No Help from Vovo Penta

CaptnD

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I have a Volvo D2-55 which, like others, has emptied its sump oil into the bottom of the boat because of the stupid design flaw of the black plastic cap that splits. When split and motor sailing on port tack the engine will dump half its contents.

Now there are several ways round this but why should I fix this when the engine is under guarentee from Volvo. Also could there have been damage done to the engine running on low oil?

Two Volvo agents at to different shows in two different countrys claimed no knowledge of the fault although one said that they do sell a lot of the silly plastic caps, and do I want to buy some?

Volvo themselves (in Sweden) initially answered e-mails and said they would get back to me with an answer. Now, 6 weeks 10 e-mails later they would seem to ignor me and my problem.

I know this issue was discussed a little while ago and that it is a problem. Is there anyone out there that may have got a better result from Volvo and may even have a Quality report number that I could use?

Otherwise, I have some advice.

If you have a newer Volvo and motor sail on port tack CHECK the silly plastic plug on the oil sump drain tube, right side of engine near the flywheel. Just for good measure it is painted green and hidden well. It also looks as though it is permanently sealed by Volvo. IT IS NOT- If you do not you could be in for a costly bill.

I am just about to fit a new D1 into another boat and it seems crayzy that I should have to modify a new engine!! But without any sencible advice or comment from Vovo I guess it is up to me make the engine fit for purpose.

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myoldsailor

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damn. Can't help or advice, but can tell you it sounds like a design fault.
Hope other members can help you force volvo to resolve this.
 

Ian_Edwards

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I have a D2-40 fitted to our Dufour 40 and have had the same problem, the tube on which the cap fits was bent on installation/delivery and not noticed when fitted by Dufour or during commissioning. The cap had split and fallen off. I’d noticed the oil level going down slowly, but it hadn’t fallen below the “low” mark and I new the first service was due, so hadn’t bothered to top the engine up.

The engineer who did the first service discovered the problem and had to use a screw driver to straighten the tube so he could put a new cap on it. No damage done, and all the oil was contained within the well under the engine, so no wide spread oil in the bilge, I now check it regularly, if you have or find a good fix, please let me know.

The engine management system has also failed, leaving me with a completely dead engine, on a hotel mooring in the middel of the Kyles of Bute.
After years of running with Yanmar ..... I’m not impressed by VP.
 

CaptnD

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In my opinion since it is quite clearly a design fault and incorrect choice of materials I would have thought that Volvo would have shown more responsibility and interest to rectify the problem but they do not.

I guess there are several ways to do it:
1: Compresion fitting with a blanking plug on the end of the tube.
2: Proper brass pump, as on many othe well designed engines, so that you can change oil easiley. There is a Kiwi bunch that sell them in the UK but I can't remember their name.
3: Get rid of the Volvo and their rediculously poor design. Although this is rather expensive and drastic it is tempting.

If I had more money I would use the old engine and exhibet at all the boat shows and demonstrate the unique automatic loss of engine oil caperbilities of Volvo Penta engines. It is a real engineering achivement.

Good to here you did not have any damage. What a system though. The worst for me is not knowing if there has been damage to the engine. I guess the only ways to go is to fix it myself and hope the engine does not break. The other is to take leagal action. The latter being probebly as expensive as exhibiting at boat shows but not as enjoyable.



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CaptnD

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Re: No Help from Volvo Penta

Yes I am begining to agree with you. looks like I have, along with others, spoted Volvo's deliberate mistake. Lets hope more people are made aware of this one.

It would seem that Volvo Penta have some serious Quality assurance problems.

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asteven221

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Re: No Help from Volvo Penta

Golly Gosh! Glad to read this post as I have a D2-55 in my boat and have never checked for this problem. I know the plastic bit you're talking about, but it has never thought for a moment about it falling off or splitting and emptying the sump oil. I will check it now!
 

robind

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Re: No Help from Volvo Penta

Volvo make good anchors! but thats about all. The situation could change if they went back to having a central advice system (rather than relying on poorly qualified engineers at "main agents")where one could ask questions and also if they would accept responsibility for their mistakes of which there are many. I suggest that instead of taking your engine to boat show you exhibit photos here but then again I guess they would get censored as they are a large advertiser with the IPC group? or am I wrong?maybe we could have a Volvo forum? how about that?
 

charles_reed

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Re: No Help from Volvo Penta

Not so much build QAS but the problems all seem to stem from BAD detail design.Silly things like mixing dissimilar metals in a drive leg, putting a temporary plastic plug in a pump-tube. I could go on for a long time.

