How the diesel engine works – take a look at the Volvo saildrive from Maximus

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Marine surveyor Ben-Sutcliffe Davies discovers corrosion in Volvo saildrive engine aboard PBO Project Boat Maximus

Checking the diesel engine after a long shutdown is an essential task before launching a boat, says marine surveyor Ben Sutcliffe-Davies.

“The last thing you want to do is put the boat straight in the water,” Ben warns. “You have to be really religious with fuel management. Empty the fuel tank, rinse it, change the fuel lines, fuel filters, turn it over and see the engine run on land with a water supply, rather than just put it in the water and hope.

The article continues below …


I never thought I would own a boat. I grew up around yachts; crossed them, ran them, sometimes skipped them, but now, …

When is it time to remove the antifouling? The PBO Project Boat investigation is ongoing, and in this marine video…

“When boats are stored ashore, it’s really important to make sure they’re stored fairly level,” says Ben Sutcliffe-Davies. “Here in …


In this video, Ben takes a look at the engine of the new PBO Project Boat, Maximus. The engine is a Volvo 2020D 3 cylinder, indirectly cooled. It is rated at c19hp and uses a Perkins engine base. Unfortunately, Ben was unable to start it because the starter battery was completely discharged.

Rotten framing

The good news is that there are no major oil leaks and the engine mounts are in good condition. However, Ben notices noticeable surface corrosion caused by water ingress from the downspout, and the frame is rotten.

I think you can safely say it’s rotten when you put your finger in it, ”he says! “Obviously we’re not connected to shore power, but it’s not very smart when you have water running over top of shore power like here, and again, it should be flexible cable rather than solid copper wiring. ”

“The biggest problem you have here is the lack of use. It’s been stuck here for a while and you can see how much corrosion there is on things like the flywheel, on the pulley here, ”he adds.

Advice on antifreeze

Ben points out the radiator cap on the internally cooled engine. The water coolant on this particular engine goes through a hose from the saildrive.

“This is dark green cooling water, so the antifreeze is pretty clean,” he says. “It’s really important to change them every two or three years because the inhibitors that we now use with environmentally friendly products will now corrode and become an aggressor. “

Seacock engine

The engine seacock is nearly impossible to reach, although the strainer is in a reasonably pleasing spot to look at.

Plugs are known to corrode, Ben advises, and manifolds are also quite common for corrosion.

“This piece of exhaust pipe is absolutely impossible to see and you have a little plastic muffler with a few clamps,” he points out. “None of this sounds safe. It’s just swaying in the wind.

Perkins base engine

Ben shows us the Volvo Penta serial number under the gas pump. These always start with 510 but it’s that last set of numbers you need.

“One of the nice things about Volvo is that they used a base Perkins engine,” says Ben. “It’s always worth getting this information because all over the world if you need spare parts for Perkins it’s the same engine. ”

Engine mounts

“The engine mounts should be changed at the same time as when you donut on your saildrive,” advises Ben. “If you don’t have a saildrive and have a normal shaft, consider doing it every 10 years.

It indicates corrosion on the support where there has been a little thinning.

“Always look for fasteners on the bolts. I still find that a few bolts have come loose. It’s when you can turn them with your hand that you have a problem.

Although Ben isn’t able to start the engine with the battery, he spins it by hand.

“You can hear that turn, can’t you?” ” he asks. “Well at least you know that after two and a half years it hasn’t caught on, which is a good sign!”

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