1999 Volvo S80; Oil Burning in Cylinders

Help, Advice, Owners' Discussion and DIY Tutorials on the Volvo S80 model. Sometimes called an "executive car", the S80 was and continues to be Volvo's top-of-the-line passenger car.
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jacobcag
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1999 Volvo S80; Oil Burning in Cylinders

Post by jacobcag »

Hello Volvo Enthusiasts,

I recently bought a 1999 Volvo S80 2.9L Non-Turbo that supposedly had a blown head gasket. I knew I was taking a gamble but for the price & mileage ($500 with 147k), it was just too good to pass up. I figured that even if I couldn't get it running I could still sell it for parts and possibly make my money back. 

When I first inspected the car there was oil coming from a few places but nothing too unusual. I asked the owner to turn it over which it did pretty much without a hitch, though a huge cloud of whitish/blue smoke spit out the tailpipe. So I knew there was either oil or coolant burning in the cylinder (fairly certain it was oil since A it was everywhere and B oil burns whitish blue), so that lined up with what he was saying. There wasn't any whitish milk on the bottom of the oil fill cap which did worry me a bit but wasn't too worried since he had said the car had been sitting for awhile. On another note, I also thought that the engine was either misfiring or out of time since it was running a little strange though the idle wasn't too rough. I was afraid to rev it since there wasn't much oil left in the crankcase. 

Fast forward a bit, I've torn the engine down to the cylinders expecting to see a blown head gasket and if it wasn't it needed to be takin apart anyways since the engine was burning something it wasn't supposed to. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, there isn't a blown head gasket (though I am somewhat of a novice in the field of auto repair/machinery so I wouldn't trust my opinion which is why I'm here). I have a few photos I'll post below that might help with diagnosing this issue and I have a high-end camera if anyone needs me to take any more of ANYTHING else. I did notice that there is some weird gunk that is sitting on the very top of the coolant passages which I did find odd, but not to sure what it was or if it was normal or not.

I will be taking off the crankcase tomorrow to see if there's coolant mixed in with the oil, I'm hoping that will give me a little more information in trying to solve this problem. If anyone can shed some light on the situation that would help me out, that would be a godsend since I am a little out of my depth here. I knew this job would be no cakewalk and from what I've read, its one of the more difficult engines to work on. Thank you in advance to whoever helps me out. 
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RickHaleParker
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Post by RickHaleParker »

Lets see the other side of the head gasket, top, bottom and exhaust ports of head, plugs.
1998 C70, B5234T3, 16T, AW50-42, Bosch Motronic 4.4, Special Edition package.
2003 S40, B4204T3, 14T twin scroll AW55-50/51SN, Siemens EMS 2000.
2004 S60R, B8444S TF80 AWD. Yamaha V8 conversion
2005 XC90 T6 Executive, B6294T, 4T65 AWD, Bosch Motronic 7.0.

jacobcag
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Post by jacobcag »

Almost forgot to mention the codes it was throwing, P0030, P0300, P1330. Also, I did take these photos with my phone so if you need higher quality just say the word.
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I noticed this dent/scuff in the metal, not sure whether it was there already or happened because of prying trying to get the cam cover off.
I noticed this dent/scuff in the metal, not sure whether it was there already or happened because of prying trying to get the cam cover off.
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RickHaleParker
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Post by RickHaleParker »

You missed the back side of the head gasket. However I'm not seeing any evidence of blown head gasket. I think you jumped the gun by pulling the head off. You did missed the opportunity to gather some diagnostic information.

Looks like you wedged the cam cover off by wedging at one point only. If you ever do this again, a little bit at a time, at points the length of the cover.

Take a white rag and stuff it up the tail pipe. See if it picks up traces of whatever was coming out of the tailpipe.
Sure would be nice if we knew for sure what was coming out of the tailpipe.

Ways oil can get into the exhaust.
  • Clogged PVC Valve, pressure forces oil pass seals and/or rings.
    Worn Valve Guides seals, oil leaks pass seals.
    Blown Head Gaskets.
    Stuck piston rings.
    Worn pistion rings.
    Hole in Piston.
    Cracked head.
    Cracked cylinder sleeves.
If it was oil coming out the tailpipe, I'm inclined to think it is one of the first two. PVC because you said there was oil everywhere. Worn Valve Guides seals because I'm not see any evidence of oil getting pass the rings.

Gather up as much information as you can and report back. Perhaps we can figure out what your best bet is.

