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  1. #1
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    Default Volvo Penta 5.7 fuel problems

    I went through page after page of the forums after searching and didn't find my particular issue, so here it is-

    2000 Chris Craft Volvo Penta 5.7

    Down to the lake for the weekend, temp 90+, water temp 78 and a bit lower. Boat ran great for 45 minutes, with starting and stopping included. Then after sitting for about an hour it started right up, but when we'd slowly cruised out of the cove and gave it throttle, it died. And would not restart. It cranked fine, but seemed to be starved for fuel. Pulled it back to camp, got tools, and took the carb cover off. Dribbled a little gas into the carb and it ran long enough to use the carb gas, then died again. So I figure fuel delivery problem. Pulled hose from bottom of separator/fuel pump and it was full. Pulled hose from carb and it was empty. Tried cranking it and no fuel out of hose. Pulled the separator and it was about full, dumped it and filled with new fuel. Tried cranking again- no go. Pulled the fuel line from carb again and back-filled it to the pump. Engine started right up and ran great while we played. Went back to camp and and ran around again later and it ran great. Next morning it wouldn't start until we back-filled the line again. Ran perfect again until after we shut it down again. It sat for 3 hours then wouldn't start again. Even after back-filling it wouldn't go. Let it sit for a couple more hours (I was afraid I'd start throwing things around if I kept at it). It started after filling line again. After this it ran fine the rest of the time.

    I called the resort mechanic and he suggested vapor lock or bad fuel pump. I would think the fuel pump would show up first when really pouring on throttle, not intermittently. Vapor lock should clear up after a whole night, shouldn't it? Son now says it did this to him last summer, but not as bad and only once.

    Where do I start?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Rear Admiral Maclin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Volvo Penta 5.7 fuel problems

    My first thoughts were an airleak on the inlet plumbing somewhere that gets worse or only shows up after hot. But Backfilling helping it start would not seem to be a fix for that.

    Maybe the pump starts sucking air and gets hot, maybe backfilling helps that by cooling it down somehow from the outlet side?

    Have you checked the fuel tank venting? If it is not venting well then maybe by the time you try all the fixes the vacuum build up is relieved somewhat and the back filling helps balance out the pumping.

    I am just spitballin' some at the moment on your perplexing problem, but it seems to me the problem is on the inlet side somehow, or the pump itself has a problem internally.

  3. #3
    Senior Chief Petty Officer sqbtr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Volvo Penta 5.7 fuel problems

    One of the check valves are sticking in your pump, replace the pump and make sure you have a good filter in front of it.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Volvo Penta 5.7 fuel problems

    Thanks sqbtr, I also tend to think it is the pump which is bad, but looking at Maclin's post reminded me that the first 2 times it did this was just after refilling the tank on the water. I'll probably order a pump later today, but how do I check the tank venting?

  5. #5
    Senior Chief Petty Officer sqbtr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Volvo Penta 5.7 fuel problems

    Open the fuel cap

  6. #6
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus Don S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Volvo Penta 5.7 fuel problems

    Pulled the separator and it was about full, dumped it and filled with new fuel.
    NEVER do that, and dirt or contamination in the filter will get into the clean side of the filter, just by the act of turning it upside down and back right side up.
    You might want to pull the pump and filter assembly remove the filter and look to see if the screen in the inlet of the pump is covered with debris.
    Since your pump is electric, you don't have check valves in the pump.

    Another thing you can try when it stops, is to pull the fuel pump relay, jump the 30 and 87 terminals with a jumper wire and see if the pump will run (engine off) and listen to see if it fill the carb.

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  7. #7
    Senior Chief Petty Officer sqbtr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Volvo Penta 5.7 fuel problems

    My bad, see what happenss when you assume. Disregard my fuel pump advise.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Volvo Penta 5.7 fuel problems

    I got the fuel pump off, but am having trouble getting the two brass nuts at the bottom end loose. Isn't the filter you've mentioned there? I don't want to break the pump in case it's still good, and I definitely don't want to break the housing. My manual says to put a wrench on the other end of the pump and then try the nuts, but I put alot of muscle into it with no result and I'm afraid it will break off.

    Also, while looking at what new pumps cost, the list here on Iboats shows a different pump for my year and model than what is on it now. I have a 3858261 and the list here (http://www.iboats.com/Volvo-Penta-El...view_id.269847) shows a 3857650. Which do I use?

  9. #9
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus Don S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Volvo Penta 5.7 fuel problems

    Until you post either the full model number or the serial number of your engine, there is no way for anyone to give you an exact answer.
    Don S.


