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JOHNCARP

277 Overheating Issues

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I have a 2015 277 that I have been having a number of overheating issues.   First the dealer thought it was an impeller, so we replaced it.   Then it continued.   They thought that maybe the impeller broke apart and some of the pieces clogged the cooling system, so they took the entire cooling system apart.    My boat worked fine for 2 months, then last night it overheated again.

It is extremely frustrating to have paid over $100,000 for a boat that constantly has to be towed in.   Worse than that, our dealer does not offer any towing service to the dealership, so we have to get Seatow to tow us to the dealership.   It is about a 2-3 hour tow ride to the dealership and they require someone to be on the boat.

Anyone else have these problems or did I just get a lemon?

 

Also, what kind of idiot designs these engines with an impeller that has to be replaced so often?  My last Chaparral didn't have one and we never had problems.   I feel like I made a huge mistake buying this boat. 

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what engine do you have?  Merc or Volvo?  Merc recommends the impeller change every 3 years.  I don't know about Volvo.

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yep, we can give much better advise if you let us know which make your engine and drive are.

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31 minutes ago, JOHNCARP said:

 

 

Also, what kind of idiot designs these engines with an impeller that has to be replaced so often?  My last Chaparral didn't have one and we never had problems.   I feel like I made a huge mistake buying this boat. 

Didn't have an impeller? What drive was on your last boat?

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48 minutes ago, Phillbo said:

Didn't have an impeller? What drive was on your last boat?

wondering the same thing.  With that said the old rubber impeller does seem to be antiquated.  Given its a water pump, the blades could be a hard plastic or metal that would last longer.

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1 hour ago, MonkeySeaII said:

what engine do you have?  Merc or Volvo?  Merc recommends the impeller change every 3 years.  I don't know about Volvo.

$5 says it's a Merc. :D

1 hour ago, JOHNCARP said:

Also, what kind of idiot designs these engines with an impeller that has to be replaced so often?  My last Chaparral didn't have one and we never had problems.   I feel like I made a huge mistake buying this boat. 

Your older Chaparral almost certainly had an impeller also.  You probably didn't have it long enough to require replacing it.  It's definitely frustrating but don't get discouraged.  277 is an absolutely awesome boat but unfortunately these issues are not too uncommon in the boating world.  Once it's fixed you'll be golden again.  

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37 minutes ago, soldier4402 said:

wondering the same thing.  With that said the old rubber impeller does seem to be antiquated.  Given its a water pump, the blades could be a hard plastic or metal that would last longer.

because of the design of a boat, ie: pulling in raw seawater, you would not want something other than flexible rubber.  You always have the risk of sucking up debris that would destroy a rigid impeller.

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Volvo would be a crank mounted pump, very easy to replace an impeller there, Merc would be the newer brass type engine mounted. Slightly larger impeller that need the pump housing removed to replace the impeller. At 3 years old the manifolds and elbow may need to be removed and inspected although 3 years is a bit early . If a Bravo ,it could have a mild case of "Bravoitis"

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1 hour ago, MonkeySeaII said:

because of the design of a boat, ie: pulling in raw seawater, you would not want something other than flexible rubber.  You always have the risk of sucking up debris that would destroy a rigid impeller.

I got that, but you watch them mine and so forth sucking up large rocks.  Think of  a jet ski that in essence is a large water pump and they don't use rubber.   One of those where I say we put a man on the moon, but let a $20 part determine the livelihood of a 10k engine and a 100k boat.

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The reason a rigid impeller won't work is that these are not flooded suction pumps. Upon initial start-up, the impeller needs a near perfect blade to case seal as the housing is dry and needs to pump air for a second or two. Once the air is displaced, then any impeller would work, but these pumps are all positive displacement rubber impeller. The OP's first boat has a raw water rubber impeller pump also, likely a Merc Alpha which are hidden in the out drive. You guys with AC have a condenser cooling pump, and it is a centrifugal design has a rigid impeller, but it is also mounted below the water line and has a flooded suction. The engine mounted coolant circulation pump is also a centrifugal type with rigid stamped steel impeller, but in a closed loop cooling system it is always submerged in antifreeze, and on a raw water cooled engine, it is force primed by the sea water positive displacement rubber impeller pump.  W

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Sorry, I have been traveling.    My current 277 has a Volvo 380 engine in it.   My previous boat was a Chaparral that had a Merc in it, I had for 15 years.   I never had a single problem with it.

This is a 2015 that I purchased out of the showroom in 2016.  It had 0 hours on it.   I just got off the phone with the owner of the dealership.  They have no idea what is going on.   They replaces the waterpump and tried to charge for for my third impeller in 3 months.   I told him, no way, I have had to have my boat towed 3 hours to his marina 2 times, it is time for him to feel some pain.    He says he has no idea if this fixed the problem or not.

