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Old 01-04-2018, 01:49   #1
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Volvo Penta 2003 Vibrations and lack of power underload

Hi,

Fishing for advice!

Our 2003 Volvo Penta suddenly stopped working from one day to another. We reversed out of our marina and as we put the boat from reverse to drive, the boat lost all power and started vibrating. I may have shifted from reverse to drive fast.

I cannot remember for sure if the engine was already vibrating on the reverse part, but it had power, so I would say it was not.

The engine revs fine in neutral.
If you put it into gear it starts vibrating a lot and revs does not go above 800rpm. The revs does not change if you push the throttle. The vibration are getting worse though with more throttle on.

Sometimes it also “sticks” in gear (since we had the issue). I tried to pull the throttle apart but didn’t manage too. However it seems working ok.

Checked so far:
-injectors cleaned + new nozzles fitted.
-no apparent air in the system.
-all injectors and cylinders are firing.
-fuel supply seems ok.
-no water in filter.
-prop seems good, dived twice.
-prop turns in gear albeit slowly.

I will change the fuel filter, who knows..

It sounds like a gearbox/saildrive issue, but we cannot hear anything suspect. The gearbox oil is clear as crystal.

Does anyone has an idea how I can identify if the issue is:
A. Saildrive related.
B. Engine related.

My thoughts are that the engine is vibrating because it’s sitting at 800rpm and it struggles to get going.

I am starting to have second thoughts on saildrive

Thank you for your ideas!
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Old 02-04-2018, 04:06   #2
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Re: Volvo Penta 2003 Vibrations and lack of power underload

Dived a third time. Prop is bad... didn’t notice it the first and second time.

We will change the prop and this should (fingers crossed) solve our issue.
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Old 02-04-2018, 17:39   #3
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Re: Volvo Penta 2003 Vibrations and lack of power underload

If it's not the prop, check the exhaust elbow and system for carbon buildup and high flow resistance.
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Old 02-04-2018, 17:53   #4
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Re: Volvo Penta 2003 Vibrations and lack of power underload

The transmission shaft splines fail on the earlier models of the 2003 engines. There are a number of writeups and solutions on the web. Here's one of them volvo penta(tm) worn gearbox spline repair

Edit: Here's a better writeup
https://www.hisse-et-oh.com/system/a...box_spline.pdf
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Old 02-04-2018, 19:38   #5
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Re: Volvo Penta 2003 Vibrations and lack of power underload

Great info thanks.

The gearbox engages (I dived while we put it in gear) so I don’t think the splines are worn. But I will certainly keep this in mind (and in the computer, great doc).

Engine has 2500 hrs.

The prop is one with pivoting blades and the internal gears are done (you can feel it loose/worn gears, the blades don’t turn together anymore and one of them is able to do 360+ degrees).

We have a spare prop with fixed blades. I’ll install it this week and fingers crossed, that’s the only issue. This would explain why the issue appeared when I switched from reverse to forward (getting out of marina): I suspected a gearbox issue but the prop must have imploded!

I’ll let you know, this can be handy for reference for others.

Cheers
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