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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Volvo Penta 5.7 fuel problems

    Sorry, it's a 2000 Volvo Penta 5.7 GS

  11. #11
    Seaman
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    Default Re: Volvo Penta 5.7 fuel problems

    Thought I would chime in with my 2 cents worth. I have a 5.0 GL (similar to yours). If you check the fuel pump and all is well, check to see if you have water in the tank. When you removed the fuel filter, did you pour it into anything to see if water separated out? I had an intermittent problem with mine, similar to your problem. I had some water in the tank and I could get the motor to run sporadically until the filter finally filled up (swelled up) with water and nothing would happen.

    The fuel filter/water separator is meant to block water from coming in. Therefore, it the pump works (as per the above posts) yet nothing comes out, check the fuel separator to see if water has gotten inside and swelled the filter that block the water.

    Hope this helps
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  12. #12
    Seaman
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    Default Re: Volvo Penta 5.7 fuel problems

    Interesting ...I had EXACTLY the same problem this past week with my 1997 Cobalt 252, 7.4GI (fuel injected engine ...). Did lots of reading and found out that just about all gasoline sold in the US now contains Ethanol (mostly E10 or E15., meaning 10% to 15% ethanol). Marina's are suppose to buy (and sell) only 100% gasoline, but most are independent and buy their gas from jobbers, who will blend the gas with ethanol (disclosure varies by state). While there are some benefits to having an ethanol blend, the major disadvantage in marine use is that ethanol, being a strong polar solvent, has a high affinity for water. There is a very good chance that you have some amount of water in your gas. This explains why your engine idles fine, because without a load the fuel pump pulls top layer of gasoline through the system. First line of defense before you start tearing apart fuel pumps etc. replace the fuel-water separator filter, it's simple. Use a 6 micron filter! Volvo Penta pn 3862228. The Sierra brand and others tend to be 10 micron and won't do as good a job. I needed to replace my fuel filter twice, the same day, before the boat ran normal again. While you're at it, mix in an ethanol fuel stabilizer product such as STA-BIL or LUCAS. My BMW likes TECHRON by Chevron.

    Hope this helps.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Volvo Penta 5.7 fuel problems

    I always use stay-bil in the boat and the motorcycle. I've started using the marine version in the boat.

    Having water in the gas would make the boat not run, but woudn't make the pump stop pumping. I had a friend who used to mechanic for a boat racing team come and look at it. He said probably the fuel pump, though a slightly kinked hose from the pump to the carb may also be a contributing factor. He disregarded the vapor lock theory.

    DonS's testing would be difficult, as in testing the problem on the water is inpractical (when it does quit, and doesn't restart, then what?). Testing it for failure with muffs in the driveway I couldn't get it to quit on me.

    So I'm replacing parts starting with the kinked fuel hose. Then I'll work my way down to the hose from the tank, which has fuel. I already checked both fuel filters and will change out the water separator.

    Thanks for the advice and I'll check back in as the project goes along.

  14. #14
    Seaman
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    Default Re: Volvo Penta 5.7 fuel problems

    " ... but looking at Maclin's post reminded me that the first 2 times it did this was just after refilling the tank on the water."

    My bet is still water in the fuel. STA-BIL offers many different products but the red fuel stabilizing product is NOT what you want, or need, for solving water-in-fuel problems. Read the label, check out their product line and FAQ's at http://www.goldeagle.com/brands/stabil/default.aspx. Pick the one that is specifically formulated for water removal in ethanol blended fuels.

    Wishing you success.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Volvo Penta 5.7 fuel problems

    I just experienced the same problem (2006 5.7 GXI)and was told that the coating of the fuel pump was being chipped away by the ethanol in the gas and stopping/reducing flow. If you check the fuel filter you may see tiny black flakes that are the lining chipping away. I had the pump replaced and it is running fine. According to my mechanic, it is a known problem and Volvo has sold over 200 pumps this year and is in a dispute with the manuf. of the pump.

  16. #16
    Cadet
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    Default Re: Volvo Penta 5.7 fuel problems

    i just changed my fuel filter on my 2006 5.7 GI-F and i had the black flakes in the filter when i dumped it out... makes sense... mine is going to the shop this weekend to get fixed (dies out at WOT)

  17. #17
    Vice Admiral Tail_Gunner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Volvo Penta 5.7 fuel problems

    There have been quite a few fuel issues this year...and while i cannot be certain i believe it is a result of alchol being improperly mixed at the tanks at service stations bulk plants or marina's...to much that is. Before replacing anything i would clean up the supply line from start to finish

    It would be intresting to know just how the alchol is added to tanks ...at the distribution center or the tanks at the stations......It would be extremely hard to determine just how much to add at the station or marina
    Stickly a opinion your milage may vary.

