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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Help! Another cracked block sleeve. INDY said "how am I suppose to know to look for a crack block" after a $3400 job.

Darn, I'm literally losing sleep over this. I went through the exact same scenario as another FL member's thread about his headgasket job ended up being a cracked block. Looking for some opinions or advice and perhaps offering some learning experience from this to rest of the R owners or would be.

History of the Car, 07 AT R with all consistent sometimes OCD maintenance service record. Baught it from So Ca dealer with CPO warranty with less than 30k miles fully loaded. Kept stocked. Added VIVA intercooler, all AL radiator, & custom transmission oil cooler hoping to extend life of the car at about 60-70k miles. Added IPD TBV and Viva Forged blowoff valve to turbo. INDY shop updated ECU software. May be some occasional WOT spirited drives for a very brief moment, never redline, rest of time driving conservatively to save gas in Sports mode.

About 2-3 wks ago before labor day during the 100+ heat wave in So Ca, it had the classic boiling coolant problem forcing entire reservoir tank empty then overflow when trying open the cap. The R was at about 102k miles at that point. I took it to a shop recommended by another R member out in Upland that I had switch to previously. Got the diagnosis of a blown head gasket, bad turbo and recommended some PCV, head work, & redo oil pan. Also requested timing belt alone with it. I then sent the turbo to Pureturbos for rebuilt, folks there said turbo seem mostly good but bearing was gone and the rebuilt it in one day. I have a weekend car & wanted to job done right so told the INDY at Upland to take their time. Finally got the car back Friday before labor day weekend. Labor was about 2235 with 1054 parts with a grand total of $3380 as was told that VVT solenoids were bad too so they had to replace & tune it. Drove it back VERY carefully. The only "push" was a burst in advance mode getting on the the freeway with a quick WOT to about 5k RPM & a few boost to 15 PSI (I placed a IPD gauge from another DIY thread here) to get a feel for the car. Sound of the fresh turbo was pure bliss & R seem to power up fine. Stay out of boost at the last mile and let car idle to 1 min before shut off. That was about a 10-15 mile drive.

Drive another 10 miles to home and let it sit. Next morning on the way to work, start the car, CEL flashed, engine was definitely misfiring. It bother me enough so I just left it and took the car. On Labor day Monday, I carefully drove the R back to shop to drop off at same Upland INDY shop while monitoring heat level & coolant level. Got to shop, the disappear reservoir coolant and fizzling issue was happening again when I arrived. Owner was there & saw it. Left the car there & he said will let me know in a few days. I had been back & forth into the shop a few times now so the chronological event may not be in order. However clearly at one time, the junior mechanic that was working on the R said no cracks were found when I asked. Another time (probably after I took it back), (I'm guessing) owner's son (very pleasant fellow) said they had some trouble getting the timing right & hence the VVT solenoid job; this was probably when I dropped off a used moonroof motor for repair for the mean time I asked to look over the car once more because it was misfiring day after I picked up.

Few days later, i was told that car is good. Went on my lunch break, picked on the car, drove carefully and literally a block or two away CEL came on when I turned on AC and a misfireing stuttering can be felt from engine. I felt like a hypochoriact idiot so drove another block & felt problem was NOT my imagination. Drove it right back. Owner took me along for a test drive around neighborhood. Car was running ok without a lot of boost. Got back into his shop, sure enough coolant tank issue was there. He was dumbfound & suggest for me to just top off when fully cool off & try it. Did that next day, coolant tank was forced empty. Tried the same way to get back to shop. This time car overheat for a few second, pulled over immediatedly & turned heat full on and saw coolant splatter in engine bay. They found heat core hose blew out.

Week after that I was told they found the block to be cracked. So I begin trolling the forum on what people are experiencing. This whole time that car had moved about 130 miles. I realized I might have gone through what others had been with their shops on this same issue. In the meantime, they started to look for another engine for me and said was quoted 2500 for a used one. I presented the Darton Sleeve option and got some quote from George at VIVA. Two other mechanic friends are screaming at me that I'd been BS'ed and should consider going to small claims court. I'm 4k deep into this whole job now & the car is not running not to mention the crappy KBB value of only 8k for the car at "excellent" condition so I'm definitely having second thoughts facing with a possible 5k-10k+ job to get it to even run.

