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nharperc
nharperc New Reader
4/6/17 2:19 p.m.

Oh, damn, sorry to hear about that. Exactly what I'd like to avoid though.

maschinenbau wrote: In reply to nharperc: Very true, and I'm one to talk. I half-assed my $2016 Challenge Roadmaster wagon rebuild. No machining, no proper cleaning, just dingleberry hone on a drill, re-ring, fresh bearings, and 600 miles later got some rod knock after several low oil pressure warnings. Should have replaced oil pump But you live and learn. Yours should be a fun one!
TED_fiestaHP
TED_fiestaHP Reader
4/6/17 2:49 p.m.

Must have oil pressure....

I had a race motor that had slightly less than normal oil pressure, but it ran great. Then one day the oil pressure was a little lower and a smarter person would have stopped right there and put it on the trailer.

That made a big mess...

BrokenYugo
BrokenYugo MegaDork
4/6/17 3:24 p.m.

In reply to maschinenbau:

No proper cleaning is probably what got it, not the oil pump. It doesn't take much abrasive matter (aluminum oxide from a hone or whizzy wheel scotch brite pads) in an engine for some to get through the filter bypass and embedded in the bearings, where they score the journal and you get a runaway rapid wear situation that kills the bearing.

Buick Explains In Detail

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse UltraDork
4/7/17 4:59 a.m.

I'll hold off on checking out that piston for you until you confirm the bore, in case you got something bored-over there.

maschinenbau
maschinenbau HalfDork
4/7/17 8:13 a.m.

In reply to BrokenYugo:

I mean, I DID clean it. With a garden hose and degreaser spray in my driveway Just a small-block Chebby, what could go wrong??

BrokenYugo
BrokenYugo MegaDork
4/7/17 11:31 a.m.
maschinenbau wrote: In reply to BrokenYugo: I mean, I DID clean it. With a garden hose and degreaser spray in my driveway Just a small-block Chebby, what could go wrong??

I believe generally accepted "it's just a SBC" practice goes a step further by taking the galley plugs out of the bare block and taking it down to the nearest pay and spray carwash (if you don't own a powerwasher).

Harvey
Harvey Dork
4/7/17 3:44 p.m.
79rex wrote: My 1st car was a 71 145. Me and my dad pulled it out of a barn. If you want a rear door chrome trim peice lmk I have one side left.

Mine was a 69 144.

nharperc
nharperc New Reader
4/8/17 8:26 a.m.

Yeah, better hold off. All signs point to oversized pistons. Thank you though!

volvoclearinghouse wrote: I'll hold off on checking out that piston for you until you confirm the bore, in case you got something bored-over there.
nharperc
nharperc New Reader
4/8/17 8:37 a.m.

The wear marks on the main and rod bearings shows a combination of oil contamination and low oil pressure. The crank doesn't have any scoring and none of the bearings were wiped. Most of the engine should be reusable with proper machine work, excluding the pistons.

The head is already at Cylinder Head Specialties of Wake Forest, NC. After I completely photograph and document the engine internals, I'll send the bottom end off too.

nharperc
nharperc New Reader
4/28/17 10:06 a.m.

I've made progress on the engine rebuild over the last three weeks. The head, block, intake and exhaust went to the machine shop. It may seem weird to leave the intake and exhaust with the machinist, but given the leak and fitment issues I had, it seemed safer to show him all of the variables.

Yesterday I stopped by to drop off the new pistons and pick up the finished head, intake and exhaust.

You can almost see me smiling in the reflection.

Ready for high revs.

New pistons are .040 over.

The block should be ready in another week. In the meantime I've been cleaning my existing parts and getting them ready for paint. I've also had to order a ton of new parts: head bolts, water pump, gaskets, bearings, etc. When everything is done I'll post my parts lists with costs, as well as machine shop costs so future builders can see exactly how much a rebuild will set them back.

nharperc
nharperc New Reader
5/11/17 9:09 a.m.

The block is back in the garage and assembly has started. Cam is in, crank is in, and pistons/con-rods are in.

I'm waiting on a new water pump, timing gears and a few other odds and ends before I can truly button it up, but I'm probably a month away from putting this back in the car.

ssswitch
ssswitch Dork
5/11/17 11:12 a.m.

Did you ever figure out what caused the old piston to break like that?

nharperc
nharperc New Reader
5/14/17 7:06 p.m.

The evidence I've seen suggests two likely causes for the piston crack. (1) Based on the conditions of the main bearings, con-rod bearings, and oil pump, lubrication was insufficient. (2) The intake manifold was improperly seated causing a very lean scenario on cylinder 4.

