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Old 13-07-2020, 19:14   #61
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Re: Volvo Penta MDI (Black Box) failures

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Originally Posted by CarinaPDX View Post
I once had a link to a French blogger's post on his long suffering with the MDI.
Are you referring to Eric?
Engine Reliability: A Look at the Volvo Penta MDI Black Box | Nordkyn Design
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Old 13-07-2020, 20:41   #62
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Re: Volvo Penta MDI (Black Box) failures

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That is a good read fivecapes. Thanks for posting.

I have a 2014 D1-30F with over 2100hrs. Still using the same MDI box so I have a "good one" or I'm lucky.

I recently installed oil pressure and temperature senders and gauges, not for fear of box failure but wanted to know these operating parameters instead of relying on the alarms. As i noted on a different post the temperature rises up to 220-225F at 2800RPMs. It's over 200F even at 1500RPMs so this little black box see lots of heat.

The majority of hours on mine, 90% or more, are at 850-900RPMs as I use it mostly for trolling so in addition to the high temps at higher RPM's my MDI box is subjected to the worst vibration conditions but so far so good.

I will however be looking to see if my cabling is long enough to relocate the box.
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Old 13-07-2020, 21:16   #63
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Re: Volvo Penta MDI (Black Box) failures

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Originally Posted by fivecapes View Post
No. Eric is in NZ, but originally from Austria. The article I read with the versions with part numbers was auto-translated (badly) from French, long before this article (but since I can no longer find it this is great to have). I have communicated with Eric, mostly about his external regulator that I bought, but we did have a discussion about the MDI as well (before he wrote this article). I suggested in one email that it might make sense to relocate the MDI and it turns out he had already done that and assured me that the cables were long enough. I do appreciate the link to his article - it was very informative - something I have come to expect from Eric.

Greg
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Old 14-07-2020, 02:01   #64
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Re: Volvo Penta MDI (Black Box) failures

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Originally Posted by redneckrob View Post
Whatever you do don't let those old MDI boxes go, they're gold (wanna trade your old MDI boxes, happy to give you two brand new ones!)

Meanwhile I've padlocked my box to the boat, sounds like one of the most valuable parts that we have !
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Old 18-11-2020, 00:46   #65
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Re: Volvo Penta MDI (Black Box) failures

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Originally Posted by Challo View Post
After 5 MDIs (I paid for the labor and several of the units), we spent the off-season eliminating it. A perfectly good engine should not be limited by a piece of electronics.

S/V Challo
Hi Challo,
Any info on your swap needed as I'm ready to get rid of my MDI. What parts did you use and part numbers?
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Old 18-11-2020, 02:09   #66
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Re: Volvo Penta MDI (Black Box) failures

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Hi Challo,
Any info on your swap needed as I'm ready to get rid of my MDI. What parts did you use and part numbers?
I'd like to know that too. It is not that difficult rig heavy duty relays for the start solenoid, stop valve, and glowplugs but the trick would be the digital interface between the instruments and the sensors.

Greg
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Old 20-12-2020, 06:55   #67
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Re: Volvo Penta MDI (Black Box) failures

As I have also suffered the hate for these black boxes. I currently have both of mine acting up on my D2-40s in my cat. I have a push button start on the port engine and use the "dummy beeps and lights" for monitoring. But they are so unpredictable and beep randomly in the middle of the night, even while off and at anchor while I try to sleep. As gauges are easy to install, has anyone used a timed diesel ignition for glow plugs and starting and just switched start over to gauges with alarms and removed the useless MDI box all together?
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Old 02-01-2021, 14:42   #68
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Re: Volvo Penta MDI (Black Box) failures

Thousand of mariners with MDI failed.
Need instructions on replacing with conventional gauges, old fashion way with automotive displays.
Someone help please!]
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Old 14-03-2021, 09:39   #69
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Re: Volvo Penta MDI (Black Box) failures

I have two D2-55 of 2002 in a cat. I bought the boat in 2017 with only app. 500h per engine. On both panels the engine hour-counter as well as the warning lights did not work, but otherwise no problems in the app. 200h I've clocked since 2017. I replaced the faulty light element and added external engine-hour clocks. Now all is fine.
Having read through all posts I hope that I still have the original MDIs from 2002. According to the recall advice the serial numbers of the engines would be within the range affected by the recall.
I'm unsure what to do - leave it untouched and hope for the best or make use of the recall-availability?
As I'm heading for remote areas I also would be very interested in a DIY-Plan to get rid of the MDI box altogether and replace it with classical sensors and gauges.
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Old 14-03-2021, 14:54   #70
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Re: Volvo Penta MDI (Black Box) failures

I ran into several issues with the VP MDI boxes beyond the boxes themselves:

-Reluctance by the local VP certified distributor service tech to believe that any fault lay with VP. Ie, the boat/engine installation (FP), system wiring, etc caused the problem after failure of a new, out of the box unit they supplied failed in under 5 hours. It was not the part number I discuss later.

