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General Tips for DIY Head Gasket Replacement - 99 s70 na Topic is solved

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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Re: General Tips for DIY Head Gasket Replacement - 99 s70 na

Post by abscate » Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:56 pm

I learned just south of age 60, it’s much easier to roll a car by turning the tires rather than pushing it.
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Re: General Tips for DIY Head Gasket Replacement - 99 s70 na

Post by smacknab » Wed Nov 20, 2019 7:56 am

I'm on a work trip now so this will have to be a winter project, hopefully I can keep the garage warm enough.

I found some engine machine shops near where I live, so I'm going to reach out to them soon for qoutes. One of them was reccommended by the Volvo dealership, so I'm hoping they know enough to help me understand what I need/don't need. From what I understand the minimum is to have them surface the engine head, but I read in the diy's that having them clean everyone or doing a 'valve job' could also be worth it? Am I right in thinking that I can do both those things myself?

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Re: General Tips for DIY Head Gasket Replacement - 99 s70 na

Post by abscate » Wed Nov 20, 2019 8:02 am

The engine head is steel and does not warp.

The cylinder head is Aluminum and does warp. You need to take the cylinder head to a shop and have them check it for flatness, and plane it flat if needed.

Other decisions
New Valves and seats?
New Valve stem seals - ALWAYS!
Am I right in thinking that I can do both those things myself?
Take it as an over winter project and absolutely, yes. Nice and careful pace.

PM sent - lets connect
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Re: General Tips for DIY Head Gasket Replacement - 99 s70 na

Post by BlackBart » Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:02 pm

I went out with a magnet to verify - the upper head (cam cover) is aluminum. The lower head (with the valves) is aluminum. The block is aluminum. Do I have that wrong?
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Re: General Tips for DIY Head Gasket Replacement - 99 s70 na

Post by abscate » Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:37 pm

When I figure out what an “engine head” is I’ll let you know...
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Re: General Tips for DIY Head Gasket Replacement - 99 s70 na

Post by erikv11 » Wed Nov 20, 2019 1:19 pm

It's all aluminum yes.

It doesn't need all new valves by any stretch, but the machine shop can look at them and tell you if you should replace one or two. In that case used valves are totally OK for a daily driver.

I would have the shop replace the valve stem seals and do the valve job, but it is possible to do this yourself. Only use the Volvo branded valve stem seals. The great thing about having the shop do it is that it comes back straight, properly put together and very clean.

The top surface of the engine must be spotlessly clean before the head goes back on. Razor blade works best but don't gouge the aluminum. This step takes a long time. I also always have the shop clean up the cam cover so that is is sparkly clean and seals properly the first time with the anaerobic sealer, but you could clean it yourself if you have time, patience and great attention to detail.
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Re: General Tips for DIY Head Gasket Replacement - 99 s70 na

Post by abscate » Wed Nov 20, 2019 7:11 pm

Insert picture of five rivers head here.....
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Re: General Tips for DIY Head Gasket Replacement - 99 s70 na

Post by smacknab » Sat Dec 07, 2019 11:05 am

I'm almost back from my trip and I ordered alot of the associated gaskets and related parts I'm going to do while I'm taking things apart. I reached out to my local dealer to get the Volvo head gasket a d valve stems seals. I've been reading the diy's step by step on plane rides etc. So I'm feeling much more confident, and maybe even a little excited.

Thanks for everyones tips and words of encouragement so far!

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Re: General Tips for DIY Head Gasket Replacement - 99 s70 na

Post by abscate » Sat Dec 07, 2019 11:13 am

Crack the big crankshaft pulley nut , 30mm hex, with plugs in and timing belt on. Car in park or low gear, brake on.

Timing belt is a lot easier to route with the pulley off
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Re: General Tips for DIY Head Gasket Replacement - 99 s70 na

Post by rspi » Sun Dec 08, 2019 11:38 am

Why do you think it has a head gasket issue? Did you do a wet compression test?

The best way to check for a head gasket leak with these cars is to get the engine up to temp then try to ease the coolant reservoir cap off with the engine running. If coolant tries to rush out of the reservoir and you really can't get the cap off (slowly), it likely has exhaust gases getting into the coolant chambers. If you can get the cap off and the level in the tank does not raise, the gasket is good.

I believe the block is a harder aluminum than the head. Head usually warps, not the block.

Some of the '99 cars have 6mm valve stems with solid lifters. Not sure if any of them are NA cars. If it has solid lifters, make sure, sure, sure that you keep the lifters in order.

I have a head gasket and valve stem seals (Volvo parts) for that car that cost me about $175. If your cost is higher and you want mine let me know, you can have mine at cost.

I do NOT recommend the cheap cam/head tool set. A lot of people have had them break during use which causes a lot of issues. You are better off with no tools than with a cheap one that may break.
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