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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
(There have been other similar postings with similar problems, but I didn't want to be rude and hijack anyone else's thread.)

A couple of months ago, I started experiencing coolant loss and an occasional cold start misfire and CEL. Brought car into the dealership and the tech pulled misfire codes on cyls 4 and 5. Tech pulled plugs and diagnosed a blown head gasket. He let me visually inspect cylinders 4 and 5, which were wet at the top of the piston. Head gasket was replaced, leak tests done and car was buttoned up. Service docs stated: "No internal damage was found on rotating assembly or on cylinder walls."

A week after getting car back, it's still losing coolant, about 6-8 ounces every 30-40 miles. Service writer says it's likely air trapped in the system. I ask them to leak test again, car is back in the shop for another 4 days, supposedly checks out OK. A week later...Car is still losing coolant at the same rate, so I get a block test kit:

Before:


AFTER:


So...my question: What are my options, and what can I expect for costs?
 

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Not good result there, your dealership did not do you any favors, you have probably had a cracked sleeve all along and they misdiagnosed it and took your money to not fix it.

Two options, used engine or darton sleeves. sleeves will run you $1K plus installation, PM Stealthy, he just had this done and can provide accurate cost information.

Used R engines start around $1200 on e-bay, plus you will have to pay someone to swap it out. This will be the cheaper option
 

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Options:

1. Keep driving the car, gently ... remove radiator cap every day and run engine 'till theromo opens and lets air bubble out, refill .
2. have your block sleeved
3. find a used engine

How many miles on your engine ?
What power mods have you ? (tune, etc)

I had ~ 113k miles with MTE stage II tune when I first noticed coolant loss ... drove the car for several K miles like that
one day I was boosting hard over the Green Mountains in VT and blew all the coolant -- limped home with 12 liters of coolant, stopping to refill each time light came on.
got the same: "you blew a gasket" -- that just means the mechanic doesn't know these blocks. At home my R expert pulled the head and we saw (you really have to look) the cracks.
I was able to get the last factory new R block on the E coast and have it installed. Looking into a built engine based on a used block was way too expensive for me.
But, a few months later I blew up the new block ... probably due to a bad tune that has no upper limit to boost ( was over 1.7 bar when it blew), or possibly a lean condition caused by a plugged fuel system ... I had the fuel lines, pump, etc replaced.

... found a guy on SS who was parting out his R ... got his engine installed and car runs better than ever (turns out I had a fuel system issue and several weak sensors).

Best thing I did was install a boost gauge and I watch it like a hawk. Never go above 1 bar now.


I'm curious if this is a condition that happens to people like me who are running tunes with higher boost, or if it happens even to those with completely stock tunes + engines ?
 

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I highly suspect a cracked cylinder sleeve. Tech must have missed it. There should be a warranty on your repair so I would push on that. Be firm but don't get belligerent. If that doesn't work, take to to small claims court. You will win, Judges don't really like Car Dealers. Customers win almost all the time.
 

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Call your dealer and complain. Then call VCOA. Then go find a used block and have the dealer install it for free. Or sleeve the block in the car and have it installed for free by the dealer. The dealer messed up big time and probably charged you 2k for the pleasure. ~8k for a sleeved block (no labor), 1.5k for a used block...
 

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I'm curious if this is a condition that happens to people like me who are running tunes with higher boost, or if it happens even to those with completely stock tunes + engines ?
Yes, stock engines suffer the same failures. However, higher boost exacerbates the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Two options, used engine or darton sleeves. sleeves will run you $1K plus installation, PM Stealthy, he just had this done and can provide accurate cost information.

Used R engines start around $1200 on e-bay, plus you will have to pay someone to swap it out. This will be the cheaper option
I'm a little wary of buying someone's used engine and having the same problems down the road unless the engine is sleeved or a block guard installed. Trying to find out whether those are available yet through Re-Volv.

Options:

How many miles on your engine ?Only about 123K
What power mods have you ? (tune, etc)None that I've added, but the tech who drove it suspects it might have been tuned by the previous owner...but it was registered to a woman in her 50s.
Call your dealer and complain. Then call VCOA. Then go find a used block and have the dealer install it for free. Or sleeve the block in the car and have it installed for free by the dealer. The dealer messed up big time and probably charged you 2k for the pleasure. ~8k for a sleeved block (no labor), 1.5k for a used block...
I'm definitely going to get back in touch with the dealer this week. The HG repair was about $3.5K. Not happy about that at all.
 

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IMHO not enough data on a blockguard... Sleeves are the ideal way forwards unless you order a block from Volvo... You can use an 04+ XC block and swap the pistons, rods, crank, cams... LPT only sees 5-8psi of boost.
 

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Do not speak with a service writer on the issue. Go straight to the service manager AND the store manager.

I like Dougy's idea personally. Use the 2.3 or 2.4 block since it has thicker cylinder walls.
yep , for owners like you , that is unable to do his own work/swap get a 2005 and up 2.4L T5 and you will have yourself a bullet proof R , keeping it stock levels of-course...you will never look back and you will feel 100% about your R.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I can do my own work. I've done a full engine rebuild on my 400+ hp Saab and I currently have a supercharged Miata in pieces in the garage.

Honestly...the issue is time. Too many projects, not enough time.

Thanks for all the input and advice. I'll look for a 2.4 and push the dealer to have it installed since they blew the original diagnosis.
 

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I can do my own work. I've done a full engine rebuild on my 400+ hp Saab and I currently have a supercharged Miata in pieces in the garage.

Honestly...the issue is time. Too many projects, not enough time.

Thanks for all the input and advice. I'll look for a 2.4 and push the dealer to have it installed since they blew the original diagnosis.

:thumbup: perfect plan mad dad...i would be too.
 

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The 2.4 seems like good compromise, you only loose a tiny amount of displacement but gain a bunch of reliability from not having the ****ty thin cylinder walls of the 2.5 motor.

I also feel like the dealer dropped the ball on this.
 

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Was this Boston Volvo Village?

If you replace with a 2.4, how much would you lose on HP and torque?
 

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I've got a motor :)
 
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