Start Volvo Penta MD19 problems

August 2018

Shortly after buying the boat we decided to start the engine, which is a Volvo Penta MD19. It had not been started in approximately 10 years, so we suspected we would have some problems. We bought a new start battery and went out to the boat one evening after work, but without luck. The good news was that the pistons were able to move and were not completely stuck.

We could not get any diesel to the injectors and suspected that the diesel injection pump was the issue so we removed it and took it home for cleaning.

diesel injection pump volvo penta md19
The diesel injection pump before we started to remove it.
start volvo penta MD19
The cover of the diesel injection pump removed.
start volvo penta MD19
Starting to remove the diesel injection pump.
diesel injection pump renovation
The diesel injection pump removed from the engine and ready for some service.
start volvo penta MD19
A picture of the cam ring. The brown dirt coating seen in the picture is what caused the pistons in the pump to get stuck. There where dirt coating all over the injection pump, which we cleaned. The dirt coating had emerged because the engine hadn’t been run in 10 years.
The pump unit for the diesel injection pump.

We spent some days cleaning the injection pump. We put back the injection pump on the engine and tried to start our Volvo Penta MD19 engine, and it started! It was not without problems, though. We spent a lot of time bleeding the system before the diesel reached the injectors. There was also a lot of smoke coming out from the exhaust and the engine wouldn’t run on idling.

Since the engine hadn’t been running for so long, we decided to take it out for a tour the following day. We hoped that the engine needed to be running for a while under load to clean old dirt in the engine.

start volvo penta md19
We were able to start our Volvo Penta MD19 and took a first drive!

We drove in circles outside Djurgården in Stockholm, and got a feeling for how she behaves in water.

Driving in circles outside Djurgården in Stockholm.

The tour didn’t solve the problems entirely. The engine still wouldn’t run idling and it was a lot of smoke. We also noticed that he engine died when changing to reverse. The next step we did was to remove the injectors and have them checked out. They had the correct opening pressure and a good spray pattern and probably works as they should.

Since the autumn arrived in Sweden we paused working on the engine for a while, so that we could fix the plastic cracks in the cockpit before it became too cold. We will continue working with the engine later on.

All about our further engine renovation can be found under the category: Engine.

One Comment

  • Nicklas

    Looking good with the fuel pump. Do you have any tricks for bleeding the pump so you get fuel to the injectors?
    I have en similar engine and cant seme to solve the it.

    Br Nicklas

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