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Intercooler - repair or replace?

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.

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Intercooler - repair or replace?

Post by scot850 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 1:50 pm

My never ending PITA 2000 R has added to it's never ending broken parts. Removed the broken radiator today to replace it, only to fing that the Volvo OE radiator has a weird small outward (4-5mm wide by 3mm outward) standoff that has rubbed a nice little hole in the center of the intercooler. Why it is there who know, but not fitting another OE radiator, so the question is, can these be successfully repaired? The hole is maybe 1-2mm diameter max, otherwise the intercooler is in excellent condition. My car has a tune and boosts to around 18psi, so any thoughts if I take it to a radiator shop for repair is it something that can be done, or am I better off just biting the bullet and replacing?

Thanks,

Neil.
2000 V70 R - still being an endless PITA
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Re: Intercooler - repair or replace?

Post by matthew1 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 2:11 pm

Neil, sorry to hear.

It won't hold probably... but if you don't mind (and are quick with) getting the radiator/intercooler on/off, might as well try. See my blown Volvo 850 intercooler saga. I ended up replacing with a used OEM intercooler.

The hole must be small enough to be inconsequential to boost pressure, otherwise you'd have felt a noticeable drop in boost and power.
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Re: Intercooler - repair or replace?

Post by Ozark Lee » Tue Oct 04, 2016 4:52 pm

I repaired the bottom of an intercooler where it smacked a parking block with some fiberglass and epoxy. It wasn't pretty but it worked. A rub through the actual heat exchanger part likely isn't repairable but I suppose you could take it to a radiator shop to get an opinion.

...Lee
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Re: Intercooler - repair or replace?

Post by scot850 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:03 pm

Thanks guys for the input. I've attached pictures below:
2000 V70R radiator and intercooler 005.JPG
Intercooler with small dark patch at middle bottom
Picture above is of whole of rear of intercooler facing the radiator front. Dark patch at center lowest point is where hole is.
2000 V70R radiator and intercooler 006.JPG
Hole at bottom of intercooler
Here you can see the hole rubbed through by the radiator standoff.
2000 V70R radiator and intercooler 003.JPG
Radiator rub partner
The radiator picture is too large to up-load, but this is the standoff or rub point that caused the hole.

I have spoken to a supplier of high quality OE Volvo parts that will supply a guaranteed and tested part for about $300 + shipping (CDN)

Dealer has offered a new one for about $530 CDN which is a good price relative to on-line US suppliers but without any shipping costs.

Typically no turbo V/C/S70's in PnP just now and with snow in the forecast!

Radiator repair specialist says can't repair it, but suggested a specialist aluminum repair company. They say it may not be repairable, but to bring it in tomorrow and they will assess. They have a welder who specialises on small repairs. If he says no then it is not fixable.

The used part supplier suggested filling the hole with a small aluminum self tapping screw covered in JB weld.

I guess we will find out tomorrow!

Neil.
2000 V70 R - still being an endless PITA
2006 XC70
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 Limited
2015 Kia Sportage EX-L
1993 850 GLT -Sold
1998 V70 XC - Sold
1997 Volvo 850 SE NA - Went to niece in California - Sold
2000 V70 SE NA - New project and test bed - Sold

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Re: Intercooler - repair or replace?

Post by beigg » Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:11 pm

might be able to pop a rivet gooped in jb weld in the hole, until funds permit a replacement...
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Re: Intercooler - repair or replace?

Post by abscate » Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:13 pm

A nice goober of JB weld will fix that nicely, Neil

Eschew the replacement for the wonders of epoxy

Even if it leaks a little, it won't hurt performance - remember there is a blow hole at the bottom for moisture.
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Re: Intercooler - repair or replace?

Post by bmdubya1198 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:35 pm

No reason you can't use JB weld as a temporary fix. Check on CL locally for people parting out turbo Volvos and get a used intercooler from them. Also check on eBay... there are usually wreckers who will have them listed. I had to rely on that for parts for my 300zx, they never show up in Pull-A-Parts.
abscate wrote: Even if it leaks a little, it won't hurt performance - remember there is a blow hole at the bottom for moisture.
I forgot about that... that would explain the oil residue on the bottom of my intercooler...
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Re: Intercooler - repair or replace?

Post by erikv11 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:18 pm

abscise wrote: ... Even if it leaks a little, it won't hurt performance - remember there is a blow hole at the bottom for moisture.
This ^^

EDIT: LOL some kind of spell check hit your username?
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Re: Intercooler - repair or replace?

Post by scot850 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:40 pm

Thanks guys. Have looked locally and on ebay for intercoolers (used) but none currently available. These later ETM motors are a pain due to the proximity of the radiator to the turbo intake pipe at the ETM. So removing this again in not something I really want to do in the near or any future! LOL. With my daughter's car to buff/polish and clean for sale, 3 sets of winter rims to fit and summers to clean, I have enough work for a while, so don't need any others, especially as having adjusted the hood release and tested it multiple time, went to open the hood for the repair and again back to the refusal to release on the LHS again without downward pressure. Like I said this car is pushing me ever closer to getting rid of it as I am just plain fed up spending more time fixing than driving it!

I'll see what tomorrow brings in terms of the welding route. If that pans out then I have to make a decision on new/used/or attempt a repair of some form. Fair point on the drain hole, totally forgot about that also. For all the area involved could even glue a small plate over the hole and then put a rubber patch to act as a pressure point on the edge of the radiator frame to hold it in place.

Thanks again one and all!

Neil.
2000 V70 R - still being an endless PITA
2006 XC70
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 Limited
2015 Kia Sportage EX-L
1993 850 GLT -Sold
1998 V70 XC - Sold
1997 Volvo 850 SE NA - Went to niece in California - Sold
2000 V70 SE NA - New project and test bed - Sold

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Re: Intercooler - repair or replace?

Post by matthew1 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 8:39 pm

That hole is tiny. And it's in the metal. I think it's repairable. Now that I've seen it (good photos), scratch my original pessimism, I'm with the rest of the guys.
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1997 850 T5, MSD ignition coil, Hallman manual boost controller, injectors, R bumper, OMP strut brace [gone]
2004 V70 R [gone]

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