Call around and see if there are any machine shops that will recondition the head for a reasonable price.
Last edited by RickHaleParker on Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
1998 C70, B5234T3, 16T, AW50-42, Bosch Motronic 4.4, Special Edition package.
2003 S40, B4204T3, 14T twin scroll AW55-50/51SN, Siemens EMS 2000.
2004 S60R, B8444S TF80 AWD. Yamaha V8 conversion
2005 XC90 T6 Executive, B6294T, 4T65 AWD, Bosch Motronic 7.0.

jacobcag
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Post by jacobcag »

So I stuck some paper towels up the tailpipe and did pick up some oil. Not sure how much you were looking for but it wasn't all that much, though I couldn't get the paper towels that far back into the pipe.
As for the PCV, I'll take off the breather box tomorrow to check and see if it's clogged or mixed with anything. I wasn't able to take the crankcase off today and quite frankly was a little hesitant, is it something I should do to gather some more information or just let it be?
Btw thank you very much for the help, I knew I was going in on this one a little blind so pretty much any information is useful.
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Post by RickHaleParker »

Use more of your senses then your eyes, feel and smell the paper towel. To determine if it is (soot and water) or oil. The stuff in the second picture looks like soot. In the first picture I cannot tell by looking if the heavy spot is oil or a mixture of soot and water.
1998 C70, B5234T3, 16T, AW50-42, Bosch Motronic 4.4, Special Edition package.
2003 S40, B4204T3, 14T twin scroll AW55-50/51SN, Siemens EMS 2000.
2004 S60R, B8444S TF80 AWD. Yamaha V8 conversion
2005 XC90 T6 Executive, B6294T, 4T65 AWD, Bosch Motronic 7.0.

jacobcag
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Post by jacobcag »

The darker spots were definitely oil, the rest I believe was a mixture of soot and oil but it's difficult to tell. How much would there need to be for it to point to the PCV?

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Post by RickHaleParker »

If there is oil seeping out other seals that is a strong indicator of a non-working PCV system.

You already got the head off, now would be a good time to recondition it and rebuild the PCV system.
1998 C70, B5234T3, 16T, AW50-42, Bosch Motronic 4.4, Special Edition package.
2003 S40, B4204T3, 14T twin scroll AW55-50/51SN, Siemens EMS 2000.
2004 S60R, B8444S TF80 AWD. Yamaha V8 conversion
2005 XC90 T6 Executive, B6294T, 4T65 AWD, Bosch Motronic 7.0.

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SuperHerman
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Post by SuperHerman »

Agree you should have done some testing, but you are where you are at. I would have liked a compression/leak down test to determine the condition of the rings. Based on the pictures provided your engine shows clear signs of excess oil in the combustion chambers. This can be from PCV, bad block (rings) or leaking valve stem seals.

Some questions: 1) is that the original head gasket? I don't recall the original color - yours have a red seal. Does the part say Volvo? Anyone chime in on what the original of that year looks like?

2) Related - and assuming head gasket was replaced. Is your block deck flat? Your oil leak if it was gasket related is very unlikely through the spark plug.

3) What is the condition of the cylinder walls? Are they messed up or do they look good and still show original hash marks?

4) You need to look at your PCV system - hopefully it is clogged up and that was your problem - meaning your block is good.

You can redo the head if it is flat or send it to a machine shop, replace your valve stem seals and clean up all your valves. Put it back together and be good for many miles. Hopefully your rear main seal did not suffer any damage.

The biggest concern is that the oil issue is ring related, but looking at the head all but one cylinder shows signs of being "normal". Unless the car overheated really bad and the rings were ruined you may be okay with the current block. But the prior owner may have had a really bad overheat and replaced the head gasket and related only to have the oil issue. That is what you need to determine. The easiest way is to ask, then to inspect every part to see if it has been changed.

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Post by RickHaleParker »

3) What is the condition of the cylinder walls? Are they messed up or do they look good and still show original hash marks?

If you click on the photo to view, then click again to expand you will see the hash marks, the cylinder walls look good. However stuck rings are still a possibility. Soaking in Sea Foam while he has the head off should take care of that.
1998 C70, B5234T3, 16T, AW50-42, Bosch Motronic 4.4, Special Edition package.
2003 S40, B4204T3, 14T twin scroll AW55-50/51SN, Siemens EMS 2000.
2004 S60R, B8444S TF80 AWD. Yamaha V8 conversion
2005 XC90 T6 Executive, B6294T, 4T65 AWD, Bosch Motronic 7.0.

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