VP 8.1GXi Fuel Pressure / Hunting at Idle

General repair/maintenance/upgrade information exchange.

Re: VP 8.1GXi Fuel Pressure / Hunting at Idle

Postby Muddy Blues » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:40 pm

Wow, that takes the term "water hazard" to a new level!

Glad you made it out alive! I can't imagine how frightening that must have been, especially with golf clubs strapped to your back. Here's wishing you a full recovery.
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Re: VP 8.1GXi Fuel Pressure / Hunting at Idle

Postby gofast24 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:01 am

Also glad your OK! With your current luck with golf and the VP nightmare may be time to talk to a lawyer? Ya, I know some folks wont like this statement but that is what I would do if in the same situation with your vessel!
My history = I had to have two Mercrusier 502 V8 factory re man engines installed (not at the same time ), neither one made it out of the no wake zone out of our marina, sized up after about 5 minutes! At that time I had a 1992 Python 24" Cuddy cabin with a single 502 Bravo 2 drive. Finally wrote Mercury Marine a nice letter, after about two weeks called and they authorized a "new" 502 V8 (only had two new left in their inventory), paid all R + R costs, etc. Moral of story, write VP corporate a nice letter indicating your problems, send copy's of all conversations/documents you have with the letter, and possibly CC it to a lawyer of your choice. I think VP should compensate you for all the aggravation and lost sailing time with a new engine (or two) . Might want to mention the Regal Owners Forum comments! Good luck and keep your fairway shots down the middle.
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Re: VP 8.1GXi Fuel Pressure / Hunting at Idle

Postby JNelson90 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:51 pm

Update: so the apparent conclusion by Volvo Penta was to remove and tap off the vacuum line between the intake manifold and the fuel pressure regulator. Then, bump up the fuel pressure on the high pressure side at idle until it smooths out. They bumped it up to 48 psi and the idle was acceptable (spec was 40 psi +/- 4 psi). The reasoning? They feel that the re-manufactured long block had the cylinders bored out allowing for more air volume. Removing the vacuum line "tricks" the engine into thinking it is under load 100% of the time. If they jacked up the psi at idle and did not remove the line then it would go even higher when under load and apparently be at risk. I still feel that a computer change would have been a much better fix to deal with a different fuel air volume / mixture. Unfortunately, fixed is far from where I am at now - please read on to find out whats wrong now.....

So we took the "fixed" boat out for a 2 hour cruise; closely following the VP break in procedure. Running about 3,200 RPM (about 3/4 throttle) and occasionally returning to idle to allow for cooling. During the first hour the engine ran cooler (new exhaust manifolds and riser; I suspect) and it also consumed less fuel. When running at 3,200 rpm it was using about 1.2 gph LESS than the starboard engine (Starboard was the original engine - Port was has the replaced long block). I attributed this to to the newer long block and improved efficiencies internal to the engine. Just about 1 hour into the cruise the fuel consumption changed; the port engine started consuming more fuel (I suspect something went wrong at this point). The port engine was using about 1.3 gallons MORE gas than the starboard engine at the same RPM.

When I pulled into the marina to put her in back in her slip (it had been more than 2 months since she has been back to her normal home/slip) I noticed the transmission clanking when I put her in forward or reverse at idle. I later noticed (once I entered the engine room with the engine running) an engine knocking sound close to the flywheel side of the engine. After speaking with the mechanics they feel the rough running engine at idle was causing the transmission noise (since it is a planetary transmission) and don't suspect an issue with the transmission but the engine could be another story. I had recorded a video for them to see / listen to the engine but until I get the boat down to their marina and they can physically see what's going - all bets are off.

I now feel like I probably won't have a working boat for weeks now if it is indeed a lower engine issue with the new long block. I am feeling jinxed at all the issues I am dealing with. I wish that VP would stand behind their product and put these issues to rest.
Kindest regards, Jeff

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Re: VP 8.1GXi Fuel Pressure / Hunting at Idle

Postby Seven » Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:34 am

Sorry to hear this Jeff. It's not the way to end the boating season especially after all the issues you have been going through on and off the boat. I am crossing my fingers its an easy fix and hopefully gets corrected quick.
I am wondering if the engine needed to be broken in properly and now you can replace everything back to factory specs and put the vacuum hose back.
They could be correct about the noises. Mine also make noise when I pull the throttles back to idle. My surveyor said the noises were normal when I pointed them out before purchase.
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Re: VP 8.1GXi Fuel Pressure / Hunting at Idle

Postby gofast24 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:29 am

Seven wrote:Sorry to hear this Jeff. It's not the way to end the boating season especially after all the issues you have been going through on and off the boat. I am crossing my fingers its an easy fix and hopefully gets corrected quick.
I am wondering if the engine needed to be broken in properly and now you can replace everything back to factory specs and put the vacuum hose back.
They could be correct about the noises. Mine also make noise when I pull the throttles back to idle. My surveyor said the noises were normal when I pointed them out before purchase.

