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Volvo Penta MD2030 "lazy" gearbox

Termagant

New member
Joined
9 Jan 2021
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5
I realise this issue has been raised before on the forum, but I could not find a conclusive answer - maybe there isn't one! Here goes anyway. The transmission on my Volvo Penta MD2030 is "lazy" and does not engage for at least 10 seconds (longer unless you find just the right amount of revs) in both ahead and astern. This was only an occasional problem but it is now becoming more frequent and obviously will be somewhat nerve-wracking in challenging mooring situations etc. Any thoughts on the fixability of this problem (I'm not an engineer, just a blundering amateur), or should I be sourcing a new gearbox?
 

PaulRainbow

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16 May 2016
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Suffolk
Make/model of gearbox would be useful.

Have you changed the oil in the transmission ?

Is it filled with the correct oil ?
 

jwfrary

Member
Joined
2 Dec 2010
Messages
101
Cone clutch’s on those, chance of reshimming, but it’s not an easy job and if the coatings gone it’s toast :-(

do check the selector arms travelling far enough first. Take the cable off and actuate it from the box and see if it’s the same. Could be stretchy/worn cable/control.
 

Termagant

New member
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9 Jan 2021
Messages
5
Make/model of gearbox would be useful.

Have you changed the oil in the transmission ?

Is it filled with the correct oil ?
Thanks for your reply Paul Rainbow. I will check the model but believe it to be MS10A or MS10L. Yes, I just changed the oil. I had a Volvo engineer on board who recommended ATF. Could it be something to do with that?
 

Termagant

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9 Jan 2021
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Cone clutch’s on those, chance of reshimming, but it’s not an easy job and if the coatings gone it’s toast :-(

do check the selector arms travelling far enough first. Take the cable off and actuate it from the box and see if it’s the same. Could be stretchy/worn cable/control.
Thanks jwfrary, I will try that.
 

PaulRainbow

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Thanks for your reply Paul Rainbow. I will check the model but believe it to be MS10A or MS10L. Yes, I just changed the oil. I had a Volvo engineer on board who recommended ATF. Could it be something to do with that?
ATF is correct for those transmissions.
 

VicS

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13 Jul 2002
Messages
45,635
Cone clutch’s on those, chance of reshimming, but it’s not an easy job and if the coatings gone it’s toast :-(

do check the selector arms travelling far enough first. Take the cable off and actuate it from the box and see if it’s the same. Could be stretchy/worn cable/control.
Multiple disc clutches in an MS10.
 

38mess

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9 Apr 2019
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Wales
If you Google pilkinton marine and give them a bell they helped me no end with lots of advice. They even have refurbished gearboxes for sale, or they can refurbish yours, good luck
 

Termagant

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9 Jan 2021
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If you Google pilkinton marine and give them a bell they helped me no end with lots of advice. They even have refurbished gearboxes for sale, or they can refurbish yours, good luck
Sounds good. I'll try them. Thank you 38mess.
 

jwfrary

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2 Dec 2010
Messages
101
Multiple disc clutches in an MS10.
Stand corrected! - must have my wires crossed. Deal with big stuff most of the time!

yes Corey at Pilkingtons should be able to rebuild that box for you, good lad.

I’m guessing there’s a plate for them available to replace with a prm tranny which might be as much as repairing it.
 

VicS

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45,635
Stand corrected! - must have my wires crossed. Deal with big stuff most of the time!

yes Corey at Pilkingtons should be able to rebuild that box for you, good lad.

I’m guessing there’s a plate for them available to replace with a prm tranny which might be as much as repairing it.
Early versions of the engine were fitted with an MS2 type gear box, which does have cone clutches
Later versions were fitted with the MS10 type

FWIW parts diagram:-
http://www.marinepartseurope.com/PentaPictures500/29226.jpg

Checking the external cable etc , as you suggest, is the first thing to do.
 
Last edited:

peteK

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4 May 2009
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1,136
Location
Wirral
Have you used the correct grade of atf my Hurth gearbox uses Dextron 2,if I put Dextron 3 in it the clutches slip and I get no drive.
 

