IPD sale XeMODeX - Experts in Volvo Electronics Free shipping all USA - Experts in Brakes
Did you know? 🤔
Logged in users can get email notification of topic replies Log in or register (free).
Amazon Link Buy your stuff using this and it helps MVS!

How long can you drive with a blown head gasket?

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

beigg
Posts: 691
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:07 am
Year and Model: 850 97
Location: Est. Mi
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0
Uruguay
beigg

Re: How long can you drive with a blown head gasket?

Post by beigg » Fri Apr 29, 2016 5:49 am

A reman head might be best to use instead of the original if it's been blowing through coolant for a long time. IDK if the reman head come with OEM valve seals or random offshore's ?
ugh smh 850 Turbo fridge

User avatar
theWIFES_S70
Posts: 1141
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:34 pm
Year and Model: 1998 S70 base
Location: Queens, New York
Has thanked: 32 times
Been thanked: 25 times
Peru
theWIFES_S70

Re: How long can you drive with a blown head gasket?

Post by theWIFES_S70 » Fri Apr 29, 2016 1:39 pm

rspi wrote:I did a head about 2 years ago and about 13 months later the car started blowing oil out the tail pipe. A month or so later it was dumping about a quart every 300 miles. After ruling out several things, finally pulled the head and found the valve stem seals leaking pretty badly. Withe less than 10,000 miles they were bad. They were not hard, just leaking.

Installed Volvo seals this round.
Wow... Did you get your money back at least? That's just wrong!
1998 Volvo S70, N/A, 5-speed, 183K
2007 Volvo S40, 2.4i, 5-speed, 97K

User avatar
erikv11
Posts: 9462
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2009 2:03 pm
Year and Model: 850, S/V70, 06 S60R
Location: Iowa
Has thanked: 80 times
Been thanked: 243 times
United States of America
erikv11

Re: How long can you drive with a blown head gasket?

Post by erikv11 » Fri Apr 29, 2016 5:02 pm

It's surprisingly common, I have seen several posts on various Volvo forums - there is no money to be saved bu buying cheaper valve stem seals.
'95 854 T5-R, Motronic 4.4, 185k
'96 855 NA, 145k
'98 S70 NA, 220k (living out west)
'98 V70, T5 tune-injectors-turbo, LPT engine, 285k
'06 S60 R, 165k
'99 Camry V6 :shock: 125k
gone: '96 NA 850 210k, '98 NA V70 182k

User avatar
sleddriver
Posts: 975
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:06 pm
Year and Model: 1998 V70 T5
Location: Tx
Has thanked: 11 times
Been thanked: 11 times
United States of America
sleddriver

Re: How long can you drive with a blown head gasket?

Post by sleddriver » Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:54 pm

theWIFES_S70 wrote:I'm looking at FCP right now, I'm getting a price of around $700 for everything... and that's not including getting the head machined or a new heater core! :shock:
Volvo Cylinder Head Bolt Set - Ajusa 81019800 $45.99
Volvo Head Gasket Set (850 C70 S70 V70) - Reinz 275254 $116.99
Volvo Timing Belt Kit (850 C70 S70 V70) Contitech - TBKIT252-OEM $218.99
Volvo Radiator Non Turbo (850 S70 V70) - Behr 8603769 $129.97
Volvo Thermostat 90 Degrees (850 960 S40 S60 S70 S90 V70) - Wahler 271664 $14.99
Volvo Coolant Fan Temperature Switch (850 S70 V70) - Genuine Volvo 9186486 $57.95
Volvo Expansion Tank Hose Lower (850 C70 S70 V70) Mackay 6842894 $8.99
Volvo Expansion Tank Hose Upper (850 C70 S70 V70) - Mackay 9135267 $8.99
Volvo Radiator Hose Upper (850 S70 V70 C70) MacKay 1335433 $14.99
Volvo Radiator Hose Lower (850 S70 V70 ) - Rein 6842428 $15.99
Volvo Anaerobic Sealant (S60 V70 XC70 S80 XC90) - Genuine Volvo 30644517 $42.95
FCP doesn't always have the lowest prices. I believe you can get a Volvo TB kit (belt + two pulleys) from Lisle Volvo for ~ $125. Even MY Swedish Parts (another Volvo dealer) has it for about $135. Just bought one to redo the sled's TB. Beats paying $219. Further, I ordered all new Volvo coolant hoses from MSP for a very reasonable cost. Mine were originals and 18yrs old. Finally, you can get the anaerobic sealant for less than $43 as well. I have a tube of the red stuff made by Permatex or similar.

