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Volvo penta MD22 complete overhaul

Untitled document The motor of our boat broke down and a few weeks till our vacation we needed to do something to get the thing working again.
As there was little time we decided to overhaul the engine ourselves.

After googling some information about the engine I came to realise this is about the worst engine ever built in history by perkins.
But the problem we encountered was yet not documented on the Internet.


The problem with the engine was water on the head of the engine, so at first we expected the head gasket to be the culprit.
We started by removing the head of the engine to look at the extend of the damage.

Motor head has been removed to realign the valves
All valves were luckily undamaged but as this is a complete overhaul we adjusted the tolerances aswell.

Next to be removed was the oil and the carter.
The engine can be handled best when it is rolled on its back.
The carter can be removed quite easy then.
Motor head has been removed to realign the valves
Motor head has been removed to realign the valves

The carter has been removed so we can extract the cylindersThe carter has been removed so we can extract the cylinders
The carter has been removed so we can extract the cylinders

You can see a little bit of rust already on the cylinders because the came in contact with water.

This shows the motor with its pistonsThis shows the motor with its pistons
This shows the motor with its pistons

You can see the carter also contained water because of the rust.
This rust needed to be removed.

It is easy to spot the carter contained water because of the rustIt is easy to spot the carter contained water because of the rust
It is easy to spot the carter contained water because of the rust

Another problem: the starter engine broke because there was water on the engine head.

When starting there was so much torque, the aluminium broke.
I rejoined the broken pieces together and welded it back to one piece.

The startmotor broke, so this had to be repairedThe startmotor broke, so this had to be repaired
The startmotor broke, so this had to be repaired

You can see the weld clearly here.

Now it is reenforced Now it is reenforced
Now it is reenforced

And now with the complete engine restored.

And once again it is a working partAnd once again it is a working part
And once again it is a working part

After failing to find leaks in the head gasket we investigated further, next suspect was the heat exchanger.
Somehow this part leaked all its contents in the exhaust so we had to investigate what exactly failed.

This is why I took my axial grinder to open up the top of the heat exchanger.

(NOTE volvo penta thinks this part is worth 3250 euro's ex V.A.T. I personally think they are totally crazy to charge such amount for a piece is (badly designed) aluminium)

Now removing the labels of the culpritNow removing the labels of the culprit
Now removing the labels of the culprit

Now grinding the top of the exchanger.

Grinding the top open for inspectionGrinding the top open for inspection
Grinding the top open for inspection

The inner cooling system is clearly visible now, the water is contained above the exhaust and intake tubes.

damn, no cracks to see in here!damn, no cracks to see in here!
damn, no cracks to see in here!

After pouring some water in the exchanger the exact problem came to light.

You can clearly see the aluminium corroded ( you would expect a sea worthy engine to outlive more then 15 years) but because this part is so badly designed salt water can sit between the gasket and the heat exchanger.
and corrode the aluminium.

(I Really don't know why any sane person would design anything like this (any other then reducing the life expectancy of an engine!))

Ahhhh found it... after cleaning the exhaust I spotted a small holeAhhhh found it... after cleaning the exhaust I spotted a small hole
Ahhhh found it... after cleaning the exhaust I spotted a small hole

I tried to restore the aluminium with my tig welder but the aluminium is so polluted by corrosion I was unable to establish a good weld.

after some cleaning it became apparent the aluminium was to contaminated to weld properlyafter some cleaning it became apparent the aluminium was to contaminated to weld properly
after some cleaning it became apparent the aluminium was to contaminated to weld properly

Next thing I did was just grinding off the flange to look at the extend of the corrosion, as you can see we now have clear shiny aluminium.

I remove the complete flangeI remove the complete flange
I remove the complete flange

This is the sawed of flange, as you can see it has holes where the leakage originated, this is aluminium which is designed in such a way this reduced the life expectancy of the engine.
Again this is to my knowledge completely unnecessary and only introduced by designers to have you buy parts when the aluminium is gone due to corrosion (extremely expensive parts 3250 euro's ex V.A.T.)

It is easy to see WHY the part failed, an enormous design flaw!It is easy to see WHY the part failed, an enormous design flaw!
It is easy to see WHY the part failed, an enormous design flaw!

Next step , I started to recreate the flange.
I sawed off a piece of aluminium (costs about 3 euro)

this piece will replace the old flangethis piece will replace the old flange
this piece will replace the old flange

Now milling a hole for the exhaust.

now drilling a hole for the exhaustnow drilling a hole for the exhaust
now drilling a hole for the exhaust

Drilling a few holes for the mounting threads.

and some mounting holesand some mounting holes
and some mounting holes

And welding the part to the exhaust. ( total costs: 30 euro)

And now it welds like a champ!And now it welds like a champ!
And now it welds like a champ!

