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A new approach to the Volvo Penta Fuel Cell - 5.0Gi

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  • A new approach to the Volvo Penta Fuel Cell - 5.0Gi

    Having read hundreds of forum posts on Volvo Penta Fuel Cell failures, it seemed that the primary approach was to test the pump (Thanks Don) and then spend $750 to replace the unit, hoping that it wouldn't crap out again next year. Here's my story on how I fixed my fuel cell.

    I have a 2000 Regal 2150 with a Volvo Penta 5.0GIPEFS. At times under load, the engine would crap out, but never die. After testing the system per Don's instructions, I discovered that when the engine was craping out, the fuel pressure was dropping from 30psi down to as low as 10psi. With everything pointing to a bad fuel cell, I decided I had nothing to lose by taking it apart.

    Click image for larger version

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    The fuel cell only has a few screws and then it pulls apart. I discovered several problems. First, as has been reported elsewhere, the paint inside the fuel cell was peeling. This caused the screens on both pumps to plugs. After blasting the two screens clean, I discovered that the low pressure relief value was blocked open by what looked like a metal shaving. I think, but can not confirm, that between the pump screens being plugged and the low pressure valve being blocked open, the high pressure pump was starving for fuel.

    Click image for larger version

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    After cleaning everything out, I put it back together and took the boat out. After buring through 10-gallons of fuel at 55mph, I still had perfect fuel pressure and no problems. My advice to anyone with Volvo Penta Fuel Cell problems, you have nothing to lose by taking apart a faulty fuel cell to clean it. Worst case, you still have to buy a new one.

    PLEASE BE WARNED: There is a ton of gas inside of this fuel cell. Be prepared to dispose of the gas and try not to blow yourself up when doing it in your garage. While this was easy for me, I was at one time an ASE certified mechanic, so it may not be so easy for you.

    Here is one more picture of the corrosion inside of the fuel cell:
    Click image for larger version

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    P.S. Shame on Volvo Penta for designing such a terrible fuel cell and not making parts available to repair it!

  • #2
    Re: A new approach to the Volvo Penta Fuel Cell - 5.0Gi

    Originally posted by Matt in Seattle View Post
    Having read hundreds of forum posts on Volvo Penta Fuel Cell failures, it seemed that the primary approach was to test the pump (Thanks Don) and then spend $750 to replace the unit, hoping that it wouldn't crap out again next year. Here's my story on how I fixed my fuel cell.

    I have a 2000 Regal 2150 with a Volvo Penta 5.0GIPEFS. At times under load, the engine would crap out, but never die. After testing the system per Don's instructions, I discovered that when the engine was craping out, the fuel pressure was dropping from 30psi down to as low as 10psi. With everything pointing to a bad fuel cell, I decided I had nothing to lose by taking it apart.

    [ATTACH=CONFIG]143663[/ATTACH]

    The fuel cell only has a few screws and then it pulls apart. I discovered several problems. First, as has been reported elsewhere, the paint inside the fuel cell was peeling. This caused the screens on both pumps to plugs. After blasting the two screens clean, I discovered that the low pressure relief value was blocked open by what looked like a metal shaving. I think, but can not confirm, that between the pump screens being plugged and the low pressure valve being blocked open, the high pressure pump was starving for fuel.

    [ATTACH=CONFIG]143664[/ATTACH]

    After cleaning everything out, I put it back together and took the boat out. After buring through 10-gallons of fuel at 55mph, I still had perfect fuel pressure and no problems. My advice to anyone with Volvo Penta Fuel Cell problems, you have nothing to lose by taking apart a faulty fuel cell to clean it. Worst case, you still have to buy a new one.

    PLEASE BE WARNED: There is a ton of gas inside of this fuel cell. Be prepared to dispose of the gas and try not to blow yourself up when doing it in your garage. While this was easy for me, I was at one time an ASE certified mechanic, so it may not be so easy for you.

    Here is one more picture of the corrosion inside of the fuel cell:
    [ATTACH=CONFIG]143665[/ATTACH]

    P.S. Shame on Volvo Penta for designing such a terrible fuel cell and not making parts available to repair it!
    Are there o rings in them and if so where do you get them, if they (Volvo) makes no replacement parts.
    Assault Squadron NINE
    River Assault Division NINETY-ONE-1966

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: A new approach to the Volvo Penta Fuel Cell - 5.0Gi

      Originally posted by Thalasso View Post
      Are there o rings in them and if so where do you get them, if they (Volvo) makes no replacement parts.
      I keep a box of assorted o-rings in my tool box. You will need six smaller o-rings for the pumps and two larger o-rings for the vapor seperator (assuming you only pull apart the bottom). Good Luck!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: A new approach to the Volvo Penta Fuel Cell - 5.0Gi

        Interesting its your opinion the paint inside was failing....Wonder whay they would paint a interior of a fuel cell. There has been quite a few fuel problems with GI's hmm might take a peak inside mine.
        Stickly a opinion your mileage may vary.

