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Goodbye 98 V70

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

98v70dad
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98v70dad

Goodbye 98 V70

Post by 98v70dad » Tue May 22, 2018 4:50 pm

Today my 98 V70 was towed away to its final reward. I donated it to charity. I really didn't need the money gained and trouble required to part it out. It sat in the driveway for quite a while because I became emotionally attached to it.

It was the best and worst car I've ever owned. I spent every weekend (just about) in the last 5 years until its demise working on it. Everything worked. It had new tires, a completely new suspension (front and rear), new brakes, disks, pads and drums all around, new calipers, PCV system upgrade, all new engine mounts, new radiator, etc. I had hoped to get another 5 years out of it. It was by no means neglected. I took it one time to an independent mechanic and he said "this is a nice one - you take good care of it" $1500 to purchase from my neighbor and a couple or three thousand in parts kept it running reliably for 10 years of use. 26 mpg combined mileage.

I decided that it was not worth my time to figure out what killed it. The direct problem was low oil pressure with a full oil level but I have no idea what caused the low oil pressure. At one point I suspected it was the oil pump and pulled it only to find the oil pump was fine. Something went horribly bad internally. I was too lazy to pull the oil pan to determine what happened since it caused one of the piston rods to break and I didn't have the time or inclination to fix it. If it was the seal between the oil pan and engine block that I now suspect that has to be one of the dumbest design errors I have ever seen. Lose your engine and car for the lack of $2.00 seal that lays hidden INSIDE the engine.

I'm an engineer by the way. I work in the aerospace industry and have 40 years of experience. I design stuff that simply cant fail in service. Unless you're a complete nitwit you don't design a machine that goes into to doomsday mode due to the loss of a hidden internal part that gives no evidence of failing until the day it goes. Maybe marketing made that decision - they do lots of stupid things. Unchecked bean counters are also capable of incredible stupidity when it comes to "forcing economical" engineering decisions. Anyhow enough of my comments on that.

My new ride is a 1996 Ford Ranger extended cab with a cap and 50,000 miles on it. I finally extinguished all the codes. 21 mpg. Drives like a truck but I can go full blown redneck in it and fit right in.

I wanted to take the time not so much to mourn the mighty volvo (seeing it gone makes me sad) but to thank everyone here for their help and support. This website is a great resource. All the contributors are knowledgeable and incredibly helpful. You don't find that everywhere you look these days. Give yourselves a collective high five. 98v70dad out.

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Ozark Lee

Re: Goodbye 98 V70

Post by Ozark Lee » Tue May 22, 2018 5:23 pm

What is it about these things that attracts engineers?

I think we have every discipline covered here. I'm an EE, I know we have some MEs and an Optical Engineer and now we can add Aerospace. Seeing the last ride on the back of a roll off is always tough. I donated my daughter's 98 after it shelled out the transmission and I drug the old '99 up to my mother's house and parked it behind her barn. It has come in handy a few times since I have another one just like it. I can at least still visit it.

The truck will be handy but you need the "Yes this is my Truck, No I won't help you move" bumper sticker.

...Lee
'94 850 N/A 5 speed
'96 Platinum Edition Turbo
Previous:
1999 V70XC - Nautic Blue - Totaled while parked.
1999 V70XC - RIP - Wrecked Parts Car.
1998 S70 T5
1996 850 N/A
1989 740 GLT
1986 740 GLT
1972 142 Grand Luxe

98v70dad
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Re: Goodbye 98 V70

Post by 98v70dad » Tue May 22, 2018 6:19 pm

Ozark Lee wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 5:23 pm
What is it about these things that attracts engineers?

The truck will be handy but you need the "Yes this is my Truck, No I won't help you move" bumper sticker.

...Lee
First, volvos attract engineers because as a group we tend to be frugal (cheap). You can't beat a $1500 car that keeps running reliably for 10 years. The truck was given to me. So, again, as an engineer it was too hard to resist a free 21 year old vehicle with only 50,000 miles on it.

Yeah, I owned a truck before when I was in my 20's up in Chicago. Women didn't like to ride in the truck on dates but I got my share of home cooked meals in exchange for delivery services. When a woman asks you to deliver a mattress to her house and put it in her bedroom what does she really want? I never found out - just thought about it now. Here in Atlanta practically everybody has a truck and the new ones are HUGE. So far nobody has asked me to deliver anything for them. My wife has already disallowed mattress delivery.

BTW you helped me solve more than one vexing problem. I appreciate your help.

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Re: Goodbye 98 V70

Post by abscate » Tue May 22, 2018 8:11 pm

I’ll miss you , so keep your eyes open for another Volvo

:-)

I think the appeal is the high quality parts used on this brand.
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Re: Goodbye 98 V70

Post by mrbrian200 » Tue May 22, 2018 11:07 pm

98v70dad wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 6:19 pm
The truck was given to me. So, again, as an engineer it was too hard to resist a free 21 year old vehicle with only 50,000 miles on it.
Yeah, but the days of stomping on the pedal to pass a slow moving vehicle only to realize 6 seconds later you're going 100 mph ...and thinking 'damn this thing drives nice at 100, it sure doesn't seem like I'm going that fast' ...are over. At least for now.

