Volvo Penta
V8-430
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Volvo Penta Single Lever Mode

Volvo Penta provides BoatTEST.com with this informative video on Single Lever Mode.

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Volvo Penta V8-430 Volvo Penta V8-430 main video
Volvo Penta's new 430-hp engine has been completely remapped from the 6.0 L block and contains some of the latest technology, including variable valve timing that allows to the engine to produce more low-end and mid-range torque as well as to give her a higher top speed. She has closed loop cooling standard on all engines and Duoprops lower units come standard. Then, there are the features which consider "user-friendly" -- things such as a fuse panel with spares, a paper oil filter, and 75 Amp alternator. But all of this is simply prelude.

Volvo Penta V8-430 (Sterndrive) Specifications
Horsepower 430-hp
Number of Cylinders 8 Cylinders
Configuration V-8
Certification EPA Compliant
Full Throttle RPM 6000
Engine Control System Electronic

Volvo Penta V8-430 Captain's Report

Mission Statement

The mission of Volvo Penta’s new V8-430 is to serve as a logical next step in the evolution of state of the art 6.0L gasoline engines. Additionally, this engine takes advantage of several advances in technology that allow it to run smoother and cleaner while burning less fuel than the predecessor 8.1 block. Other attributes give it better hole shot times and better load carrying abilities than previously possible with the big block V8s.

Distinguishing Features

  • Full Freshwater Cooled as Standard – This feature protects the complete engine, cylinder heads and exhaust manifolds, helping to extend the life of the engine.
  • Variable Valve Timing – This feature results in faster acceleration, increased top speed and smoother, and better response in the mid-range. This is an important new automotive feature, and one that the old big block V8s don't have.
  • Lighter Weight – The new Volvo Penta engine with Duo Prop is lighter than competing big block engines and drive packages by nearly 300 lbs. (136.3 kgs.). Volvo Penta tells us that the entire package weight of V8-430 engine and outdrive weighs 1,115 lbs. (506 kgs.).
  • Improved Fuel Efficiency – Volvo Penta reports that the V8-430 is up to 20% more fuel efficient than big block engine it replaces.

Differences Between the V8-430 and the V8-380

The noteworthy differences between the V8-380 and the V8-430 start with the high-flow aluminum cylinder heads with machined intake and exhaust ports that provide significantly improved flow through the combustion chamber, according to Volvo Penta. The camshaft profiles have more lift and duration. The intake valves have hollow stems to reduce their mass and thus load on the valve train.

There are new valve springs to match the lift/duration of the camshaft. Like the V8-380, the V8-430 has cast aluminum exhaust manifolds which are cooled by the standard closed cooling system. The engine and drive system of the V8-430 weighs just 39 lbs. (17.7 kgs.) more than the V8-380.

Volvo Penta V-430
The installation allows for plenty of room to work around the engine.

Target Audience

This new V8-430 engine has been targeted for boats in the range of 24’ (7.3 m) to 31’ (9.5 m) or roughly 3,500 lbs. (1,588 kg) to 10,000 lbs. (4,536 kg) with a single engine installation. Twin engine installations will range from 33’ (10 m) to 40’ (12 m) or between 13,000 lbs. (5,897 kg) and 20,000 lbs. (9,072 kg).

Volvo Penta V-430
The V8-430 covers a wide range of boats with both single and twin applications.

Performance

We tested the V8-430 on a Cobalt A-28 with a LOA of 28’ 6” (8.69 m) and a beam of 8’6” (2.59 m). With an empty weight of 5,460 lbs. (2,477 kg), 30 gal. (114 L) of fuel and 2 people onboard, we had a test weight of 6,060 lbs. (2749 kg). Here’s what we recorded...

Volvo Penta V-430
Volvo Penta V8-430 test results in a single engine boat having a test weight of 6,060 lbs. (2,749 kg).

Top speed was reached at 6000 rpm, instead of the typical 4800 rpm of the average big block. At that speed we were running at 53.1 mph while burning 34 gph of fuel. Best cruise came in at 3500 rpm and 28 mph. That speed reduced the fuel burn to 9.35 gph -- or 2.99 mpg which is better than what we are used to seeing from competitive 380 hp and 430-hp big blocks.

Acceleration

The biggest difference with the V8-430 is in the handling characteristics, mainly acceleration. Thanks to the engine's high torque there was a noticeable difference in the feel of the boat upon hitting the throttle. The time to plane of 3.7 seconds during our test of the A28 was measurably quicker than what we’re used to seeing with big block V8s. Our times to 20 and 30 mph were also faster.

Also noteworthy is the fact that the Volvo Penta V8-430 provided a much better midrange response. It was noticeable as soon as the throttle was advanced from cruise speed. Acceleration was quick and crisp.

Throttle Power Assist

The V8-430 also has a feature called Power Assist that will maintain rpm regardless of any maneuvers that the boat makes. If we put the boat into hard over turn it bled off speed-over-ground but not rpm. This also means that once we rolled out of the turn the boat returned to its original speed much quicker, and without the driver having to adjust the throttle in any way.

Variable Valve Timing (VVT)

The new Variable Valve Timing feature adds torque and power with a smaller block that exceeds the performance of old tech big blocks, according to a Volvo Penta spokesman. Historically, the timing of valves was static having the crankshaft and camshaft linked together with a chain. Now, with variable valve timing, the chain is still there, but the sprocket uses a hydraulic phaser controlled by the engine ECU to advance or retard the cam timing. Traditional big block engines were running at 4800 rpm, but this new engine is designed to run at 6000 rpm thanks to that variable valve timing. The combination of variable timing and increased RPMs results in more power, more speed, and more torque.

