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I'll start another thread. Volvo vs Merc

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I think it comes down to what brand your dealer services. And a red or black GM block.

brick

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I've had both and prefer Volvo. With that said some like Fords, some like Chevys and I like Dodge trucks. The current boat with the Mercruiser has a 8'6" beam and the boat with the Volvo has a 10' beam. I'm sure that contributed to the ease of maintenance.

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Mercruiser...

Because a 2002 5.0L with a Alpha1 sterndrive and 200 hours has ONLY had 1 set of sparkplugs changed in all that time.

Same impellor, distributor parts, sparkplug wires. All the black paint is unbroken. No replacement parts have ever been installed

Yes. It is a TOTALLY VIRGIN motor compared to the needless changing of parts in a SUPERIOR Volvo. If you like having your boat tied up a during the boating season & contributing to a marinas bottom line. Buy a Volvo.

If the boat runs fine. DO NOT repair it with parts & mechanics of unknown quality or abilities.

Must boats are like mine. No problems.

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Mercruiser...

Because a 2002 5.0L with a Alpha1 sterndrive and 200 hours has ONLY had 1 set of sparkplugs changed in all that time.

Same impellor, distributor parts, sparkplug wires. All the black paint is unbroken. No replacement parts have ever been installed

Yes. It is a TOTALLY VIRGIN motor compared to the needless changing of parts in a SUPERIOR Volvo. If you like having your boat tied up a during the boating season & contributing to a marinas bottom line. Buy a Volvo.

If the boat runs fine. DO NOT repair it with parts & mechanics of unknown quality or abilities.

Must boats are like mine. No problems.

You are pushing your luck with the original impeller on a 12 year old motor with 200 hours.

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It appears that Merc parts are cheaper and easier to get. And you can find a Merc dealer just about anywhere.

brick

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like Chevy vs. Ford, it's a matter of brand preference and what your dealer supports. I've had all Mercs in my 25 yrs. of boating and have never been let down. However, I wouldn't steer away from a Volvo if it were in a boat I wanted. I am also very intrigued by the new Volvo 430 small block. Looking forward to seeing some long term results on that engine.

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You are pushing your luck with the original impeller on a 12 year old motor with 200 hours.

Wow, I'd agree.

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The engine still does WOT at 160 F. Same as all people changing every year or 2. If it climbs a little ? impellor time & check the thermostat.

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You will get some very strong responses in favor or one or the other, and these allegiances are usually well earned by good experiences with one brand, or perhaps more so with bad experiences with the other (e.g. Volvo XDP). But I think brick's comments are dead on...

I think it comes down to what brand your dealer services. And a red or black GM block.
brick

Shop the dealer too. At least be comfortable that the services guys can fix it if something goes wrong.

Also, up until very recently, the engines were all sourced from GM, so you were really comparing outdrive differences. However, now in the 380 & 430 HP class you have two very distinct approaches; a 6.0 VVT (GM L96) or an 8.2 traditional Big Block <you have to say that last part using your best Chris Berman Lambeau Field voice>.

I can tell you that I've been blown away with how well the V8-430 has performed, but I've had it what, 3 1/2 months. So there's no track record to speak of. If it blows up next week, I would of course have an adjusted opinion. But now I have a bias, and it's growing every time I put the hammer down. On balance, I'm sure there are very happy 8.2 HO owners out there too.

For what it's worth, from all the internet data I could gather, the Volvo 6.0 VVT really does outperform the Merc 8.2 in out-of-the-hole, top speed, & MPG - and I searched a lot, looking for magazine or on-line comparisons & reviews as well as different reviews of the same boat, with the different engines.

One other thing that never seems to be discussed. Volvo offer's a third version of the 6.0, the V8-350 (350 HP) and there is no direct competitor product (Merc & Volvo both offer 320 HP engines). It is less money than any of the 380 HP options, and I suspect the out-of-the-hole to be the same, and top end to be a smidgen less than the V8-380. If you are ordering the boat anyway, consider if that matches your price/feature preferences.

Good luck.

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I currently have a Volvo in my boat. Is there an added bonus for one over the other or is it really just flip a coin

Glad you opened up this thread, even though I can only imagine this topic having been discussed 40+ times already on this board. But since I'm relatively new to this forum as well as boating, it's good to have this topic rehashed for the sake of people like myself to get caught up. That being said, I'm in exactly your shoes - have a Volvo Penta 8.1GL with a VP DPS-A 1.78 outdrive. Bought the boat with 34 hours on it and for the 4 times we've been out, I thought the motor performed very well. It pushes the 276 ssx very easily and I haven't taken it WOT yet but had her up to 35mph for a few seconds with 4 people in it and I felt there was plenty of power to go. The few times I pushed the throttle a bit hard to see how she jumps and she didn't disappoint at all. I've also noticed that with the hours I've put on it so far and with the amount of gas I've put in, it feels like I'm getting very reasonable gas mileage from a 105 gallon fuel tank.

I don't have any experience with Mercury engines but I hear all sorts of good stuff about them also so I can only speak from my super novice experience. If both are basic GM blocks then the difference should be minimal with the exception of the outdrives and parts availability. One being American made and the other Swedish.

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I've owned Volvo SX-M, SX-A, Alpha One Gen 2.

Volvo SX-M:

Awesome drive setup. My only complaint is parts are expensive and hard to get

Volvo SX-A:

Garbage. I sold the boat before the warranty expired. Trim pump went (it sits underwater and leaks). Plastic hose nipple in outdrive broke requiring the drive removed. Parts that are not covered by warranty are insanely expensive and always 1-2 weeks backorder. Mechanic's dream.