When pulling both our throttles back to idle no noise from the engine room or the ZF V drive transmissions, either in gear or neutral? Something funny still going on with the OP's propulsion units? The reason that I lost 2X new Merc 502's in succession was that the dealer doing the first engine swap connected the remote oil filter hoses backwards, therefor no lube oil to the engine or engine oil cooler, go figure!
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Re: VP 8.1GXi Fuel Pressure / Hunting at Idle

Postby JNelson90 » Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:51 am

Sorry for the delay in updates but my frustrations have peaked as our engine problem is still not resolved. I decided to get fully involved and got all the contact information and email threads between my marina mechanics/management and Volvo Penta. I finally got to speak with the upper management at Volvo Penta and to make a long story short, the regional service manager from Volvo Penta is currently scheduled to show up at the marina to investigate the problem with the local mechanics. I will reserve further comments until I have some results on Monday. I am hoping for the best but with the history of let downs; I am not getting my hopes up. Maybe next year I will be able to start boating again :(
Kindest regards, Jeff

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Re: VP 8.1GXi Fuel Pressure / Hunting at Idle

Postby timp4411 » Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:03 am

Good Luck Jeff.

I hope they resolve your problem so you can enjoy the rest of the boating season.
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Re: VP 8.1GXi Fuel Pressure / Hunting at Idle

Postby JNelson90 » Wed Nov 21, 2018 4:40 pm

Volvo Penta has officially rejected my request to cover diagnostics bills around $5,000 due to a defective re-manufactured Volvo Penta long block. The long block was sent to me with every valve seat out of spec, 3 weak valve springs on 1 broken exhaust valve spring. Not only did I lose an entire boating season for this; now I am saddled with the associated expenses. They quickly quoted the warranty as covering parts only since my marina was not an authorized Volvo Penta dealer. So effectively, the lack of proper quality control is allowing bad products to reach the consumer and it appears that they don't even care. Knowing that the original issue for needing a replacement long block in the first place really lies with Volvo Penta as well - makes my head spin. They painted the inside of the fuel cells, add in ethanol gas that eats away at the paint causing it to chip, and now you have a fuel system that creates lean burn and damages engines. Volvo blames Carter (the manufacturer of the fuel cell) and Carter blames Volvo. However; it is the consumer that gets it up the you know what. I think a class action law suit should be filed against VP on the fuel system issues surrounding the painting of the internal components of the fuel cell. That is just my opinion for what it counts. Lastly, my next boat will certainly NOT contain Volvo Penta engines as they have proved to me that they do not care about their consumers and that they lack proper quality control measures. I will also no longer recommend them to those that question (I had been a Volvo Penta advocate for many years now).

Sorry for complaining but I am so frustrated with them you have no idea. Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!
Kindest regards, Jeff

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Re: VP 8.1GXi Fuel Pressure / Hunting at Idle

Postby SGilbert » Wed Nov 21, 2018 5:52 pm

Sue the bast*rds!!
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Re: VP 8.1GXi Fuel Pressure / Hunting at Idle

Postby Seven » Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:31 am

Jeff,
That's just terrible. Companies these days just don't care(Old man comment that holds true here).. I hate to say it but I agree to sue. If they do not warranty work on a non authorized mechanic then they should not sell it to them. It's not like you had a buddy in his garage do the work. And even if you did they should warranty a deffective product.
--2002 3880 Regal Flybridge | Twin Merc 8.1HO| **Seven**
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Re: VP 8.1GXi Fuel Pressure / Hunting at Idle

Postby fatmattyd » Thu Nov 22, 2018 2:18 pm

This is terrible news, but sadly not surprising to me that VP won't stand behind their product. All of my future boats will not contain VP products as a result of my experiences, and I too will not recommend them to friends.
Frankly, I'm a little surprised Regal wouldn't go to bat for you here. Did you buy the boat new? I suppose that's likely par for the course and they'd punt this hot potato in a heartbeat.

I'm not sure what your total bills are now, but it seems like they most certainly would be beyond a small-claims court action. That said, I would certainly contact and attorney and review your options.

I hope that you can have some sort of happy holiday season after this news, certainly takes the joy out of boating.
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Re: VP 8.1GXi Fuel Pressure / Hunting at Idle

Postby gofast24 » Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:18 am

Agree with the last mails, talk to a lawyer about this! Having 3 lawyers in my family send a written certified letter by USPS with return receipt indicating that you are not happy with VP on the problem and ask them for a solution or "corrective action" to this problem ASAP ! Tell them If no response in 30 days you will be required to turn it over to a lawyer, save all you mails/posts to forward to a lawyer especially the letter you send to VP! Too bad that these OEM's dont stand behind their products! hopefully VP has your back on this !
Good luck, dont give up!
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