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retroicon
11-30-2015, 12:24 AM
Hey All,

So I've had the 18 out a few times, and am already looking around for spares/replacements in case (or better put, for WHEN) things go wrong and I need to make a few fixes on the 280 outdrive. Finding parts for the motor won't be difficult, but I don't want to be down 3-4 weeks during the summer hunting down outdrive parts.

Anyway...

While looking around, I found a post somewhere about a 280E variant that looks like the lower unit would bolt up to the 280 I have, the difference being, the gearing is at 1.45:1 instead of the 1.61:1.

Based on the few posts I've seen, it looks like this variant is kind of a unicorn, and the odds of finding one to play with wouldn't be all that great. All that said, anyone have any experience with a 280E?

Here's the only real picture I could find...

http://s1207.photobucket.com/user/xxxscimitarxxx/media/WITCH%20OF%20ENDOR/witch5_zps8072a5c5.jpg.html

-Gary

f_inscreenname
11-30-2015, 01:43 AM
Hey Gary
The one you pictured is a Volvo 250 (the oil drain plug on the back of the mid section) with a E (Eaton) lower. Real fast drive and real fragile drive. Great for speed but not for durability and you thought finding a picture was hard, parts are nonexistent. The reason they can get away with it behind the boat pictured was its as light as a feather (the same way I can use a c71 B/W trans behind my BB hydroplane) and it was all they had back then.

Just Say N20
11-30-2015, 09:01 AM
Bill (Conquistador) has several of these in differing conditions. They are the "Holy Grail" of Volvo outdrives.

I don't know how fragile they actually are, as Ed Donnelly had one on his first Donzi 16 powered by a 1,000 hp twin turbo engine that pushed it over 100 mph. I also have a friend that has the original e-drive that came on his 1974 Donzi 16 that has never given him any trouble.

Rare is an understatement regarding parts. Many have looked into getting replacement parts machined, but found it would be crazy expensive. There is a company in upstate NY that has almost all the parts necessary to rebuild one. I looked into it when I owned one. They wanted over $6,000 for the parts.

mattyboy
11-30-2015, 09:29 AM
all above is true plus they run different props than a normal Volvo Mazco made them at one point. I think they used a Merc racing spline/shaft they were good for 5+ mph

retroicon
12-02-2015, 01:52 AM
Thanks for all the info guys...

The picture above came from a guy that seems pretty sure it's a 270E, not a 280E, but I guess it's kind of pointless if they're as rare as everyone says... and, as I kind of expected.

What really got me thinking was looking at the ratios available, seeing the 270E having ratios of 1.18:1, 1.26:1, 1.41:1, and 1.45:1. It looks like it wouldn't take all that much work to replace the 1.61:1 in the standard 270, or 280 with something more aggressive.

Maybe this mystery company in NY has just the lower unit gears?

-Gary

f_inscreenname
12-02-2015, 09:29 AM
IMHO its a Volvo 250 because of the oil drain plug in the center section. 250's and before are the only ones that had it. The 270, 280, etc its in the upper section and its used as a oil site level.
As for gears, don't think the E lower gears will fit a Volvo 270 (never had a set side by side before to be sure). There are gears for a 250 that will work in a 270 that are 1.5 but the rest of the drive internals are so small I broke one 100 yards from the ramp with my BBC the first time out.

mattyboy
12-02-2015, 09:41 AM
F'in is right some parts interchange fairly easy and some don't or won't at all , the 280-290 had a different lower from the 200 250 270 in the anti cav plate area. the best plan would be to find a 1.6 spare drive for a rainy day and build a mill that will turn a 23 solas to 5K on 1.6 . you will be at a good performance and reliability stand point in an 18 . somewhere low 60s and bullet proof. if you want more than that you need to go to the darkside.

mattyboy
12-02-2015, 09:53 AM
here's a VP brochure pic on the E drive and a video of one in action on Lake George on a X18 with a 400 +hp chevy

Just Say N20
12-02-2015, 12:02 PM
E-drive gears don't fit "regular" drive lowers.

Kirbyvv
12-02-2015, 01:16 PM
Brian's X18 is fast, but he had a very hard time finding gears when they went out. He did find a set of new gears somewhere and a set of used that he keeps as a spare.

mattyboy
12-02-2015, 03:06 PM
Brian's X18 is fast, but he had a very hard time finding gears when they went out. He did find a set of new gears somewhere and a set of used that he keeps as a spare.

That's the biggest rub for me anyone who has one and spares isn't giving them up( don't blame anyone at all I'd do the same) and if you do find one and run it when it breaks I think you will have a real dependency issue on that 5+ mph that you will loose. That's why I never really tried to find one

retroicon
12-03-2015, 02:36 AM
Glad to see I'm not the only one who at least considered this...

As for having the 1.61:1 turning a Solas 23, that's not an issue. I just know that at some point, I'm going to want to go faster, so I figure I might as well start looking for the parts now (if it's even possible).

-G

mattyboy
12-03-2015, 07:50 AM
If you are looking for speed might as well go to a merc shorty setup now. The Volvo is a great strong drive but speed has never been its strong suit

Turning a 23 Solas or. 26 ultra if you can find one to 5 k or above is the most readily available way to get the fastest speed. But turning a 23 Solas to 5 k is no small feat you will need north of 350 hp to do it and with the ultra you need steel shorts and brass balls along with no slop in the steering

Just Say N20
12-03-2015, 04:49 PM
I had a volvo 290 with power trim on my 16. The engine dyno'd around 430 hp, with 490 ft lbs torque. 1.61 gears.