Check parts on AutohausAZ, Pelican, RMeuropean, MySwedishParts (dealer) and Lisle Volvo (dealer).

I had the OEM radiator split, turning the coolant into chocolate oilshake. Installed a Nissens radiator. No problems since. Flushed the cooling system with SHOUT to dissolve the oil and flush it out. Worked great.
1998 V70 T5 226,808 miles. Original Owner.
M1 10W-30 HM

User avatar
rspi
Posts: 7247
Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 10:40 am
Year and Model: 850 T-5R Wagon
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Has thanked: 19 times
Been thanked: 40 times
United States of America
rspi

Re: How long can you drive with a blown head gasket?

Post by rspi » Sat Apr 30, 2016 3:52 am

theWIFES_S70 wrote:
Wow... Did you get your money back at least? That's just wrong!
Money back from who?
'95 855 T-5R M, Panther - 22/28 mpg
'98 S70 GLT, Lil' Red 25/32 mpg
--------------------
Volvo's of past: '87 740 GLE, '79 262C Bertone, '78 264, 960's, '98 S70 GLT, '95 850 T-5R YellowVolvo Repair Videos

Sommerfeldt
Posts: 1113
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2008 1:25 pm
Year and Model: 1996 850 T5
Location: Oslo Area, Norway
Has thanked: 50 times
Been thanked: 30 times
Norway
Sommerfeldt

Re: How long can you drive with a blown head gasket?

Post by Sommerfeldt » Sat Apr 30, 2016 7:10 am

rspi wrote:
theWIFES_S70 wrote:
Wow... Did you get your money back at least? That's just wrong!
Money back from who?
From whoever sold you those seals.

- S
'96 855 T5, R bumper and spoiler, Koni Yellows & blue H&R springs all 'round.

User avatar
theWIFES_S70
Posts: 1141
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:34 pm
Year and Model: 1998 S70 base
Location: Queens, New York
Has thanked: 32 times
Been thanked: 25 times
Peru
theWIFES_S70

Re: How long can you drive with a blown head gasket?

Post by theWIFES_S70 » Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:08 pm

sleddriver wrote:
FCP doesn't always have the lowest prices. I believe you can get a Volvo TB kit (belt + two pulleys) from Lisle Volvo for ~ $125. Even MY Swedish Parts (another Volvo dealer) has it for about $135. Just bought one to redo the sled's TB. Beats paying $219. Further, I ordered all new Volvo coolant hoses from MSP for a very reasonable cost. Mine were originals and 18yrs old. Finally, you can get the anaerobic sealant for less than $43 as well. I have a tube of the red stuff made by Permatex or similar.

Check parts on AutohausAZ, Pelican, RMeuropean, MySwedishParts (dealer) and Lisle Volvo (dealer).

I had the OEM radiator split, turning the coolant into chocolate oilshake. Installed a Nissens radiator. No problems since. Flushed the cooling system with SHOUT to dissolve the oil and flush it out. Worked great.
Thank you for the heads up. You're absolutely right. You really do need to shop around sometimes. I will definitely keep all these vendors in mind. I have never heard about AutohausAZ, MySweedishParts, or Lisle.
1998 Volvo S70, N/A, 5-speed, 183K
2007 Volvo S40, 2.4i, 5-speed, 97K

User avatar
rspi
Posts: 7247
Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 10:40 am
Year and Model: 850 T-5R Wagon
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Has thanked: 19 times
Been thanked: 40 times
United States of America
rspi

Re: How long can you drive with a blown head gasket?