PaulRainbow

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Thanks for your reply Paul Rainbow. I will check the model but believe it to be MS10A or MS10L. Yes, I just changed the oil. I had a Volvo engineer on board who recommended ATF. Could it be something to do with that?
Was the problem there before you changed the oil ?
 

Beneteau381

Active member
Joined
19 Nov 2019
Messages
939
Cone clutch’s on those, chance of reshimming, but it’s not an easy job and if the coatings gone it’s toast :-(

do check the selector arms travelling far enough first. Take the cable off and actuate it from the box and see if it’s the same. Could be stretchy/worn cable/control.
Trouble with shooting from the hip! His probs seem to have arisen after an oil change. So why should the cables all of a sudden come in to play? My 2030 had an MS2, through their iterations VP have advised, engine oil, then atf and on my latest boat md22 the ms2 sticker now says 75 synthetic gear oil. So the OP needs to tell us what box it is for certain. The cones in an ms2 are driven in to engagement by the motion of the output shaft. So once selected the drive is made more secure by the motion. The ms10 is I believe a Hurth gearbox with clutch plates. "Slippy"oil does have an effect on these, motorcycles have similar wet clutches and run in the engine oil, the oil MUST be the correct spec otherwise the clutches can and do slip giving the op symptoms. I would check to confirm what box it is and that the correct oil was put in! My views on so called engineers? hmm!
 

jwfrary

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Joined
2 Dec 2010
Messages
101
Trouble with shooting from the hip! His probs seem to have arisen after an oil change. So why should the cables all of a sudden come in to play? My 2030 had an MS2, through their iterations VP have advised, engine oil, then atf and on my latest boat md22 the ms2 sticker now says 75 synthetic gear oil. So the OP needs to tell us what box it is for certain. The cones in an ms2 are driven in to engagement by the motion of the output shaft. So once selected the drive is made more secure by the motion. The ms10 is I believe a Hurth gearbox with clutch plates. "Slippy"oil does have an effect on these, motorcycles have similar wet clutches and run in the engine oil, the oil MUST be the correct spec otherwise the clutches can and do slip giving the op symptoms. I would check to confirm what box it is and that the correct oil was put in! My views on so called engineers? hmm!
worn cables are pretty common....often the root cause of problems with small boxes.

yeah if I was a VP engineer then I’d be embarrassed, but since I’m not, I’ll just carry on trying to be helpful to others for free, while ignoring people like you
 

Beneteau381

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19 Nov 2019
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939
worn cables are pretty common....often the root cause of problems with small boxes.

yeah if I was a VP engineer then I’d be embarrassed, but since I’m not, I’ll just carry on trying to be helpful to others for free, while ignoring people like you
His probs seem to have arisen after an oil change. So why should the cables all of a sudden come in to play?
 

ithet

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27 Mar 2009
Messages
917
Location
UK, Hamble
I was advised by VP agent to change from ATF to engine oil (MS10 on 2030D). The handbook says either.
 

Kinsale373

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15 Jan 2017
Messages
183
Location
Kinsale Irl
I had a similar issue getting forward on a VP2040 some years ago with the Hurth/MSA gearbox . I contacted Mike Pilkington at Pilkington and I must say he was really helpful.
The first step was to disconnect the cable as suggested earlier, from the box and operate the box moving the small gear selector arm manually. Its best done afloat , tied to a dock . Do you still have an issue? If yes, the problem is in the box. If not its the linkage.

I found that the box shifted fine manually without the cable attached. I went through the cable set up procedure in the gearbox manual. My boat is a Bene 373 and I found that the reverse forward control and the cable set up only just about allows the correct amount of travel for the box to operate correctly. Its do able but requires careful setup, any wear or loose connections would easily cause a issue shifting gear . Once adjusted , I havenent had an issue in 3 seasons.
So I'd say have a close look at the cable adjustment and yes Pilkington were really helpful if you need guidance.
Good luck with it,

Kinsale 373
 

Termagant

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9 Jan 2021
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5
Thanks everyone for your input. I really need to check what model the box is, but the line of enquiry I think is most promising is that the ATF is the issue. Previously there was an occasional delay with engagement, but only something like two or three times a season, whereas this seems now to be a permanent feature (albeit I have just been playing on the mooring). It's too much of a coincidence that something would go wrong internally (or with the cables) just after changing the oil.
 
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