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My volvo penta sail drive has an intermittent fault in that it wont engage in forward. I've disconnected the cable from the controls to rule out a cable problem - I can enage the gearbox in astern but occassionally (particularly when I want to get power on quickly!) it won't properly enage in forward. I'm assuming it's a clutch problem but was wondering if there is any adjustment on the S drive? The engine is an MD2040 (2002) and as far as I'm aware the boat has never beenused for chartering. She is a Hanse 411.

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Operators of Volvo Penta's S-drives have been experiencing faulty clutch engagement problems reporting slipping, no forward power and a few other undesirables.

It has been found that the problems lie with the transmission discs & the type of oil that is currently being used.

It is important to use high grade friction transmission discs with better specifications than the originals i.e higher coefficient of friction for greater grip, higher durability to take the high intensity of the engine, and higher wear rate for longer lasting friction discs. The part numbers for these are as follows:

3582571 - Thrust Washer

3582578 - Friction Plates

3582579 - Steel Mating Plates

These discs are available from Industrial Friction Materials Ltd with over 37 years of technical friction experience.

The current oil being used in the Volvo Penta's S-drives is the ATF Fluid which has a viscosity of 6.1 at 100C and 30.1 at 40C this oil is too light and doesn't give much protection to the clutch plates.

It is recommended that the operator switches to SAE 15W40 which is a heavier engine oil and has a viscosity of 15 at 100C and 101 at 40C.

It is possible to replace oil without laying up the boat but using this method will leave some ATF oil in the stern drive.

Contact details:

Industrial Friction Materials Ltd

Unit 7,

East Moors Business Park,

East Moors Road,

Ocean Park,


South Glamorgan




Tel: 02920 499111

Alt: 02920 499121

Fax: 02920 490011

My volvo penta sail drive has an intermittent - 8_20_2012_2_29_49_pm.jpg

Posted on Aug 20, 2012

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: my gearbox is slipping on my boat the gearbox is a

If you mean that the g/box is slipping when you give it power,there may be 2 things.If you give it power and it slips and you cannot get drive,the propeller hubs need fixing.They are between the driveshaft and the prop.Its a rubber bush that stops major driveline damage if you hit something.2nd.If you hear grinding when you use the gears,it needs adjusting.If you dont hear grinding,its the bushes in you prop hubs.Hope this helps

Posted on Jun 09, 2010

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