Volvo Penta Stern Drives- By BoatTEST (41246 views) 9/23/2009 9:14:33 AM
BoatTEST.com is asking its members to share their experiences with specific brands and models of stern drive systems as applied to specific boat brands and models. We always say that there is no test as good as the “test of time” and owner input can be invaluable to buyers of new or used boats. Since both Volvo Penta and MerCruiser use the same GM Vortec blocks the differences between these two brands lies in the “marinization” equipment added, its electronic monitoring and control devices, the performance of their lower units, the quality and alacrity of warranty settlements, pricing, and general customer service. (No dealers please, the forum is strictly for owners.) To take part in this important information sharing program
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P. Patterson 4/16/2014 10:04:00 AM
I have a 2005 Rinker 300FV with twin XDP drives. What a nightmare! Bellows failure x3 now, which causes all kinds of expensive to fix problems when you boat in salt water. Thankfully, I am in fresh water now, but the bellows are shot again and I have to get them fixed before I can use boat. The bellows on these defective drives have already cost me over $10K in repairs. I can't afford to replace them, can anyone help in getting Volvo Penta to stand up and fix this mess!!!???

D. knox 4/18/2013 1:45:34 PM
My Volvo Penta 570 dual prop on a 21 ft double eagle has new props and the rear one is getting badly damaged from cavitation on the backside face of the blade after 5 hrs of use. anyone know WHY??????

C. Padilla 1/6/2013 10:33:51 PM
My Volvo penta 5.7gxi engines and sterndrive have just been serviced and anti fouled outdrives and returned to me with loss of top end speed...

R. Mattson 7/26/2012 6:17:04 AM
I have a 1985 Bayliner 2850 Contessa CB with a 5.7 (GM) Volvo Penta sterndrive. Engine had bought this spring, engine hesitated, add fuel treatment, became much better. Did not change fuel filters yet. Found hose disconn. from fuel pump to spark arrestor. Main problem, does not tach over 3200. Any ideas. Changed props and gained 500 RPMs

P. Farmer 5/30/2012 4:04:31 PM
2008 Monterey 270CR with a 5.7 Volvo OSXI-J, and a XDP out drive. Bought it new in the spring of 2009… Had 2 bellows replaced the first year one the second, afraid to take it out because we almost sank with the 2nd bellows failure. And now for my first outing of 2012, water and oil in the bilge, only ran it for 30 minutes. Where is the “Class action” against Volvo Penta regarding all XDP drives and all boat manufactures who installed them? I cannot trust my vessel underway or afford the unbelievable expense to repair and replace any more outdrives. Help!

B. wood 4/5/2012 11:06:08 AM
i have a 2005 rinker 212 with a vovo 5.0 270 mpi.i have no power to sterdrive trim up or down.where do i look to find problem.thak you b,wood

S. Bell 9/8/2011 8:57:24 AM
My Volvo penta 5.7gxi engines and sterndrive have just been serviced and anti fouled outdrives and returned to me with loss of top end speed...

S. Bell 9/8/2011 8:57:21 AM
My Volvo penta 5.7gxi engines and sterndrive have just been serviced and anti fouled outdrives and returned to me with loss of top end speed...

S. Bell 9/8/2011 8:57:19 AM
My Volvo penta 5.7gxi engines and sterndrive have just been serviced and anti fouled outdrives and returned to me with loss of top end speed...

F. Bezzina 2/2/2011 1:10:30 PM
Volvo penta dealer in Malta don't care about the Warranty I own a osxi xdp drive still with problems they don' know what it has had a factory recall but still nothing:(

T. Matthews 10/12/2010 3:00:20 PM
07 5.7gxi with DPS-A outdrive. My original drive was changed under warranty due to peeling paint. the replacement drive had a loud gear whine. Volvo replace that drive with another drive with a loud gear whine. they next installed a drive that they assembled in engineering. Two volvo engineers came up to my boat in NJ from VA to take comparison sound reading. the engineering drive had the same loud gear whine. They tell me they are working on the problem but its been four season with lisening to this drive with no fix. i don't run the boat with the top up if i can help it because the sound is so annoying. I was told by someone that the whine is a result of Volvo changing to a straigt cut gear. Volvo is now telling me it is my boat configuration that makes the drive loud in the cockpit area.that does not make sense since my original drive did not have this noise. They must have changed somthing since the manufacturing of my original drive. If you are concedering a volvo drive make sure you can handle the noise. I can't

M. champagne 8/25/2010 5:21:31 AM
i have a 5.0 gxi and some time when i start the boat i ear a vaccum noise and i don t have power .If somebody have an idea what is the problem, let me know Thanks.It s a 2008 volvo penta gxi 5.0l

C. kemp 7/26/2010 2:46:54 PM
I own a 2005 3.0 litre Glastron SX 175; boat was sold as an entry level starter for wakeboarding etc; outfitted with tower, platform etc. This boat has been a disaster. 20 hours the last 3 years; 2 full engine rebuilds which took 2 full summers; the year previous, trouble shooting which cost nothing but time. Riser in the intake was diagnosed, but not replaced with newer model. Terrible company. No response to communication at all.

S. Kelly 12/26/2009 11:20:06 AM
2000 Four Winns with 4.3GL - now having problems with VDO IP (not really Volvo's issue, but a problem) and now the Volvo does not want to restart after it is warm. My dealer has not found the problem. Love the drive, but not the local dealer.

