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Volvo Penta IPS 500 trans

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by syung2001, Feb 24, 2010.

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  1. syung2001

    syung2001 New Member

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    Feb 24, 2010
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    Location:
    Ft. Myers, Fl.
    I am looking for information regarding the reliability of the IPS drive on a Tiara 4300 Sovran. I took delivery in Ft. Lauderdale of a 2006 Tiara with the volvo IPS 500 drives and took the vessel north to Stuart, Fl. On the way I felt a small vibration that could have been either a specific RPM or could have been a line wrapped around the prop. I put it in neutral came to a stop and continued on to Stuart, like I said the vibration was so slight that it could have been nothing. Stayed the night and continued in the AM to Sanibel upon arrival I had reached 250 hrs and the Volvo display notified me of required maintenance. A week later while having the trans and motor serviced the tech called and said that one drive has water in the trans and the other has black oil instead of the honey colored oil that should be present. Hauled the boat and found that the port motor did not have a line cutter on it however the starboard did, turns out the trans on the starboard has been replaced with a newer model trans. This is apparently an issue that Volvo is addressing. It turns out that the drive with salt water in it had lost a seal as a result of a section of fishing line no more than a foot of line. No there wasn't a line cutter on the drive but I still find it hard to believe that a piece of fishing line could destroy a IPS drive to the tune of 15k for a new trans for one side. Yes the line could have been 1k feet long when it was picked up but like I said the vibration that I had north of Ft. Lauderdale was barely noticeable so I doubt that the line was 1k foot long to begin with. The black oil in the trans I am told is a result of the clutch slipping due to the fouled oil in the opposing drive. I ran this boat for 20 hours and am going to end up with $20k worth of work. Has anyone seen or heard of anything like this? Are IPS drive's really this delicate? Sorry for being so long winded but I left out about 3/4 of the story so if you have questions please feel free.

    Thanks in advance,

    Scott
  2. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    This is an old story with outboards (and it doesn't matter if the props face forward or back. Must happen with I/Os as well although I haven't run into it personally. When fishing line wraps around an outboard prop it acts like a diamond string against the seals. It often melts together and it's hard to tell how much was actually on there. With an outboard you'll often notice an oil sheen when you drop it in the water. Guess with IPS it'd be hidden under the boat. Sorry to hear the bad news. Hopefully you got a good deal on the boat so you don't get hurt too bad.:(
  3. astrid

    astrid New Member

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    Mar 31, 2007
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    Location:
    Loggerhead Marina
    Hi Scott,
    I am sharing a similar problem on one of my IPS 450 drives installed in a 75' Lazzara.
    We have been in the Bahamas when I checked Gear Box oil and investigated a milky color a kind of oil in water emulsion. When I came back to Florida I had to haul out the boat and the Technician took the drive apart. He found one O - Ring in the intermediate part broken. I had to change the gear box because of the lack of lubrication a new SUS motor which broke when taking apart and so on. The total was far over $25,000.00.
    The boat is November 2007 and VOLVO was not willing to negotiate to take a good will kind of share on my costs .
    I am totally frustrated and installing Volvo engines in my next boat will not be in my considerations.
    Robert Klein
  4. syung2001

    syung2001 New Member

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    Location:
    Ft. Myers, Fl.
    What I have found since my post is that Zeus pods are the way to go, not being forward facing props and all. If you buy another Lazzarra you wont have a problem as they have walked away from ips as well. Sorry for the short answer typing with a broken finger is trying my patience.

    Thanks for you input,

    Scott
  5. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    Volvo still likes it, they just gave themselves a prize.

    STOCKHOLM, Apr 14, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Regulatory News:

    A team of five engineers from different Volvo Group (STO:VOLVA)(STO:VOLVB) companies is to receive the 2010 Volvo Technology Award for its work in developing Volvo Penta's Dynamic Positioning System -- a system that maintains the boat in its current position. The award will be presented by Volvo Group CEO Leif Johansson today, 14 April, at the Volvo Group's AGM.
  6. Mack Wiggins

    Mack Wiggins New Member

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    May 19, 2016
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    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    To All:
    The owner of a 360 Doral Boca Grande has the same problem as you have described. The dealer claims that the wrong anode was put on the transom and it caused the prop shaft on the starboard pod to leak water. Thank goodness both were removed and inspected for leaks. The port was about to start leaking. All because of the wrong anodes being replaced by the previous owner's diver... I am wondering what is next? No fishing line yet!
    Will the line cutter keep the line out of the drive?
    Mack
  7. T.K.

