig
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Old 11-04-2020, 21:20   #7
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Re: Volvo md7a to md17???

Thanks potbelly and Craig for your replys!


I came across a pdf file manual for the md6a and md7a online and printed it off. Will be super helpful.
Good advice potbelly about the hull speed and prop size didn't think of that. Was thinking that (bigger more HP) would be nice to fight the currents.
The reason I was thinking md17 instantly because it was for sale for 750 running and was thinking it was going to cost me more for gasket kit and possibly new head, machining etc.
Found some measurements on beta marine for the md17 and md7a and the engine will be to long for my engine bay.

I went to the boat this morning and took the motor apart to investigate further. Luckily it looks to be just a head gasket. The gasket broke apart right beside the aft cylinder and cooling port hence the water into that cylinder.
Now that it's all apart i'm going to clean up head and manifold. I will source new gasket kit and thermostat kit clean and put all back together.
My concern is why the gasket broke at the port in the first place. The hole is a little elongated I guess from years of wear and tear. Should i put some gasket glue around the water ports when I reinstall the head gasket??
Besides that everything looks to be in Great shape. Cooling manifold isn't clogged seems to be clear but will clean anyway. Going to give block and head a light sand and clean up. Reset the valves, check the thermostat and change most likely anyway as a precaution and cross my fingers.
Dodged a bullet...maybe!
I did find a crack in my exhaust elbow which would explain some water leaking into bilge when running. I will maybe get it braised or welded.
Took a couple pics and will post more as I go.
You guys know of any good sources for head gasket kit etc?
Called local marine store today and they are going to get back to me.
Good to hear you got some parts Craig, I will keep that in mind moving forward. I'm sure I will come across things I will eventually need along the way. Possibly a exhaust elbow if it can't be fixed. Also reassuring that the other engines will bolt up to the 110s just incase.
Thanks
Kevin
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Old 13-04-2020, 06:53   #8
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Re: Volvo md7a to md17???

Wow, I just threw out this block because it was out of round (and I had been carrying it around for 15 years). But before the cylinder problem was found, I had the heads rebuilt, injectors all done (with new copper sleeves). I still have this, a starter, transmission and some other parts. If anyone is interested for a reasonable price, let me know.
Cheers, Capt Scott
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Old 13-04-2020, 06:54   #9
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Re: Volvo md7a to md17???

Sorry, you can email me : scott@visailingschool.com Thx!
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Old 14-04-2020, 04:13   #10
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pirate Re: Volvo md7a to md17???

Hi Kevin and Scott, Looking at pics the oval port didn't look too close to cylinder but if engine ran long time with water in combustion water in effect steam cleans oil film from cylinder wall causing premature ring wear. That's the case with gas engines maybe not so much with diesels. I screwed up a V-8 years ago adding water often. Wore out compression ring in one cylinder. It takes a long time but does happen. I don't know if diesel oil would prevent this wear. A diesel mechanic could answer that question. If you remember white smoke for many hours there may be extra wear in that cylinder. You or an experienced mechanic could check cylinders for bore wear at top of pistons while down and near top of bores then compare measurements of both cylinders to each other .If there is much difference of bore wear then rings are probably worn. With my V-8 I knew it was using water for long time. IF your engine is raw water cooled the water use would be indicated by white exhaust rather than low water in radiator. You could also check for ridge near top of bore [top of ring travel] normal in engine with many hours. Many sailboat engines get very old with little actual use or wear. Many sailo rs take pride in sailing into and out of their slip without using engine. The two md7a engines I'm overhauling show nearly no wear but heads were clogged with deposits from raw water cooling at too high temp . aggrevated by snow ball effect of clogged water ports in cylinder head. You should have cyl head checked for flatness as something caused the head gasket to fail, often caused by overheating. Combustion gasses leaking into water jacket can displace cooling water causing overheating and warping of cyl.head. Printed repair manual for md6a and md7a volvo penta engines available at vidisupply.com. [of Sweden] Approx $25.oo. An easy basic manual like the engine. Order item #2234977755544. Head gasket sets from repowermarine.com. Gasket set replaces #876430 and #. 876613. for engines up to serial #35144. If your engine is after #35114 It may take other gasket set. As for your idea of an adhesive for the head gasket it might be a good idea around the oval port in question. In the distant past laquer was used on head gaskets. I would ask an experienced diesel mechanic that question .The manual has good instruction for installing head gasket. This reminds me of my 1972 project overhauling Honda 175 engine top end. My father born 1903 advised me how to remove ridge from cylinder bore. His instruction, "take a good half round file and be real careful..." That's what they taught him in mechanics school 1923 or so. I thanked him then took the engine to the machine shop in town. I think most likely your engine will be good for many years. If it is raw water cooled I would advise a heat converter system be added.If you shop around the internet you can find the pump, plumbing, and heat converter etc for a good price. I'll close for now, happy wrenching, potbellypirate
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Old 17-04-2020, 02:18   #11
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Re: Volvo md7a to md17???