I object also to their marketing policy of robbing peter the end-user to pay paul the builder.

As part of the EC they should be called to account by the Trading Standards commissioner.

I've sent you a PM.
 

CaptnD

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Re: No Help from Volvo Penta

That was my thought too.

You see when Volvo designed it they tried hard to make Vovo engine ownership exciting. Well they excelled. It is just like Russian Rullet. You never know when it will fail. To check it you have to pull it off, stretch it and either wreaken it or at least shorten it's life, which is unknown!!!! Then you have to try to force it back on without spliting it!! Yes you have guessed it. Then you have to take it off again to see if you have split it. Gosh this is fun. Maybe I can become a proper Captain and have a full time engineer to make sure me VOVO is SEAWORTHY.

That is an idea! I should send this bill to Volvo that may wake them up. £40K a year for 10 years.!!! just to ensure my vessel complies to EU regulations.

Otherwise great fun makeing a night passage in a seaway and bad weather. You have to keep checking for oil under the engine or just stay on Starboard tack!!

For the record I have just recived an e-mail from Volvo Penta Sweden!! You have guessed it Robind was right. After 8 weeks, they have passed the buck to their Norwegain importer, saying that they are waiting for a reply from them.

This is incredable. It is VP's design fault and they want their importer to comment and find a fix!!! I guess he is jumping right on it and interviewing design engineers as I write!!

WARNING to everyone with a newer VOLVO::

Check the plastic plug on the sump drain pipe. IT CAN CAUSE ENGINE FAILURE or even loss of vessel if you are very unlucky.
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brianhumber

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Re: No Help from Volvo Penta

I agree wih Charles - poor design and inflated spares , but first cost to builders is cheap hence owners continue to suffer.
As its easy to change type I do wonder why so many continue to replace like for like after bad expriences.
 

CaptnD

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Re: No Help from Volvo Penta

Good point. I would never buy another volvo because their service and back up is so poor and that they are unwilling to take respossibility for their mistakes and failurs. /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
 

Will_M

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Re: No Help from Volvo Penta

No doubt you read in your owners manual the maximum permitted list/heal when running? Ie, 30 degrees for the D2-55.

That said though the rubber cap, as used to seal off the sump oil drain tube, it’s the kind of thing that ought to be renewed on service, or at very least be aware of its condition after draining the lube oil.

Who has been doing the serving?
 

CaptnD

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Re: No Help from Volvo Penta

Yep 30 degrees. That is a lot especially for a Bav 42! dought the rudder is able to keep the thing at 30 degs. This unique design seams to work at around 15 degs although I have not measured it.
When I first noticed this unique design it took nearly a Day and a half to find the fault. We checked front seals back seals and even the cap which was still sitting on the end. Since it felt glued on and still had green paint all over we left it. We were sailing on Starboard tack most of the time so no problem. Even cleand the bildge. Cheacked everything many times and no oil leak. After we had been in port twice and had 2 other engineers had look at it without finding a leak, remember we were in port we decided to go sailing again and kept an eye on things. After about half a day in the sun I suddenly saw some oil in the bildg again. Eventually the mechanic who was sailing with me offered to look at it. Never having worked on a Volvo marine engine before he just started pulling and pushing and pulled this cap off!!! Asked me what the tube was for then all of a sudden we cut throug a wave or something and oil just slopped up the tube and out. We could not belive it. With controled experiments we found that it would happen at quite a low angle of heal. With the cap off it was easy to see but with it on 95% impossible.

Fair comment about should have been noticed but to be fair Volvo should have made this unique design fault public knowledge. Which they have not and it is not in the manual. In port it does not leak and as I have said even a close visual check does not show the split. Mine was split up agaist the block. If the engineer doing the service on yet another engine does not know then what chance has he got? It is easier to see a worn alternator belt. Even if he wipes the engine over it will not happen until at a constant rate of heal and then only on port tack.

Nope Volvo Penta have excelled with this Design Fault and the way that they show no interest. Volvo have been excptionally cunning here.

I repeat my words of warning CHECK the silly plastic cap.
 

CaptnD

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Re: No Help from Volvo Penta

I should also add that most mechanics I have seen use these suction drain units or an electric pump for oil removal from the dipstick tube. I guess the reason is that the silly plastic cap is virtually glued on and then painted.

The design flaw is well hidden.
 
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