R. Allan 11/30/2009 3:28:22 PM
1997 Larson 186 LXI with 4.3 HO 4b carb. Have not had any problems. Top end about 60 with 4 blade 20 in. SS prop.

A. Smith 11/16/2009 10:26:18 PM
2004 Doral 210BR with 5.0 GXI DPS. Excellent package for good fuel economy w/ plenty of bottom and top end power. GPS 53 mph w/ two people trimmed out and limited fuel & gear. The engine and drive have been great so far and I've only had to have normal maintenance done to it. The only issue I've had is the starter went (got wet). I don't understand why the mount the starters on the bottom of the engines where they can get wet? I went through several starters on my last boat.

C. Zlat 11/15/2009 4:36:53 AM
Rinker 192BR with a 4.3MPI SX drive, 3 months/year in salt water in Greece. 160hrs is 2 summers. No problems at all.

D. Spoula 11/11/2009 1:20:30 AM
1st IO. Purchased new 08 Glastron 185 GT, 4.3GL-J with SX drive, ratio 1.79:1 4200–4600 RPM 14.2x23 prop. A little sluggish on the low end, smooth and responsive once on plane, 50+ mph top end. So far very happy with performance. As a DIY owner, I've looked into service and part costs. Also purchased VP parts for PM (oil & fuel filters, gear lube, etc.). IMO, recommended PM, parts, and dealer repair costs are ridiculous high. DS

E. Lewis 11/10/2009 7:21:11 PM
S. Lewis Bought new Celebrity 1996, have serviced everyfall after summer season. No problems, and run hard and tried many different props, even shifting props. 18 Ft. boat with 302 Ford 8 cyn. Runs out at 62 mph aat 5200rpms. Great conditon for 12 year old boat and components.

A. Straughan 11/6/2009 12:02:20 PM
Bought a 1995 Albermarle 2650 CC two years ago with a new 502 long block installed. Since, I have replaced the risers, exhaust manifolds, bellows, oil seal (had to remove and disassemble the entire drive unit to repair) and an outboard prop (it came off on a trip to the canyons this summer). Otherwise, the boat has been fairly trouble free with about 300 hours on the engines over two seasons.

J. Huzell 11/6/2009 8:49:12 AM
15 Years with duoprop on three boats. No issues. Always used diesel and have had issues with smoke on earler generation. Propably attributed to tosmall air-intake on the boat. Engines have ALWAYS started regardless and even in cold (below freeze-point) wheater. New D-6 engine has absolutely no smoke and is very quiet. Expensive though

H. Isenberg 11/5/2009 7:09:49 PM
2005 Glastron FS185 4.3L Bought the boat used the engine let go after 10 hours of running... hairline cracks in head and block due to freeze damage caused by previous owner not properly winterizing. Installed a remanufactured engine and after 19 hours everything is fine. Very fast, boat runs 52mph at 4200rpm. Drive shifts smoothly.

R. Ferrara 11/5/2009 2:55:54 PM
2006 Chaparral 180 w/ 4.3 GL, Penta SX. Very pleased with the engine. Has always performed flawlessly. Professionally serviced. BUT...stern drive exterior has major corrosion problems. Looks like leprosy over 70 percent of the outdrive serfaces. - B. Ferrara

L. Browne 11/5/2009 10:43:52 AM
Twin 2002 5.7 Throttle body in a Doral 310. Dealer network in Iowa tends to service only Mercruiser. Most do not have the special tools that VP requires and are reluctant to buy them as the number of Volvos will not allow them a return on their investment. So I have difficulty getting a diagnosis on Volvo related problems. Parts are not stocked and always need to be ordered. The mechanic had to rebuild the heads and recommended the thermostat be replaced with 140 Degree ones. Not sure if others have found that an issue but they seem to be handling the degree change OK. The trim is blowing fuses on a regular basis and the throttle cable needed replaced. The trim hoses on the out drive easily rub if not exact on the placement and have been replaced twice because of holes. The engine hours are now beyond 500. One of the fuel cells(pump) was replaced, I had to do the work myself as the local mechanics had trouble diagnosing it. My solution was to swap cells with the other engine to prove my theory. If the dealer network was better I would have little to complain about.

M. Johnson 11/5/2009 8:20:38 AM
I have a 2005 regal 2765 with two 4.3's, the port engine will randomly go into "safe mode" generally at the worst possible time, so far the dealer has not been able to correct the problem, in fairness to the dealer it is almost impossible to identify a problem when it won't do it when the mechanic is on board, but it is a very frustrating problem. Generally it seems to clear itself if the engine is turned off and re-started. As best I can tell there is little or no support from VP.

S. Williamson 11/5/2009 12:38:33 AM
2004 regal 2200 with a 5.7 volvo duo prop. very pleased with the torque to get wakeboarders up and the cruising speed.50 + mph. no prblems as of yet.

T. Flanagan 11/4/2009 10:17:38 PM
1985 22ft SeaSport, 5.0L Volvo Penta, 290 outdrive. Twice in two years I had the power trim hydraulic line burst. The retro fit with a smaller stainless steel hose and fittings solved the problem. I now check the hoses on my newer DP on a newer boat more often.

D. Marek 11/4/2009 7:56:01 PM
2005 Chaparral 210 with 5.7L MPI, SX. Great hole shot with 19 pitch prop. No issues over the past three years, but Volvo's are much loader than any of my past Mercs. They exhauast both out the lower unit and below the housing. When on plane, they are loud for my tastes. Otherwise, nice easy shifts, no clunks like on an Merc Alpha drive. 250 hrs so far.

