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Thread: Volvo saildrive seal

  1. #1
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    Default Volvo saildrive seal

    Well I thought this section was taking too long to get over Christmas ........
    So how about this for a starter thread :
    Changing Volvo saildrive gaskets/ gaiters.
    I have been putting this off for years and as we may be going across the Atlantic this year it has been eating into my mind . Volvo state that they should be replaced after 7 years , ok , so its 6 years OVERDUE !
    I took advantage of last years lower vat in England and a 2011 price increase due from Volvo and of course its part of our inheritance to be able to buy two ! bought from Keyparts UK.
    After detaching the engine from the saildrive , a 120S ,and all the links/cables and hoses it took 1.5 hours to actually seperate the two ,they did NOT want to be seperated ! Perseverance paid off . The prop and drive shaft were removed already as I replace the seals every 3/4 years as a precaution against water getting mixed with the gear oil . This makes the assembly lighter which is essential when youre trying to lift the whole unit up into the hull ,after splitting .
    The unit was them brought home to be rebuilt in the comfort of the garage .this is quite straightforward although the instructions supplied are a bit vague.it was interesting to see how little crustacean activity ahd gone on in 13 years immersion . Just one small mussell in the cooling water inlet pipe which would not have been discovered until it all overheated !The inlet was restriced by about 50% it would have just been a matter of time .....
    Typically , the second engine was much easier , they were happy to be parted ....

    I have yet to re- fit them but will follow up later .

    The big question is , did they need replacing ??

    Yes is the answer , one had a "chip" in it which would have been where a leak started and the undersides ,ie the salty sides , are both showing slight cracking typical of old rubber surfaces . my guess would be maybe another 3/4 /5 years before problems , making the Volvo estimate quite conservative . but INMHO good for double the suggested period of 7 years , but like the great Clint Eastwood siad "well **** do you feel lucky " !!
    I didn,t get where I am today by being somewhere else !

  2. #2

    Default Re: Volvo saildrive seal

    I've often wondered how much safety margin was factored into saildrive seal recommended change intervals. The answer seems to be quite a lot. That's comforting to know, but I wonder how an insurer would handle a large claim due to a leaking seal that was several years overdue for replacement

  3. #3
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    Talking Re: Volvo saildrive seal

    Quote Originally Posted by ColdFusion View Post
    I've often wondered how much safety margin was factored into saildrive seal recommended change intervals. The answer seems to be quite a lot. That's comforting to know, but I wonder how an insurer would handle a large claim due to a leaking seal that was several years overdue for replacement
    Good point , but if the claim was due to a sinking them it would probably start /nien/ochi/niet/non.......
    I didn,t get where I am today by being somewhere else !

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Volvo saildrive seal

    That is great to know, I chose Volvo for my cat mainly due to 7 year seal changes (2 for Yanmar) and a seemingly better saildrive without the reported Yanmar problems.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Volvo saildrive seal

    Thanks Gramos. I have Yanmar diesels/saildrives on my Solaris and and have scheduled to do the same next year. As to the margin of safety, let me say that mine have not been changed in 8 years (despite the factory recommendation for 2) and there are no visible signs of deterioration. Once I have done the same I will report back on my findings with respect to the SD20's.

    Brad

  6. #6

    Default Re: Volvo saildrive seal

    Yanmar recommend saildrive seals are replaced every two years? Wow, that's not very long. Is it lack of faith in their seals or fear of litigation, I wonder?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Volvo saildrive seal

    Saildrives , what are they :

  8. #8
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    Talking Re: Volvo saildrive seal

    Glad I only had one option when speccing the boat , Volvo , every 2 years for a Yanmar !! phew , for just once I,m glad I chose the Volvo,s ! @7 years .
    Todays undertakings showed that it is much harder to remove the saildrive with the prop attached , it adds considerably to the weight , oil , prop , gear shaft etc , but a poor unsuspecting Greek fisherman came by and was immediately offered afternoon tea , after which he was press ganged into pushing up the leg from under the hull ! thank you jorgos ...
    the port rubber seal showed the same aging as the stbd , fine cracking to the saltwater side , so this bolsters my theory in my previous post .
    Oh and by the way , the propshaft seals are available from any good bearing/seal supplier , the material they are made from is nitrile , and the spring is s/s or copper plated , these must be used or the spring will rust and in will come the sea ! they are made by stefa seal no 107 , Viton construction , which is salt water resistant ,50mmx32mmx10mm , around 6/7 each - two per leg . they must be fitted back to back . and make a round wood drift x 45mm then push them out using a vice . very easy . 2x Orings are also needed take to the bearing supplier for matching . There ARE ways around Volvo,s extreme pricing policy !!
    I didn,t get where I am today by being somewhere else !

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Volvo saildrive seal

    Quote Originally Posted by IreAneY View Post
    Saildrives , what are they :
    Ian , see Top Gear , James May,s Herald ........
    I didn,t get where I am today by being somewhere else !

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Volvo saildrive seal

    Quote Originally Posted by gramos View Post
    Ian , see Top Gear , James May,s Herald ........
    I know exactly what you mean

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Volvo saildrive seal

    Actually, I am really happy with the Yanmar 3 GM30's on my boat. The service history for Volvo in this part of the world seems a bit sketchy and although there are now about 3200 hrs. on my Yanmars, both they and the saildrives have been trouble free. The only exception was the electrical wiring from the starter switch/gear control lever which eventually needed to be replaced with heavier gauge wire.

    Brad

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