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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Medway
    Posts
    19,878

    Default Re: Volvo MS4A repair or replace?

    A not uncommon result of gearbox failure in MS4 series is the shaft punching a hole in the upper cover.
    For anyone interested the generic top plate on the 270 and 280 sterndrive( possibly others ) is identical.
    A quick search of the net can produce replacements for around £50-75.00 pounds.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Volvo MS4A repair or replace?

    Top cover is ok but I don't know how the top gear didn't escape through it! Always have paused in neutral before change of direction and annual oil changes with Mobil SHC. Prop not fouled so I suppose these things just happen sometimes.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Volvo MS4A repair or replace?

    So I have disassembled and inspected the gearbox further and here is a list of the damage
    Upper gear in pieces, input gear teeth missing, small reduction gear damage to teeth, top bearing carrier damaged by top gear, main housing damaged through to top cover bolt threads, metal particles everywhere, all bearings contaminated.
    Failure appears to be due to the centre bolt on the input gear coming loose, I experienced this many years ago on a 270 outdrive with the universal joint coming loose. Best option now appears to be another gearbox as there is not much left to repair.
    Major damage all due to one little bolt!

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    midlands
    Posts
    7,299

    Default Re: Volvo MS4A repair or replace?

    Quote Originally Posted by Princess315 View Post
    So I have disassembled and inspected the gearbox further and here is a list of the damage
    Upper gear in pieces, input gear teeth missing, small reduction gear damage to teeth, top bearing carrier damaged by top gear, main housing damaged through to top cover bolt threads, metal particles everywhere, all bearings contaminated.
    Failure appears to be due to the centre bolt on the input gear coming loose, I experienced this many years ago on a 270 outdrive with the universal joint coming loose. Best option now appears to be another gearbox as there is not much left to repair.
    Major damage all due to one little bolt!
    Had a look in my stock today , I have everything apart from the very bottom gear of the vertical shaft and the output shaft gear

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    South Coast
    Posts
    5,165

    Default Re: Volvo MS4A repair or replace?

    If you do decide to rebuild it this might offer some assistance as the MS4 is reasonably similar to the MS3. I wrote this when I couldn't find a manual, so and as I do this routinely for large refrigeration compressors, I thought why not for my gearbox.

    Best of luck with your project ...

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/2n3rlh4aun...tions.pdf?dl=0
    Interested in Corvettes PM me for details of the Corvette Motorboat Association

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Volvo MS4A repair or replace?

    Due to a ever increasing list of damaged parts I have sourced another gearbox with a known history as the easy option for now with the possibility of rebuilding what little of mine is left as a spare. Interesting everyone has advised repair rather than replace.
    Superheat6k I have seen your manual and read it with interest in the past.
    As the replacement gearbox is also a port side as is the failed one I would be interested if anybody would take the opportunity to swap both gearboxes to the opposite side to reverse the load and use the opposite faces of the reduction gears and use the opposite drive cone etc. Just a thought so all views are welcome, maybe ask the question as a new post.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Volvo MS4A repair or replace?

    Quote Originally Posted by Princess315 View Post
    Due to a ever increasing list of damaged parts I have sourced another gearbox with a known history as the easy option for now with the possibility of rebuilding what little of mine is left as a spare. Interesting everyone has advised repair rather than replace.
    Superheat6k I have seen your manual and read it with interest in the past.
    As the replacement gearbox is also a port side as is the failed one I would be interested if anybody would take the opportunity to swap both gearboxes to the opposite side to reverse the load and use the opposite faces of the reduction gears and use the opposite drive cone etc. Just a thought so all views are welcome, maybe ask the question as a new post.
    Quote Originally Posted by superheat6k View Post
    If you do decide to rebuild it this might offer some assistance as the MS4 is reasonably similar to the MS3. I wrote this when I couldn't find a manual, so and as I do this routinely for large refrigeration compressors, I thought why not for my gearbox.

    Best of luck with your project ...

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/2n3rlh4aun...tions.pdf?dl=0

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Volvo MS4A repair or replace?

    Hi Paul

    You appear to know more than most regarding ms4a gearboxes - is it possible you could advise me on the best way forward please.

    I have removed our gearbox and noted that the axle shaft has detached itself from the gear set and the gear set threads have rounded. I have been told by numerous people that spares are difficult if not impossible to get. Is this correct or can you direct me to who can repair or supply these parts

    I am currently on my way back from France with the gearbox in my car looking for the best options for my Aquastar 38 with Volvo Penta TAMD41B engines.

    Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

    Eric

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Volvo MS4A repair or replace?

    Sorry to hear you appear to have similar problems to my failure. I obtained a complete used gearbox and I let Paul re build it for me. Any second hand unit is a gamble and my replacement needed a selector cone as it was well worn so it had a full rebuild and should be good for a few years now. Give Paul a private message he is the person to talk to.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Medway
    Posts
    19,878

    Thumbs up Re: Volvo MS4A repair or replace?

    Do not dismiss repairing the gearbox. Parts are still available from Volvo Penta for this design of reverse gear, even after 40 + years.
    One or two major items are no longer manufactured including the gear set,however (95% of bits )? ,including the gearshaft can still be ordered off the shelf from Sweden.
    Have look at this website.
    https://www.marinepartseurope.com/en...44-19577C.aspx
    Some boxes such as MS4A and MS4B are virtually identical, where as the visually similar MS5 has some small internal differences in shaft bearing sizes etc.

    Do not treat this as gospel but.... Princess 35 usually has the 2.63:1 ratio.(Rare as hens teeth secondhand)
    Fairline Corniche/Princess 315/330 1.93 : 1 ratio.. (Bit more common " ).
    Not sure about the earlier Princess 33 with 165HP Volvos. ?

    Replacing just one of the boxes is not really an option.
    Usual replacement path is a pair of ZF 45 (or similar) available from somebody like Lancing Marine but the engines have to be moved inch or two further back in boat to mate with shaft couplings.
    If you come across a boat for sale where the engine mountings have mysteriously been relocated,its probably due to different boxes being fitted.
    New box listed on ebay USA for $7000.00 dollars plus one or two secondhand units.
    Anybody got any further info. ?
    Hint.......... if you hear of one being sold...Buy it
    Last edited by oldgit; 15-08-19 at 07:50.

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