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They warp due to uneven and excessive heating, and it does happen. If a car is operated normally and kept in good condition, the warping will be minimal as you would expect.
 

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When you reassemble the block with the crankshaft, rods and pistons in place, you will almost certainly find that at TDC the tops of the pistons are not at a uniform height in the cylinder. In my case, the pistons were all slightly below the top of the bore. Depending on the head gasket thickness you are using, on the B20 it is desirable to have the piston slightly above the top of deck. This establishes the depth of the quench (or squish) band around the edge of the combustion chamber. A correct quench band goes a long way to controlling detonation.

If your pistons are uniformly below the top of the bore you can 'deck' the cylinder block to get the correct height of the pistons in the bore. However, they are unlikely to be uniform which may require shaving the top of the tall pistons to get them uniform. In the Push-rod performance forum, there is a thread where Mr Singer provides a better discussion.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Small update:

I dropped my engine off at the machine shop last week. Waiting to here back on the magnaflux and dimensional inspections. Will post when I have more info.

Question: Will B20 cam bearings fit a B30? I can only find B20 bearings. Are hardened valve seats for unleaded fuel really worth it?
 

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Small update:

I dropped my engine off at the machine shop last week. Waiting to here back on the magnaflux and dimensional inspections. Will post when I have more info.

Question: Will B20 cam bearings fit a B30? I can only find B20 bearings. Are hardened valve seats for unleaded fuel really worth it?
Here you go - http://volvoonderdelen.com/164-E/Engine/Bearing-set-camshaft-B30-STD-For-Volvo-604377/

The B20 uses 3 bearings of different size. The B30 needs a 4th bearing - no idea what the size of the fourth is.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
I spoke with Don Thibault of P1800.com and he was able to clarify what the B30 takes as far as came bearings go. He said the B20 has 3 bearings of different size (exactly what 142 Guy said) and that the B30 takes 4 bearings, but of all the same size. The B30 cam bearing is one of the B20 bearings. Volvo still makes the B30 cam bearings but they are spendy - $42.50 per bearing. Don also said that Volvo lists a bushing for the helical gear that drives the oil pump/distributor. However, when I removed my cam I did not see any additional bushings. The additional bushings goes for $34.96 from Volvo.

Additionally, Don said Volvo never made prefit bearings - meaning that if you get OEM cam bearings, you must do a line bore.

Volvo part numbers: 430119 - B30 cam bearings. 418251 - additional bushing for oil pump drive. The closest Volvo dealer said the parts would take 3-4 weeks to come in from Sweden.
 

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Yeah, that rings a bell. In the B18/B20, the graduated diameter of the three cam bearings makes it relatively easy to slide the cam into place without nicking any of them with the sharp edges of the lobes. In the B30, you have to be super-careful. Since they'll need to be line-bored anyway, I'd suggest having the machine shop do the install.

There is definitely a bushing for the oil pump/distributor drive shaft, and I think it's visible in your picture? It's small, in your picture it's right at the bottom (i.e. top when right-side up) of the shaft's bore in the center. In any event, unless this is a super high mileage engine I wouldn't expect it to be a big issue.

Your pic:
 

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Scandcar's price is $58, presumably for the four bearings plus shipping. I have used Scandcar for lots of parts - a reliable vendor. They used to ship via postal service but are now using a courier. A little more expensive; but, slightly faster. Shipping on the bearings should not be horrendous. The last parts I ordered were less than 3 weeks delivery.

The replacement bearings that I got for my B 20 were designed such that they did not require honing after installation. I did have the machine shop install them because there was no way that I was going to get them in without damaging them. If you send a technical question to Scandcar, they may be able to advise whether the bearings they sell are precision fit or require honing to get a correct fit.
 

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The guy who helped me pull the head off my '72 164E indicated that putting in the hardened valve seats was definitely something that should be done. I was hoping others would reply to your question on that as I'm curious to see what the general consensus is on this.
 

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When I rebuilt my B20E, I had the machine shop install inserts in the exhaust seats and do a multi angle valve job. At the time, the incremental cost of machining the old valve seats to receive the inserts plus the inserts themselves was relatively cheap (definitely less than $100). If you are spending the $ to do an all out rebuild, the incremental cost for the inserts is small. Is it worth it depends on how much you plan to use the car. If you don't drive it very much, then the accelerated wear because of the lack of lead in the gas may not materialize for as long as you own the car. If you drive it a lot, then you may end up cursing not installing the inserts in 4 or 5 years.
 

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My understanding is that hardened seats are necessary if you want any longevity out of the valvetrain.
 

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Discussion Starter #32 (Edited)
tmtalpey: I see the bushing. I did not notice this before. My engine only has 103,000 miles on it. I probably will not replace it unless I can find some wear specs to measure against. As for the cam bearings, the machine shop will do the install. Pressing the bearings in seems easy with the right tool, but I don't have any metrology equipment in my garage to ensure a job well done.

Thanks for all the info about the cam bearings.

Regarding the hardened valve seats, I am having them installed. The machine shop said that the hardened seats are only ~$80 for the whole head. I believe I am also getting a 3-angle valve grind, though the stock valves look like they only have a single angle grind. I plan to drive the car a lot. So $80 seems well worth it. The whole valve job, baking, and seats will run about $400. Cross my fingers the shop does a good job seating the valves.

Also, when I delivered my engine to the machine shop, the machinist mentioned that my cam was junk because it did not have any wear patterns. By wear pattern, I mean that some of the cam lobes were completely shiny, while others had what looked like an hour-glass shape over the tip of the lobe within the hardened surface of the cam. His explanation was that the convex surface on the bottom of the lifter had worn away, thus causing to0 much wear on the cam lobe.

