Volvo/Penta 4.3GL vs Mercruiser 4.3L - Which would you buy?

wingmastr23

Petty Officer 1st Class
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Oct 26, 2009
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Hey guys,

Looking at a Larson Fish & Ski - there are two identical boats for sale in my area - one has the Volvo/Penta 4.3GL - The other has the Mercruiser 4.3L

Which one would you go with?

I have heard they no longer make the Volvo/Penta.....are parts scarce (Similar to the OMC...)

Thanks for any/all input!!
 

wingmastr23

Petty Officer 1st Class
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Re: Volvo/Penta 4.3GL vs Mercruiser 4.3L - Which would you buy?

WOW....66 views and not one opinion...lol:)

(Ahhhh.....I just noticed I put this in the wrong category....sorry)
 
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wingmastr23

Petty Officer 1st Class
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Oct 26, 2009
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211
Which engine do you prefer?

Which engine do you prefer?

Hey guys,

Looking at a Larson Fish & Ski - there are two identical boats for sale in my area - one has the Volvo/Penta 4.3GL - The other has the Mercruiser 4.3L

Which one would you go with?


Thanks for any/all input!!
 

oldjeep

Admiral
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May 17, 2010
Messages
6,455
Re: Which engine do you prefer?

Re: Which engine do you prefer?

The engines are the same, the drives are different. The question you need to answer is who is going to be working on the boat? If you bring it to a dealer then you want to make sure that they are either a Mercruiser or Penta service center.
 

Starcraft5834

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Jun 2, 2013
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Re: Which engine do you prefer?

Re: Which engine do you prefer?

After your inspection of each system, I'd go with the one best running and maintained :rolleyes: if that was equal, I'd stay with Mercruiser
 

tpenfield

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Jul 18, 2011
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Re: Which engine do you prefer?

Re: Which engine do you prefer?

They are both good brands. So, as stated, convenience of servicing may be your deciding factor. If you plan to DIY, then they are more even.

My preference is Mercruiser.
 

Maclin

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Re: Which engine do you prefer?

Re: Which engine do you prefer?

What model years are the boats?
 

wingmastr23

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Re: Which engine do you prefer?

Re: Which engine do you prefer?

What model years are the boats?

Both are 2005 - Both boats are meticulously maintained with all service records, etc. They are identical in every way but the motors.

I have more experience with the Mercruiser - my boat has the 3.0. I have been very satisfied with it - easy to maintain, and nearly bulletproof!
 

Chris1956

Supreme Mariner
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Mar 25, 2004
Messages
23,904
Re: Volvo/Penta 4.3GL vs Mercruiser 4.3L - Which would you buy?

That Mercruiser powerplant is very standard. You will easily be able to get parts and service. Not sure about the V-P version. Any V-P dealers in your area?
 

Scott Danforth

Grumpy old guy who plays with boats
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Re: Volvo/Penta 4.3GL vs Mercruiser 4.3L - Which would you buy?

you have two threads on this motor question. please do not have multiple identical threads going
 

Howard Sterndrive

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Re: Which engine do you prefer?

Re: Which engine do you prefer?

I would just go by condition and that being equal, would probably choose which ever one had the best cockpit layout.
 

oldjeep

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Re: Which engine do you prefer?

Re: Which engine do you prefer?

Both are 2005 - Both boats are meticulously maintained with all service records, etc. They are identical in every way but the motors.

I have more experience with the Mercruiser - my boat has the 3.0. I have been very satisfied with it - easy to maintain, and nearly bulletproof!

In that case, I guess I'd go with the least expensive one.
 

MikDee

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Re: Volvo/Penta 4.3GL vs Mercruiser 4.3L - Which would you buy?

Mercruiser, the Volvo is more expensive I heard, and getting parts maybe an issue, because their dealers are not as widespread as Merc.
 

Walt T

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Re: Which engine do you prefer?

Re: Which engine do you prefer?

I'd tear out whichever one and install an OMC stringer drive I bought off E bay
 

JustJason

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Re: Which engine do you prefer?

Re: Which engine do you prefer?

Volvo, hands down.
 

JoLin

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Re: Volvo/Penta 4.3GL vs Mercruiser 4.3L - Which would you buy?

What year boat/engines are we talking about? My current boat is my second with the Volvo 4.3 'SX' drive combo, and they're great systems. They shift super smooth and unlike an Alpha, have no shift cable bellows to leak. Volvo is generally more expensive to fix than Merc, but the design (SX, at least) is simple, rugged and easy to repair when needed. They're practically bulletproof.

That said, I would buy whichever boat is in the best overall condition. It just so happens that I'm about to close on yet another boat with a pair of 4.3's. This time they're Merc Alphas... cause that's what it came with and the boat is in great shape. I'm not sweating the change.
 
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hall832

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Re: Which engine do you prefer?

Re: Which engine do you prefer?

I would buy the one with the Yamaha on it
 

tomdinwv

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Jun 22, 2008
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665
Re: Which engine do you prefer?

Re: Which engine do you prefer?

The I/Os I've owned have all been mercs. That said, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a VP. Both are good systems and support is readily available.
 

wingmastr23

Petty Officer 1st Class
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Re: Volvo/Penta 4.3GL vs Mercruiser 4.3L - Which would you buy?

Thanks for the input fellas! Much Appreciated!!
 

Lou C

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Nov 10, 2002
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Re: Volvo/Penta 4.3GL vs Mercruiser 4.3L - Which would you buy?

Why not drive both and see which one you like better? See if the cone clutch shifting of the Volvo makes a big difference to you. If it does, make sure you have more than one Volvo service shop in your area.
 
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