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S/V/C70 98 v70r engine woes

hi guys im having a lot of trouble with my 98 v70r auto awd

so this whole saga started when it blew the lower radiator hose. i just put a new one on and i thought that was that. but after i put the new one on i had to keep on topping up the coolant, and i couldnt see any leaks or anything so i brought it to a proper mechanics so they could have a look.

i didnt think it was a blown head gasket cos the oil looked normal and stayed the same level

the previous owner had a full engine rebuild done at the same mechanic that i brought it to because the previous owner had overheated it. so the mechanic reckons that the cylinder liner has now slipped and is allowing combusion pressure into the coolant system and coolant into the combustion chamber as a result of it having overheated with the last owner about 4 or 5 years ago. does this sound plausible to you guys?

what are my options at this point? its looking like ill have to put a new engine in. what engines would work with a 98 v70r awd auto? anyone have one for sale?

the car runs fine it just drinks a lot of coolant





  • Ex850RSnoopy @Ex850R Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.

    you want a test done properly , im no mechanic but know that there are a few tests to be done to confirm and not just "i reckon" and if he doesnt do the tests find a better place.

  • How much coolant is it drinking?

  • It does sound like a headgasket but it's unlikely that a sleeve has moved. Volvo engines are a dry sleeve, on a wet sleeve engine it is possible for the sleeve to move if overheated enough for the piston to grab the bore.

  • edited October 2020

    hi mate

    as far as i know he did do some tests, not sure exactly what though. the trouble is it wasnt actually me who took it to the mechanic, as ive been away for the past month, my dad took it, so alot of the info im getting is second hand. i did go in and have a chat with the mechanic and he seemed fairly sure is was cos the sleeve had slipped. i might go back and ask him how he tested it.


  • edited October 2020

    i reckon about every 100km or so the coolant level light comes on.

    thats a very rough estimate though. ill have to go for a drive and measure it properly.


  • edited October 2020

    im really hoping its a headgasket.

    so if the B5234t6 is a dry sleeve the theres no way what he's saying happened is whats causing it right? when he explained it he said that the sleeve had slipped then coolant was flowing up in between the sleeve and the block into the combustion chamber but if theyre a dry sleeve then surely thats not possible?

    im pretty sure he reckons the reason the coolant pipe went is because of combustion pressure getting into the cooling system by going in between the sleeve and the block

    also he said he's seen the same thing happen before on volvos


  • The sleeves can certainly crack, much less common on these earlier engines unless tuned. It generally will misfire on cold start and pressurise the coolant tank quite quickly and force coolant out under boost depending on severity of the crack.

  • nah i dont think its that. the car runs fine.

    i think ill go back to the mechanic next week and have another chat with him


  • ok so ive been having a think and i dont really understand why the mechanic has come to the conclusion that he has and it seems like a blown headgasket is equally likely. ive decided im going to take it somewhere else and have them test for combustion gas in the coolant just to make sure and then ill probably pull the head off and have a look and go from there. hopefully i can get away with a headgasket only. thanks for your help everyone, ill update you after i get it tested, hopefully tomorrow

  • Ex850RSnoopy @Ex850R Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.

    If you do decide to go new motor , get an RN type which is 2.4 with VVT on one of the cams , you block that out and a few other little mods you have a much better more torquey motor.

  • GhettobirdJulian @Ghettobird Melbourne - SE Suburbs

    You guys have checked the heater core and the carpet surely?

    In my last 10 years of messing with whiteblocks I have never seen a slipped or even cracked liner on the old 2.3s,

    Your culprits are the water pump, heater core, radiator leaking coolant into the auto trans lines & vice versa, crap coolant bottles, crap radiator caps venting prematurely, heater core junction boxes that live in the firewall & then probably the head gasket.

    Have you got coloured coolant in it or just water?

    You wont see it leaking if your running straight water


  • Well I'm back with an update. So I took it to another shop who I really trust and he said that the head was fine and it just needed a new fan. So new fan in it started behaving itself a bit more but not totally back to normal.

    Anyways, none of that matters now cos the timing belt just broke.......

    A bit unexpected cos i assume it got a new one when the engine was rebuilt only about 6 ish years ago...

    I'll pull the head off tomorrow to have a look at how bad everything is. I'm assuming all bent valves.

    I'm pretty sure I'll be able to do the whole job myself. I've done a headgasket job before on a different car and I've fully rebuilt a Honda motorbike engine so I figure this should be doable. The problem is it's stuck in the street right now and I live down a really long driveway so I'm not sure how I'm gonna get it to my house but whatever.



  • Best case scenario which isn't that good is bent valves, if you're unlucky they would of dented the top of the pistons and rendered them fcuked, the easiest way and most definitely the cheapest option is to just put another engine in there,

  • Yeah seems like a new motor might be the best option.

    Anyone got one for sale in Sydney?

    I'll do some research tomorrow and try to find a wrecker motor.

  • Mark Iceton at Berry in Victoria is a good place to start, he will ship.

  • GhettobirdJulian @Ghettobird Melbourne - SE Suburbs

    All 2.3L T5 engines these days are all very tired, your better off spending your money on getting the head reco'd or replaced with another known good head.

    Piston damage will be present but its so insignificant you can pretty much ignore it.

    If your interested I have a freshly rebuilt 2.3 turbo head that I had ported and rebuilt for a build I changed direction with that may be of interest to you.

    How many kms on the bottom end got on it?

  • the cars got 250000ks on it but the bottom end got done in 2016.

    also i was just having a look at the receipts and apparently it has a 4mm overbore which seems massive? 4mm?? is that doable on these engines?

    at this point i think id rather just swap a different engine in. ill keep the old one around and rebuild it when i have more time and money so then ive got a spare in case the next one shits itself

  • Ex850RSnoopy @Ex850R Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.

    Grab a later RN motor, it has VVT on one cam and that can be locked in position with a kit or some ingenuity. Its 2.4 and better all 'round compared to the old motors. Swap all your ancillaries and go.

    Plenty of engines as they are scrapped regularly due to auto transmission failures.

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