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No fwd or rev with Volvo Penta SX

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  • No fwd or rev with Volvo Penta SX

    Boat is a 2005 fourwinns 190 horizon with a Volvo Penta 5.0GXI and SX drive 1.6 ratio. Entire Stern drive was replaced 1.5 years ago with a rebuilt unit, it has worked well up until recently

    Hi all, Well, I thought I would be out on the lake doing some prop testing and enjoying the nice Fl weather, but, instead, after idling out down the canal, the boat wouldn’t go back into drive, or reverse, nothing…I had this happen once before, but it “fixed” itself and its been a while (I thought it was actually the neutral switch in the controller but I guess I was just hopeful). So, basically, I have what seems like an intermittent problem with shifting into gear, had a neighbor tow us back to the lift on the canal. This is what I did try to see what is going on:
    1. Took the cover off the drive and checked the function of the shift cable. Shifter moves up and down with the throttle lever, the center bolt was loose, I don’t know if it is supposed to be, but I snugged it down
    2. Removed throttle cable from shifter, ie took out cotter pin so I could move the shifter manually.
    3. Started motor, manually moved shifter at back of stern drive clockwise and counterclockwise, turns a little more than 1/8 turn each way…got nothing. I did notice that at some point in the rotation, the shaft pops out an 1/8 of an inch or so, I assume this is when it is supposed to engage the gear?
    4. Checked gear oil, it was perfect, clean and at the right level…it was just serviced a couple of months ago…
    So, I am thinking that there is some “wrong” inside the unit since I can’t put it in gear by turning the shifter at the drive “manually” with the motor running…but I am REALLY new to this boat thing. So, is there anything else I should try before I have it towed to the ramp and trailer it to the shop…it is still under some warranty, but it is a PITA if it is something simple that needs “adjusted”

  • #2
    Best case scenario would be that you have wrecked your sacrificial prop hub. Meaning it is going into gear but not driving the prop. Does the prop lock up one way when in either gear ? If it still spins freely when gear selected...you’ve been lucky and that’s maybe what it is.

    If it’s not that...then just to have another guess at the issue, do you mean that it won’t go into gear worth engine running by meaning it won’t physically shift or noticeably move at the drive gear linkage when engine running ? Or does it allow you to move it but just doesn’t do anything at the prop ?
    if it’s stiff and won’t physically move...then perhaps your rpm isn’t dropping far enough to allow the dog clutch to engage ?
    if it is moving then either your prop hub is to blame or you have serious internal issues. Hopefully not the latter, given the oil seems clear and no sign of metal, teeth and swarf ?

    check out the prop hub possibility first.

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    • #3
      Sounds like need to pull the drive and have it taken apart, but I'm guessing the gears are gone.

      Checked gear oil, it was perfect, clean and at the right level…it was just serviced a couple of months ago…
      Did you pull the drain plug, or just checked the dipstick? If only the dipstick then pull drain plug and check color. If it looks good put it back in.

      You just had it serviced, what did they service?

      It might also be the engine coupler. Did you smell any burnt rubber?
      94 Formula 27PC Custom 509MPI MEFI3 , B3 XR
      95 Rinker 232 w/ 7.4L Carb 0F425011 B1 0F486471
      07 Seadoo GTX
      Merc Adults Only VP Adults Only
      G-Dad always said "First Liar doesn't stand a chance"

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      • #4
        One comment I’ve seen made but nit experienced my self is what type of drive lube are u using ? Volvo lube or aftermarket 90 w? Have seen comments where soemone is using merc high performance lube in a Volvo drive and it won’t catch into gear

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        • #5
          Thanks for the replies, to answer a couple of the questions.

          1. It went into gear far enough and long enough to get down the canal at no wake speed, that included backing out of the lift and 500 yds fwd down the canal. then after being in neutral for a couple of minutes, it would not go back into gear, just the engine revs. I really don't think a prop hub would let go under such little load, or the engine coupler...like I said, it did this once before but then "fixed" itself...a couple of weeks ago. I will go out and check the prop hub, but if the gears are not engaging, then it is going to free spin anyway, but I get it, the shaft wouldn't spin, I just don't feel anything engaging when I try to put it in gear...I would think if the hub was gone it would at least spin a little...when under power of the motor?
          2. when I undid the shift linkage from the drive, I can turn the "knob" pretty freely, it just pops up an 1/8th of an inch or so when it is turned an 8th of a turn or so in either direction...but no engagement of the drive. I did this to rule out that something was wrong with the throttle setup, I assumed that if I turned it all the way Manually when the engine was running and it still didn't engage, than the problem was in the back, not in the helm.
          3. I only checked the dipstick for the oil, the boat is on a lift, I really don't want to pull the bottom plug on the lift...
          4. The service that was done a month ago was the outdrive lube and gimbal lube. They removed the drive to repaint...They used Amsoil, which since they are the ones that rebuilt it, I have them change it...
          Thanks for your help

          Scott
          Last edited by highpowerdad; February 8th, 2020, 06:26 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Scott06 View Post
            One comment I’ve seen made but nit experienced my self is what type of drive lube are u using ? Volvo lube or aftermarket 90 w? Have seen comments where soemone is using merc high performance lube in a Volvo drive and it won’t catch into gear
            You’re right Scott. I’ve seen this and mentioned it a few times....but as far as I know that’s only the case on the drives with a cone clutch like the 290 dpe dpd etc etc. Think the sx is just straight cut like an alpha.

