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Old 04-04-2020, 07:40   #1
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Volvo Penta MD17D repairable?

I'm looking at another boat and would appreciate your advice on the motor. It's a 1983 Volvo Penta MD19 with a saildrive. The boat has been standing for a number of years (10+) - the motor turns over but does not run.I know the saildrive will need at least a new diaphragm seal kit. Are parts for this motor still available, if it needs repair or overhaul? What about the Volvo saildrive from the 80's?

Bearing in mind that I can't afford to buy a new motor and saildrive, should I go down the road of reviving this engine, or look at another used engine.

Thank you and stay safe.
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Old 04-04-2020, 08:04   #2
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Re: Volvo Penta MD19 repairable?

Volvo Penta MD19 46-68 4 1964 1968

You must have written down the wrong model number

Speaking from experience (MD11C) if it's green, run away!!!
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Old 04-04-2020, 09:02   #3
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Re: Volvo Penta MD19 repairable?

Hi

I have an MD17D.
Circa 1984
It's green.

I wanted the boat and was prepared to replace the engine but no before I got the boat home.

I've been into the motor, the condition is not good.

Parts are available if expensive.

The cost of performing all the required repairs makes replacement economic.

Thing is it now runs and shows no signs of not running even though a history of overheating (now fixed) was apparent.

Fresh fuel, oil & filters. Clean the cooling system, replace impeller, hoses & belts, adjust the valves. Install lift pump kit.

All up spend $500.00 parts.

It's still noisy (down from 32db to 24db measured at the companionway), blows a lot less smoke and starts first go from cold.

Longest I've run it 72 hours continuous without a hic-up and the fuel consumption is not that bad - about 2/3 gallon and hour @1750rpm -5 kts.


I'll replace it when it dies but really "run away it's green" is orthodox sensible advice.
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Old 04-04-2020, 12:13   #4
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Re: Volvo Penta MD19 repairable?

Yes that's it - the MD17D. Sorry about that. Like you, I also want the boat and may have to just find another engine. My current boat had a MD7 which I replaced with a used low hrs yanmar two years ago and it's still running well. The problem with this boat is finding something with a compatible saildrive.
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Old 04-04-2020, 13:17   #5
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Re: Volvo Penta MD19 repairable?

Right, so you are looking at an engine that is 36 years old, but like Rucksta you might find that $500 gets you an engine that starts on first go, is reasonably fuel efficient, doesn’t smoke much, etc. Best thing to do is get the engine surveyed and find out where you stand.

Current production VP engines , 30 h.p. and 40 h.p., are available with saildrives and repower kits that will fit the existing fiberglass engine bed in this boat. Might open up your options..
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Old 05-04-2020, 05:24   #6
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Re: Volvo Penta MD19 repairable?

The state of the exhaust manifold is very important with these old raw water cooled Volvo's as they are very expensive to replace if you can get one. They have had salt water sitting in the chambers for 35 plus years and it can and does get very ugly. I tried to resurrect mine (MD11C) unsuccessfully eventually luckily finding a functioning second hand one (rare as hens teeth). Over heating is often rife because as well as the poor condition of the manifold all the cooling chambers in the heads & barrels will be blocked or semi blocked with a tar like substance which will necessitate dismantling and systematically drilling / cleaning out. Gaskets & seals alone for this job will run $500 and the manifold will be approx $1200 plus new. I will not own a raw water cooled motor or a Volvo ever again.
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Old 05-04-2020, 08:48   #7
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Re: Volvo Penta MD19 repairable?

VP engines are great . . . until they're not. I have one and believe they are well designed and generally reliable. BUT-if you need a significant new part expect to pay 10X what your first $$ guess is, and hope that VP still offers it. My next will be Betamarine (marinized Kubota).
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Old 05-04-2020, 12:49   #8
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Re: Volvo Penta MD19 repairable?

VP engines are great . . . until they're not. I have one and believe they are well designed and generally reliable. BUT-if you need a significant new part expect to pay 10X what your first $$ guess is, and hope that VP still offers it. My next will be Betamarine (marinized Kubota).
Absolutely my experience. Parts prices if available are unbelievable. You could fix the engine, sure - just chuck loads of time & money at it. Then what have you got - still obsolete, still just waiting for the next problem to show up. Bite the bullet - replace it (my vote also for Beta) unless you are happy to sail with an engine that will fail any place, anytime - probably when you least want it to..

An Australian once told me that you could flog a dead horse from Sydney to Melbourne but when you get to Melbourne, you still have a dead horse...
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Old 05-04-2020, 13:38   #9
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Re: Volvo Penta MD17D repairable?

If interested, I have some MD 11/17 parts in excellent shape. Populated heads, exchanger (FWC), pumps, injectors, other..
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Old 05-04-2020, 15:16   #10
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Re: Volvo Penta MD17D repairable?

Some thoughts ... is it FW or SW cooled? If SW cooled scrap it...
If FW cooled can you do the work yourself? If the answer is no then scrap it...

Parts are available... they are easy to work on .... one critical part is the FW circ pump.... don't try looking for a new one... get the old one rebuilt...

All that said ... drop a few dollars on it and have someone who knows engines check it out.

If he can't get it running without major work... buy a Beta....
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Old 05-04-2020, 20:47   #11
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Re: Volvo Penta MD17D repairable?

I replaced one of those years back - they have an inherently weak gearbox. The cones wear and also reverse cone thrust is taken by a circlip on a helix and this can pop off leaving you without gears.
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Old 06-04-2020, 01:47   #12
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Re: Volvo Penta MD17D repairable?

This is why CF is such a great forum. Others out there who have been down this road share valuable info. , saving me the pain of the experience.
I will have a mechanic take a look and see if it can be resuscitated without too much $$. After exploring the availability and cost of parts plus the mechanics time, I'll most likely just change the motor now rather than later.
Thank you.

Keep well and stay safe.
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Old 06-04-2020, 03:10   #13
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Re: Volvo Penta MD17D repairable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Cape Town View Post
This is why CF is such a great forum. Others out there who have been down this road share valuable info. , saving me the pain of the experience.
I will have a mechanic take a look and see if it can be resuscitated without too much $$. After exploring the availability and cost of parts plus the mechanics time, I'll most likely just change the motor now rather than later.
Thank you.

Keep well and stay safe.
Good call.

If you can't do the work yourself it's unlikely to be economic to repair.

See what the inspection reveals.
Mine yielded a reduction in the purchase price.

It's ghetto motor it needs a shade tree mechanic.
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Old 06-04-2020, 03:15   #14
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Re: Volvo Penta MD19 repairable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by duckpond49 View Post
VP engines are great . . . until they're not. I have one and believe they are well designed and generally reliable. BUT-if you need a significant new part expect to pay 10X what your first $$ guess is, and hope that VP still offers it. My next will be Betamarine (marinized Kubota).
I've had a beta 30/ tmc60A from new six years ago, about 2100 hrs: great base engine, pity about the Beta part.

Rgds
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