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Volvo Penta IPS water ingress

Discussion in 'Engines' started by blue fin, Apr 10, 2021.

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  1. blue fin

    blue fin New Member

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    Plymouth UK
    Does anyone else have major concerns regarding VP IPS drives getting water in?

    My 2008 Boat has only 700 hours, and has now had around 6 fails due to water ingress into the gear boxes.

    Not fit for task !

    very angry.
  2. NYboater

    NYboater New Member

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    I have over 2,300 hours between 2 IPS powered boats. 2013 powered by twin IPS 600’s had water ingress in each pod after moderate grounding. Water came in through shaft seals. 2016 powered by triple IPS 1200’s had water ingress in one pod from failed steering seal. No idea why it happened. Total of more than 30,000 nm so overall I am pleased
  3. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Are you using Volvo zincs exclusively and changing the zincs when they get to 50% or below? Are you servicing the pods annualy? Through a Volvo dealer? Do they sit for long periods of time without being run and exercised? 50 hours per year really is not enough hours and you should be using the boat more.
  4. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    Where the seals sit on the shaft, a tiny ridge is worn into the metal and lets water in. We made a special tool to push the seals a few MM back away from the ridge after machineing down the seals a few MM.
  5. Slimshady

    Slimshady Senior Member

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    Do a search, there's lot of issues with these motors and drives. Don't look for any help here, according to a few loud voices the problems are all your fault and volvo only builds superior ground breaking products.
  6. blue fin

    blue fin New Member

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    We had a full IPSs rebuild in 2019, including new shafts and seal seal sets done by Volvo! within just 14 hours the same issue in both drives!! makes using the boat off shore difficult, not knowing how far you can steam before more water ingress and control issues in the western approaches to the uk ??? -new zincs of course, also run Prop speed which witnesses any line or rope fouling. (nothing)
    I used an independent Volvo trained engineer on the last 3 attempts to reseal since Volvo's 2019 major repair, replacing outer seals only, just found out that the boat had IPS water oil issues since new!
    very un happy
  7. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Water ingress is always an issue whenever a drive is in the water whether a stern drive or pod, Volvo or mercury or Zeus.

    after 60 years of building stern drives and then pods you d think manufacturers would have come with a way to beef up the seals and reduce the problem. Especially considering Zeus or IPS cost a lot more than your basic stern drive
  8. Slimshady

    Slimshady Senior Member

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    Manufacturing water proof seals that are durable is not difficult or new technology. We run 4000 psi hovers for pressure cleaning concrete driveways ( lawnmower using water). They spin at several hundred rpm and get banged around pretty good and last a long time. Well drillers and directional boring rigs same thing. This is not rocket science, it's the bean counters overriding the engineers.
  9. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I think it has more to do with the bearings allowing the output shaft (propeller) to move around too much and that damages the seals.......the joystick and being heavy handed with it and drive switching directions quickly probably has a lot to do with it also.
  10. Slimshady

    Slimshady Senior Member

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    Bearings and seals all work together, if one part of the system is flawed they both fail. My examples above all have bearings and seals, deal with much higher pressures and last a very long time, even with heavy handed operators. Engineers know how to make stuff work, the bean counters demand they make it cheaper so they can sell parts for life.
  11. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Amen to all that.

    But the good news for the OP is that while around here quite a few cognoscenti - for reasons that I completely fail to understand - will always find justifications about each and every IPS defects, he will easily find out that just about anywhere else on the web there's plenty of boaters as angry as he is.

    Not that this is a big consolation for anyone of them, obviously.
    But maybe that will help some others think again, before making an expensive mistake.
    Fiammetta42 and Slimshady like this.
  12. yr2030

    yr2030 Senior Member

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    I feel for the OP, but it's really a Volvo problem that is not easily corrected - except by a very good VOLVO shop. One on my crew ran an IPS 600 up onto a reef, tearing off the lower unit right off. Upon examination - the seals held, but were worn out.

    We went with Zeus after that and pretty much did the same thing again - without doing nearly as much damage -and the seals held. It would have been the same result with the Toahtsu or the Mercury o/b

    P.S. - both crew were fired
  13. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Out of curiosity, do you possibly mean a shop capable and willing to replace OEM seals with custom adaptations as Fishtigua previously suggested?
    That's something I heard not long ago also from a ZF engineer, who went as far as suggesting that OEM seals are purposedly made to NOT last, in order to grant VP and their dealers network a lucrative aftermarket business.
    I've been reluctant to mention that earlier because (also in another thread) several folks seemed more interested to flame myself for dismissing a cutting edge company and their superior products, rather than debating real world problems.
    Fiammetta42 and yr2030 like this.
  14. Liam

    Liam Senior Member

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    There was a seals recall for the pods, changed from bronze to steel in around 2012-14. Did you ever change these?
    I think seals change is every two years as per service manual.
    Not changing the seals is a costly gearbox change of about 12k a pop.
    Beside that there was also the clutch upgrade, as the original clutch was not designed for Joystick use and the pressure of change direction this creates.
    Each clutch is about 3500 a pop. Apparently they made another clutch upgrade in 16/17.
    All prices are in Euros so make the rate of exchange of your liking.
    yr2030 and MACKLIN like this.
  15. yr2030

    yr2030 Senior Member

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    Well, I am using those two vp engines as my anchors now. The Cummins diesels are backup gensets. And we back to using o/b for our 12m fishing boat.
  16. tusindtak

    tusindtak Member

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    Flame spray welding may be an option to build up the seal landing on the shafts. Read about this in another forum. http://www.flamespray.us/
    B
    uild up is with ceramic back to original tolerances. May last better than new.
  17. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.. Failures due to a cheap seal these days???
    If there is a hint of issues, it should have been fixed before rev-1 was in the field (ocean). After all these years and a weak link is a shaft seal.
    There are to many seal designs out there for a seal failure even to be a wet thought.
    Common sense would have had to come to somebody's mind; Forward facing wheels may require better than thin lip shaft seal to survive.
    That has to be a weird positive pressure on them.

    I ran the heck out of a 290 DP. Stayed in the water for years. Removed fish line often. Never had a shaft seal issue.
  18. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    A lot of water under the bridge since the 290 DP, and the company was completely different, back then.
    Pretty much as Boeing was ran differently in those days, if you see what I mean.

    I'm now stocking some popcorn, waiting to see what the new kid on the block will do.
    But while I have zero sex prejudices, the fact that she is not (yet again!) an engineer makes me fear that it's not worth holding my breath.
  19. Fiammetta42

    Fiammetta42 Member

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    You can imagine different weights of fouling on different sides of the prop leaves when it’s docked and still .
    Spin that up and minute vibrations might develop , too minute and absorbed into the drive train for the helmsman to ever notice .Theses eccentric forces pull away at the seal fit surface as the shaft (s) wobble about = water ingress .
    Forward facing facilities the water being pressed in as opposed to the DP 290 rear facing outdrive seal .

    Reverse the thing around on a std shafts , the cutlass bearing takes the vibration which is no consequence except slightly shortened life if that ?
    Or the main seal perhaps starts a drip .....again no real consequence.

    The machinery’s dry .

    So back to the OP I would be examining the original prop balance.

    Try posting on the UKs MBY forum there are a lot of IPS love in there who as MapishM says end up flaming anyone anti IPS .
  20. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    No worries there, also because I'm far from being alone in the "anti IPS" faction.
    And since most of us have our fair share of gray hairs, another thing we have in common is a thick skin.
    Getting flamed by joystick huggers isn't going to make me lose any sleep.
    Slimshady likes this.