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  1. #1
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    Mar 2016
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    Default Volvo Penta TAMD61A engines

    Hi all...
    After carrying out the servicing schedule to the letter and over a period of 10 years, I can't believe how good these engines appear to be.
    They are what the "auld fella" has in his '89 Princess 385.
    They seems to be faultless and time after time, year after year and season after season, they fire up without fault and produce a lovely noise, performance and relentless power in the process.
    Has anyone had these engines or any disasters with them ? What should I look out for next ?
    The SW pumps are my initial concern because of access issues....
    He was in mind to sell the boat recently but she keeps on impressing year after year and he would probably do well to get another as good all round, than this.
    Because of my parents age, they had thought about selling for a similar value 30ft class boat like a Sealine SC29 or S28, simply for ease of handling.
    Although the above boats are great in their own right, we are constantly in mind of when the owner of a Sealine F34 asked if he could follow in the wake of the big Princess on a voyage from Campbeltown (the often wild mull of Kintyre) across to ballycastle in NI. The difference in seakeeping was gulf like...
    Anyway, original question stands...what should I be looking out for next? Circa 1300 hours.
    Thanks (hoping to hear from Volvo Paul and a few others in particular)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    5,225

    Default Re: Volvo Penta TAMD61A engines

    My only trouble with the predecessor boat's TAMD60Cs was failure of a plate heat exchanger element, and gearbox oil cooler. Mine were reliable and never caused me any issues in the few years I had them. The former was expensive, but i think the TAMD61A has a more conventional shel and tube vessel. The latter was easily resolved with Bowman replacements.
    Interested in Corvettes PM me for details of the Corvette Motorboat Association

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Default Re: Volvo Penta TAMD61A engines

    Quote Originally Posted by QBhoy View Post
    Hi all...
    After carrying out the servicing schedule to the letter and over a period of 10 years, I can't believe how good these engines appear to be.
    They are what the "auld fella" has in his '89 Princess 385.
    They seems to be faultless and time after time, year after year and season after season, they fire up without fault and produce a lovely noise, performance and relentless power in the process.
    Has anyone had these engines or any disasters with them ? What should I look out for next ?
    The SW pumps are my initial concern because of access issues....
    He was in mind to sell the boat recently but she keeps on impressing year after year and he would probably do well to get another as good all round, than this.
    Because of my parents age, they had thought about selling for a similar value 30ft class boat like a Sealine SC29 or S28, simply for ease of handling.
    Although the above boats are great in their own right, we are constantly in mind of when the owner of a Sealine F34 asked if he could follow in the wake of the big Princess on a voyage from Campbeltown (the often wild mull of Kintyre) across to ballycastle in NI. The difference in seakeeping was gulf like...
    Anyway, original question stands...what should I be looking out for next? Circa 1300 hours.
    Thanks (hoping to hear from Volvo Paul and a few others in particular)

    A nice combination in the slender bennet hull 385, it's what that boat needed from the start not the mermaids in the 38.

    The 306 is getting on now in years, the early ones failed miserably from exhaust valve and seat wear by the head falling off wrecking the Pistons . This was done I some cases under warranty, there is a saying if it hadn't failed in a few years it never will. This was pre 1988 engines, modified valves were fitted after this.
    By now many will have thousands of hours on so piston and liner wear will be the norm but they can be rebuilt, some in situ, as I did some years back on a Powles 46, one I re engines for forum member Andy Dent,themotors had previous j
    History in that they came out of Motor boat monthly contributor Paul Bergers Boat.

    The components that corrode away are the heat exchanger bodies , the alloy part, leaking sea water pumps, cracked exhaust manifolds, the base engine is fairly good.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Default Re: Volvo Penta TAMD61A engines

    Hi both...apologies, just logged on after a crappy week of wind turbine related nonesense !
    Thanks you both very much for the advice.
    V paul, you have me worried about the exhaust valve and seat wear. The engine I believe is a 1988...perhaps on the change over ?
    You are right about the suitability of the hull and these engines. Coupled to fairly fiercely pitched 4 blade props, she seems to have earth moving power on tap at any time. Not great for canals (as we found out the other year in the Caledonian), but relentless in open water.
    Looking a little dated now, but the quality and shear solidity of the hull, never seems shaken by any weather thrown at it.
    Back to the engine, the SW pumps are perhaps whisping a little, there is slight evidence of salt build up around this area when in winter lay up and cold.
    Other than that, the reverse gear oil cooler piping and the turbo flange cracking, she has been faultless.
    I still curse the annual starboard engine oil filter change though...due next week !!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Volvo Penta TAMD61A engines

    Quote Originally Posted by QBhoy View Post
    Hi both...apologies, just logged on after a crappy week of wind turbine related nonesense !
    Thanks you both very much for the advice.
    V paul, you have me worried about the exhaust valve and seat wear. The engine I believe is a 1988...perhaps on the change over ?
    You are right about the suitability of the hull and these engines. Coupled to fairly fiercely pitched 4 blade props, she seems to have earth moving power on tap at any time. Not great for canals (as we found out the other year in the Caledonian), but relentless in open water.
    Looking a little dated now, but the quality and shear solidity of the hull, never seems shaken by any weather thrown at it.
    Back to the engine, the SW pumps are perhaps whisping a little, there is slight evidence of salt build up around this area when in winter lay up and cold.
    Other than that, the reverse gear oil cooler piping and the turbo flange cracking, she has been faultless.
    I still curse the annual starboard engine oil filter change though...due next week !!
    The valve failure occurred on engines under 50 hours use , on full chat an exhaust valve can be at a high temp and cherry red, I think from memory they were a 2 piece valve which parted company from the stem .
    I wouldn't be worried at this age .