I am just learning about cams but does this indeed mean the cam needs to be replaced or reground? C and K grind cams are easy to get but its nice to get a second opinion.
 

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Excessive camshaft wear was a major warranty issue in the early B18 engines. If I recall correctly, the problem was traced to the hardening of the camshaft lobes and the lube used in the engines' initial assembly. The B20 and the B30 are of similar design of course, which means the lifters and the cam lobes are subject to wear.

In your situation, I'd be replacing the cam, rather than than regrinding the old one, and I'd also be replacing all of the lifters too. You'd need to refinish the cam surfaces of the old ones anyway, as the wear pattern of each lifter matches that of the camshaft lobe with which it's had a long and intimate working relationship. It won't be cheap to do this, but it's how to do it once and do it properly, so this wonderful classic car of yours will go hard for a long time.

There's quite a choice of cams still out there for the B30 - beyond C and K grinds, Cat Cams and Schneider also have products on offer.
 

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I can't comment on the B30; but, the B20 definitely had wear issues with the cam and lifters. The OEM lifters and the cam surface in my 71 B20E were not in good shape. Isky makes replacement lifters for the B20 that are claimed to address the wear issue. They are a different height than the OEM lifters and as such have matching replacement push rods. You might want to do a little investigation to determine if the B30 and your later model year suffered from the same problem and if Isky or others offer an alternative to the OEM parts if the problem exists.
 

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His explanation was that the convex surface on the bottom of the lifter had worn away, thus causing to0 much wear on the cam lobe.

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I am guessing you mean that the convex surface on the lifter had resulted from the wear, not that the convex surface had worn away? The lifter surface should be flat and the when installed the lifters should be free to spin in their bores.

You need to do something with your cam as you don't want to put it back in the engine in it current condition. If you plan to stick with one of the common grinds, I expect that the cost of buying an off the shelf camshaft will be much much much cheaper than having the cam profile reground and then doing a surface treatment to harden the lobes after machining.
 

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If you've lost the wear pattern on any cam lobes, it's beyond regrinding. I'd go with a new K cam rather than anything aftermarket for a B30. You always need new lifters with a new cam. The Isky lifters are excellent quality, but as 142 Guy says, they require push rods that are a different length from stock ones. B30 push rods are slightly shorter than for B18/20, and I don't know if Isky offers those. The AE lifters iPd sells right now are pretty good, and you can reuse the original push rods with those.
 

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A Dutch company has developed/designed 12 different types of camshaft for the volvo B18/20/30 engines. Infortunately his website is only in Dutch text but perhaps with a translate site/program you can understand most. Or you send him a mail with your questions and he will reply. His site with camshaft info is: http://www.tinustuning.nl/1-onderdelen-nokkenassen.html On this page he write only about the B18/20 engines, from other information on his website I understand that he also has them for the B30.

Regards,

Mathieu.
 

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Discussion Starter #38 (Edited)
I am guessing you mean that the convex surface on the lifter had resulted from the wear, not that the convex surface had worn away? The lifter surface should be flat and the when installed the lifters should be free to spin in their bores.
Yeah, probably. This was just parking lot banter when I delivered the engine. The lifters spun just fine in the bores and didn't show evidence of excessive wear. I should have things back by the end of the month in which case I'll post some photos of the cam lobes. I'm just surprised to see it go with only 100,000 miles.

All: Thanks for the tips on places to look for a cam. I guess opening up the engine wasn't just fun and games after all!

I will do some more reading on cams before I pick one out. It looks like enough options are available that I don't need to rush. I can do the design work.
 

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Discussion Starter #39
If you've lost the wear pattern on any cam lobes, it's beyond regrinding. I'd go with a new K cam rather than anything aftermarket for a B30.
Then mine is toast. Why a K versus a C? I've heard the K is sportier versus the stock equipped C grind.
 

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Discussion Starter #40 (Edited)
Some progress, finally.

I received my engine back from the machine shop and all looks good. All the block needed was cleaning, cam bearings, and a hone. Pistons and rods are all fine and can go right back in. Crank just got cleaned and polished. Turns out my head has hardened valve seats already and it got a small skim on the bottom. They painted the head Ford red for me Pro Bono. I don't know why. Nothing needed to be replaced on the head except valve stem seals. Not bad!

One thing that the machinist mentioned was that my crank is a '72, not a '73 based on main journal size. I found this peculiar but I'll mic it up before I am ready to buy bearings. The block is in the bag in the photo and you can't really see much with the engine bag over it. So, I didn't take a photo of the block.



My plan of running the car before starting the body work has been spoiled by business trips. So, I started pulling off the larger bits. So far, I've dropped the front wishbone and the Dana rear. While under the car, I found that the inner, rear wheel wells have been repaired for rust before. I can't tell whether or not it's any good as everything is covered up with under seal. Time will tell.





Here is a shot of the wheel well repair. Whoever did the repair didn't really weld in the new metal but merely tacked it all the way around by the look of it.


Now, I plan to disassemble the entire car into sub-assemblies so things can be worked on in chunks and all bits can be kept track of. I will move ahead with a full restoration. My engine will go back together as well but it will unfortunately just sit on my engine stand for a while. I am headed to Europe for business so I won't be working on the car for a little while. My engine bits will get sprayed down with LPS 3 as best as possible. Here's to hoping they look like this when I return.

Lastly, my garage filled up quite a bit in the last month. On the left is a '64 PV544 Sport. It, too, is getting some serious attention.

 
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