        Horsepower is how quickly you can get to the wall
        Torque is how far you move the wall"

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: A new approach to the Volvo Penta Fuel Cell - 5.0Gi

          Originally posted by Tail_Gunner View Post
          Interesting its your opinion the paint inside was failing....Wonder whay they would paint a interior of a fuel cell. There has been quite a few fuel problems with GI's hmm might take a peak inside mine.
          That's the last thing I need. Doing new manifolds, risers, and circ pumps this year. Ouch. Port engine has always run a little rough but thought it was a bad injector...hmmm...wonder if it is clogged with paint???
          DSiekman
          2000 Cobalt 293 Twin Volvo 5.0 Gi DP - Sold
          1978 (or 79?) Hydra-Sports 21' CC with 200 Black Max
          2001 F250 7.3 Powerstroke (With a few goodies)

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: A new approach to the Volvo Penta Fuel Cell - 5.0Gi

            It doesn't take long to take the fuel cell apart, maybe 30-minutes round trip. I've heard, but never confirmed, that newer models of the fuel cell don't have the paint issue. I think the corosion is a by product of air/moisture in the top of the vapor seperation tank (VST). As the paint breaks loose (the entire top of my VST was peeling away), it plugs up both the high and low presure pump screens as the corosion comes after the fuel filter.

            If it saves me $750 for a new fuel cell, I may make this part of my annual de-winterizing procedure.
            Good Luck

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: A new approach to the Volvo Penta Fuel Cell - 5.0Gi

              Originally posted by Matt in Seattle View Post
              It doesn't take long to take the fuel cell apart, maybe 30-minutes round trip. I've heard, but never confirmed, that newer models of the fuel cell don't have the paint issue. I think the corosion is a by product of air/moisture in the top of the vapor seperation tank (VST). As the paint breaks loose (the entire top of my VST was peeling away), it plugs up both the high and low presure pump screens as the corosion comes after the fuel filter.

              If it saves me $750 for a new fuel cell, I may make this part of my annual de-winterizing procedure.
              Good Luck

              Thanks for the info. I had a problem this weekend, first outing of the year. The 2006 5.0 Gxi ran for 5 mins, then started to starve and died. Never to start again. Thanks to my handy dandy paddle, I made it back to the ramp. I pulled the gas filter to find it half full of gas. Being a holiday weekend, no mechanics to be found, so here I am on Google. Due to this post I decided to pull the filter apart and while i didn't find a lot of black particles in the filter, i did find some and several spots on the inside where paint was chipping off. My question is how best to clean these out and is there anything special i need to know about reinstalling? Will it repressurize itself? And what do I need to know about the air valve?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: A new approach to the Volvo Penta Fuel Cell - 5.0Gi

                Originally posted by Matt in Seattle View Post
                Having read hundreds of forum posts on Volvo Penta Fuel Cell failures, it seemed that the primary approach was to test the pump (Thanks Don) and then spend $750 to replace the unit, hoping that it wouldn't crap out again next year. Here's my story on how I fixed my fuel cell.

                I have a 2000 Regal 2150 with a Volvo Penta 5.0GIPEFS. At times under load, the engine would crap out, but never die. After testing the system per Don's instructions, I discovered that when the engine was craping out, the fuel pressure was dropping from 30psi down to as low as 10psi. With everything pointing to a bad fuel cell, I decided I had nothing to lose by taking it apart.

                [ATTACH=CONFIG]143663[/ATTACH]

                The fuel cell only has a few screws and then it pulls apart. I discovered several problems. First, as has been reported elsewhere, the paint inside the fuel cell was peeling. This caused the screens on both pumps to plugs. After blasting the two screens clean, I discovered that the low pressure relief value was blocked open by what looked like a metal shaving. I think, but can not confirm, that between the pump screens being plugged and the low pressure valve being blocked open, the high pressure pump was starving for fuel.

                [ATTACH=CONFIG]143664[/ATTACH]

                After cleaning everything out, I put it back together and took the boat out. After buring through 10-gallons of fuel at 55mph, I still had perfect fuel pressure and no problems. My advice to anyone with Volvo Penta Fuel Cell problems, you have nothing to lose by taking apart a faulty fuel cell to clean it. Worst case, you still have to buy a new one.

                PLEASE BE WARNED: There is a ton of gas inside of this fuel cell. Be prepared to dispose of the gas and try not to blow yourself up when doing it in your garage. While this was easy for me, I was at one time an ASE certified mechanic, so it may not be so easy for you.

                Here is one more picture of the corrosion inside of the fuel cell:
                [ATTACH=CONFIG]143665[/ATTACH]

                P.S. Shame on Volvo Penta for designing such a terrible fuel cell and not making parts available to repair it!
                I have the exact issue. When the engine actually runs for 20 seconds the pressure is at 30. Then it slowly starts to creep down until around 15 the engine starves and stalls. Did you check the low pressure pump? Mine is running around 3psi. The spec is 8 +- 4. That is quite a range of 50% each way. I just pulled the fuel cell off and before I start tearing into it I am doing one last search looking for validation.