    T.K. Senior Member

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    I am not a fan of IPS drives and I am not a fan of any transmission system immersed in water. The smallest leak or shaft seal damage will lead to emulsified oil which can cause a complete transmission failure with very high repair costs.
  8. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Why would a transom zinc, have anything to do with water intrusion on a pod drive? The pods have their own zincs to protect them.

    TK, the pods are very similar to a stern drive when it comes to gears/transmission etc.
  9. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    We see quite a few Mercruiser drives come in that have failed due to the wrong anodes being fitted. Cheap, aftermarket anodes really don't do the drives any favours. The cases pit really badly, especially around the seals. The anodes, however, still look factory fresh!!!
  10. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    That is true and I agree with you. But the OP stated that Volvo blamed it on the boats transom zinc, not the drives zincs. If the transom zinc was not protecting the boat's electrical the IPS drive zincs should still have protected the drive itself.
  11. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    Sounds more like a bonding issue on the whole boat rather than just a random zinc.
  12. Mack Wiggins

    Mack Wiggins New Member

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    Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    OK! There are two aluminum zincs that are only grounded to the drives and they are mounted on the transom. The anodes mounted on the drives in the exhaust system were fine and working perfectly.
    Volvo claims that the shafts were etched by the different metals in the drives allowing the water in thru the seals in the front of the drives.
    Still a very expensive lesson on using the correct anodes made by the factory and not using any after market anodes.
  13. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    The first batch of transom anodes from Volvo were useless and replaced free of charge by them. Those were on early drives.

    Check your warranty dates with your drive number.

    http://www.marinepartseurope.com/en/volvo-penta-explodedview-47701960-44-21426.aspx
  14. RogerR

    RogerR New Member

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    Location:
    Florida
    Looking at a survey I had on a 2010 Tiara 240 hrs with IPS one oil showed milky oil, one was black not honey colored. Owner willing to replace seals on one.
    I have been trying to find anyone with something good to say about the Volvo and IPS other then they are great to drive. Went to go on test run wouldn’t start ECU was found to be bad. Anyone have more insite
  15. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    No vibration, they're 30-40% more fuel efficient than conventional drives on a twin engine installation, smaller engine= easier to get around engine room......etc. etc. I like them.
  16. RogerR

    RogerR New Member

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    Thanks Capt J
  17. f3504x4ps

    f3504x4ps Member

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    The newer drives model C or D 2012 and newer came with the updated Stainless steering ring that helped to resolve the water intrusion issues, that plagued the A and B models and possibly the C. The 2012 c/d I believe had a updated strainer and oiler cooler which also saved the drive from running hot. The units in saltwater have more issues then the ones in fresh water. There expensive to maintain but use less fuel gal per hour verse a straight inboard. Volvo does not have a lot of information in the IPS forum either. Have you registered on there? Steve I believe is his name is one of the Volvo Tech Engineer guys there.
  18. Miss Lorrie

    Miss Lorrie New Member

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    Whenever you run a boat with Volvo IPS drives and just lightly scrape the bottom in sand or anything, you should immediately shut down the engines and get towed to a yard and hauled out and replace all seals in both pods. If not you are taking a chance on a very expensive repair if water intrusion gets into the clutches, etc...Better safe than sorry. Had this boat for 10 years and have had to replace and rebuild 4 times. Last time we hit bottom in Marina and did what I said above, replaced seals etc...Now, 2 years after service...getting an oil change, and port IPS has dark oil with tiny amount of water. Now they want to remove pod and take to shop and check for any water damage in clutches etc....not sure what to do now.

    Had to replace port engine 2 years ago, due to a burst
    hose on starboard engine (maintenance book said to change hoses at 1000 hours.) We had 400 hours on Volvo's 600's Had to be towed in by Boat US 25 miles offshore, because didn't want to run either motor. Port engine was seized up.

    We will never purchase a boat with IPS drives again.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020
  19. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Wait, You've had this boat for 10 years and you have 400 hours on it, and you've had to "replace and rebuild" 4 times (I assume the pods) and rebuild a motor from hitting bottom?

    Neither shafts nor pods like hitting bottom. When you do it's good thing to check your running gear and if there's damage, yes get a tow. If not you limp home. With pods you're checking for water intrusion and seals are the most likely place.

    May I suggest you go to the SEARCH page and put in IPS. You'll find some very informative discussions about IPS, strengths, weaknesses, pros, cons.

    Welcome to YF.