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Subject: Volvo Penta Upper Gearbox (outdrive)

I have lost forward in my Volvo Penta 290 Outdrive twice...first time was fixed by adjusting eccentric? and linkage?

It then ran well on both forward & reverse for about 1/2 hour, then I lost it again.

Attempt to fix by tech's at marina was futile...except to recommend I find an expert somewhere or totally remove upper gear box and check it out. So, as a temporary fix, we altered linkage for opposite rotation prop, and used other side of linkage (like the configuration used in twin outdrives) and now I have forward while using the upper gear...but I have no reverse. (i.e. lower gear and cone clutch not engaging)

It is hard to operate this way and I am looking for suggestions as to how to fix...Any thoughts?

Rob S.

PS I have not looked into upper gearbox to check sliding sleeve or shift shoe for wear....perhaps that is next?????



Dear Rob,

You appear to know more about the specifics in Volvo outdrives than I do.

In general terms on any form of transmission, once you eliminate the possibility of mal-adjustment of the external operating mechanism (as you have) you are left with the conclusion that you have an internal fault - either internal adjustment or worn components.

I suspect a clutch fault, but one really needs details of exactly what went on during the failure and possibly some time before. Boaters often do not recognise the importance of giving this information.

Quiet why you think I may be able to give better advice than a mechanic who has actually had the opportunity to inspect the system is beyond me, I go with him - find a Volvo expert and regrettably, pay the Volvo price. It would not surprise me if you ended up having the boat slipped or lifted and the outdrive completely removed.


Tony Brooks


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Subject: Volvo 270 Outleg template

Hi Tony,

We are looking for a template to cut the transom to suit this leg. We would be most grateful if you could tell us where to get one from. Volvo don't seem to want to know, and dealers say it's too old to stock


G Swords



Dear Mr Swords

Please do not send me fancy note paper - it makes your mail hard to read and takes up my bandwidth.

I am unable to help, but if you have the leg you should be able to make one from the leg out of card, plywood or hardboard.

You will have to use paper first.

Place a sheet of paper over the "back" of the leg, cutting small holes to allow any shafts or studs to poke through.

Rub a dirty hand over the paper, pressing against the leg internal and external "edges" to mark the paper. Then cur around the dirt lines.

Sorry not to be much help.

Tony Brooks


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