I treat this boat exactly like the last boat.   It is stored on a lift out of the water.   I don't start it until it is completely floating.   I let it idol for a few minutes and I usually slowly drive it away from my dock.  There should be plenty of time for water to get into the impeller housing.

Yes I love the 277 when it is working.  This summer has been absolutely frustrating, It would really be hard for me to recommend this boat to anyone.

 

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5 minutes ago, JOHNCARP said:

Sorry, I have been traveling.    My current 277 has a Volvo 380 engine in it.   My previous boat was a Chaparral that had a Merc in it, I had for 15 years.   I never had a single problem with it.

This is a 2015 that I purchased out of the showroom in 2016.  It had 0 hours on it.   I just got off the phone with the owner of the dealership.  They have no idea what is going on.   They replaces the waterpump and tried to charge for for my third impeller in 3 months.   I told him, no way, I have had to have my boat towed 3 hours to his marina 2 times, it is time for him to feel some pain.    He says he has no idea if this fixed the problem or not.

I treat this boat exactly like the last boat.   It is stored on a lift out of the water.   I don't start it until it is completely floating.   I let it idol for a few minutes and I usually slowly drive it away from my dock.  There should be plenty of time for water to get into the impeller housing.

Yes I love the 277 when it is working.  This summer has been absolutely frustrating, It would really be hard for me to recommend this boat to anyone.

 

Perhaps it's time to start looking for a leak on the pump suction network that starves the pump and limits flow. Sucking in even a small amount of air will make the pump prime slowly, and limit it's total volume output at elevated rpm. Get the drive tilted full up and get up in there with a mirror. A suction side leak inboard would show up as water accumulation in the bilge, but a leak outside would be harder to find. A temporary pressure gauge installed on the discharge side would help track down the issue also. I mounted one permanently on my ride so I can monitor raw water pump condition in real time.  You may even have a miss-machined pump housing that is allowing internal bypass around even a new impeller.   Time to get a Volvo factory Rep involved. W

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2 hours ago, Wingnut said:

Perhaps it's time to start looking for a leak on the pump suction network that starves the pump and limits flow. Sucking in even a small amount of air will make the pump prime slowly, and limit it's total volume output at elevated rpm. Get the drive tilted full up and get up in there with a mirror. A suction side leak inboard would show up as water accumulation in the bilge, but a leak outside would be harder to find. A temporary pressure gauge installed on the discharge side would help track down the issue also. I mounted one permanently on my ride so I can monitor raw water pump condition in real time.  You may even have a miss-machined pump housing that is allowing internal bypass around even a new impeller.   Time to get a Volvo factory Rep involved. W

 

Thanks for the feedback.  The dealership got volvo involved.   They replaced all the pipes with clear pipes to see if there were any bubbles in the lines.  They did not see any.  They have replaced the water pump.  Put all the pipes back on.  It seems to be running cool now, but it was running cool a month ago.   I will print out your suggestion and send it to the owner of the dealership.

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I think this is the 2nd boat pump that recently had the clear tubing installed to help find the problem.

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3 hours ago, JOHNCARP said:

Thanks for the feedback.  The dealership got volvo involved.   They replaced all the pipes with clear pipes to see if there were any bubbles in the lines.  They did not see any.  They have replaced the water pump.  Put all the pipes back on.  It seems to be running cool now, but it was running cool a month ago.   I will print out your suggestion and send it to the owner of the dealership.

Did they replace the entire pump or just the impeller. Have they ever changed the thermostat?  W

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22 hours ago, JOHNCARP said:

Sorry, I have been traveling.    My current 277 has a Volvo 380 engine in it.   My previous boat was a Chaparral that had a Merc in it, I had for 15 years.   I never had a single problem with it.

This is a 2015 that I purchased out of the showroom in 2016.  It had 0 hours on it.   I just got off the phone with the owner of the dealership.  They have no idea what is going on.   They replaces the waterpump and tried to charge for for my third impeller in 3 months.   I told him, no way, I have had to have my boat towed 3 hours to his marina 2 times, it is time for him to feel some pain.    He says he has no idea if this fixed the problem or not.

I treat this boat exactly like the last boat.   It is stored on a lift out of the water.   I don't start it until it is completely floating.   I let it idol for a few minutes and I usually slowly drive it away from my dock.  There should be plenty of time for water to get into the impeller housing.

Yes I love the 277 when it is working.  This summer has been absolutely frustrating, It would really be hard for me to recommend this boat to anyone.

