Volvo Penta 2003 Marine Diesel Engine

Volvo Penta 2003

The Volvo Penta 2000 series of Marine Diesel engines were introduced in 1983, with the last engines produced in 1993. The Volvo Penta 2003 marine diesel engine had a cylinder dispacement of 1280cc and delivered 28 hp. The 2003 was often mated to a Volvo MS or MS2 gearbox or to a Volvo Saildrive unit.

The 2000-Series is a complete engine programme, which has been specially developed for powering sailboats and small motor boats. There is a well-tested accessories programme for the 2000-Series for other requirements, such as, heating, cooling, electricity etc. Direct injected, easily started and fuel-efficient marine diesel. Large flywheel, decompression and cold-start facility which makes cold starts easier. A 12- volt two terminal marine electrical system and AC alternator of 50A assures excellent charging. The engine is carried in vibration-damping rubber mounts providing a low noise level.


There are four transmission alternatives in the 2000-Series, all with easily-operated cone clutch with an overload protection feature: the R, L, V and S versions. The R-version is angled down at 7 degrees on the output shaft that makes installation easier and saves space. The L-version is straight. In the V-version, the reverse gear has been complemented with an angular gear allowing for reversed engine placement. The S-version is a compact combination of engine and drive, easy to install and with very low sound and vibration levels.

Volvo Penta 2000 series transmission options

How heavy is the Volvo Penta 2003?

The different models of the Volvo Penta 2003 weighed between 159 kg (351 lbs) and 173 kg (381 lbs). The standard 2003-R/L weighed 159 kg (351 lbs). The 2003-V (with the additional reverse gear weighed 165 kg (364 lbs) and the 2003-S complete with sail drive leg weighed 173 kg (381 lbs).

Specifications of the Volvo Penta 2003

 Volvo Penta 2003
Number of Cylinders3
Idle (no-load) speed (rpm)850
Full load speed (rpm)3200
Cylinder Diameter (mm)79
Stroke (mm)87
Displacement1280 cc
Power Output (hp)28 hp

Dimensions of the Volvo Penta 2003

VP 2003 Front Elevation
VP 2003 Side Elevation

Video: Click to watch a short video of a Volvo Penta 2003 running

Components of the Volvo Penta 2003

Volvo Penta 2003 Starboard Side Components
  1. Exhaust Elbow
  2. Injectors
  3. Temperature sender
  4. Electrical distribution box
  5. Fuel filter
  6. Alternator
  7. Starter motor
  8. Drainage, cooling water
Volvo Penta 2003 Port Side Components
  1. Feed-pump
  2. Engine serial number
  3. Decompression device
  4. Inlet air silencer
  5. Fuel injection pumps
  6. Oil dipstick
  7. Sea-water pump

A smart skipper learns from the lessons of others.

Do you own and maintain a Volvo Penta 2000 series marine diesel engine? In our Volvo Penta 2000 Series Almanac section, we have a series of previous questions and queries from VP2000 owners along with answers. Many of these have been adapted from discussions on the “Volvo Penta Marine Diesel Engine Owners Yacht and Boat Engines” Facebook group which is a fantastic resource for getting help.

Do you want to get future VP2000 Series Almanac articles straight to your inbox? Sign up to our Volvo Penta 2000 Series Owners’ Group today and we’ll make sure that you’re first to see them. And we definitely won’t share your email address with anyone else.