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Volvo Penta I/O won't fire... turns over, but wont start.. possible outboard damage??

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  • Volvo Penta I/O won't fire... turns over, but wont start.. possible outboard damage??

    So I have a rather long one... will be working on the boat all day, so I'll check back periodically.... but starts: fishing a rough night last night, and the boat cavitated, and either got sediment from the bottom of the tank into the fuel filter/ racor, or the cavitation caused air.... but it wouldn't let me go above 1000rpms (blowing 30kt) ... changed racor, and fuel filter, and got air out... and got more diesel.... seemed to fix the problem.... woke up in the morning... and apparently in my exhaustion, I had left the spotlight (which doesn't work anyway) on... and it had sucked the juice out of my batteries (8d deepcycle... and a 4d deepcycle) .... luckily... I had a back up battery, and was able to fire, to get me back to port, and charge my batteries.... but in the confusion the panel to my motor started flicking on and off... didn't have time, so I delivered my fish, and headed back to Orcas island... where I live....
    After finally getting back, and connecting to my mooring buoy... the power to the panel had gone completely out, and I was unable to press the kill switch to shut the motor....
    panicked ... thinking "how do I kill this motor" (knowing that if I connect the 2 "M" ports on the ignition switch, it will act as a kill switch, but not wanting to take the whole panel out and snip wires just yet) it came to me..... AIR!!! Diesels need air to run.... so I took off the air filter cover, and took out the air filter, and shoved a tshirt in the intake.... sure enough... killed it right away....
    made sure everything was fine, and turned it over... re started it... and ran it for a minute, just to make sure everything was still functioning properly... and left it for the night
    Wake up in the morning, and the boats fine... can see it from my deck... and I go to town to get coffee...
    when I return.... the boats nowhere in sight...
    race down to Rosario, and fire up my little crestliner, with a 50!hp (1983) Johnson on it, and zoom around the corner, to find my boat broken free of the mooring buoy (due to the bottom nut working its way lose) and my boat is on the beach... on top of large boulders, being pushed up against them with the swell, and the wind... after an hour of trying to move the boat without actually turning it on (towing it with the little boat until the prop FELL OFF in the water, and then finally jumping in the water, and guiding it by hand, off of the rocks, into a deep gut down the way) the boat won't start....
    Traced wires all morning trying to find the loose ground that's shorted the panel and presumably the kill switch, I finally found that it's the return on the back of the battery volt meter gauge on the panel (the one that says "amperes") fixed that wire, and was able to get power back to the panel, so that I could heat up the glow plugs, and get it to turn over (thinking that was the reason it wouldn't start) got the glow plugs nice and hot... and pressed the push start, and it wants to turn over, and keeps chugging.... but it won't fire...
    So my question.... since I'm really a novice at inboard outboards....
    Is it possible that the outboard got damaged to the point where the engine won't fire?? I really don't even know what's inside the outboard save for obviously gear mechanisms, and some sort of shaft to turn the prop.... i took of the main panel on the outboard, and saw the clutch mechanism, and shifted it by hand, to make sure it still goes in and out of gear... I spun the prop by hand when it was in neutral, and it spins fine... there's no damage to the integrity of the motor that I can see.... so I'm really wondering if the outboard can get damaged to the point where it won't let the motor start... when I turn it over, there seems to be quite a bit of smoke coming from the outboard.... but as I said... everything still appears to be in working order (without miraculously pulling the boat, and having a closer look)
    I'm going down right now to replace the kill switch... and trace wires... and check/ change racor/ fuel filters... and check contacts for a possible kill switch confusion.... I pressed the reset button on the front of the motor where the glow plugs are.... unplugged the kill switch.... and checked the Morse controls fora possible "stuck in gear" situation....
    And so the motor turns over, and sounds as if it wants to fire... but when I rev the throttle, there's no reciprocation, and no turn over... and it seems to be smoking quite a bit (although the smoke in question just smells like burnt diesel)

    So I'm really wondering if the (possible) damage to the outdrive could be causing the issue...?? Other than that, I can spend my long days trying to figure it out.... but if it's the outdrive... and I need to pull the boat....