  6. #6
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    Jan 2012
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    Default Re: Volvo Penta TAMD61A engines

    Quote Originally Posted by QBhoy View Post
    .... I still curse the annual starboard engine oil filter change though...due next week !!
    I question this one. Assuming a typical 100 hours per annum the filters will likely easily do 500 hours, after all trucks run 1000's or hours on the same filters. So is a change needed ?

    This Winter past I had my oil analysed by Finnings and the report was showing the oil as barely used (~ 75 hours). So I haven't changed it, nor the filters. Cost was about £25 per engine. This Winter I will repeat the tests, but will change this time, but extending the habitual Oil and Filter change to 2 yearly makes a lot of sense to me.
    Interested in Corvettes PM me for details of the Corvette Motorboat Association

  7. #7
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    Mar 2016
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    Default Re: Volvo Penta TAMD61A engines

    Hi superheat.
    I agree with you completely. Having been in employment as an engineer for 21 years and currently employed as a maintenance manager, it's a subject close to my heart.
    For a while now, I have implemented a practice of condition monitoring on all the wind farms I look after. In this environment and many other large scale industries, it is without doubt the way to go.
    In the pleasure boating world and sticking to the old 100 hours or annually, what ever comes first rule, I don't mind so much, given the relative cost of consumables.
    I may feel differently if I or my father had to pay someone to do it, I suppose.
    But...as long as I can perform semi contortionist like manoeuvres, I will persevere, for the sake of family relations ! Haha. As I approach the age of 40, it becomes slightly more difficult each year though.
    Thankfully, my own boat has a good old fashioned and easily accessed GM based V8 Mercruiser ! A doddle in comparison !

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    2

    Default Re: Volvo Penta TAMD61A engines

    Hi All

    I'm new to the forum and typically have been searching the web for answers to an issue with my VP TAMD61a engines. I realise that this is an old post by volvopaul, but perhaps somebody out there can give me some assistance.

    I've had the nasty experience of exhaust valve failure on my port side TAMD61a and all of the ensuing damage. There's only 470 hours on the engines and they've been serviced regularly by the same owner since new in 1987. I bought the boat with 410 hrs approx. on her. I now have to replace the no. 4 piston, liner, intake and exhaust valve and even my turbo - the head is with a specialist engineering outfit, who are assessing if it is salvageable. The valve head was punched back through the head, shot out the manifold and struck the turbo. The exhaust valve head detached from the valve stem, as vovlvopaul described in his post.

    My question is this: does anybody have any evidence of Volvo offering replacement of the valve under warranty back in the 1980's or 1990's. Volvo have been engaged by my insurers after I had raised the issue of a latent defect. However, Volvo have indicated that they have no record of a recall or service sheet etc on file and are essentially denying that exhaust valve failure on the TAMD61a was ever an issue.
    If somebody could point me in the right direction I'd greatly appreciate it.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Volvo Penta TAMD61A engines

    Quote Originally Posted by Princess415 View Post
    Hi All

    I'm new to the forum and typically have been searching the web for answers to an issue with my VP TAMD61a engines. I realise that this is an old post by volvopaul, but perhaps somebody out there can give me some assistance.

    I've had the nasty experience of exhaust valve failure on my port side TAMD61a and all of the ensuing damage. There's only 470 hours on the engines and they've been serviced regularly by the same owner since new in 1987. I bought the boat with 410 hrs approx. on her. I now have to replace the no. 4 piston, liner, intake and exhaust valve and even my turbo - the head is with a specialist engineering outfit, who are assessing if it is salvageable. The valve head was punched back through the head, shot out the manifold and struck the turbo. The exhaust valve head detached from the valve stem, as vovlvopaul described in his post.

    My question is this: does anybody have any evidence of Volvo offering replacement of the valve under warranty back in the 1980's or 1990's. Volvo have been engaged by my insurers after I had raised the issue of a latent defect. However, Volvo have indicated that they have no record of a recall or service sheet etc on file and are essentially denying that exhaust valve failure on the TAMD61a was ever an issue.
    If somebody could point me in the right direction I'd greatly appreciate it.
    I doubt Volvo are liable now for this but they know about the failures , the question to ask is there anyone at Volvo that was there in the late 80s that dealt with it , I’d say no .
    The valves failed through corrosion , they were replaced on certain batches of serial number before they failed .
    The reason they swapped valves is so they were not liable for the rest of the parts a filed valve damages , I’m sorry but your on your own with this .
    We’re you the man who phoned me yesterday?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    2

    Default Re: Volvo Penta TAMD61A engines

    Thank you for your reply, vovlvopaul.
    Yes, I called yesterday.
    If my engine comes within the affected serial number range/batch and Volvo confirm same, it appears that my policy of insurance will cover the issue under the Latent Defect term in the policy of insurance. Curiously, the policy won't cover the defective part, but it will cover the other parts damaged by the defective part's failure. I would have assumed an archive of service bulletins would be maintained by Volvo but I have been told that a warranty/recall record or service bulletin does not exist!
    Thanks again for your help with this.

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