olaf hart

Rotate Volvo saildrive leg

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Bit off an odd one, can’t find much online.

I have a Volvo MD 2030 and a 120 saildrive  in my shed. My boat currently has a working MD 2003 and a 120 saildrive.

Plan is to check out the spares and store them for the time the 2003 pegs out.

All good, only issue is the boat they came out of had the saildrive in front of the motor, so the leg is rotated 180 degrees from the normal setup.

Doesn’t look too hard to rotate the leg on the saildrive gearbox, but the gasket and adaptor plate are not symmetric, everything else is.

Anyone done this? Any surprises?

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Having the same 2030 and 120 drives, I’m following just in case. 

Based on what I know, I can’t see any problem. You’d have the same shims and spacers. And you have parts from your original installation. 

Have a look at your splines and vibration dampener for wear while you are in there. I’ve elaborated on my repairs of same here at SA. 

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i don't think you need shims etc between the leg and the top gearbox, should be a case of unbolting it and flipping it. Try it on the spare one, in your garage, no foul then.

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That’s the plan, just doing some research before I crack it.

the one in the shed is the one I have to rotate.

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OK, removed the saildrive leg from the gearbox, here is the story.

rubber donut dated 1998, looks fine.

the saildrive leg looks like it rotates without a problem, all symmetrical

BUT, there is an aluminium adaptor plate that clamps the rubber donut to the gearbox, then the saildrive leg bolts over that, it is not symmetrical.

it has three bolts in a triangular arrangement

it has two openings, one for cooling water from the leg to the seacock, the other vents the lower gear case to the gearbox via the central shaft core.

it has to remain in the same position relative to the saildrive leg, so the options are

find an adaptor plate from a normally positioned saildrive

drill three new bolt holes and blank the originals, not so easy as the apex hole has a sealing O ring and the bolt heads are recessed into the plate, but a good machine shop should be able to sort this out.

fortunately I am not in a rush, I will have a chat with the local VP dealer to see if he is wrecking any old saildrives, or get the bolt holes changed if I am running out of time...

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Your installed unit doesn’t have said adapter plate? That’s different to mine  

if the ‘donut’ is the seal to the hull, I don’t care how it looks, 1998 is far too old. Volvo suggests seven years; I’ve gone 13, but 20 is too old to risk IMO

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Possibly, but it’s an earlier version of the 120, and you know Volvo...

Good idea, its certainly option no 3, I will check with the VP guy if they are different...

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I looked at the manual, they all have an adaptor plate to hold the rubber donut on.

looks like all the legs and gearboxes are the same, the difference is the plate

i guess that’s why they call it an adaptor plate.

if they only used two or four bolts rather than three it would be a straight swap over...

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The adaptor plate goes between that and the gearbox, and clamps the inner ring of the donut to the base of the box.

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I’d have to look at the manual, but on the face of it, sounds like the adapter is specific to the rotated ‘mode’ and you might have to use what’s on your boat now, or find another adapter. 

My plate and hull gasket (‘donut’?) are circular. 

Did you note the edit to my earlier post re: hull gasket age?

Also, come to think: note the flange in the pic. The P.O. has not replaced the gasket on this flange, possibly ever, and this allowed water intrusion into the oil galleys. I kept having milky oil and this was the reason (not the usually assumed prop seals).

there is a gasket kit from Volvo. Check marinepartsexpress dot com. They also have pdf exploded views online

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That gasket is identical to mine.

the adaptor plate is circular, it clamps the donut to the box.

the problem is it uses three bolts in a triangular pattern, so you can’t just rotate it 180 degrees and bolt it on again.

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Looking at manual which isn’t detailed enough to tell me anything. I’m guessing you’ll have to find another plate, use what’s in your installed drive, or modify the ‘reversed’ plate. 

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On a different vendors saildrive it was important to ensure the raw water pickup is aligned. I do not remember what we did but had to pull sail drive to reorient the adapter plate for the passages to remain in alignment. Good luck.

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I was also running a parallel thread on cruisers forum, I will paste a comment that seems to close the issue out:

 

 

Your observations are correct....The 120 saildrive was delivered only in the "normal" configuration and a "reverse" kit was available to rotate the drive. The kit mostly consisted of the different adapter plate to match up the passages and a gasket or two.

When the 120 drive was replaced with the MS25s drive this continued as the lower leg of the MS25s was the same as the 120 s.

When the current production 130 saildrive went into production this was changed, and the drive was offered in both a standard and a reversed configuration. The "reverse kit" was discontinued because the drive was made symmetrical and could be rotated without the need for a different intermediate plate.

Your options are to source an original plate, or find a trashed drive that isn't rotated, or wait for the 2000 series drive to die and take the plate from it.

As an aside, good on you for noticing this....it wouldn't have been the first time a drive was reversed and filled with water.

DougR

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