C. Brassard 11/4/2009 6:09:44 PM
C. Brassard 2006 Regal 2860 with 2 Volvo 4.3 GXI & DPS drives. Boat only in fresh water, Magnesium anodes were replace every years, even though I have a serious problem of corrosion with my drives. That kind of corrosion never happened with the 3 boats I owned before with mercruiser drives + on second year of ownership both engines were not starting at the first turn of the key. Volvo had to re- compute my engines. First and last experience with Volvo. Sorry Volvo.

S. Jenkins 11/4/2009 6:06:18 PM
Have a 2008 5.0 MPI 270 SX in a Stingray 205LX. This is the smoothest shifting stern drive I have ever used. I have 40 hours on it and no problems. Boat screams for a 5.0, 64 MPH (GPS) with 23 pitch SS.

R. Ziegler 11/4/2009 5:56:37 PM
Have 96 FourWinns, 5.0 L SX (150 hrs)and 05 Rinker w/T 5.7 DPs (75 hrs). Only problem on both has been trim indicator sensors failing. R. Ziegler

K. Mcbride 11/4/2009 5:35:43 PM
2000 Four Winns with Volvo SX outdrive. This is my second boat with a Volvo outdrive, only internal maintenance I have ever had is the first one had to have new U-joints.

R. Handy 11/4/2009 5:19:13 PM
2005 Cruisers Yachts 300 Express, twin 5.0-OSI with XDP drives. I bought this boat (used) for the XDP Drives (didn't know of the problems before purchasing). The bellows issue is terrible. Original ones were replaced at 60 hours from new, but the boat was 2 1/2 years old so I was told too bad by Volvo - they did pay for part of it but it was still $4,000 out of MY pocket. The previous owner never knew of the problem - neither did I. Now I have 120 hours (1 1/2 years later) on the new bellows and one leaks and they BOTH rub on the u-joints. Was told by two people from Volvo that I have the lastest and greatest...they were both wrong as there was another Service Bulletin issued in Dec 2008 that says that the prior bellows aren't any good. NO communication from Volvo to me or to the dealer...I found out by reading message boards with owners who have the same problem. First and last time I'll own Volvos. Truly disappointed. And now I know I'm going to take it in the shorts on trade-in because of these drives...unless Volvo comes thru and makes us good on these but I'm not getting my hopes up.

R. Inman 11/4/2009 5:11:08 PM
Operated a raw water cooled Volvo 5 liter dual prop, fuel injected set of Volvos on a Larson 330 in salt water for 6 years without a single engine problem. I wouldn't own any other brand.

L. Switzer 11/4/2009 5:10:06 PM
2009 Larson with 5.7 volvo, have about 25 hours on it so far, ran great all season, much smoother than my former larson with a mercruiser. Maxed out at near 50 with 8 people on board. Great torque for getting boarders out of the water, and great cruising speed. Will never go back to a Mercruiser again.

N. Alkinburgh 11/4/2009 4:27:59 PM
99 larson 330 5.7 volvo dp 500 hrs nothing but routine maintenance, synthetic oil each season grease shaft and gimbal. boat goes 46.9mph on gps w 10 people extremely pleased. replaced bellows twice for maintenance.

G. Darragh 11/4/2009 4:01:06 PM
1987 Bayliner with 5 litre GM. Had to change steering bushings and boot in 20 years

T. Millburg 11/4/2009 3:28:49 PM
2006 5.7 OSxi XDP, 320 HP, engines run solid, lack of NMEA2000 interface discouraging, 200+ hours, One out-drive has been replaced once, inherent bellow trouble (replaced twice now), reliability still uncertain. I have heard that the XDP drives are no longer being offered on new boats?? I prefer the OD propulsion but probably would not buy Volvo Penta again.

J. Gray 11/4/2009 3:02:05 PM
The second season on my Volvo DPS outdrives one had water in it and needed to be rebuilt. In this third season the same drive had water and had to be replaced and the other drive also had water in it and needed to be rebuilt. Warranty covered the parts and labor, but it took 5 weeks.

J. Clift 11/4/2009 2:34:42 PM
2001 KAD 44 + dpe. Horrible probs. with trim cylinders. Pump repaired - no improvement. Pump replaced with new one - no improvement. Piston rods removed and show slight scoring up length of one of them. Volvo wanted ridiculous amount for replacements so tig welded the score and polished it back to spec. - no improvement. New seals fitted - no improvement. Drive just won't stay up. Next boat won't have outdrive.

B. Murphy 11/4/2009 2:30:28 PM
I boughtmy 2004 Glastron MX175 with the 3.0 litre Volvo-Penta new. I've got 67.0 hours on the hour meter. No real problems to report yet. The outdrive does make a strange little rattling noise when I have the boat running in the driveway. Not sure what it is?

B. burke 11/4/2009 2:12:45 PM
1998 Regal with 3.0 135HP four cylinder Chevy. Problems with Flywheel studs backing out twice. Makes the loudest noise you ever heard. Don't let the dealer say it's Gimbel. It's not. Other sites have shown studs backing out. Had a valve stick open. Interesting comment below about lighter flywheel. Mine "diesels" too. Overheating often until just figured out to use a 1/2" drill bit to ream out the tube connection coming from the water pump into the thermostat chamber on the front of the engine. Otherwise, when it's running (1/2 the time) it can do 38 mph at 4,000. Incredible efficiencies.

