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Yachtwork
Yachtwork, Marine Engineer
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 1048
Experience:  MEC3 and RYA Yachtmaster Ocean
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I HAVE TWIN TAMD 41P VOLVO ENGINES AND YESTERDAY RUNNING BACK

Customer Question

I HAVE TWIN TAMD 41P VOLVO ENGINES AND YESTERDAY RUNNING BACK IN AT 3O50 RPM I NOTICED THE STARBOARD ENGINE PRESSURE GAGE READING AT 50 PSI AND THE PORT ENGINE READING AT 70 PSI. DID NOT NOTICE ANY POWER LOSS BOTH ENGINES SEEMED TO RUN FINE. I THEN RAN BOTH AT IDLE AND THE STARBOARD WAS AT 30 PSI AND THE PORT 70 RPM. I CHECKED THE OIL AND BOTH SHOWED HALF BETWEEN FULL AND LOW ON THE DIP STICK. THE MANUAL SHOWS THE ENGINES ARE TO BE 21.7 PSI AT LOW IDLE AND A MAX OF AROUND 75 PSI AT FULL THROTTLE WHICH IS AT 3800 RPM. COULD IT POSSIBLY BE A OIL PRESSURE GAGE OR SENSOR GONE BAD?   THE LOW PRESSURE ALARM DID NOT SOUND OFF.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Boat
Expert:  Yachtwork replied 8 years ago.
Bluemarlin-Greetings, so we have two Volvo's and one is showing a lower oil presure than the other.

First thing to do is switch the gauges, check presure then the senders and check presure. If the low oil presure did not follow the gague or the sender then the low oil presure is indeed inside the engine.

This could mean a few things. Pull the dipstick and smell the oil looking for diesel, to be sure the lift pump has not cracked the diaphram and is bleeding diesel into the oil diluting the oil.

The oil presure relife valve could be wearing. This is near the oil filter on the side of the block. A simple change, but really just a possibility, and problaby not the problem, but a swtich between engines is an easy check.

Could be the bearings wearing out meaning the engine life is mostly over. You should get about 5000 hrs or 15 years from a Volvo. If your over that time or hours consider an engine change.

You won't have to change the engine now, just keep running it knowing if something major goes wrong you'll smiply change it rather than pouring money into an old engine. Set yourself a price now. Lets say 1500 dollars. If you have to put more than 1500 dollers into the engine then call it time to change the engine. The idea is not so much the money figure, but making the decision beforhand so if a mechanic says "This is going to cost..." you have already thought about the posibilitys.

Lastly a steady gauge low presure gauge is much better than a bouncing high presure gauge. If it's just slowly wearing out you can probably still get years from this enigne.

Cheers
Scott

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Hi Scott:

 

I switched the gage from the port to starboard and it read the same so gage is good. I will check the sensors next and check. Could the oil pump be bad or have a restriction to cause the pressure to drop?

Expert:  Yachtwork replied 8 years ago.
Bluemarlin-Yes check the sensor next. Very common for them to go bad and read low or high.

If the oil pump were bad you should see a bobbing gauge, or irregular readings. In reality the oil pump should be able to pump much more oil than is needed. If the sensor is not bad then we have to check the oil for diesel contanimanation.

You can change the oil and filters to check for any change. If the presure rises then you know the oil was thinning out for some reason. That would be a good sign.

Thanks again and let me know what you find next.

Scott

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