Volvo Penta V-430
The cam phaser assembly automatically advances or retards the valve timing for more consistent performance throughout the power curve.

Volvo Penta V-430
Variable valve timing adjusts the valves dynamically throughout the power curve to increase performance. (Chart and data supplied by Volvo Penta.)

A flatter torque curve reduces time to plane, improves midrange response and makes the WOT range less load sensitive. When combined with the enhanced DPS drives offered with ratios of 1.95 or 2.14, the spread in performance between the traditional big block power plants and this new V8-430 gets further and further apart the more the boats are loaded.

Volvo Penta V-430
The V8-430 has been specifically designed to mate with the DPS Duoprop outdrives.

Volvo Penta V-430
The water pump is easily reached and the front screws are also accessible for easy impeller change-outs.

Freshwater Cooling

The freshwater cooling is designed to maintain the engine, as well as the oil, at a constant temperature which serves to increase longevity. In this "next generation" engine, the freshwater cooling even extends to the exhaust manifold. The expansion tank is put in easy reach for the daily engine checks, but for boaters who are not the hands-on type, a low-level sensor is installed for redundant overheat protection.

Volvo Penta V-430
The dipstick is round and the top of the tube is threaded to allow for screwing on a suction hose.

User-Friendly Engine Checks

In fact, because our tests are showing an increase in the number of boats that are providing limited access to engine compartments, the V8-430 shines by having all regularly serviceable items mounted to the front of the engine including the oil fill, dipstick, fuse box, expansion tank, oil filter, sea water pump and engine flush.

Less Weight

With the entire package of engine, transmission, and outdrive weighing only 1,115 lbs. (506 kg) the new V8-430 is an important new option in the repowering considerations that boaters face. The V8-430’s attractive power-to-weight ratio provides spritely performance and improved fuel efficiency. Some of the ingredients that go into this reduction in weight are an aluminum exhaust manifold, cast aluminum structural oil pan and a high flow aluminum cylinder head. And because the new engine is only 6.0 L it has a smaller overall envelope than the big block V8s.

Volvo Penta V-430
The oil filter utilizes a paper cartridge that’s more environmentally friendly. The blue fitting is for attaching a garden hose to, for a freshwater flush.

Now Standard

Naturally this new V8-430 will provide plug-and-play connectivity with Volvo Penta's line of EVC components, and on previous models EVC was offered as an option. With this V8-430, EVC is now standard. That means it comes complete with multi-function engine controls offering optional add-on features including tow mode, cruise control, power trim assist, single lever, engine synchronization, and sterndrive joystick.

V8-430 Specifications

Propeller shaft power, kW (hp).............................. 292 (397)
Max. engine speed, rpm........................................ 6000
Displacement, l (cu. in.)........................................... 6.0 (364)
Number of cylinders.............................................. V-8
Fuel system ........................................................... MPI
Bore/stroke, mm .................................................. 101.6/91.9
Inches............................................................................ (4.00/3.62)
Compression ratio................................................. 9.67:1
Volvo Penta Duoprop drive.................................. DPS
Ratio....................................................................... 2.14:1, 1.95:1
Package weight; engine, transom shield and drive, kg (lb)................................................... 506 (1,115)

Dimensions (not for installation):

Engine length along crank center line, mm (in.) ....................... 1013 (40)
Engine width, mm (in.)......................................... 417 (16.4)
Height above crankshaft, mm (in.)..................... 660 (26)
Height below crankshaft, mm (in.)..................... 207.8 (8.2)

Observations

At first glance it appears that this next generation engine has a lot to offer to boaters across a broad spectrum of applications. Most of the benefits, which are never seen by the end-user, are said by Volvo Penta to be lower maintenance and increased engine longevity.

The benefits that will directly affect boaters day-to-day are the ease of access to the daily checks, faster times to plane which should please skiers and wakeboarders, less weight sensitivity when the boat is loaded with friends, better fuel economy at best cruise and the connectivity to the next generation of EVC components.

Based on our test cited above, the V8-430’s light weight, high power-to-weight ratio, variable timing and other new technology appear to make this 6.0 L engine an attractive option to traditional big block V8s.

Volvo Penta V-430
Oxygen sensors are places before and after the catalytic converter, and monitored by the ECM to ensure clean exhaust emissions.

Volvo Penta V-430
The fuse box is right at the top of the engine. The cover identifies the purpose of each of the fuses, and spares are underneath.

Volvo Penta V-430
The EVC Interface is plug and play and easily disconnected for replacement.

Volvo Penta V-430
The EVC display allows cycling through a host of information. Seen here is a digital representation of the outdrive trim angle. This is one of several difference EVC displays available.

Volvo Penta V-430
Your mechanic will appreciate that the diagnostic plug is easily accessed on the V8-430.

Volvo Penta V-430
The coolant tank is labeled Volvo Coolant VCS and it’s critical that this is the coolant that gets used on this engine.

Volvo Penta V-430
All working components are color coded as to the type of job it does. Yellow for engine oil, blue for fresh water….

Volvo Penta V-430
The 75 amp alternator includes a transistorized voltage regulator.

Volvo Penta V-430
The Cobalt A28 cuts a sleek profile through the waters of St. Petersburg with her optional wakeboard tower and Bimini top.

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Boats Tested with this Volvo Penta V8-430
Cobalt A28 (2014-) Cobalt A28 (2014-)