P. Thach 11/4/2009 1:48:34 PM
2004 Four Winns 22' Bow Rider with Volvo Penta 5.7 280 Horse single prop. 300 hours. Shift to reverse usually make a big clunk sound. trim gauge hasn't work well for a long time. Noticed a grinding sound in gear and found the bellows to be cut, water got to the gimball bearing. Had it fixed at VP dealer for 380 including tax. That's all the bad news. The good news is I love this boat and drive combo. Other than the shift to reverse it's very quiet. It will run 50 MPH GPS verified comfortably. I've hit all sorts of things with the drive and it never seems to bother it.

E. Pecoraro 11/4/2009 1:45:27 PM
Ed Pecoraro 2000 Grady White Volvo duoprop DPE tied to a Volvo KAD44 diesel 265 hp. The outdrive is very well built I would say overbuilt compared to what I see on other gas powered manufacturers. Engine and drive have about 620 hours and I have had no problem with the drive.I have the drive pulled and inspected every 2 years and change the oil every season. This package was a limited experiment by Grady and Volvo very few were manufactured but the boat cruises at 22knots and only burns 5gph a great boat and drive combo.

T. Webb 11/4/2009 1:44:27 PM
I had a 2750 regal cuddy with a mercruiser 350 magnum and the bravo 3 duo prop, then I got the exact same boat (Regal 2750 cuddy) with the Volvo 350 fuel injected and a duo prop. The top speed with the Volvo is almost as good, but the Volvo does not come close to the mercruiser in handling at the dock or take off power.

M. Jones 11/4/2009 1:35:29 PM
2003 Glastron GX 185 with Volvo Penta 4.3 GL-E and SX drive, 125 hours woith absolutely no complaints! Trim indicator is inaccurate but probably due to gauge malfunction, pretty common according to the feedback in this forum.

J. Kyer 11/4/2009 1:16:24 PM
JP Kyer 2007 Larson Senza Penta 5.7 Gi 270hp approx 200 hours in fresh water. Fantastic performance and reliability, smooth and strong it has never let me down at the dock or on the water. Some very long journeys through G. Bay and the trent. Only requiring oil changes in the last 3 seasons. Strong outdrive needed in area with low water and rocks - many merc outdrives in marina are destroyed while the Pentas just have nicks and scrapes. Only complaint is not having enough time on the water!

S. Walker 11/4/2009 1:03:31 PM
2008 Regal 2565 5.7 GXi 320 hp approximately 375 hours, 35 days in salt water balance in fresh water and on trailer. No visible signs of corrosion or problems everything seems to be working very well. Previous boat had twin Volvo out-drives (1977 bayliner 2550) I don't know how many thousand hours but the engines basically wore out and required complete rebuild, only ever had to change oil and a couple of seals in the out-drives. The only issue I have with the Volvo combination is that the out-drives are noisy once you have a couple hundred hours on them.

C. Viel 10/6/2009 4:11:18 PM
I own a Regal 2565 Window Express 2008 with 1 volvo V8 5,7GI. Just finished the 1st season with 79hrs on the engine. No defects at all and the engine/sterdrive is working perfectly.

D. Horne 10/4/2009 8:31:14 PM
C. Davis I have a 2007 Four Winns Horizon with a Volvo 280 hp dual prop. The shift is rougher and clunkier than an Mercuiser I have owned. I have had guests on my boat ask me what is wrong. Volvo advertises a a 'smooth shift' with their cone clutch....this is FALSE advertising. Volvo actually replaced the out drive under warranty but no improvement in shifting. I cannot describe how disappointed I am in the Volvo Outdrive...even though the perforamance in other areas is exceptional. I can hardly wait to get back to a Mercruiser on my next boat

C. Venturelli 9/29/2009 8:57:05 PM
C. Venturelli 2001 Regal 2960, corrosion on the drives seens to be the regular thing to happen on the drives. At my marina is amazing the difference between the volvos and mercurys in terms of corrosion, we saw corrosion after a couple a months on a brand new twins d3-190 with dp, while the mercurys diesel 120 with more than 2 years have nothing. I use the boat in salt water at Florianopolis - SC - Brazil.

D. Brock 9/28/2009 6:46:05 PM
D. Brock 1999- 4.3 v6 2bbl.Engine run-on (dieseling)caused starter and flywheel damage. Replaced 45lb.marine flywheel with lighter stock automotive and NO MORE RUN-ON!

J. Goshulak 9/28/2009 5:00:04 PM
2007 Four Winns Horizon 180 with the Penta 3.0 SX, with less than 20 hours on it. There was one recall at the beginning on the Holley carb, which my dealer took care of. But I did have two problems associated with the engine (not sure if you can really say this has anything to do with Volvo Penta)...right from the beginning, the shifter cable had difficulty engaging. They replace the cable, on the premise that it was kinked in the middle. The other is that I had to have the alternator rewound. considering that the engine has less than 20 hours on it, it certainly does not leave me with alot of confidence. And yes, this may not be directly related to Volvo and may in fact be more of an issue with Four Winns, but the alternator is part of the block (as is the carb), so it must be somehow related. Otherwise, I had a 3.0 block on my last boat (1984) that I sold in 2006 and I know it is a good engine. I hope the Volvo Penta keeps up the reputation in the long run.

E. Matheson 9/28/2009 1:16:17 PM
E. Matheson 2005 Regal 3060 with twin 5.0 OSi drives. One drive has had chronic seal problems. Have replaced seals 4 times! First two covered under warranty. Last time just a month ago. Still leaking. Pressure and vacuum tests done by dealer each time fails to indicate problem. Three different dealers worked on them. No one knows what to do now. Volvo not much help.