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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Volvo Penta 5.7 fuel problems

    Folowing is a release by Volvo Penta of the Americas:

    Volvo Penta of the
    Americas

    1300 Volvo Penta Drive
    Chesapeake, Virginia23320-9810
    Ethanol Blended Gasoline
    Gas Engines
    Distribution: M Date: 09-2009 Binder: C
    Service Bulletin
    Group Number Version
    18-8 7 02
    VPA 18-8-702 Sept. 2009

    Ethanol Blended Gasoline and your Volvo Penta engine
    Ethanol Blended Gasoline (E10)
    Gasoline is distributed throughout the world that contains ethanol. Volvo Penta gasoline engines may be operated using gasoline blended with a maximum of 10% ethanol and that meets the minimum octane specification (see operator’s manual). Gasoline blended with 10% ethanol is referred to as E10.

    Do not use ethanol blends greater than 10%, especially E85 (85% ethanol, flex fuel). Volvo Penta engines are not designed to run on high percentages of ethanol. Loss of performance, increased fuel consumption and decreased mileage/range will occur.

    NOTICE! Engine damage may occur; damage caused by fuel with too much ethanol is not covered by warranty. Ethanol has several characteristics that can create problems in marine fuel systems. It acts as a solvent and it attracts and holds water, in a much higher percentage than earlier fuels.

    NOTICE! Fuel system or engine damage caused by contamination from water, varnish, foreign particles, sludge, or gums entering or forming in the fuel system is not
    covered by the warranty.

    Water, varnish, foreign particles, sludge, and gums are created or freed by the ethanol and can enter or form in the fuel system. These contaminants can clog fuel filters and damage fuel system components: pumps, injectors, carburetors. The contaminants must be prevented from entering the engine's fuel system.

    Recommendations for E10 fuel

    1. Add a second water separating fuel filter between the fuel tank and the engine.
    Volvo Penta gasoline engines (except 3.0GL) are equipped with a water separating fuel filter.
    A second filter adds extra protection from water and contaminants in the gasoline. The filter must be approved for gasoline inboard applications (USCG, EU 94/25/EC) and installed in accordance with boat building standards (ABYC, EU 94/25/EC). The filter must have a minimum rating of 50 gallons (189L) per hour.

    2. Water separating fuel filters should be checked frequently for water and contaminants
    in accordance with the filter manufacturer’s recommendations. Check and/or replace the filters if engine performance is poor. Carry spare filters and needed tools and supplies to change filters while boating.

    3. Use a fuel stabilizer such as STA-BIL®, if the vessel’s fuel will not be used within 30 days. Marine fuel stabilizer provides the best results. Add the stabilizer according to the stabilizer manufacturer's instructions. This will help prevent the formation of fuel contaminants.

    NOTICE!
    If the boat will not be used for two months or longer, the fuel system must be properly
    prepared for this storage period. See your dealer for details.

    Fuel Additives
    Avoid any fuel additives and fuel system treatments that contain ethanol or are alcohol-based.

    Fiberglass Fuel Tanks
    WARNING! Fuel leak, explosion/fire may result from continued use of ethanol fuels in polyester resin fiberglass fuel tanks.

    Some older boats (mid-80’s and earlier) may have polyester resin fiberglass fuel tanks. Ethanol can dissolve the resin in the tank walls, forming contaminants in the fuel and eventually fuel leakage. Volvo Penta does not recommend the use of ethanol blended fuels in fuel tanks constructed of polyester resin fiberglass.

  19. #19
    Supreme Mariner bruceb58's Avatar
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    Default Re: Volvo Penta 5.7 fuel problems

    If he has water in his tank, adding Sta-bil is going to be futile. Only correct way of solving that problem is to drain the water out of the tank.

    Ethanol is added to fuel at the refinery. It has to be added at that point as the blend of alcohol affects the octane and that is continuously monitored at the refinery. At least in California, all fuel has ethanol in it including that which is delivered to marinas.
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Volvo Penta 5.7 fuel problems

    Released Date: September 2002
    Next Release Date: One-Time

    US Department of Energy
    Released Date: September 2002

    Ethanol in Gasoline
    Ethanol, or gasoline containing ethanol, cannot be moved practically through today’s pipeline system, because it tends to pull water that usually exists in petroleum pipelines and tanks. Instead, ethanol is blended into gasoline at terminals near the end users (monitoring varies by state). Splash blending, in which ethanol is added directly to a tanker truck along with the base gasoline, is commonly used. Ethanol-blended product must be kept separate from product not containing ethanol, necessitating separate handling all the way to the gasoline pump. The separation is needed because movement of a small amount of ethanol (from the ethanol-blended mixture) to gasoline without ethanol can increase the vapor pressure of that gasoline mixture substantially, potentially pushing it above required VOC limits. Thus, ethanol must be moved through an independent distribution system until it is close to the end user, where it then is added before being delivered to retail stations.