Hi potbelly

Thanks for the info. I checked repowermarine and asapsupplies site out of the UK which seems to have a good parts supply. Tried calling to see how shipping was with the pandemic but no answer from either.
Also found some after market decarb kits on Amazon and Etsy. I called local volvo marine parts store and they had a decarb kit in the warehouse, so I ordered that. Went with true volvo parts more expensive but piece of mind. Also main purpose next day pickup.
Took the head to a shop as recommended and they tested it and machined for new gasket. I pick up the head today aswell as the gasket set and will get after it this weekend.
I will take the thermostat out and test it and order new one if it's faulty. Also will check cylinders as you described.
I have been toying with the idea of doing closed fresh water cooling system. I've done some research and was wondering if the heat exchanger size matters. I found a few used locally off marine engines and was wondering if I could use one of them. The kits I have seen from sen dure and martec look very small and very expensive. I was thinking of grabbing an exchanger a Bosch pump piping it and the way I go? Worth it or not? Or just run CLR or similar through sea strainer and engine once in a while?
Im lucky my boats past life was in a lake so not to much for sea damage.

Cheers
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Old 17-04-2020, 12:48   #12
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Re: Volvo md7a to md17???

Hi Bellavida, As your engine has been fresh water cooled raw water cooling is probably fine. Its important to use proper thermostat. Check manual as raw water is to run 140 degrees Fahrenheit whereas heat converter system runs hotter thermostat. I believe 150 or 160 degrees. Also its important to know if the head had ever been milled or ground before. Did the machinist say how much was removed? Manual says out of flat limit is .004".so .004"-.008" require grinding or milling. Anything over .008" replace cylinder head. Changing these measurements changes engine compression so engine will act a little different when starting. You should turn engine over by hand to check tolerances [clearances] before using starter.










You could research earlier forums [threads?] to learn more.
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Old 03-05-2020, 01:27   #13
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Re: Volvo md7a to md17???

Thanks for the info. The machinist didn't say how much he took off. I did ask him to take as little as possible and that I was worried about compression.
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Old 03-05-2020, 01:36   #14
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Re: Volvo md7a to md17???

So i got the divit welded where the gasket failed. Installed new head gasket and put most of it back together. Did valve clearance at .019 cold. I ran into a problem that has stopped me. I can't seem to get the injectors re seated. My next step is to put the injectors in the freezer and heat copper sleeves up. Hopefully expanding copper and shrinking injectors to help seat them. At first try input a little oil and gave light tap with rubber mallet to no avail. Prob put little grease next time. Anyone got any ideas?
Thanks
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Old 03-05-2020, 10:45   #15
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Re: Volvo md7a to md17???

I Hi Belly, I'd recommend researching heating and cooling of copper as heat can soften, [anneal], or harden copper depending on how the heating and cooling is done. I believe the copper sleeves are soft when new. If you have already heated the sleeve in the wrong manner resulting in hardening it you may need to re-do the process in the manner which anneals the copper. I vaguely remember this subject in a previous post. Maybe you could find the thread. Also it's possible the sleeve is the wrong one. There are many very similar sleeve sizes available. I will be looking for one to replace one that pulled out with an injector I broke trying to pull the injector . The sleeve was stuck tight to the injector and was extremely hard to pull. This kind of thing is what makes these engines unpopular with some mechanics who would rather install a new Yanmar or equivalent. [less work more profit] If repairs are done correctly Md7's are relatively trouble free and very economical requiring relatively little maintenance [ key word "correctly"] Also remember there's an o-ring in there somewhere. Have fun, Potbelly.
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