E. Matheson 9/28/2009 1:15:54 PM
E. Matheson 2005 Regal 3060 with twin 5.0 OSi drives. One drive has had chronic seal problems. Have replaced seals 4 times! First two covered under warranty. Last time just a month ago. Still leaking. Pressure and vacuum tests done by dealer each time fails to indicate problem. Three different dealers worked on them. No one knows what to do now. Volvo not much help.

T. Gwaltney 9/26/2009 9:57:34 PM
2007 Crownline with Volvo Penta 5.7Gi engine and DP-SA outdrive, all with 72 hrs. Have twice had repairs to fix difficulty shifting for foward back to neutral, have tilt/trim sensor problems and have experienced excessive outdrive corrosion problems. Worst of all is that VP Customer Service is terrible - they are difficult to deal with and are not interested in helping the customer. Will not buy a VP again.

M. Pulfer 9/26/2009 3:12:33 PM
I have a 2008 Fourwinns Funship 224 with 5.0 SX drive.The power trim motor unit failed at 52 hours and also a small oil from same unit. Local dealer, Skipper Buds-Oshkosh,WI completed all repairs within 3 days at no charge. This is my 2nd Volvo unit and I am pleased with product so far

W. Sammut 9/25/2009 2:46:46 PM
We own a 2001 Four Winns Sundowner 285 with twin 5.0Gi's with the SX stern drives with about 300+ hours. Shifting is smooth and quite, only thing ever done is the oil has been changed, pulling both in the coming spring for a good going through.

P. Oney 9/25/2009 1:37:11 PM
I've owned a '95 FourWinns 205 Sundowner with a VP 5.0 Fi engine since new, and have had no problems other than having to replace the gimbal bearing a couple of years ago. I now have just under 500 hours.

A. Owen 9/24/2009 10:03:36 PM
I have a Four Winns Horizon 190 with a 4.3 GL-E and SX drive. No problems at all other than the carby recall. However, I have found the servicing cost to be on the high side - maybe because we only had one dealer in Melbourne until recently. My only comments on the SX drive is that even with the cone clutch it is not as smooth as I had expected when shifting into gear. Also the shift lever is quite tight making it difficult in close maneuvers such as docking. Other than that, no probs - would buy another Volvo again for sure.

M. Johnson 9/24/2009 1:17:59 PM
Warrenty service is very diappointing. 4.3 engines are very weak at any speed below 2500 RPM.

P. Ruffo 9/24/2009 8:47:45 AM
P.Ruffo Own 1996 Volvo 4.3 with Cobra SX outdrive. Still going. Trim switch indicator very cheap, Other than that no outdrive issues.

W. Schulz 9/24/2009 6:41:43 AM
2003 Seaswirl 2601 I/O with 5.7 Lt Volvo V8, Stern Drive with Stanless steel counter rotating Props. I use the boat in the Chesapeake Bay and it is kept in a slip for the season each yeat. I haven't had a single problem with the outdrive.

F. Bjorkroth 9/24/2009 6:23:08 AM
2008 Bavaria 33 Sport with twin D3-190 diesel engines with DP-SX outdrives. Abt 200 hrs on the clock now over two seasons here in Finland. Engines have been working farely properly, but the engine trimindicator(s) might show whatever. This summer (again) during the holiday (3 weeks out) could not get normal speed and trim on the boat, until I discovered that despite having the trimindicators showing both at -3, one of them was at 0 level. Tried to trim the outdrive, but indicator showed levels of anything down to between -6 and -9, but was still only at 0. Had to trom both at 0 for the balance of the holiday, causing bad speed and heavier diesel consumption. Was fixed already once in the spring, but the problem seem to renew. Hear this is a common problem, based on other boatowners comments. Will probably go for Yanmar if continue with outdrive boats. Guess big diesels and shaft the safest combination.

K. Kosty 9/24/2009 5:21:59 AM
2007 Chaperral volvo 300h bought new spring 2008 dealer went under 1 yr later took it to another for service and a rattling noise while idling they could not here noise but changed leg oil they said and some $400 bucks later took it out to the lake and the motor stop hmm wont ever turn over and a bad smell coming from small white oil coming from the leg, WHAT THE HECK !!! got toed in parked it in the garage called the dealer that changed the leg oil he said AH you must have broke a seal. WHAT not even 60 hrs on it he said while it happens maybe if I had not taken it to him to take the leg appart we would have been fine ?

M. Gonzalez 9/24/2009 4:19:16 AM
2005 twin Volvo 5.0 GXI. 90 hours on the boat, gimbal bearing on port exploded into pieces and cracked transom shield. Extended warranty denying coverage.

A. Casnedi 9/24/2009 3:47:42 AM
2000 Cranchi Endurance 39 with VolvoPenta KAD44, about 800 hrs. No problem except some corrosion issue in the props (alu ones). I continue to think that refills are too expensive compared to MerCruiser I had on previous boats...

R. Campbell 9/24/2009 1:18:20 AM
2008 Regal 2665 express cruiser with Volvo Penta 496 & OSi drive. Needed bellows, ujoints, gimble bearing, drive shaft on warranty recall. Volvo was great and dealer replaced all free of charge. Took longer than I like but it got done and runs great again. I have 180 hours and counting. Regal and Volve were both great and honored the warranty, no questions asked. These leaking bellows issues seem to cross over both engine/drive manufacturers, and are not selective which one. The engineering needs to change in my mind. Owned both Merc and Volvo, both were good.