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            • #7
              The service that was done a month ago was the outdrive lube and gimbal lube. They removed the drive to repaint...They used Amsoil, which since they are the ones that rebuilt it, I have them change it...
              Mention the issue to the folks that did the work and see what they say. Something might have come loose
              94 Formula 27PC Custom 509MPI MEFI3 , B3 XR
              95 Rinker 232 w/ 7.4L Carb 0F425011 B1 0F486471
              07 Seadoo GTX
              Merc Adults Only VP Adults Only
              G-Dad always said "First Liar doesn't stand a chance"

              Comment


              • #8
                The loose center bolt could be the important part. Is this a SX-M or a SX-A
                If a SX-M this bolt adjusts the load on the shift shoe, if it gets loose there won't be enough throw on the cone clutch and you might have glazed the cups and clutch. But for this to happen to both forward and reverse at the same time would be rare.

                It sounds like you have done about all you can. Suggest a tow to the shop.
                Good Luck Muc

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by muc View Post
                  The loose center bolt could be the important part. Is this a SX-M or a SX-A
                  If a SX-M this bolt adjusts the load on the shift shoe, if it gets loose there won't be enough throw on the cone clutch and you might have glazed the cups and clutch. But for this to happen to both forward and reverse at the same time would be rare.

                  It sounds like you have done about all you can. Suggest a tow to the shop.
                  Ah. Glad you showed up Muc. I didn’t think these had a cone clutch. For some reason I thought the sx was straight cut dog clutch. If it does, wrong oil or water will be a suspect. Does the sx have a cone clutch right enough ?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    So...I go out today to see if the prop is "spun" as mentioned above, put it in gear, and it is good and tight in one direction, put it in rev and it is good and tight in the other...just as it should be. Lower the lift, start the motor and I have fwd and rev just like I should, everything is working "correctly". SO what is up with this, let it sit overnight with the trim up...everything works...I put the trim down to start it of course and I will maybe take a couple of trips up and down the canal, or just let it run in the lift for a while, but since I have not really changed anything, I Have NO TRUST in this, I need to find what adjustment is just slightly out or what works cold but not after a few minutes of operation...
                    Thanks
                    Scott

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                    • #11
                      It's hard to manually check for a spun prop hub unless you're Schwarzenegger in his prime.

                      Before you go out today, draw a line across the hub. When you get back on the lift, check the line to see if it's still straight.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GA_Boater View Post
                        It's hard to manually check for a spun prop hub unless you're Schwarzenegger in his prime.

                        Before you go out today, draw a line across the hub. When you get back on the lift, check the line to see if it's still straight.
                        I believe you on this, but that is also why I don't think it is the problem, when it was not going into fwd or rev, it did nothing, I could see the prop and it didn't move or anything and I didn't here anything (like gears turning). I don't know much about the workings of these, but I am going to let it warm up good in the lift and see what happens. It least I MIGHT be able to limp it to the ramp vs having it towed, but I would want another boat along side just in case it decides to act up. I really need to understand how the linkage and shifter is supposed to work, since that is the only thing they would have disconnected when they did the service...

                        Thanks for the help
                        Scott

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                        • #13
                          Im going with Muc in post #8.
                          Cheesehead boating the Gulf Coast of FLA 27.51° N, 82.53° W

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                          • #14
                            All I'm saying is to check since you're going out. Ya gotta get back to the lift somehow.

                            You said
                            it is still under some warranty, but it is a PITA if it is something simple that needs “adjusted”
                            muc said
                            It sounds like you have done about all you can. Suggest a tow to the shop.
                            Let the shop check the adjustments. When the drive was R & R'ed for painting, adjustments should have been checked. If it was working fine before the R&R, guess what?
                            BOAT SPECS | FORUM HELP | STARCRAFT FORUM | SHOP iBoats
                            Please, no PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems.
                            That is what the forums are for.
                            Only forum/moderator issues will be answered in PM's.

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                            • #15
                              Sign up today
                              SO...next data point, run motor for 10 min, in and out of fwd, rev, turn left, turn right, all works...SHUT motor off, start back up, NO Gears, no nothing or noise from the back end at all...turn off, lift trim, turn left and right, check prop, it is good, in fwd it turns one way but not the other, the shaft and prop both turn together...put trim back down, start motor, no gear engagement...nothing...Going to church now, will start it back up in a couple hours and see if I can repeat this...something is holding on good until the motor is turned off, or is just barely in adjustment, but this is only a sample of one, will report back this afternoon...I guess I want to figure out how to easily repeat the problem so the shop knows what to look for..,

                              Scott
                              Last edited by highpowerdad; February 9th, 2020, 10:58 AM.

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