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1998 V70R: replacing hydraulic tensioner with mechanical?

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, including 850 R, 850 T-5R, 850 T-5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

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1998 V70R: replacing hydraulic tensioner with mechanical?

Post by atomicthumbs »

My car needs the timing belt changed; it's got a hydraulic tensioner installed currently.

I'd like to be able to take advantage of the longer interval in the future, if that's possible. Does a mechanical tensioner just bolt right up in place of the hydraulic one, or are there other differences that would make this not work right?

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Post by abscate »

I don’t think the systems are compatible at all, jimmy is probably the guy who can answer this.
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Post by erikv11 »

You can confidently go two timing belt intervals on a blue box hydraulic tensioner (made by Aisin), you've got the longevity issue backwards there.

Every timing belt job: all pulleys, timing belt, mechanical tensioner
Every other timing belt job: hydraulic tensioner
At 200k or when you're just bored: factory water pump.

I once contemplated switching my 98 from mechanical to hydraulic, I know that direction is easy but IIRC you have to change the rear plastic timing cover. Hydraulic's bolt holes are there in my car's block. And the timing belt lengths are different, else it is a straightforward swap.
'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, 293k
'06 S60 R, 167k
'07 XC70, 170k
'99 Camry V6 :shock: 130k
gone: '96 NA 850 210k, '98 NA V70 182k

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Post by atomicthumbs »

I'm thinking less about the cost of the tensioner and more about the extended interval for the whole setup, even if I have to change the mechanical one every time. The less work the better.

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Post by misha »

Why would you do that since hydraulic one is more durable?
'97 850 2.5 20v / fully equipped / Motronic 4.4 from the factory / upgraded with S,V,C,XC70 instrument cluster / polar white wagon
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Post by precopster »

I converted my 1999 V70 to an 850 block (but I kept the 1999 head) afew years back. I documented the thread called "Correct compression testing procedure" viewtopic.php?f=1&t=39074&hilit=Correct ... e&start=10
Not an easy task and best to pull the engine for access as you will need to drill and tap a hole in that centre stub for the tensioner.
Current cars:2002 XC70, 2006 Ssangyong Rodius (Stavic), 2006 XC90 2.5T, VW Transporter 2.5TDI


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Post by rspi »

Interesting thread.
'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

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