    Having no way to tow the boat to anywhere.... no friends with boats on Orcas island....
    Any help/ advice would be very much appreciated.... I don't mind if you explain things to me in a very basic (even condescending) way: because as I said.... I'm an I/O newbie... and don't really understand how they work....
    before someone wants to point it out.....
    Yes I took the sock out of the intake

    Thank you
    Last edited by jbcurt00; August 26th, 2017, 03:12 PM.

  • #2
    Howdy Dylan

    You have a VP Diesel with an outdrive. The I/O means Inboard motor with Outdrive, where as an straight Inboard uses a transmission attached to the rear of the motor with only a prop shaft going out to the prop under the boat.

    Tell us what model type diesel do you have?
    Things like 3, 4 and 6 cylinder and best id the model number like TAMD 22, 31, 44 etc

    If your seeing white smoke while cranking then most likely your glow plugs are not working and the engine is cold. You can try this but be VERY CAREFUL how you do it. Either (starting fluid) is very volatile and can damage the motor if to much is used. The best way is to start cranking the motor, and as its cranking from at lest 2 feet (more distance is better) away, spray a quick shot of either toward the intake.
    94 Formula 27PC Custom 509MPI MEFI3 , B3 XR
    95 Rinker 232 w/ 7.4L Carb 0F425011 B1 0F486471
    07 SeaDoo GTX
    Raw Water Pump Maintenance
    Merc Adults Only
    G-Dad always said "First Liar doesn't stand a chance"


    • #3
      It's a 6 cylinder... TMD40A... I do know that I/O stands for inboard outboard... had an inboard Cummins 330 in my Bristol Bay boat... just never had (or dealt with: an inboard outboard before) I see now (since my boat is going dry on the rocks) that when I hop out back and look at it.... it's really only steering ram, shifting mechanism, Morse cables, prop, and a wet exhaust.... aside from the control box head on the very top of the outdrive, I don't really see anything that's damaged (or could be damaged) that would prevent the motor from starting??? I'm wondering if that's the correct line of thinking?? I don't really know if I should be trying to start it when the outboard is out of the water, and the water intake is dry... also no way to get muffs, or a hose to it seeing as I'm on someone else's property, and the boat is 200ft from actual shore....
      After fixing the panel circuitry: the glow plug light starts dim, and when I hold the key, it steadily gets brighter.... also the wire to the back of the light gets warmer, so I don't really think it's the glow plugs....
      Can't try your trick until I have water though.... so I'm going to continue to chase wiring, and check connections until I have water....
      Also replaced kill switch, and changed racor.. and neither of which made a difference....I appreciate your response ALLDODGE


      • #4
        Agree, don't try to start with no water and the drive full up and out.

        Your fuel system

        Lights coming on and getting brighter doesn't tell me much other then drain is getting less. Might be OK just don't know. Here is how to test the glow plugs from VP

        Click image for larger version

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        Just incase you need it again: Have been unable to find if your TMD40 has the same emergency shut off as the TAMD injection pumps. Look for the manual fuel shut off handle

        Click image for larger version

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ID:	10473929
        94 Formula 27PC Custom 509MPI MEFI3 , B3 XR
        95 Rinker 232 w/ 7.4L Carb 0F425011 B1 0F486471
        07 SeaDoo GTX
        Raw Water Pump Maintenance
        Merc Adults Only
        G-Dad always said "First Liar doesn't stand a chance"


        • #5
          Thank you buddy... I appreciate you taking the time... gonna test the glow plugs now.... alsowill try the starter fluid/ intake trick... and check the manual fuel switch to see if it got moved...
          Awesome... I'll let you know how it goes


          • #6
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            Thanks all dodge... I really appreciate all of the help... turns out the turbo was seized... freed it up... boat fired right away... got it off the rocks... and I'm on my way to fish... will be changing the banged up prop at the end of the week, when I've got the time... my gratitude is immense... thanks again... you're a legend