I really did not feel like being hostile since I felt they were a good & friendly neighborhood shop (particularly the son?). So I called owner today & try to reason to sense his position on my charge & additional labor. I asked if the cracked sleeve was missed & he somewhat agrees. I told him about other shops remedy I read here when shops put back the rebuilt engine without further labor cost for the missed diagnosis. That was definitely not well received, his answer was the head work (which I was charged) would be waived but the rest of the engine labor is fair game, "you came to us with this coolant issue & we did what you requested, how am I supposed to know to looked a cracked block as being the issue. We have done everything right."

I was just furious at this point & told him I'll be towing the car back soon. How would the job be done right if time after time, the car does not run right just after I picked it up.

Any options or advice on this fiasco is welcome.

Thanks :mad:
 

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Wow. sorry about your caR man.. i think your mention is about me ;) but yeah mechanics suck lol. i told my mechanic to check for cracks and dont do anything if there was a crack but he simply assured me that there was no cracks and it was only a head gasket.. The cheapest option for say would to get a T5 2.4L engine and drop it in. Then the next option would be an R engine or a sleeved block. i hope you get everything figured out and get some of your money back or atleast free labor.


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"you came to us with this coolant issue & we did what you requested, how am I supposed to know to looked a cracked block as being the issue. We have done everything right."



Thanks :mad:
He's completely WRONG. You came to him with a coolant issue. HE sold you a repair to FIX the car. It DID NOT fix it. He's owes you everything you've paid so far. If you took this to court, His tech and shop MISDIAGNOSED the problem. THEY are at fault.
 

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He's completely WRONG. You came to him with a coolant issue. HE sold you a repair to FIX the car. It DID NOT fix it. He's owes you everything you've paid so far. If you took this to court, His tech and shop MISDIAGNOSED the problem. THEY are at fault.
^ This. Sorry to hear the bad news but this is starting to become a common story around here. I can't remember which member it was, but in addition to BaxtR I recently read a post from someone who sounded like they are getting ready to head down this road with the dealer, because one of their 'master techs' is sure its a head gasket just like in your case even though that kind of thing rarely occurs with the R unlike cracked sleeves.

Lots of shops rather you try to take them to court than give you the refund or resolution you deserve for a screw up of this magnitude.
 

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2015 has been a bad year for the B5254T4... I wonder what's causing all of these failures--or I'm just aware of them now...

I'd consult a legal expert and keep all of your documents in a row. If that shop knew anything about the R they'd say cracked block before HG every time. From the first week of owning my R I have known the HG doesn't go... the block does. Sorry the screwed you, I'd be livid. Yet another reason I do it all myself--when I screw up I know who is responsible.


Also, piece of advice: Toss the iPd TCV. Any MAC TCV is bad--they are not designed for the heat of an engine bay. Stock Pierburg is the only way to go.
 

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2015 has been a bad year for the B5254T4... I wonder what's causing all of these failures--or I'm just aware of them now...
Old age is taking its toll on the R fleet as they all get long in the tooth and besides the AG collar this appears to be our only other Achilles heel.
 

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Old age is taking its toll on the R fleet as they all get long in the tooth and besides the AG collar this appears to be our only other Achilles heel.
Long in the tooth... I think I'm the poster child R for that... Yeah, it's cracked blocks, slave cylinders, AG collars, AGs, and sourcing MT axles that are the R's biggest issues.
 

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LOL, fortunately my 04 slave didn't bite me till I hit 145K miles, but the AG collar got me around 75K.

After seeing the cost for new ones I'm glad my front axles were rebuildable.
 

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And so my shop that completely flat out refused to do what appeared to be a head gasket, is starting to sound like a really smart shop. These stories are exactly the scenario we discussed and wanted to avoid.