    Ethanol’s high blending RVP affects gasoline production as well as distribution and storage. Most summer conventional gasoline has an RVP of 9.0 psi. Adding 10 percent ethanol to 9.0-psi conventional gasoline increases the RVP by about 1 pound. However, a Federal waiver of 1 psi RVP (sometimes called the “1-pound waiver”) exists for conventional gasoline that is blended with ethanol. The waiver allows terminal operators to add 10 percent ethanol to finished 9.0-psi conventional gasoline with no penalty for the RVP increase. However, lower-RVP conventional gasolines will experience a larger RVP increase than 1 pound when 10 percent ethanol is added. For example, 7.8-psi gasoline might see a 1.3-psi increase. Because this RVP gain exceeds the 1-pound waiver, refiners cannot add 10 percent ethanol to a finished 7.8-psi gasoline. They must produce an unfinished blend with RVP of 7.3 psi that, when combined with 10 percent ethanol, creates a finished gasoline with RVP of 8.8 psi (7.8 psi plus the 1 psi waiver). This unfinished conventional gasoline base is sometimes called a conventional gasoline blendstock for oxygenate blending, or CBOB.

    Producing reformulated gasoline using ethanol to replace MTBE presents a larger problem for refiners. Ethanol affects nitrogen oxides (NOx) and toxics emissions as well as VOC’s. In order for RFG to meet its VOC requirements, the finished blend must be at a fairly low RVP, generally less than 7.0 psi during the summer. To create a base unfinished reformulated gasoline mixture to which the ethanol will be added (referred to as reformulated gasoline blendstock for oxygenate blending, or RBOB), the RVP must be reduced to very low levels (6.0 psi or less). Light molecular weight, high RVP components must be removed to reduce the base mixture’s RVP. When these light components are removed, RFG’s distillation characteristics are changed, which may require removing some heavy molecular weight, high boiling point components as well. (The distillation characteristics, as measured by how much material evaporates at different temperatures, affect driveability.7) Ethanol also increases NOx emissions, and in the case of California reformulated gasoline, which has more stringent emission requirements than Federal reformulated gasoline, the NOx limitations will likely prevent refiners from being able to use much more than 6 percent ethanol. Ethanol, while clean on a relative basis, has a higher toxic impact than MTBE. Thus, refiners with very low Mobil Source Air Toxics baselines based on MTBE usage may have great difficulty switching from MTBE to ethanol.

    When CBOB’s or RBOB’s are produced, these unfinished products travel through the petroleum distribution system to terminals where ethanol is added to create the finished gasoline. The ethanol will have traveled through a separate distribution system to the terminals.

  21. #21
    Supreme Mariner bruceb58's Avatar
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    Default Re: Volvo Penta 5.7 fuel problems

    2002 is before MTBE was being replaced by ethanol as an oxygenator. This is way old info.

    My information comes from my chemical engineer friend at Chevron.
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  22. #22
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    Default Re: Volvo Penta 5.7 fuel problems

    Point is: it doesn't change where the ethanol blending occurs or how it is controlled. There's a good chance that E10 or E15 gasoline has excess ethanol in it and that this is the source of many of our fuel related problems ...

  23. #23
    Supreme Mariner bruceb58's Avatar
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    Default Re: Volvo Penta 5.7 fuel problems

    Quote Originally Posted by cobalt252 View Post
    Point is: it doesn't change where the ethanol blending occurs or how it is controlled. There's a good chance that E10 or E15 gasoline has excess ethanol in it and that this is the source of many of our fuel related problems ...
    You can blame ethanol all you want but the source of most problems is water/debris in the fuel or mechanical with carb/injection systems or fuel tanks. Excess water in the tank will become a bigger headache because of ethanol but the culprit is the water. Like I said before, if you have a lot of water in your tank, no amount of Sta-bil is going to solve that problem other than getting the water out of the tank physically. Adding the magic elixer to the fuel tank is the "easy" fix that people want to take but its not the answer.
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  24. #24
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    Default Re: Volvo Penta 5.7 fuel problems

    Exactly - cause (origin) of water/debris? Ethanol in fuel ...

  25. #25
    Supreme Mariner bruceb58's Avatar
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    Default Re: Volvo Penta 5.7 fuel problems

    Quote Originally Posted by cobalt252 View Post
    Exactly - cause (origin) of water/debris? Ethanol in fuel ...
    Ethanol does not cause water in your fuel if that is what you are thinking.
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