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Volvo Penta Fuel Pumps

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by DanM, Nov 1, 2017.

  1. DanM

    DanM New Member

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    If there is a thread on this please point me in the right direction as I could not find it.

    I have 2004 8.1 GiI Volvo Penta engines and recently had issues with fuel starvation at higher RPM's on one motor. A dock mate with the same VP's had this problem on both motors this year. After research and inspection of my friends pumps, the issue is that the internal areas of the pumps are painted. As they age the paint starts to bubble, peel, and clog ports. Never in my decades of messing with motors have I seen this. I contacted VP but as usual they will not speak directly to you. A Google search has shown this is becoming a common problem with age. Do other manufactures paint the insides?

    At about $1200 per pump this misstep has created a new business for at least one entrepreneur. He takes your pump(s), tears them down, removes internal/external paint via chemical or abrasives, repaints them (yep, you guessed it, outside only), checks the high and low pressure pumps, reassembles them with new o-rings/gaskets, tests them again, and ships them back. He charges $300 each. I plan on using his service this winter.

    This was part rant and part for information if you're finding issues with VP fuel starvation that filter replacement doesn't resolve. I'm not throwing shade on Volvo Penta as overall I am happy with their engines, just not this particular issue.
  2. rcrapps

    rcrapps Senior Member

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    Where did the idea of paint inside of the rail or pump come to you?
    Would it be red or brown in color?
    Your talking about the electric fuel pump the size of a big cigar?
  3. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    Modern Gas is so full of ethanol and other additives, you're lucky it doesn't eat through the tanks let alone paint in a pump!

    Both Volvo and Mercruiser have had to modify their HP pumps to adjust to this crud being pumped. The future for good old I/O motors is not looking stellar, as everyone moves to bigger 4 stroke outboards.
  4. rcrapps

    rcrapps Senior Member

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    Fish
    There really is paint on the insides of these gas system?
    Every time I get involved with the GM MPI stuff it's full of rust.
  5. DanM

    DanM New Member

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  6. rcrapps

    rcrapps Senior Member

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    Ohoa; That fuel gizmo. I'm used to the electric fuel pumps the size of a big cigar.
    I don't work on newer gas engines.
    Afraid I'm a lil more behind the times than I thought.
  7. T.K.

    T.K. Senior Member

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    First time in my professional life that I witness a fuel pump being painted on the inside.....what for? It will only cause problems in the fuel system and risk engine and injector damage.
  8. rcrapps

    rcrapps Senior Member

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    The timing of this thread is most interesting for me. I don't work on gas engines and avoid them like process servers.
    However, the facility manager at my faverate marina taped on me to fix his boat after I started following this thread.
    Yep, electric fuel pump but not a big paint issue.
    2010, stb, 6.2 Merc Horizon mpi. Gen III water cooled fuel pump assembly.
    Lift pump and pressure pump in same gas floded chamber of a sea water cooled case with built in paper secondary fuel filter cartridge.

    What a f * (foul) up.

    The low hour, brackish water only use, water passages in the fuel block is long and completely clogged with corrosion. No cooling action.
    The plastic press in fittings and seals are no longer available. You are suppose to buy the new design whole assembly, with screw in plastic fittings.
    I'll be trying to tap a thread my self tonight and extract 1 top cover machine screw.

    These electric pumps get hot (hence water cooled packages).
    Remove the water, pass thru a no wake zone or idle the engine at the dock, that fuel gets hot.
    Turn it off and let it sit, repeat every 2-3 weeks for a couple of years.

    What I found is the fuel (same marina, Valve Tech for many years) starts dropping it's additives in the hot fuel pumps chamber.
    These additives combine and form a crystalline shape but in my fingers compressed it like a "gummy bear" and would smear like near clear peanut butter. Just sitting on & not attached to the alloy bottom of the pump chamber. I'm not upset with the fuel, just the pump design.

    You can see the goo trail to the HP pump bottom pick up. With no screen (like the LP pump), it drew this goo up and failed the HP pump.

    The port side was running but I pulled it down also. Yep, water restricted, goo (more clear, not cooked as bad vs port) just about to get to the HP pump.

    I started cleaning them out last night.
    Under the top mounted, vacuum controlled fuel regulator, I did find where the paint had flaked & goo'd up. I can see that this area is subject to wet gas, then fume gas and when the filter is serviced, air.
    I can tell the housing hung at an angle when spray painted. I can see the spray pattern on the top that held the regulator.
    I sense where the paint was thin, there was no (paint) problems, where it puddled just a micro amount on the pump cover recess the paint failed.
    I am sure if alcohol laden fuel was involved, I'd see more paint messed up.

    Took all night to get that gas fume smell from my snoz. Today I jump back into my perfumed scented (diesel) boats.

    Pictures on next post.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  9. rcrapps

    rcrapps Senior Member

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    10 year old gas tank is clean. you can still see hand written notes on the bottom.
    20171102_173038.jpg
    Broken fitting and water passage clogged.
    20171108_120944.jpg
    Goo in chamber bottom.
    20171108_104637.jpg
  10. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    As I said, cr*p fuel is killing off the I/O engine market, it's just not worth the hassle.
  11. rcrapps

    rcrapps Senior Member

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    This was inboard, but same engine.
    Somewhere, somehow, soon the engine marinizers have to get their act together and return back to simple and reliable engines. Get the junk of the motors.
  12. DanM

    DanM New Member

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    A quick update on my VP fuel pumps. Both of the inner chambers had bubbling and peeling paint. Screens on the HP and LP pumps were partially clogged. The LP's were about 70% obstructed, the HP's less so. All interior paint has been removed and HP and LP pumps replaced with new. Essentially they are new fuel pumps except for the casing and at a fraction of the cost of new.

    Final observation: When the fuel starvation occurred, I changed fuel filters which seem to remedy the problem. In hindsight I don't believe the filters had anything to do with it. When I shut down the engines to change the filters the vacuum was removed. Some of the debris on the HP and LP screens fell due to gravity which cleared enough of the obstruction that the engines would come back up to cruising RPM. When enough sediment accumulated on the screens again the problem would presumably reoccur. Only 5+ months until I can test out my repairs/theory. :(

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