Dear Valued Customer:
Recently, Volvo Penta announced that the XDP Upgrade Program has been extended to 12/31/2016. The program is offered to all registered Volvo Penta XDP owners, allowing them to swap out their XDP drives for either a DPS-B drive and transom shield package, or a DPS-B Ocean X drive and transom shield package.
At $11,500 per drive/transom, this package is about $5,000 less than the normal price if you purchased the parts separately. The swap-over usually takes approximately 8-12 hours of labor.
The Upgrade Program has a fairly complicated procedure for taking advantage of the offer, but we are here to help you throughout this process. There may be some additional parts that are needed depending upon which XDP and engine model you have, but overall, this is an effective and reasonably priced way to obtain a more dependable drive.
Depending on your model engine and drive, the upgrade package includes:
- New drive
- New transom shield kit
- Conversion kit (which includes trim adaptors and miscellaneous hardware for early model products)
- New Y-Pipe and hardware (depending on riser height and model year)
- Cooling water hose
- New propeller hubs to re-hub your existing “D” series (aluminum) or “F” series (stainless steel) props. (Both the new DPS-B and DPS-B Oxi have helical spline prop shafts which have been engineered by Volvo Penta. This change created more surface area of splines for the prop to “bite” on the prop shaft resulting in less “slip” and greater performance. This means that your existing prop hubs have to be changed to the new hubs or that new props be purchased.)
Both options take advantage of a full 1-year warranty from Volvo. Both options will also require you to send the old “cores” back to Volvo Penta. The shipping back of these cores is not included in the cost of the program and is the customer’s responsibility. (There is
a $4,000 core charge if the old XDP transom shield and outdrive is not returned within 60 days of receiving the replacement.)
Whether to take advantage of this upgrade really depends upon the experience you have had with your XDP drive. Many of the earlier drives had exhaust bellows issues that caused some other related problems. Some of the drives experienced split housings around the drive shafts that may or may not have been drive manufacturing issues.
The skeg of the XDP drive is easily damaged which sometimes can lead to water getting into the drive. Certain drives have been reported to have gear lash issues that cause premature failure on drives mated to 8.1 liter engines, while other drives have had leaking seals around the drive shafts.
Despite the widespread failures of the XDP, many customers proudly stand behind their drives with little to no complaints. I would say that approximately 40% of people have had issues with their drives.
However, parts for the XDP drives and transom shields are becoming just about impossible to get. Volvo Penta doesn’t stock, for the most part, anything other than consumable parts (like bellows and prop nuts) and warns that most parts will not be re-stocked.
And finally, we have heard anecdotally, that having an XDP drive reduces the selling price of boats by $16,000 to $20,000.
Whatever way you decide to go, whether it is keeping your XDP going or taking advantage of Volvo’s Upgrade Program, please give us a call with your engine, drive, and transom shield serial #s, and we would be glad to assist you with a quote.
J.D. Neeson, President
Marine Parts Express
65 Dodge Road
Edgecomb, ME 04556