Volvo Penta 2003T

Volvo Penta 2003-T

The Volvo Penta 2000 series of Marine Diesel engines were introduced in 1983, with the last engines produced in 1993. The Volvo Penta 2003T marine diesel engine had a cylinder displacement of 1280cc and delivered an impressive 43 hp, thanks to its turbo unit.

The 2000-Series was a complete engine programme from Volvo Penta, which had been specially developed for powering sailboats and small motor boats. In addition, there was a comprehensive accessories programme for the 2000-Series for other requirements, such as, heating, cooling, electricity etc. Directly injected, they were easily started and fuel-efficient marine diesels. Also, a large flywheel, decompression and cold-start facility which made cold starts easier. A 12-volt two terminal marine electrical system and AC alternator of 50A assured excellent charging and the engine was carried in vibration-damping rubber mounts providing a low noise level for the time.

An image showing the Volvo Penta 2003-T with Saildrive Option
Volvo Penta 2003-T with Saildrive Option

How heavy is the Volvo Penta 2003T?

The different models of the Volvo Penta 2003T weighed between 176 kg (388 lbs) and 190 kg (419 lbs). The standard 2003T weighed 176 kg (388 lbs). The 2003T-V (with the additional reverse gear weighed 182 kg (401 lbs) and the 2003T-S complete with sail drive leg weighed 190 kg (419 lbs).

Specifications of the Volvo Penta 2003T

 Volvo Penta 2003T
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)43 hp

Dimensions of the Volvo Penta 2003T

VP 2003T Front Elevation
VP 2003T Side Elevation

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

Some problems are common between lots of diesel engines – see our checklist of the most common faults. If you’re seeing smoke from your exhaust, read this. But every variant of engine has its own idiosyncratic “personality” so we’ve gathered together a list of the common faults for the 2003T.

  • If you own a 2003T you must examine the oil cooler carefully and regularly for corrosion. It’s hidden under the heat exchanger. Secondly, also check for corrosion of the external steel high pressure oil pipe which feeds the turbocharger. A leak from either of these can dump the entire contents of the sump into the bilge and the first you’ll know is when the engine suddenly stops.

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.