This 4.3L engine starts life as a
Vortec GM 90-degree V-6 block that was first introduced in 1985 as a truck engine,
and now is used in SUVs and large automobiles as well. With millions of engines
built over the last 24 years it has proven reliability. In 1991 GM came out with
a throttle-body injection version, which was converted to multi-port injection in
2002. Volvo Penta marinizes the engine for recreational boating applications and
it is typically used in stern drive runabouts from 16’ to about 24’, but is also
used in pontoon applications and in cruisers up to 30’.
The compact engine comes with double-barreled
carb at 190-hp (4.3L GL) or with multi-port injection at 225-hp (4.3L GXi).
The 2BBL 4.3L GL develops 190-hp and the 4.3L GXi MPI version develops 225-hp, according
to the manufacturer. Both versions are seawater cooled or freshwater cooled (as
a dealer installed optional kit).
The 190-hp GL model with carbs is less expensive than the 225-hp MPI GXi model,
as one might expect.
In the GXi model with multi-port fuel injection the system is monitored by an Electronic
Control Module (ECM) and this engine has the following advantages according to Volvo
• More Responsive
• Smoother Acceleration
• Excellent turnkey starts in all weather conditions
• Smooth Idling
• Reduced Fuel Consumption
• Improved Control of Emissions
Based on experience and feedback from boat builders, BoatTEST.com recommends the
GXi 4.3L version--it costs more, but is worth it.
Technical Aspects of the Volvo Penta 4.3L engine--
*Two adjustable rubber mounts, one on each side of the engine
*Two rubber mounts between the transom shield and the engine
*Pressure lube system with full-flow cartridge type oil filter
*Remote oil filter
*Fuel filter with water separator
*Two electronic fuel feed pumps on the GXi
*Flexible fuel lines for safety
*Freshwater cooling available as dealer installed kit
*Crankshaft-mounted seawater pump
*Serpentine belt with automatic tensioner on the GL and GXi
*Flush fitting hose connection to flush cooling system with freshwater
• 14-pin engine to boat connection
• 75 Amp alternator
• Breakerless ignition system
• Platinum-tipped spark plugs
• Audio alarm kit for engine oil pressure, temperature, exhaust overheat
BoatTEST.com Test Results
GL Model -- BoatTEST.com has tested seven boats from a 17’ sport
boat to a 23’ pontoon boat with the Volvo Penta 4.3L GL engine.
To see the test results of the trials…
GXi Model – BoatTEST.com has tested nine boats from a 19’ sportboat
to a 30’ cruiser with the Volvo Penta 4.3L GXi engine.
To see the test results…
For more information on the 4.3L, go to Volvo Penta’s website…