G. Mathis 9/23/2009 11:15:55 PM
BoatTEST.com is asking its members to share their experiences with specific brands and models of stern drive systems NOTE: Stern drives, not engines! Read the caption!

P. Nowaski 9/23/2009 10:59:05 PM
Caravelle 2006 237LS 320 hp with 200 hrs & no problems

F. Baker 9/23/2009 8:49:52 PM
05 FourWinns Vista 5.0 DP. Got it used with less than 75 hours on it Now has 250 hours. No major problems. Just the normal stuff.... Bellows- Water Impeller- .... OH Yeah! Trim gage never worked. But rather have an outboard.

P. Werler 9/23/2009 8:36:36 PM
2006 Glastron GS259 5.0 GXi DP with 50 hrs. Performs well, economical on fuel. Have had problems with outdrive trim indicator and controls. Maintainence very important in this saltwater bay area, have 6 yr. warranty on major parts.

C. Coutu 9/23/2009 8:09:42 PM
2001 Monterey 302 with dual 5.0 SI engines with just under 400 hours. First year had a bad seal in the out drive but otherwise the motors have operated well. I do all the suggested maintenance on them. Gas consumptions is at 5.5 gals per hour. Boat cruised well at 340 0 RPMs and 25 to 26 MPH. Risers will be replaced this year. One water pump housing was replaced this year as well. All other issues were normal maintenance.

A. Gosman 9/23/2009 7:41:00 PM
2008 Regal Boat demo with twin 4.3 OSI engines 7hrs had problems with the engine stalling. Volvo mechanic couldnt work it out as he was liasing with Volvo penta in Sweden.It took six months to find the problem which was the fuel regulator.

S. Keller 9/23/2009 7:13:17 PM
2005 Regal Commodore 2765 with 8.1 /DP . Purchased in 7/08 with under 50 hours and have engine and now performance issues from the beginning. The tech has had my boat most of the summer and I feel we have both been virtually ignored by VP

G. Marshbanks 9/23/2009 5:50:27 PM
2006 Regal 1900 w/Volvo Sx drive and 210 hours. Have not had ANY issues. The sterndrive lube oil, etc changed with winterizing. Previously had merc with issues. I will stay with Volvo for my next boat purchase.

K. Milner 9/23/2009 5:37:13 PM
Best outdrive I have ever owned. I've owned the DP's, the ocean series and SX and found them to be excellent. Never any corrosion problems, quiet operation. It's Volvo for me.

S. Emling 9/23/2009 5:27:08 PM
2008 Monterey 234 in Florida with a Volvo SX drive and 190 hours. Even though the boat is kept on a trailer and the boat has never been in the over night the stern drive has major corrosion problems. The trim sender has been replaced three times and the engine looses power. Volvo warranty is no help.

G. Roden 9/23/2009 5:22:24 PM
G. Roden - Have a 2006 Rinker 360 with the XDP drives. Haulout last year (second season), asked marina to check the bellows because of what I had read online. Both bellows had leaked -- gimbal bearing, yoke were bad and gimbal ring was fractured on each drive. Put wear on one transom sheild. While Volvo covered under warranty, had to escalate. Have less than 100 hours on the boat, this should not be. Now I see they have the OceanX drive, wonder how well that would fare. Really wish they'd do right by the owners of XDPs and either acknowlege an issue or replace the drives with something better.

G. Mathis 9/23/2009 4:55:59 PM
Light boat, light recreational use may not be an issue. But I run out 70+ miles at 3500 rpm on a 9,000 lb. piloyt house, for 3 hours to the outer fishing grounds of the Pacific, and the out drive fails with extended ocean use.

C. Bangasser 9/23/2009 4:42:39 PM
C.Bangasser-Minneapolis We have a 2005 Four Winns 230H with the 5.7L GI-E Volvo SX outdrive. Bought the Four Winns because I was happy with my 190H 5.0 Cobra with NO problems. My opinion of both Four Winns and Volvo has changed dramatically due to a manufacturer assembly defect of the gimbal/u-joint bellows that destroyed the gimbal bearing and required new drive shafts and joints. The worst part is that neither Volvo, Four Winns or their extended warranty company would not pay any of the $1500 repair bill. Volvo said it was a Four Winns assembly problem, Four Winns said it was out of warranty even though my dealer showed that the bellow seal was defective since new. The First Protection warranty company will not repair it because they say the bellow is "not a covered component." However, the do state that failure of a "seal" will be considered. I always wondered why the outdrive had such a noise, however, I figured it must be that way since it was that way almost since new. Every year I inspected the bellows and lubed the gimbal as well as other "normal" maintenance and lube changes. Volvo says that you must remove the outdrive EVERY YEAR and lube the spline shaft and replace the bellow every two years. BS, the bellow is still in like new condition except for the rolled up sealing surface. I am very disappointed and would not recommend either Volvo, Four Winns or especially their First Protection warranty service. I do plan legal action against all three of them.

S. Haylock 9/23/2009 4:42:28 PM
I feel you Kardamakis... I have a D3-160 Dps on a 21 ft boat and have the same issue with the ¨check engine¨ crap and limp mode after. Volvo should really try to solve this, tired... really tired...

S. Haylock 9/23/2009 4:41:52 PM
I feel you Kardamakis... I have a D3-160 Dps on a 21 ft boat and have the same issue with the ¨check engine¨ crap and limp mode after. Volvo should really try to solve this, tired... really tired...