I ran 4 different props including the Ultra 26 and a Solas 23. ALL ran within 1 GPS mph of each other, at wildly different rpms. My conclusion was that the Volvo 290 was the speed limiting equipment. It is super strong, and super inefficient. It simply does NOT want to go through the water much faster than 65 mph.

If you want more speed, I'm afraid you will have to go Black.

FYI the Solas 23 produced 65.3 GPS mph @ 5,300 rpms. It took 430 hp and 490 ft lbs to do that.

retroicon
12-03-2015, 06:37 PM
Thanks for all the info guys. I don't want more speed yet, but I'm sure it's coming at some point down the road... especially after doing a few runs with some other boats, and having to deal with all their propwash.

I did pick up a Volvo Ultra 26 recently, just haven't had the chance to put it on and give it a run yet.

-Gary

smidgen too
12-03-2015, 07:55 PM
Has anyone with a classic 16' or 18' tried a Volvo drive raised up Like Jeff & I have done with our twin engine Magnums, it works ! And now that there is a manufacturer who is making prop hub adapters for Volvo 250, 270 & 280 drives so you can now use Mercruiser Mirage & Bravo props that are far better running on the surface than a Solas & are less expensive. Turning point Propeller is now making the hub kit that is compatible with Merc's Flo Torq II, these hubs are supposed to be available 1/1/16 for around $70.00. My Magnum run's 70mph with mild engines that would only push this hull with stock height Volvo drives just into the low 60's. I know when the time comes to replace my engine in my X-18 I will be raising the Volvo drive up & with my power trim set up it will more than fast enuff with out going to the dark side...

Just Say N20
12-04-2015, 09:52 AM
I don't know that there is enough space in an 18 to raise the engine/drive enough to make a difference. In my 16 I had to use a low profile spark arrestor and it still rubbed the underside of the hatch.

retroicon
12-11-2015, 04:05 AM
Has anyone with a classic 16' or 18' tried a Volvo drive raised up Like Jeff & I have done with our twin engine Magnums, it works ! And now that there is a manufacturer who is making prop hub adapters for Volvo 250, 270 & 280 drives so you can now use Mercruiser Mirage & Bravo props that are far better running on the surface than a Solas & are less expensive. Turning point Propeller is now making the hub kit that is compatible with Merc's Flo Torq II, these hubs are supposed to be available 1/1/16 for around $70.00. My Magnum run's 70mph with mild engines that would only push this hull with stock height Volvo drives just into the low 60's. I know when the time comes to replace my engine in my X-18 I will be raising the Volvo drive up & with my power trim set up it will more than fast enuff with out going to the dark side...

Can you post a little more info about those prop adapters?

-Gary

Greg Guimond
12-11-2015, 07:58 AM
Before you start spending ........ If Turning Point makes a hub adapter, the first thing I would try is a Revolution 4 prop from Mercury. These props are fast on deeper drives and I suspect that you would easily pick up 4-5mph of top speed with better all around handling. I have several Rev4's. The big blade area lifts the entire boat up, not just the bow so less wetted surface. Rev4's come from the factory with PVS holes as well so you can mess around with plugs to fine tune. If you poke around you can find them used. What state are you located in Gary?

smidgen too
12-11-2015, 08:19 AM
Can you post a little more info about those prop adapters?

-Gary

Here is the post on OSO about the hubs.

Hub Kit
Hello all,
Just a note to let all the guys still running Volvos that Turning point Propeller is now making a hub kit that is compatible with Merc's Flo Torq II, Michigan Wheel XHS, and Solas Rubex prop systems. The are supposed to be available 1/1/16.

Anybody interested let me know.
Tom
Cobe Marine
410-255-9488
info@cobemarine.com

retroicon
12-16-2015, 04:12 AM
Wow, that sounds pretty amazing. So many props are compatible.

I put in an email, and am waiting for more info.

Thanks

retroicon
01-02-2016, 05:01 AM
Before you start spending ........ If Turning Point makes a hub adapter, the first thing I would try is a Revolution 4 prop from Mercury. These props are fast on deeper drives and I suspect that you would easily pick up 4-5mph of top speed with better all around handling. I have several Rev4's. The big blade area lifts the entire boat up, not just the bow so less wetted surface. Rev4's come from the factory with PVS holes as well so you can mess around with plugs to fine tune. If you poke around you can find them used. What state are you located in Gary?

Sorry, just saw this Greg... I'm in Central FL.

mattyboy
01-23-2016, 11:49 AM
just saw 4 e drives come up for sale on one of the powerboat pages on facebook guy had 4 3 of them needed work and 1 was in running condition

caused quite a stir had a couple of props too

f_inscreenname
01-24-2016, 01:22 AM
just saw 4 e drives come up for sale on one of the powerboat pages on facebook guy had 4 3 of them needed work and 1 was in running condition

caused quite a stir had a couple of props too

Also on OSO in the for sale section.

Danny
01-24-2016, 12:03 PM
I recently posted an album of e-drive schematics and parts lists under my profile. Please let me know if you can't view them.
There are several different versions of e-drive and different gear ratios.