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Thread: OMC to Volvo Penta Conversion

  1. #1
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    Default OMC to Volvo Penta Conversion

    After missing my last 2 summers sitting on the bank with blown OMC outdrives ( I thought I moved to Homer to get in some fishing), I picked up a SX-M Volvo Penta outdrive in Anchorage for a good price and have ordered all the parts for doing the conversion.

    Has anyone here done this conversion and are there any instructions available online?

    The SX-M (hopefully) will allow me to convert over to Volvo Penta without having to change out transon mounts.

    If I had known this was available, I would have done this a long time ago. The umnamed mechanic I was getting advice from failed to mention this conversion when he was trying to sell me a complete repower. The Volvo Penta folks pointed this out to me.

  2. #2
    Member jeff p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hozer View Post
    After missing my last 2 summers sitting on the bank with blown OMC outdrives ( I thought I moved to Homer to get in some fishing), I picked up a SX-M Volvo Penta outdrive in Anchorage for a good price and have ordered all the parts for doing the conversion.

    Has anyone here done this conversion and are there any instructions available online?

    The SX-M (hopefully) will allow me to convert over to Volvo Penta without having to change out transon mounts.

    If I had known this was available, I would have done this a long time ago. The umnamed mechanic I was getting advice from failed to mention this conversion when he was trying to sell me a complete repower. The Volvo Penta folks pointed this out to me.
    Hozer,

    I believe you will need the flywheel bell-housing for the Volvo SX-M as well as the inner transom shield. If you like, I can look up the part numbers in the morning to see if they are in fact different. Do you know what OMC you are taking out? I am presuming it is a Cobra of some sort; the cutout in the transom will be the same for Cobra and SX models, but there are some other differences. Cables come to mind, Volvo only uses one cable from the control to drive unit. This cable change also makes the OMC shift interrupter circut obsolete. The trim gauge wires will need a sligt change but is fairly staight forward.

    I am sure I am missing something, it has been a long day and my brain is fried at the moment.

    If you would like me to follow up on this send me a pm or let me know.

    I am a dealer for BRP, Volvo and Mercury Marine so I can research it a little for you if you like.

    Jeff

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff p View Post
    Hozer,

    I believe you will need the flywheel bell-housing for the Volvo SX-M as well as the inner transom shield. If you like, I can look up the part numbers in the morning to see if they are in fact different. Do you know what OMC you are taking out? I am presuming it is a Cobra of some sort; the cutout in the transom will be the same for Cobra and SX models, but there are some other differences. Cables come to mind, Volvo only uses one cable from the control to drive unit. This cable change also makes the OMC shift interrupter circut obsolete. The trim gauge wires will need a sligt change but is fairly staight forward.

    I am sure I am missing something, it has been a long day and my brain is fried at the moment.


    If you would like me to follow up on this send me a pm or let me know.

    I am a dealer for BRP, Volvo and Mercury Marine so I can research it a little for you if you like.

    Jeff
    Thanks for your response.

    It's a Cobra. The 350's used the King Cobra.

    There are spacers available for the tilt rams because the Volvo outdrive is a little taller and may bump up against your swim step. I was told these are not necessary. My boat does not have a trim indicator nor a trim interrruptor switch...at least not one that is functional. I will look into it if I find it's a problem.

    According to the Volvo folks and the guy I am getting the parts from...the SX-M came about when Volvo Penta (VP) bought out OMC. OMC was in trouble because their outdrives were blowing up mostly due to poor shifter cables. They wanted OMC because they had a superior transom mounting system. VP put out a conversion kit that mostly included the gimble swivel mount, raw water pump, and longer cable. I do not believe there is a need to change out your transom mounts, and belhousing with this model outdrive (it says "Cobra" on the side, but loooks like a Volvo Penta outdrive). What I have been told is VP owns the patent on their cone clutch system...which eliminates the need for ignition interuption (as you said) and goes directly from the controls to the back of the outdrive...also eliminating the shift lever. This outdrive can easily be switched from right-handed to left-handed prop rotation at the shift lever on the back of the outdrive. OMC's have an impeller in the outdrive...just like an outboard. The Volvo's do not. You are right again, this is the need for the raw water pump mounted on the crank.

    Mercruiser now puts out a cone clutch outdrive and they are in court with Volvo Penta as we speak.

    OMC's are OK if you go to the trouble of tuning the shifting cables and components just right ...and have your engine idle low enough. There are no mechanics that will work on OMC down here. I have had some hang up on me when I mention OMC. The main problem is they don't want to get blamed when the outdrive blows up....which happens all too often.

    The main thing with OMC's is to replace and adjust the transom cable from the outdrive to the shift lever. This gets stretched and sticks with age. This makes it difficult to shift and adjust your shifter so you get both forward and reverse. Add in your engine idle and the interrupt switches (both) and they can be a real nightmare.

    You may get 20 years or they might blow up the next time you shift. I'm tired of holding my breath every time mine grinds into gear.

    I wondered why Volvo doesn't put out a retro fit cone clutch outdrive that bolts right up to the OMC's...there are a million out there. I thought I read that there is one in the works on the Bayliners Owners Club forum. I will probably post a similar thread there and see what comes up.

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