-Reluctance to believe that there was a problem with the new unit itself when the faults could NOT be repeated. I appreciate the difficulties of an intermittent problem but to treat it as fictitious was in a word, wrong. I finally independently duplicated the problem and videoed him the result.

-Reluctance to listen to the owner’s observations regarding the entire SNAFU including the probable cause based on the similarity to events generously detailed in these posts and elsewhere on the web.

I, too, reached out to Nordkyn and another in England who were emphatic that the ONLY Part number I should accept was 23231607. 23195776 is the operable part while 23231607 is a kit that contains 23195776 and a small piece of paper. The VP blue OEM box is labeled with a bar code that includes the part number BUT I received a box with the correct part number on the box and a different part number on the MDI (it was the predecessor number and the tech said it was from VP and therefore was correct and just a “labeling” thing). I refused to accept it, demanding that the right part number be on the part itself.

Now, I’m going to jinx my setup by saying that I have had no issues since installing 23195776.

Somewhere in the boat manuals, I have directions for how to Hotwire (bypass) the MDI. The only downside is that it takes the sensors off line, including the alarms. It is simple to do. We travel to pretty remote locations in NW North America, locations with no outside communications and locations that preclude operating sans engines.

Hope this helps a little.

Cheers, Rufduck
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Old 15-03-2021, 03:26   #71
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Re: Volvo Penta MDI (Black Box) failures

Quote:
Originally Posted by CruiserAD View Post
I have two D2-55 of 2002 in a cat. I bought the boat in 2017 with only app. 500h per engine. On both panels the engine hour-counter as well as the warning lights did not work, but otherwise no problems in the app. 200h I've clocked since 2017. I replaced the faulty light element and added external engine-hour clocks. Now all is fine.
Having read through all posts I hope that I still have the original MDIs from 2002. According to the recall advice the serial numbers of the engines would be within the range affected by the recall.
I'm unsure what to do - leave it untouched and hope for the best or make use of the recall-availability?
As I'm heading for remote areas I also would be very interested in a DIY-Plan to get rid of the MDI box altogether and replace it with classical sensors and gauges.
Quick update - just found out that my engines were built BEFORE they added the MDI-Box (Being 1'000 km away from the boat prevented me from looking at the engines myself...)

I wish all those with the MDI-Boxes as much luck as you can get. This whole story is just beyond imaginaton and a real PITA for all VP-Owners affected!
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Old 16-03-2021, 21:07   #72
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Re: Volvo Penta MDI (Black Box) failures

Ok boys and girls
We all need some help in replacing that POS MDI with regular gauges and sensors.
Who is going to lead the way and making it happen?
Part numbers and tips please oh please someone share.
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Old 17-03-2021, 16:24   #73
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Re: Volvo Penta MDI (Black Box) failures

The MDI performs two categories of services: engine control and instrumentation. The engine controls can be replaced with a heavy duty Caterpillar switch, with pre-heat to the left, run, and start to right (left and right being momentary), plus a heavy duty push button for shut-down. Or the preheat, start, and stop can be done with relays and whatever momentary switch(es) you wish. Easy.

The instrument side is probably easy as well but would take some research. Replacing it with traditional tach and temperature gauges plus light for low oil pressure would also be easy to do. A charge indicator light could also be rigged, and I would want a voltmeter. I think there are also bridges that can take sensor inputs and output canbus data but I don't think that would be necessary (but perhaps desirable).

Am I overlooking something?

Greg
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Old 17-03-2021, 17:30   #74
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Re: Volvo Penta MDI (Black Box) failures

This should do the job:

https://nolandeng.com/product/rs11-c...ata-converter/

It would work well with a chartplotter or multi-display, and has extra inputs for expandability (like adding the fuel sensor).

For $355 plus the starter switch you could replace an MDI without paying a premium.

Greg
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Old 17-03-2021, 18:22   #75
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Re: Volvo Penta MDI (Black Box) failures

Looking around a bit more and there are other options:

https://www.albacombi.com

https://actisense.com/products/emu-1...0-engine-data/

https://us-shop.veratron.com/index.c...gle-engine.htm

So that is four commercial solutions for instrumentation. Add a starter switch and off switch and you should be good.

Just don't be stupid and mount it on the side of a hot, vibrating engine, like someone we know... Meanwhile if your MDI is still working get it off of the engine!

Greg

[Edit: The Albi-combi product has two relay outputs which I don't see on the others. I would want that for activating an alarm buzzer and light for overheat and under pressure.]
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