Post by rspi » Sat Apr 30, 2016 8:11 pm

Sommerfeldt wrote:
From whoever sold you those seals.

- S
LOL, the seal cost is not the issue. They came in the kit. Probably cost $18. The cost to fix the failed seals is about $2300 at a shop. That's the $$$ I want.
'95 855 T-5R M, Panther - 22/28 mpg
'98 S70 GLT, Lil' Red 25/32 mpg
--------------------
Volvo's of past: '87 740 GLE, '79 262C Bertone, '78 264, 960's, '98 S70 GLT, '95 850 T-5R YellowVolvo Repair Videos

hamtv
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2016 6:57 pm
Year and Model: 1998 S70 GLT
Location: CT
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0
United States of America
hamtv

Re: How long can you drive with a blown head gasket?

Post by hamtv » Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:00 pm

I recently did a head job on my S70. As a newbie who didn't even know how to do an oil change, I really appreciate the MVS community. Some lessons I learned:

- The job was intensive but definitely doable. Take your time, don't rush it, and be mentally prepared for some unanticipated issues along the way. In my case, I had to deal with a snapped head bolt and leaky exhaust gaskets (after head put back in). Time, patience, and some swearing helped me get pass those.

- Get the head professionally cleaned and machined. I went the cheap route and did the cleaning myself.. it's a PITA. If you car had overheated or you aren't sure, definitely get the head machined.

- You can save maybe 2-300 bucks by dessembing, lapping and installing the valves yourself. Rspi's videos were super helpful. Again, patience needed.

- Get new exhaust studs and nuts if they're rusted and refused to come apart from each other. You'd need the studs screwed to the head before putting the head back in - without them, it's really hard to secure the exhaust gaskets in place. I ended up warping one of the gasket on the first go and had to dissemble the turbo/exhaust manifold to redo the gasket. If the gaskets keep slipping off, consider glueing them to the exhaust manifold using some Permatex red high temperature gasket maker. Just keep in mind that you may have to machine the manifold in the future should you ever do the job again.

- When it's time to put the head back in, get some extra helping hands. The head is heavy esp considering you'd have to bend your back at an awkward angle. I did the drop myself.. it didn't go well. I think I might have damaged the head a little in the process. My car ended up with a minor combustion leak - compression was fine, but combustion air would push into coolant reservoir resulting slow loss of coolant. I didn't want to redo the head job and decided to patch up the head/gasket with Bar's sealant. Luckily, it worked. I know it won't last forever, but I'd be happy to just drive the car for another 10-20K miles.

- Taking the serpentine belt off is another PITA without a proper tool. IPD sell the special tool for something like $50. I can't justify spending that much on a rarely used Volvo-only tool. I tried the 2-quarter trick and failed - the coins were too soft. I searched my backpack and found some sterling/euro coins. They worked! Apparently Uncle Sam nickel and dimes us with soft metal.

Hope this helps. In retrospect, I can't really justify the time and money that I put in on rescuing a 18-yo car. But it was fun and I felt that I've accomplished something that I'd never imagined possible. Good luck with your project!

Sommerfeldt
Posts: 1113
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2008 1:25 pm
Year and Model: 1996 850 T5
Location: Oslo Area, Norway
Has thanked: 50 times
Been thanked: 30 times
Norway
Sommerfeldt

Re: How long can you drive with a blown head gasket?

Post by Sommerfeldt » Mon May 02, 2016 6:37 am

rspi wrote:LOL, the seal cost is not the issue. They came in the kit. Probably cost $18. The cost to fix the failed seals is about $2300 at a shop. That's the $$$ I want.
Ouch. I see what you mean. But if someone sold you seals that caused that kind of damage, wouldn't they be liable for it? They would be here, me thinks.

- S
'96 855 T5, R bumper and spoiler, Koni Yellows & blue H&R springs all 'round.

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post