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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As I have 3 old Volvos in my driveway, in addition to my 2016 XC90 T8, ... my neighbor stopped by today to tell me about his work mates car.

Car in question is a '98 S70 Turbo, 156K Miles. and the head gasket blew 2 weeks ago while driving on the freeway. Apparently lots of white smoke out the exhaust as the car came to a stop on the freeway. They had it towed to a old Volvo mechanic and they wanted $2500, so they are going to scrap the car.

So they asked if I wanted it for 200 bucks. I went over and had a look at it today that the body is great, but as it's in south Florida the interior is sun damaged and a wreck. The engine turns over fine (battery is dated 2016) They said that they had taken very good care of the car and it appears to be so.

So for 100 bucks for the Gasket kit, how difficult is it to swap out the head gasket. I have the abilities, tools, and garage just not sure if I want to spend the time and money getting the car 3 miles to my place and then start another project ... If I could do it in a weekend ... I could have a decent S70 Turbo for under 500$. If there are no other major issues

I have read through this forum (I spend most of my time over in the RWD section) but couldn't fine my specific answers so I decided to post a thread to ask a few specific questions

• Is the '98 an odd ball. I see a few references to '99 parts being different, and the '99 being preferred, Why?
• How many hours for me to swap the head gasket, 1 guy in his own home garage ?
• If the head gasket fails at speed on the freeway and, the coolant passes through the cylinders, any thing else that could have been damaged?
 

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Heads warped. Needs to be shaved and rebuilt since it’ll all be apart.

Otherwise a weekend job.

Oem blue box Volvo parts only.

New head bolts and anaerobic sealant for the cam cover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the tips. The car is really in great shape mechanically and body, just the interior and head gasket issue.

I'll stop by the Volvo dealer at lunch and see what they want for the OEM parts. As I stated before I don't need another Volvo or another project but I think this would be a good car if I can rebuild it for under 1K does that seem reasonable.
 

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1998 V70 T5 with factory m56h; 18t, Green injectors, 50% e85
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You may be able to do better than dealer's prices by shopping online (although head gasket is mostly a labor job). Try FCP and some of the large Volvo dealers with online shopping sites. Volvo of Lyle used to have great deals on certain items.

Perhaps more importantly, this Robert Spinner video might help you in evaluating the rest of the car: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4g-w4OXeBw
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks' Washdup

I do have a bit of experience from the last 35years of owning and fixing my Volvo's, just never did a Head gasket on a FWD car before.

So really interested in knowing if there are any "Gotcha's" that make it a PITA

For example, I once worked on a boat where we had to lift the engine off of the mounts to replace the oil filter, anyway ...

I did get quotes from the dealer today, parts desk guy claimed a head "kit" is no longer available. The rest of the "al a cart" prices were reasonable, So as per ScottishBricks recommendation I like the idea of Blue Box parts for the head gasket and other critical gaskets and seals etc... I'll shop around my usual online sources however.

I just scrubbed through the video you posted the link to ... and sure ... but without the car running hard to test some of these things. I did crawl under the car and didn't see any traces of oil, so pretty sure the rear seal is OK (Unlike my '99 V70 Wagon I had that always had a greasy rear window it's last 6 months of my ownership) Also the current owner of the car in question has a stack of service receipts, and just did the front suspension. So I'll have a look through those. Also I spoke to his wife and daughter and they all seem pretty straight up honest. The car was running 2 weeks ago, and you can't run a car down here in July August if it's over hearting and there is no A/C, so apart from the head gasket and sunburnt interior this is a very clean florida car ...

but at this point I just need to evaluate if :

• 200$ bucks for the car
• Plus A few hundred for parts
• Cost of having the head measured and machined if required
• Title Tax and Insurance
• and a weekend or 2, .....

...... is worth the trouble of having a 5th Brick on the property.
 

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You'll need the cam lock tool (holds the camshafts stationary while you are installing the timing belt tool) as well. I don't know if the local parts stores rent out that particular tool or not. Unless you have a real need for the car and/or you just love doing this type of work, I wouldn't recommend the project. Check on what the local machine shop will charge for rebuilding your head - I bought a 1998 GLT with a burnt valve and I think I paid $750 to get the head surfaced and the valves redone - this exceeded the cost of the car! If you're going to flip the car, you'll be upside down on it before you know it. You're going to be buying a water pump, timing belt and tensioner, idler rollers, accessory belt, cooling system hoses, and a host of other items that the car likely also needs. If the body, paint and interior were near perfect, then it might tip the scales towards fixing it.

Heck, every time I go to the junkyard now, I see cars that are in nicer condition cosmetically than the ones that I am getting parts for!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Now there's some good advise ...

I did see that on the IPD website yesterday, are you referring to this

https://www.ipdusa.com/products/5127/109573-volvo-camshaft-locking-tool-ipd-109573-t850ct

So add that, plus 23 bucks for the Haynes manual ( Don't think I still have the V70 manual I had as I haven't seen it in a few years)

Then some new brake pads etc.

I agree with the return on investment concept. It's like an episode of Wheeler Dealers where they have a very expensive workshop to work in, and a Guy helping Edd, then that crazy Mike is all excited when they make a profit of 800$ ..... after all the man hours the 3 of them put into it ......

If I could rebuild the car for under a grand, I might be able to sell it for a grand .... I would then be even, but have a Cam tool, a manual and 2 lost weekends .... :partywave:


EDIT:

Also just looked through your signature and clicked on the link, you seem to have credentials for commenting on '98 S/V70's ....;)
 

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Don’t “need” cam lock it’s a 98 without vvt. Cams stay put. What you do need is the cam cover tools that come with the locks for reinstalling the cam cover.

Parts alone it’s cheaper to do an engine than a head. Head is everything on an engine refresh besides head bolts and gasket. Engine usually runs about or less than a head service and skim even on the cheap. Time to do both jobs is effectively the same.

Just something to consider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So there may be some confusion between the 2 tools, and now I'm confused.

IPD lists 2 tools. A "Timing" tool and a "Lock" tool


https://www.ipdusa.com/products/7047/115377-volvo-cam-timing-tool-ipd-115377

But states ... "Works with all 1993-1998 non-CVVT 850, C70, V70 & S70 models."

https://www.ipdusa.com/products/5127/109573-volvo-camshaft-locking-tool-ipd-109573-t850ct

And this description states .... "Note:This tool will work on 1998 and earlier models without CVVT (constant variable valve timing) only."

To be honest, as with any timing of the mechanical links of the engine, if your careful and double check the marks you don't need to "lock" the parts, but is certainly could be helpful.

But .....

What "cam cover tools that come with the locks for reinstalling the cam cover" are you referring to? I looked through a few sites and couldn't find any reference .... but I did see in one of Roberts Video's how he did it, scrub through to 20:00. Are you talking about the tool he references to pull the cam cover down using the spark plug holes?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6TL52R81V0
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So after consideration, I have decided to pass. The owner did say that the timing belt was recently replaced, but I just don't have the time or place.

If anybody in South Florida in interested PM me and I will get you in contact with the owner.
 
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