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Cam Adjustment Documentation & Advice

This is the repository of everything we at MVS Forums know about setting, advancing and retarding timing on Volvo inline-5 engines for performance, and for standard factory settings after a timing belt change.

This question comes up quite often in the forums and I want to centralize it. Links from this topic include:

  • Advancing/retarding timing on Volvo inline-5 engines for performance
  • Setting cam timing after timing belt job
  • Performance cam timing adjustment didn’t help hp… an account by a trusted Volvo tech
  • More Cam timing tips with photos
  • Quick Brick Cam Timing Tool documentation added 2/2011
Cam Adjustment

jimmy57 » On the non-cvvt gears on white motors the gears can be fitted in three places, the three slotted holes are at 120 degree spacings but the teeth on gears are not in the same spots relative to each of the slots. If you want to call the slots A, B, and C I’ll give you an example. If my car has slot A up from factory then I may have the gear CCW most of the slot range so the the bolts are almost all the way to right at right end of slots. I have almost no ability to move cam advanced and maybe 11 degrees to go retard direction. You may have slot B up and the bolts are in the middle and you can go 6 either way. Ozark Lee may have slot C up and his bolts are at left end and he can move 11 degrees advanced and almost nothing retard.
To make this further confusing Lee and I could have our gears put on one tooth re positioned and our range of adjustability would reverse.
The gears are put on randomly but in time and then the faint little hash mark is punched then, no consistency. Then there is the question I have not answered: are the bolt holes in cams consistent or are those random too? If the holes are uniform then it is a one in five chance that some one else could give you a range that is also true for you. If the holes are not uniform then who knows. I have experimented to know the gears will fit in all three positions. The slots were made long enough to do that. If it is not allowing what you want to do you get the lock tool for cams and ignore the hash mark and put the gear on in one of the other two slots and if the teeth allow it, also to the desired tooth to get you what you want. If it is more range you want then a machine shop milling the slots longer is another choice.

The MVS Directory of Cam Adjustment

97 850 cam timing specs

Bonus! 10 Interesting Volvo Facts

  • In Latin, the word Volvo means: I spin. Today however the nearest meaning is “I roll”.
  • Volvo was founded in 1924. The two founders were Gustav Larsson and Assar Gabrielsson.
  • The ÖV 4 is the first Volvo car. The first car was sell-ready in 1927. The 2-Liter, 4-cilinder car got the nickname: Jakob.
  • Volvo’s very first commercial vehicle was the Type-1 truck. The release year was 1928. In the same year, Volvo released the second car, the Volvo PV 651. Volvo manufactured a total of 1383 of both vehicles in the first year; of which automaker exported 27.
  • This trend saw a sharp rise in 1932 when Volvo released a good amount of 10,000 vehicles, both trucks and cars.
  • The company, however, started making a large-scale profit from the year 1935. The first luxurious car by Volvo was the PV36, which could carry six passengers at a time. The design of this iconic car paved the path for future Volvo cars to come. I came in the market with a price tag of 8,500 Swedish kronor.
  • Volvo touched a landmark in 1941, with the sale of its 50,000th vehicle; this is a unique achievement considering the time when WWII was in full swing.

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Juan de Dios says:

me pueden decir porfavor cual es la alineacion de las levas de un volvo S90 97-98 no encuentro la informacion en ningun lado…. gracias

can anyone tell me where the camshaft alignment marks are not the camshaft sprocket mark i already found those mark ineed the marks that is on the camshaft itself please help

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