Alpha One Gen 2:

God's gift to boaters. Cheap. Reliable. Never needs repair. Everyone carries parts in stock. Impeller is a pain to change, but only needs swapping every 5 or so years. Sometimes every 12 :)

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Mercs in my area are serviced by everyone and parts possibly easier to find. My last two boats have had Volvo, so I know them a little better. While parts are a little more expensive and harder to find, generally a Volvo will make more HP out of the same size block. Routine maintance is a little easier on Volvo with some blocks.

I would not hesitate to own either, pros and cons to both. Both make some excellant units and both had had their failures, just like with any other product.

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I have no idea how old my impeller is. Bought the boat last year didn't change it. Got a new impeller kit sitting under the seat just in case. Runs perfect at 170*

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I've had OMC Cobra, Merc Alpha 1 Gen 2 and now Volvo DP's. I loved my Cobra drive and always wondered what Volvo would do once they got that technology out of the OMC bankruptcy. I had older Mercruisers - hated them. But I have to agree with others - my current Alpha Gen 2 has been amazing and cheap to maintain. My Volvos so far have been reliable (saying a lot considering the lack of care this boat had before I got it) and I've heard nothing but good about them. Volvo definitely got some bruises with their XDP experiment - but they've all had their moments. All in all I think I prefer the Volvos but as others have said, when they do need service they're more expensive. I wouldn't let the brand of drive affect my decision which boat to buy.

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If IF You get a motor built correctly ? Millions of us are happy.

Remember most posts are about problems.......................Few are as happy as iam about all my boats & engines.

Only REAL bad parts ? Rule computerized pumps. If you store them in freezing ICY conditions ? The motor CAN NOT SPIN every 2 minutes. That can wipe out the computer. Pump usually still runs on the direct switching lead with a float.

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The engine still does WOT at 160 F. Same as all people changing every year or 2. If it climbs a little ? impellor time & check the thermostat.

My Volvo 8.1 gets to around 159-160F and stays there pretty much the entire time. Is that the standard temperature rating for that, do you know? I tried looking all over the place to see if 160 is where it should be to be considered "running at normal temperature" but couldn't find it anywhere until I just saw your post.

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Volvo cause of the impeller...so much easier :)

Yep! Even done it when its in the water.

In Winthrop we have the 3 yacht clubs, 3 marinas and 1 boat yard in a town thats a mile & 1/4Sq. Asking that same question to a lot of people. It always came back to Volvo. The opinions were that there more bullet proof, have less problems and better built. In turn the repairs cost more and the parts are not more commonly found. Why are there more Mercs, one thing that some boaters said. Since there cheaper in cost, the dealers order them to keep the cost of the boat down and to get more service work.

Hatem: You are not stating if your running an open or closed system. If open, than yes, thats normal. A closed system would be around 170 to 175. Since your in salt water, I would think it should be a closed system.

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I honestly do not know.

BUT

I do know that some minerals in fresh & salt water WILL start depositing on engine & exhaust surfaces during WOT runs. Exhaust ports & exhaust manifolds are fast collectors in salt and where fresh & salt water mix.

If I were young & kept a boat for a long time in fresh water. I would ALWAYS go for a 1/2 sealed cooling system. ( cools everything BUT the exhaust manifolds & risers with recycled fresh water. ) Just like your car radiator does. Antifreeze is also in the water. Never a cracked block if anti freeze is kept in at a 50-50 ratio.

Or if a salt water boater full time or a lot of time in salt water. Go to a FULLY sealed cooling system.. It cools engine & the heavy exhaust castings also.

Full is best for a salt water boat.

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The Volvos ARE NOT bullet proof. They have plenty of problems on other forums. Yamaha is another HIGHLY overrated company. Again go on other forums.

Both brands are always having problems with the newest years.

There does exist a code of silence about owners posting Volvo & Yamaha problems. Some are continuous problems that are not corrected after months of posting.

No company is bullet proof since the depression has gone on for so long.

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Glad you opened up this thread, even though I can only imagine this topic having been discussed 40+ times already on this board. But since I'm relatively new to this forum as well as boating, it's good to have this topic rehashed for the sake of people like myself to get caught up. That being said, I'm in exactly your shoes - have a Volvo Penta 8.1GL with a VP DPS-A 1.78 outdrive. Bought the boat with 34 hours on it and for the 4 times we've been out, I thought the motor performed very well. It pushes the 276 ssx very easily and I haven't taken it WOT yet but had her up to 35mph for a few seconds with 4 people in it and I felt there was plenty of power to go. The few times I pushed the throttle a bit hard to see how she jumps and she didn't disappoint at all. I've also noticed that with the hours I've put on it so far and with the amount of gas I've put in, it feels like I'm getting very reasonable gas mileage from a 105 gallon fuel tank.

I don't have any experience with Mercury engines but I hear all sorts of good stuff about them also so I can only speak from my super novice experience. If both are basic GM blocks then the difference should be minimal with the exception of the outdrives and parts availability. One being American made and the other Swedish.

Yes, there both GM block as you mentioned. The difference minimal, well no or at lest I think so. The cap and rotor I know are the same. Raw water pump, fuel pump, Alt & power steering pump looks a little different but not sure.

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The Volvos ARE NOT bullet proof. They have plenty of problems on other forums. Yamaha is another HIGHLY overrated company. Again go on other forums.

Both brands are always having problems with the newest years.

There does exist a code of silence about owners posting Volvo & Yamaha problems. Some are continuous problems that are not corrected after months of posting.

No company is bullet proof since the depression has gone on for so long.

I said that there "more bullet proof" not that they are. meaning that they have less problems than Mercs as whole.

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