The completed weld.

I a few minutes I am all done weldingI a few minutes I am all done welding
I a few minutes I am all done welding

Now the top has to be reinstated.

Now the top has to be reattached, I am using exhaust putty for the inner chambersNow the top has to be reattached, I am using exhaust putty for the inner chambers
Now the top has to be reattached, I am using exhaust putty for the inner chambers

And I wanted to test my welds so I plugged up all holes.

All done, now we have to test it for leaksAll done, now we have to test it for leaks
All done, now we have to test it for leaks

I filled the heat exchanger with water.

All holes are pluggedAll holes are plugged
All holes are plugged

Then compressing the exchanger to about 2.5 Bar pressure and letting it stay on pressure for a while.

The heat exchanger is filled with water and now pressurizing it up to 3 barThe heat exchanger is filled with water and now pressurizing it up to 3 bar
The heat exchanger is filled with water and now pressurizing it up to 3 bar

A nice view of the fixed part.

NO leaks what so ever, EUREKANO leaks what so ever, EUREKA
NO leaks what so ever, EUREKA

YES thats perfectYES thats perfect
YES thats perfect

The pistons needed new compression rings because of the water, we first removed all rings and ordered new ones.

the Pistons are stripped from their compression ringsthe Pistons are stripped from their compression rings
the Pistons are stripped from their compression rings

Then we started polishing with waterproof sanding paper.

The pistons are now cleaned with p1000 sanding paperThe pistons are now cleaned with p1000 sanding paper
The pistons are now cleaned with p1000 sanding paper

The difference between an polished and unpolished part is easy to spot :D

The difference is easy to spotThe difference is easy to spot
The difference is easy to spot

The Cylinders needed some service too, so we honed the buses till it was nice any flat once again.

Honing the cylinders till they are smooth againHoning the cylinders till they are smooth again
Honing the cylinders till they are smooth again

after most imported parts were repaired we started painting the engine.

Now a new paint job is nice alsoNow a new paint job is nice also
Now a new paint job is nice also

And all small parts :D

all parts are primeredall parts are primered
all parts are primered

We reinstalled all pistons

Pistons are once again back in placePistons are once again back in place
Pistons are once again back in place

The pistons feel right at home.

nice;)nice;)
nice;)

We closed the carter with some special carter seal which can endure high temperatures and oil.

installed the carterinstalled the carter
installed the carter

We lost the gasket fixator so I recreated a new one.

The head has been fixed but we lost the gasket fixators, so we created new onesThe head has been fixed but we lost the gasket fixators, so we created new ones
The head has been fixed but we lost the gasket fixators, so we created new ones

Now the head is once again installed on the engine.

now the head is installednow the head is installed
now the head is installed

And the heat exchanger is bolted to its place.

attaching the heat exchangerattaching the heat exchanger
attaching the heat exchanger

The air intake is installed

all parts which don't need painting are tapedall parts which don't need painting are taped
all parts which don't need painting are taped

All zero positions have been set so the timing belt can be installed at a later point.

now fixating the valves for the belt installationnow fixating the valves for the belt installation
now fixating the valves for the belt installation

The oil pump needed a new gasket so we cut one.

a new gasket for the oil pump was neededa new gasket for the oil pump was needed
a new gasket for the oil pump was needed

All pieces which don't need a new coat of paint are taped.

once again it looks like an engineonce again it looks like an engine
once again it looks like an engine

Final screws are inserted

attaching the air intakeattaching the air intake
attaching the air intake

And now the final coat of paint is applied.

And now its paintjob, it looks like newAnd now its paintjob, it looks like new
And now its paintjob, it looks like new

Looks like a new engine :D

the sidethe side
the side

amazingly strong tape :)amazingly strong tape :)
amazingly strong tape :)

and sure we broke a piece of the fuel return line, this is brass so I didn't feel like welding it.

we broke the fuel return line, this was fixed by recreating the partwe broke the fuel return line, this was fixed by recreating the part
we broke the fuel return line, this was fixed by recreating the part

So I created a small replacement part and installed it on the fuel return line . :D problem solved:D

this is the result this is the result
this is the result

I also broke the pulley of the water maker, but luckily only one belt was needed so I removed one pulley ring.

I broke the belt drive, luckely only 1 belt was needed so I removed the excess metalI broke the belt drive, luckely only 1 belt was needed so I removed the excess metal
I broke the belt drive, luckely only 1 belt was needed so I removed the excess metal

And once again the motor is back in its place , ready to run once again! :D

Once again an installed motor!Once again an installed motor!
Once again an installed motor!


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