Oh nooooo, it's a Volvo!?  Dammit.  Sorry you're going through this, but lemme ask you, what about the closed cooling system on that motor?  Did they say anything about that?  While they're concerned about the raw water pump and trying to charge you for a 3rd impeller etc., did they happen to mention anything about whether the closed cooling system is working properly?  That 2015 VP 380 almost certainly has a closed cooling system for the block and if there is overheating of some kind, there's more to look at than just the raw water system.

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No they didn't mention the closed cooling system.   They replaced the entire water pump and the impeller.   They tried to charge me for the impeller, I refused to pay for it.  They said it is not covered under warranty, I told them I paid for the one a month ago.   I had to have some one on the boat for a total of 6 hours in towing and I have spent 1/4 of a tank of gas on getting it from their shop to my house.   Time for them to have some skin in the game.   I know it is only $100 but now it is the principle.   I made it back from the shop no problems.   I have not had a chance to take it out again.   So who knows.  I will say, they did not seem confident they had fixed the problem.

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First of all Chap doesnt build the engines, they open a box and install one any one of a hundred manufactures could have gotten this.

I know of no dealer that offers towing.

15 years and never had a problem......never?

That being said I do feel your pain.

I have had an overheating issue (exhaust riser temp too hot) that took a year finally fix.

Ended up have to replace the heat exchanger.

They can pressure test your system to check for leaks, are you loosing coolant?

While impellors are not warrantied, you should not have been charged.

Is there another v/p repair shop in the area.

V/P has area reps, find out who yours is and send him an email, they will get involved with the repair center to fix this.

I hope you have better luck than I had.

jk

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Food for thought. While our boats have different motors, I believe the sea water pump and impeller are the same (need the complete model number of your engine to verify). Our starboard pump failed at approximately 15 hours. After replacing it, I’ve noticed this engine runs 4-F hotter than port. Nothing to worry about. But, when first started it can be 10-F. Odd for sure. I’ve not found an air leak or anything abnormal, but noticed if left to idle, the delta gets larger. Once off the lift and out, I gently bump the throttle up to about 1,000 RPMs for 5 to 15 seconds and then bring it back down and “high” idle out. The temperature comes down and more or less equalizes. I’ve not miced the bore or between the seal plates, but suspect some of these pumps need a bit more RPM to prime when dry due to tolerance drift. There’ve been 3 or 4 similar complaints about low hour failures/problems with this pump on this blog. Again, food for thought.

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44 minutes ago, jeffk said:

Ended up have to replace the heat exchanger.

Which might very well be the case here, which is why I mentioned the closed cooling system.  And speaking of heat exchanger, I wonder if they even bothered to check the thermostat for the CC system which if I'm not mistaken, is in the heat exchanger.  Do you know if that is accessible?  Or do you need to change the entire heat exchanger if the thermostat for the AF is kaput?  I know those are a PITA to get to on my type of engine, not sure about ones with CC systems.

31 minutes ago, Curt said:

Food for thought. While our boats have different motors, I believe the sea water pump and impeller are the same (need the complete model number of your engine to verify).

I'm glad you brought that up.  Is the pump on the closed cooling system for the AF a closed unit with a brass impeller?

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36 minutes ago, Hatem said:

Do you know if that is accessible?  Or do you need to change the entire heat exchanger if the thermostat for the AF is kaput?  

 

36 minutes ago, Hatem said:

Is the pump on the closed cooling system for the AF a closed unit with a brass impeller?

The thermostat is accessible, but it's not necessarily easy depending on the boat. No need to change the entire heat exchanger to change the t-stat.

The sea water side pulls water through the drive, into the sea water pump (the rubber/nitrile impeller) and then pushes it through the heat exchanger (to non-contact cool the antifreeze), through the exhaust (to cool it), and finally out the drive. 

The antifreeze side is closed and cools the engine (block and heads) by exchanging heat with sea water via the heat exchanger.  It's circulated and pressurized by a stamped steel impeller in the "water" pump, with flow and temperature regulated by the t-stat.  This is a same style water pump that's been around for decades and on all kinds of cars, trucks, etc.  I guess the impeller could be brass, but the one's I've had in my hands have been stamped steel.

I'm guessing the OP received an alarm or several along the way.  In addition to the exact engine model number, the exact alarms is helpful information.  How were these overheating issues identified without an alarm/alarms?  If high exhaust temperature, the issue is likely the sea water system.  If high temperature, it could be on either side and more diagnosis is necessary.  There are a few other potential alarms that could be in play here also.  The dealer and the Volvo Penta field representative likely scanned for codes, and saw alarms that indicate the sea water system is the culprit or they wouldn't have changed impellers, wouldn't have put clear hoses on, etc.

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21 hours ago, Curt said:

It's circulated and pressurized by a stamped steel impeller in the "water" pump,

I thought it might be brass in these marine engines.  That was all I wanted to know.  Thanks, Curtzation. 

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