S. Haylock 9/23/2009 4:34:23 PM
I feel you Kardamakis... I have a D3-160 Dps on a 21 ft boat and have the same issue with the ¨check engine¨ crap and limp mode after. Volvo should really try to solve this, tired... really tired...

C. Bangasser 9/23/2009 4:32:53 PM
C.Bangasser-Minneapolis We have a 2005 Four Winns 230H with the 5.7L GI-E Volvo SX outdrive. Bought the Four Winns because I was happy with my 190H 5.0 Cobra with NO problems. My opinion of both Four Winns and Volvo has changed dramatically due to a manufacturer assembly defect of the gimbal/u-joint bellows that destroyed the gimbal bearing and required new drive shafts and joints. The worst part is that neither Volvo, Four Winns or their extended warranty company would not pay any of the $1500 repair bill. Volvo said it was a Four Winns assembly problem, Four Winns said it was out of warranty even though my dealer showed that the bellow seal was defective since new. The First Protection warranty company will not repair it because they say the bellow is "not a covered component." However, the do state that failure of a "seal" will be considered. I always wondered why the outdrive had such a noise, however, I figured it must be that way since it was that way almost since new. Every year I inspected the bellows and lubed the gimbal as well as other "normal" maintenance and lube changes. Volvo says that you must remove the outdrive EVERY YEAR and lube the spline shaft and replace the bellow every two years. BS, the bellow is still in like new condition except for the rolled up sealing surface. I am very disappointed and would not recommend either Volvo, Four Winns or especially their First Protection warranty service. I do plan legal action against all three of them.

B. Paul 9/23/2009 4:20:44 PM
I have run Volvos since 1994. I've had the sx drive and currently have a GXi DP on my Four Winns VISTA. I had to replace the upper cover of the drive because the dipstick threads went bad. Can't say I over torqued the dipstick but maybe??? I love the fuel injected engines and have run VOLVO's 30w synthetic oil only, along with synthetic drive fluid. Perfect! It's great to be able to change the impeller while the boat is in the water. I changed the bellows after 3 years, just because. My trim gauge is giving me some trouble now, after 7 years and 260 hours. If that's all I have to do, I'm all for that!

T. Vanhaitsma 9/23/2009 4:04:42 PM
1998 Four Winns 245 Sundowner, Volvo Penta GX 5.7 has been great! Have 250 hours on it and it performs well, it overheated this summer (impeller) and the electronic proctection system prevented any engine damage and it was easy to fix. Highly recommend Volvo Penta!

C. Bruno 9/23/2009 3:18:32 PM
Have dual diesel IPS engines since 2005. Great engines and system EXCEPT if you run them in the Great South Bay. They cannot deal with the eel grass which clogs the engine filters causing overheating and other damage.

N. Laconich 9/23/2009 3:18:15 PM
Volvo SX on Regal 22ft...2006. So far it's been great. U-joint bellow went bad so I replaced the gimbal bearing since it had started making noise. Other than that no problems at all in 4 seasons and 160 hours.

N. Laconich 9/23/2009 3:18:04 PM
Volvo SX on Regal 22ft...2006. So far it's been great. U-joint bellow went bad so I replaced the gimbal bearing since it had started making noise. Other than that no problems at all in 4 seasons and 160 hours.

N. Laconich 9/23/2009 3:12:33 PM
Volvo SX on Regal 22ft...2006. So far it's been great. U-joint bellow went bad so I replaced the gimbal bearing since it had started making noise. Other than that no problems at all in 4 seasons and 160 hours.

G. Wissler 9/23/2009 2:53:31 PM
Our Glastron SX 175 is now six years old (Our first one (a Merc)was stolen after only 20 days) and our stern drive has not let us down. Even after we managed to destroy the propeller four out of six summers and wrap the dock chain around it when we powered off the lift late in the season and dragged bottom. While at the marina for gas recently a guy asked me what size engine I had as my stern drive was three times the size of his. Ours is only a three litre but we couldn't be happier with it.

G. Mathis 9/23/2009 2:42:37 PM
700 hrs on the boat. Outdrive rebuilt 3 times. Need I say more.

D. Storm 9/23/2009 2:40:58 PM
I have a 1989 Four Winns I/O Horizon 18'....and the volvo penta outdrive, has performed, flawlessly- all these years.The boat gets used "alot" in the summer months, pulling waterskiers tubers,and wakeboarders,...no problems at all, altho I do winterize it professionally every fall.

D. Lauterbach 9/23/2009 2:39:58 PM
I have a 95 Cobalt 220 with Dual Prop. Bought this boat 3 yrs ago with 360 hours and it seem to be pretty good. Had to replace the shift cable and had it tuned. It runs very smooth and gets out of the hole quickly. I had a larson with Mercury OB and it was nice too, but I think I prefer the Volvo. Of course you never know until the day comes you sell it.

J. Gantzhorn 9/23/2009 2:38:07 PM
i own a 2008 larson 274 with a d4 225diesel and the dps drive. have 130 ours on it and now the bearings in the drive are broken, will be replaced on warranty. engine runs great have had no problems.

S. Risti 9/23/2009 2:33:05 PM
I bought a new Monterey 250 in 2006. The trim sender went after my first season, but the out drive has been no problem.