                Did you encounter any epoxy in the heads of the fasteners? It appears I have some. Again just being overly careful. $700 bucks is $700 bucks after all.

                Thanks,

                Randy

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: A new approach to the Volvo Penta Fuel Cell - 5.0Gi

                  What i cam't figure out is why Volvo Penta is not standing behind these pumps due to the paint chipping and causing these problems. you would think there would be a recall.....

                  Someone on my dock had the same problems with his pump, and the factory replaced the pump free of charge and his boat was not under warranty. Maybe it takes some pressuring with the manufacturer (Volvo Penta)

                  Their might be something we, the consumer, can do to make this happen??

                  If I can't get them to replace mine (having same issues as above) under my extended warranty, I won't stop trying with upper management.

                  Hope it works out for everyone!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: A new approach to the Volvo Penta Fuel Cell - 5.0Gi

                    Originally posted by Brent A. View Post
                    What i cam't figure out is why Volvo Penta is not standing behind these pumps due to the paint chipping and causing these problems. you would think there would be a recall.....

                    Someone on my dock had the same problems with his pump, and the factory replaced the pump free of charge and his boat was not under warranty. Maybe it takes some pressuring with the manufacturer (Volvo Penta)

                    Their might be something we, the consumer, can do to make this happen??

                    If I can't get them to replace mine (having same issues as above) under my extended warranty, I won't stop trying with upper management.

                    Hope it works out for everyone!

                    I'd love to have the number of the Volvo rep that they called. I did as M in Seattle suggested, took the pump apart, blew it out, and it works like a champ. My concern is the recurring clogging and most likely in inconvienient times. But for now, $700 stays in my pocket. One word or warning, make sure to grease the O-rings when reassembling. Sinc these are water cooled, you won't want water in the gas mix if you pinch a ring.

                    Good luck

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: A new approach to the Volvo Penta Fuel Cell - 5.0Gi

                      Originally posted by Rss View Post
                      I have the exact issue. When the engine actually runs for 20 seconds the pressure is at 30. Then it slowly starts to creep down until around 15 the engine starves and stalls. Did you check the low pressure pump? Mine is running around 3psi. The spec is 8 +- 4. That is quite a range of 50% each way. I just pulled the fuel cell off and before I start tearing into it I am doing one last search looking for validation.

                      Did you encounter any epoxy in the heads of the fasteners? It appears I have some. Again just being overly careful. $700 bucks is $700 bucks after all.

                      Thanks,

                      Randy
                      Randy, 3PSI sounds a little weak. Be sure to run through the entire fuel cell diag process which includes checking the amount of vacum on your fuel supply line. The check valve in your fue tank may be restricted. Also, I run marine fuel additive in EVERY tank of fuel.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: A new approach to the Volvo Penta Fuel Cell - 5.0Gi

                        Originally posted by Brent A. View Post
                        What i cam't figure out is why Volvo Penta is not standing behind these pumps due to the paint chipping and causing these problems. you would think there would be a recall.....

                        Someone on my dock had the same problems with his pump, and the factory replaced the pump free of charge and his boat was not under warranty. Maybe it takes some pressuring with the manufacturer (Volvo Penta)

                        Their might be something we, the consumer, can do to make this happen??

                        If I can't get them to replace mine (having same issues as above) under my extended warranty, I won't stop trying with upper management.

                        Hope it works out for everyone!
                        Any idea how long that guy had to fight with VP to get it replaced? My engine is 12 years old I bet they would not be so receptive to me.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: A new approach to the Volvo Penta Fuel Cell - 5.0Gi

                          I'll ask him how hard it was for him to get this done.
                          I think everyone needs to complain to VP, maybe force a recall due the paint chipping. Why would the paint the inside???
                          I'll keep you updated.
                          Thanks

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: A new approach to the Volvo Penta Fuel Cell - 5.0Gi

                            Does anyone know the size of the O rings? I am thinking of tearing my pump down because I have the same problem but because of time constraints I want to have the O rings before I do it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
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                              Re: A new approach to the Volvo Penta Fuel Cell - 5.0Gi

                              Originally posted by Brent A. View Post
                              I'll ask him how hard it was for him to get this done.
                              I think everyone needs to complain to VP, maybe force a recall due the paint chipping. Why would the paint the inside???
                              I'll keep you updated.
                              Thanks
                              High alcohol content. Well i cannot say yep that's it...history is just repeating itself...in the late 70's it was a nightmare of huge preportion's
                              Stickly a opinion your mileage may vary.

                              Horsepower is how quickly you can get to the wall
                              Torque is how far you move the wall"

                              Comment

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