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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey all, new to the forum, and relatively new to Volvo, this being my first. Bought my 2012 S60 T5 FWD two years ago and have been relatively satisfied--has 92k on the clock as of now. I have been a DIY mechanic for many years now and have done a handful of relatively complex jobs (mostly on Fords). So far I have only had to do a few oil changes and replace all rotors/pads (imagine my surprise when I saw they still use FoMoCo brake components despite dissolving their partnership several years prior). Just wanted to give you a quick background on where I'm at..

About 500-750 or so miles ago, I noticed some oil on the ground behind the passenger front tire. I had recently done an oil change and recalled being a little sloppy with the filter, so I figured some oil run off was finally making its way to the ground. The dripping continued and a few weeks later, I checked the oil level and found it to be drastically low, esp since I had just done an oil change. I removed the front top cover to expose the cam gears and some pulleys, had someone rev the engine, and I clearly saw oil spraying upwards. Yesterday, I pulled off the entire front cover and noticed that the oil seemed to be mostly built up at the bottom near the crank. After some digging, I found that my most likely culprit is the crankshaft seal and/or oil pump seal.

For this job, I figure to do the following: (1) replace timing, serpentine, and AC belts (2) replace timing/serpentine tensioners and timing pulley (3) replace crankshaft seal (4) replace oil pump gasket and seals/o-rings. My question and issue is that, in order to do this, I understand the need to line up the timing correctly. The videos and threads I discovered seem to only cover older volvos that have notches on the plastic cover to indicate where the cam gear markings need to line up. My plastic cover doesn't seem to have this feature, and my cam gears don't appear to have markings (admittedly, I didn't look too hard) but rather painted dots that I assume are the timing markers--a white dot on the left gear, and a blue dot on the right gear. Also, it seems older models had notches that needed to be lined up on the crankshaft pulley and/or harmonic balancer--any insight on how these need to line up? Any advice or insight on this is greatly appreciated!

Pic of the cam gears, so you can see what I'm talking about: Cam Gears
 

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Are you certain it's not the cam seals and/or VVT units leaking? I've replaced many cam seals for leaking but never saw a front crank seal or oil pump leaking on a 5 cylinder. I got burned once when I replaced a front crank seal and oil pump seal. It turns out the cam seal was leaking behind the back of the timing cover (against the engine) and showing up near the crank pulley. Maybe the reason your engine is throwing oil is from the rotating crank pulley or timing belt. In any case, I worked in a shop that when we saw cam seals leak, we also replaced the front crank seal as a preventative measure.

It wouldn't hurt for you to do the cam seals with the front crank pulley. It's not much more work than what you're already planning.

For the tools to time the engine, you can find a kit on Amazon for maybe $50-$75 that consists of the crank locking pin (goes behind the starter) to put the crank in the proper position, the cam locks and the giant wing nuts for if you ever have to remove the cam cover.

There should be notches on the cam gears but when you time the engine after doing this, they don't make a difference. The notches are only there as a point of reference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your reply! Honestly, being my first time ever dealing with a car that has a timing belt (all my other vehicles have had chains), I am not sure. I checked around the cam gears as much as I could but did not notice any oil or build up. How would I go about ensuring it isn't the cam seals?
 

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I just looked at that picture in your original post - I didn't notice it last night. The top of your engine is pretty wet. Have you looked at the engine side of the cam gears for oil wetness?

In my years with Volvo, I've learned that the most commons sources of oil leaks from the 5 cylinder is 1) oil filter housing 2) front cam seals. Judging by your picture it's not the oil filter housing leaking.

I would suggest you replace the cam seals and the front crank seal together. Keep in mind, there is the possibility one or both of the VVT units leaking as well and as far as I know, it's impossible to distinguish a leaking VVT unit from a leaking cam seal. For that reason, my shop always replaced VVT units with cam seals. The downside is all both cam seals and front crank seal probably cost less than $100 for all 3. Each VVT unit is over $150 from fcpeuro.

As the engine in my S40 has the same vulnerabilities as your engine, I have pondered what I will do if/when my engine starts leaking from the cam seals. I've decided I would do the cam seals only and only if the leak persists would I then spend the money for new VVT units.

If you do the cam seals you will need the special tool kit I mentioned. A word of warning. Before beginning this job, I strongly suggest having an extra bolt or 2 for the reluctor wheel on the back of the camshafts. They have torx 30 heads and often strip out when trying to remove them. Drilling the head off is very easy and the shaft will then normally easily unthread from the camshaft once you drill the head off. You will also need the rear cam caps since those will be destroyed when you remove them to get to the back of the cams. I also strongly recommend replacing both serpentine belt tensioners while you're there. If those fail and the serpentine belt breaks, it sometimes gets caught in the crankshaft gear and causes the timing belt to jump out of time - with catastrophic results (bent valves).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Ok good deal. Am I correct in assuming I only need to replace the front cam seals, or would you recommend doing the rear seals as well since I'll be back there anyway for the locking tool?

In regards to the tensioners/pulleys, I planned on replacing the following: timing belt tensioner, timing belt idler pulley, and belt tensioner assembly. Each one is a link to the part on FCP Euro, I just want to ensure there isn't anything I'm missing.

Thanks again for your help, I really appreciate how thorough you've been--definitely saving me a big headache!
 
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