We ended up doing a used motor R&R which gained me 25,000 miles in motor age and a two-year part warranty on the motor.
 

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Hounddogger brings up a good point. OP, do you have a boost gauge for monitoring boost levels? It is very possible for aftermarket TCV MAC valves to overshoot and/or just boost high in general. Scary stuff without a boost gauge!

And why don't shops just naturally check for cracks while doing the HG job? It doesn't take but a few seconds or minutes.
 

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Hounddogger brings up a good point. OP, do you have a boost gauge for monitoring boost levels? It is very possible for aftermarket TCV MAC valves to overshoot and/or just boost high in general. Scary stuff without a boost gauge!

And why don't shops just naturally check for cracks while doing the HG job? It doesn't take but a few seconds or minutes.
i was very surprised that they didn't catch mine either. i would think its common sense to look at the block and cylinder walls and clean them while everything is apart and make sure everything is up to par.


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Cylinder cracks aren't that common except in high strung turbo cars.

The average mechanic doesn't see a lot of those, but sees a lot of blown head gaskets, so it leads to a bad case of confirmation bias.
 

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Hounddogger brings up a good point. OP, do you have a boost gauge for monitoring boost levels? It is very possible for aftermarket TCV MAC valves to overshoot and/or just boost high in general. Scary stuff without a boost gauge!
He said he had an IPD boost gauge and only hit 15psi.

Though, that would be interesting if the TCV had something to do with the grenading.
 

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He said he had an IPD boost gauge and only hit 15psi.

Though, that would be interesting if the TCV had something to do with the grenading.
Oops, the original post was such a monster and I skimmed through so fast, I missed that
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
INDY owner also claims in his 20-30 years it's very rare. But his junior tech who actually showed me he hand cleaned out the oxidation said it's rare & sucks this is ONLY their 2nd case. That was the dude that said to found no cracks when i come in to check on the car during initial repair. Wouldn't they have learned better?

Owner even try to bring analogy to my profession that don't we all make mistakes & missed stuff. I agree but in my line someone comes w a problem I look for all known possibilities and if my work fails right away after taking it on from NEGLIGENCE I'm 100% liable. Actually from this and other folks blown engine story, I usually "man-up" to own the problem & try to make remedies by giving major discounts if can't be done for free. Its not just about money. Major headaches & bad rep will cost me more later.

They are already quoting me an expensive used engine alone, $2500. Doesn't smell right. Owners claim, my R immediate fails right out of shop along w other stories of their folks of issues tells me missed diagnosis.

I do have an ipd boost gauge on dash. Boost held Consistent up to 15psi when engine runs smooth. I might have seen it spike to 18psi before or after job, cant recall.

The car had oem TCV placed back when they first not quite fixed it.

I only wish to have doughy talent and time to built those Franken machine. But I have own folks to care for & many bills to pay. Just cant keep up now. Likely to scrap the car, get a beater for daily & focus on building the s2k roadster into a track machine after hopefully recovering from this fiasco later.

Work had not been well & im looking for another job, sigh, ok now I should stop rambling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
crack cylinders

Cylinder cracks aren't that common except in high strung turbo cars.

The average mechanic doesn't see a lot of those, but sees a lot of blown head gaskets, so it leads to a bad case of confirmation bias.
So does that make the INDY's claim that "how would I know to look for a cracked block" valid?
 

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In 4.5 years hear at swede speed, I have not ever seen anyone break an R motor in any other failure mode besides cracked block.

I have yet to see anyone actually blow a stock R head gasket. Normally mechanics see a lot of blown head gaskets and very few cracked blocks, but when it comes to R's they just don't seem to blow head gaskets. The R has a weird combination of super strong rods, pistons, and factory head gasket, but weak cylinder walls that crack.

There is one shop working on a cure for our blocks, but it's still in the testing phases.

I feel any good shop should have spend five seconds to look for cracks before just tossing a new head gasket on, and putting the head back on.
 

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When the tech finds no gasket failure evidence and head is flat he then digs deeper. Or he is a hack.
 
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