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Re: Goodbye 98 V70

Post by SuperHerman » Wed May 23, 2018 12:22 am

I understand your situation and your sentiments. Those oil pan O-rings become a problem after 10 years of use are are a pain to replace. For Volovs - all I know is for older high mileage Volvos if the pressure light comes on and/or flickers and disappears under RPMs (and the easy stuff is excluded like low or dirty oil) - it is usually the oil pan O-rings. Oil pumps hardly ever fail.

I just do not know how else one would design the engine without using O-rings. Granted it is a cheap part, but I have not seen any O-ring technology that is superior than what is used. From time to time better O-rings come out that last longer, but at some point the O-ring will reach its useful life. Using an O-ring to form a seal between two halves that need to transfer fluids and keep them separated or under pressure is a very common practice which I don't see another option or way to approach the design challenge. I have seen this design in every engine I have worked on - from BMW, Subaru, Volvo to VW and even lawn mowers and motorcycles. I have also seen it in transmissions.

Thinking back to the oldest car I ever worked on - those cars did not have the oil needs of more modern cars. The over head cams, valves, lifters ... need to be lubricated. The price of progress?

The problem is that to assemble and/or repair the engine or transmission it has to be made of separate pieces. Do we really want an engine that does not allow servicing of the oil pump or top and bottom end? To join the two pieces, in this instance the oil pan and block, an O-ring has to be used - a hard fitting cannot be utilized without adding more parts somewhere or making more parts disposable - resulting in higher costs of ownership. I have seen progress with 3D printing of parts, but then the entire assembly becomes disposable in the end. The simple O-ring has been tasked with a mighty responsibility and it must be serviced just like everything else.

I would like to hear how others would address the O-ring problem from a design perspective. As I own various car brands - I enjoy seeing how each company and nation approach certain design issues. Pretty interesting stuff for sure.

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Re: Goodbye 98 V70

Post by abscate » Wed May 23, 2018 4:24 am

Is this problem endemic or are we just talking about the first 10% of bell curve failures on high mileage cars?

I have four of my fleet ranging from my 100-210k miles and none have had O ring failures. I did proactively do the Oil housing gasket on my BMW due to forum chat
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Re: Goodbye 98 V70

Post by 98v70dad » Wed May 23, 2018 5:41 am

abscate wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 8:11 pm
I’ll miss you , so keep your eyes open for another Volvo

:-)

I think the appeal is the high quality parts used on this brand.
Abscate, you helped me quite often. I appreciate it. Your humor also helped get me through a couple of trying weekend repairs.

98v70dad
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98v70dad

Re: Goodbye 98 V70

Post by 98v70dad » Wed May 23, 2018 5:43 am

mrbrian200 wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 11:07 pm
98v70dad wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 6:19 pm
The truck was given to me. So, again, as an engineer it was too hard to resist a free 21 year old vehicle with only 50,000 miles on it.
Yeah, but the days of stomping on the pedal to pass a slow moving vehicle only to realize 6 seconds later you're going 100 mph ...and thinking 'damn this thing drives nice at 100, it sure doesn't seem like I'm going that fast' ...are over. At least for now.
The v70 was a non-turbo - total dog in the performance category.

98v70dad
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98v70dad

Re: Goodbye 98 V70

Post by 98v70dad » Wed May 23, 2018 5:51 am

SuperHerman wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 12:22 am
I understand your situation and your sentiments. Those oil pan O-rings become a problem after 10 years of use are are a pain to replace. For Volovs - all I know is for older high mileage Volvos if the pressure light comes on and/or flickers and disappears under RPMs (and the easy stuff is excluded like low or dirty oil) - it is usually the oil pan O-rings. Oil pumps hardly ever fail.

I just do not know how else one would design the engine without using O-rings. Granted it is a cheap part, but I have not seen any O-ring technology that is superior than what is used. From time to time better O-rings come out that last longer, but at some point the O-ring will reach its useful life. Using an O-ring to form a seal between two halves that need to transfer fluids and keep them separated or under pressure is a very common practice which I don't see another option or way to approach the design challenge. I have seen this design in every engine I have worked on - from BMW, Subaru, Volvo to VW and even lawn mowers and motorcycles. I have also seen it in transmissions.

Thinking back to the oldest car I ever worked on - those cars did not have the oil needs of more modern cars. The over head cams, valves, lifters ... need to be lubricated. The price of progress?

The problem is that to assemble and/or repair the engine or transmission it has to be made of separate pieces. Do we really want an engine that does not allow servicing of the oil pump or top and bottom end? To join the two pieces, in this instance the oil pan and block, an O-ring has to be used - a hard fitting cannot be utilized without adding more parts somewhere or making more parts disposable - resulting in higher costs of ownership. I have seen progress with 3D printing of parts, but then the entire assembly becomes disposable in the end. The simple O-ring has been tasked with a mighty responsibility and it must be serviced just like everything else.

I would like to hear how others would address the O-ring problem from a design perspective. As I own various car brands - I enjoy seeing how each company and nation approach certain design issues. Pretty interesting stuff for sure.
I have never had a car with an O ring in the oil pick up tube. No oil at all for lubrication when THAT O-ring fails. If it is something that is required for continued operation it should be in the owners manual maintence schedule in my opinion. If its in there I never noticed.

As an aerospace engineer I know that two things are involved in the death of a a part: 1) cycles (mileage in the case) and 2) Age. Age is usually the variable that gets gaskets especially if a machine is old but has low mileage. If both variable s are on the high side then the failure will occur at a much earlier age.

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