G. Mathis 9/23/2009 2:32:24 PM
Don't count on Volvo helping with anything. They don't care about their dealers, don't care about the people that own their product after it's out of warranty

B. Dawson 9/23/2009 2:32:17 PM
I have a 2004 FourWinns 225 Sundowner with a Volvo 5.7Gi and SX drive (110 Hours). This is the best setup I have owned. No problems at all, just rave reviews. The previous Merc Bravo 1 combo was loud shifting and gear grinding mess. (Bayliner 1952 Cuddy) Seems like the XDP may have some issues as per the posts read here.

G. Mathis 9/23/2009 2:31:43 PM
Don't count on Volvo helping with anything. They don't care about their dealers, don't care about the people that own their product after it's out of warranty

P. Gilberto 9/23/2009 2:29:49 PM
I've had some problems with the XDP drive but frineds ave told me horror stories they have had with thiers. I only hope if I have issues (now out of warranty) that Volvo will correct them at their expense.

E. Cardoos 9/23/2009 2:28:06 PM
2002 KAD44 diesel with a DPE drive have been nothing short of perfect. Cost a bit to do annuals but never left me stranded in almost 4500 hours of tough offshore use. I would repower in a heartbeat with the newer D6 diesel when the time comes.

G. Mathis 9/23/2009 2:26:45 PM
Piece of junk. Bearings don't hold up. Gears don't hold up. Not strong enough to put behind a 300 KAD Volvo diesel. Have re built the outdrive every other month. Could have bought a new boat for what it has cost in repairs. No line cutter or something to protect the grease seals on the prop shaft.Allows water to invade the outdrive case. Duo pros have a affinity to collect fishing line discarded in the ocean by people thinking the ocean is their trash can. Out drive over heats. Wish I'd powered my boat with Yamaha out boards that seem to be bullit proof.

N. Laconich 9/23/2009 2:23:39 PM
Volvo SX on Regal 22ft...2006. So far it's been great. U-joint bellow went bad so I replaced the gimbal bearing since it had started making noise. Other than that no problems at all in 4 seasons and 160 hours.

D. Brady 9/23/2009 2:20:50 PM
Just bought a used boat which had 190 original hours. Put 40 on this year so far. So far so good except for an overheating issue, which turned out to be a cracked hose bib between the outdrive and hull, $9.00 part that took them two weeks to get. Moving over from Mercury outboards, which were nothing but trouble.

G. Kelly 9/23/2009 2:19:06 PM
I am on my fourth boat - all with Volvo Penta. Started with a 22' with single duoprop, then a 27' cabin single duoprop. Next was a 34' twin sterndrive duoprop. Now have a 40' IPS. Never had a bit of problem with any of the mechanicals. Wouldn't have anything else.

G. Mathis 9/23/2009 2:07:50 PM
Piece of junk. Bearings don't hold up. Gears don't hold up. Not strong enough to put behind a 300 KAD Volvo diesel. Have re built the outdrive every other month. Could have bought a new boat for what it has cost in repairs. No line cutter or something to protect the grease seals on the prop shaft.Allows water to invade the outdrive case. Duo pros have a affinity to collect fishing line discarded in the ocean by people thinking the ocean is their trash can. Out drive over heats. Wish I'd powered my boat with Yamaha out boards that seem to be bullit proof.

D. Deornellas 9/23/2009 1:49:19 PM
I have a 2006 Rinker 360 with Volvo's XDP sterndrive system. These XDP drives have went out 4 times in 2 1/2 years. I can't trust the boat in the ocean with no help around and now they said I need to pay for the replacements. I don't think so.

D. Deornellas 9/23/2009 1:44:05 PM
I have a 2006 Rinker 360 with Volvo's XDP sterndrive system. These XDP drives have went out 4 times in 2 1/2 years. I can't trust the boat in the ocean with no help around and now they said I need to pay for the replacements. I don't think so.

H. Kardamakis 9/23/2009 1:19:19 PM
I have a D3 190 diesel. Many electronic problems, turbo problems and offen "chech engine" warnings. Tired...

J. Hole 9/23/2009 1:18:37 PM
1998 5.0 GL (carb) Volvo SX Outdrive on 20 Ft Regal Destiny. Original wiring harness had bad pin, replaced by dealer. Trim sender is currently out but decided to go without rather than repair at present time. Other than that, would definitely buy over Alpha drive every time. In fresh water during most of season, spends 7-10 days in salt water per year (launched 24x7 when in salt water) with very little pitting and headers still seem to be running fine. Rebuild water impeller every 2 years, lube outdrive and U-joints every year, have replaced exposed outdrive pass-thru rubber once in 12 seasons. Even tho carb instead of injection, have never had trouble starting including several NC winters where I did not fog or run the gas out, sat 6 months, still cranked right up. Has never left me stranded, but a intermittently bad ignition circuit breaker caused to quit running once every other outing, but would restart within minutes. Once self-diagnosed this problem and replaced the breaker, have run for past 4 years with no troubles. Only issue is some remote coastal areas stock fewer Volvo parts than Merc, ie. zincs. In summary, would spec Volvo on next boat - especially SX over Bravo is no brainer.

D. Long 9/23/2009 1:13:58 PM
I have owned a Cobalt 222 with the Volvo Penta system for two years now. I have nothing but the highest regard for both the boat and the stern drive. The engine produces 300hp and the drive system delivers the power flawlessly. Highly recommended brand and product.

S. Kammer 9/23/2009 1:13:10 PM
HA! My days of Volvo or any sterndrive system are done. These XDP drives are the biggest joke on the market. Nothing but issues, drive replacements. They aren't worth the 9,000 per drive they cost. Volvo should be ashamed of itself for making customers endure these engineering debacles.