Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A closer look at the engine (Volvo Penta MD6A)

1970's Volvo Penta MD6A (saltwater cooled) 
My neighbor helped me take a closer look at the engine (he's a mechanic). I now have a basic understanding of how my engine works, what parts may fail, common problems and what to make sure I service on a yearly basis. It is extremely comforting.

While looking at the engine it turn out that there was a leak from the exhaust elbow (see below image, just above the exhaust hose). Next day I called Volvo to enquire about a new exhaust elbow and was told it would be impossible to find a replacement. Luckily it turns out it's not impossible to find spare parts for my old MD6A - infact it is easy. By coincidence I stopped by Nordjysk Marine later that day.  I was there to exchange some Dubarry Ultima boots. When I mentioned my broken exhaust elbow it turned out they were able to order a replacement for me. In fact I was even given a choice between a cast iron or stainless version. As the price (roughly USD 200) was identical I chose to go with the stainless version. I also ordered a new thermostat and some gasket. I'm really looking forward to putting it all back together again.

All in all a very comforting experience. I have no illusions; my engine is old and will break down at some point and it will be too expensive to fix (vs buying a new or used engine). But for now I should have a reliable engine.
Manifold and exhaust elbow