Both of these factors contributed to overheating and low oil pressure, which in turn probably caused the broken piston ring and ultimately a cracked #4 piston. This is my theory at least.

ssswitch wrote: Did you ever figure out what caused the old piston to break like that?
nharperc
nharperc New Reader
5/15/17 7:33 p.m.

Slowly coming back together. Timing gears should arrive tomorrow along with the water pump and some other bits. Two major purchases left: clutch and header.

Recon1342
Recon1342 New Reader
5/15/17 7:55 p.m.

Looking sharp!

EvanR
EvanR SuperDork
5/15/17 9:49 p.m.

Did you get steel timing gears or the OE style? If you got the OE style, be aware that they tend to crap out every 150-200k miles :)

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse UltraDork
5/16/17 11:08 a.m.
EvanR wrote: Did you get steel timing gears or the OE style? If you got the OE style, be aware that they tend to crap out every 150-200k miles :)

Fiber gears? More like every 70k.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse UltraDork
5/16/17 11:09 a.m.

BTW, unless you want headers for aesthetics or sound, the general consensus is that the stock volvo exhaust manifolds flow just fine for the street. So, you can save your money and just stick with what you've got.

nharperc
nharperc New Reader
5/16/17 3:51 p.m.

I got the steel timing gears because they were cheaper on Rock Auto than the fibers anywhere else.

EvanR wrote: Did you get steel timing gears or the OE style? If you got the OE style, be aware that they tend to crap out every 150-200k miles :)
nharperc
nharperc New Reader
5/16/17 5:56 p.m.

Interesting, I didn't know that. Unfortunately, the inside of my stock cast exhaust manifold is cracked between the two chambers. While not an immediate issue, why put something half-broken back on a new engine? Also, the collector down-pipe I have reduces to 1.75". I'd rather open that to 2" to take advantage of top end power with the double valve springs and cam. Any recommendations on headers? IPD or Skandix?

volvoclearinghouse wrote: BTW, unless you want headers for aesthetics or sound, the general consensus is that the stock volvo exhaust manifolds flow just fine for the street. So, you can save your money and just stick with what you've got.
volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse UltraDork
5/17/17 6:38 a.m.

That crack is a common issue. A decent welder can fix that right up- I have one I've been meaning to repair myself.

Used manifolds go for about $100 or so on eBay...much cheaper than the headers. I have two very lightly used sets of headers (both IPD) and I'd sell you one if you like.

IIRC the IPDs are 4-1 and the Skandix are 4-2-1. Not sure if either is appreciably better. The Skandix are more spendy, from my recollection.

However, one cool trick with the factory manifolds is you can use them to run a full dual exhaust. We did this on our LeMons car and a "lightly muffled" exhaust on that B20 sounded awesome through dual pipes.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
5/17/17 7:54 a.m.

I (and my ex-) have a similar 1800ES, so I am somewhat familiar with B20 maladies as well. I remember reading the #4 cylinder can be subject to running leaner compared to the other 3. Especially with the less than optimal Weber downdraft conversion. Combined with the aforementioned oiling issues, the piston cracking is not surprising. Uncommon, but not surprising.

Yes, the stock exhaust is a pretty good 4-2-1 set-up which is difficult to improve on and unless some fairly specific exhaust port work on the head has been done, isn't worth it. VClassics is a great resource for Volvo B-series information. Phil Singher essentially makes his living building these engines for performance use.

And as mentioned, engine swaps into these cars is more difficult than one would think at first glance.

Good luck and I look forward to seeing continued progress.

sporkfan
sporkfan New Reader
5/17/17 9:56 a.m.

From what I've read, the dual-port exhaust can flow up to 150ish or so HP. For the B18 in my 122, that's not an issue.

I'm also going to swap my Weber 32/36 back to SU's. If you need a set I've got a set of rebuildable cores that I picked up on a parts car. The hard part would be the manifold.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse UltraDork
5/17/17 10:19 a.m.
sporkfan wrote: From what I've read, the dual-port exhaust can flow up to 150ish or so HP. For the B18 in my 122, that's not an issue. I'm also going to swap my Weber 32/36 back to SU's. If you need a set I've got a set of rebuildable cores that I picked up on a parts car. The hard part would be the manifold.

I have several of the dual SU manifolds

sporkfan
sporkfan New Reader
5/17/17 10:24 a.m.

Are they the early thin style, or the later thicker style manifold.

IIRC the dual-port exhaust is thicker than the earlier style, and he may need to either plane the exhaust manifold or find a way to thicken the parts of the intake manifold to make it all bolt together.

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