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Acceptable Amount of Lateral Rod Bearing play

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Acceptable Amount of Lateral Rod Bearing play

Post by - Pete - » Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:45 am

2004 V70 AWD 2.5T, 128k.

Is there any amount of acceptable lateral play in these?

All 5 have zero play up and down and are tight.
All 5 have exactly the same minuscule amount of lateral play on their journals. I did not use a feeler gauge to measure but they are all within 1/1000 of each other I’d say.

We currently own 2 XC70’s & we just bought this 04 V70 from an old guy who drove it way too gently, short trips & too lengthy oil change intervals. Drove it 200 miles home from the private party sale & had the “no oil pressure message” illuminate. I changed the filter since the guy said he had recently changed the oil and the oil lamp & PSI message went away temporarily.

I do all the work on our cars, so naturally I (reluctantly) dove in when I saw the “no oil PSI” message.

So far I’ve replaced the PCV system. It was completely plugged, lower port on block was totally occluded, upper port was half. I put compressed air to the lower after clearing out the opening and it did blow through (eventually) to the crankcase but not easily. I heard a bunch of stuff fly into the pan and then after that, just normal oil gurgling sounds.

Started car after that with cheap Formula Shell 10/30 oil to flush out the gunk. As the car was approaching operating temp the oil lamp came on intermittently. I did the rubber glove test on dipstick tube and filler neck and it passed the test, vacuum present.

Removed filter, it was pretty gunked up so replaced it and started car again. I then gingerly drove the car 3-4 miles and the oil lamp & no oil PSI came on again. Very gently drove back home. The last 40-50’ before going into the garage it sounded a little diesel-like, but no hesitation or rough running, just sounded a little like a diesel. I put it back on ramps, let it sit a little while, then restarted it. Right away there was a medium pitched whine that sounded like CVVT type noise (almost like a power steering pump that needs more fluid) and shut the engine off. Restarted again and the noise was there but only for half a second and dissipated, so I shut engine off again & dumped oil & filter. Naturally looked like I hadn’t just changed either.

So I dropped the pan & there was a lot of carbon deposits & sludge, but very little metal. I mean in the right light you’d see a little shimmer, but not more than I’m used to seeing in any other oil change I’ve done to our other Volvo’s. The only metal that was measurable was likely from the oil drain hole who’s threads appear to have have been slightly buggered by the previous owner.

Oil pickup tube “bell” shaped housing was full of junk and the screen had been pulled up as if it was trying to be sucked into the tube.
Anyhow, since the pickup tube is compromised I ordered another one, along with all the seals & sealant to put the pan back on, should all be here Wednesday.

So it’s probably pretty obvious why I’m asking about the crank journal bearings or rod cap bearings & their lateral play. That’s where I’m at, thanks for any input.

Hopefully I didn’t do much damage, the car has driven maybe 10 miles total & been run for maybe 45-55 minutes since the oil lamp initially came on & I’ve subsequently done all the tinkering I have.

Thanks,
Pete


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Re: Acceptable Amount of Lateral Rod Bearing play

Post by jimmy57 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:58 pm

those are loose. .08 to .24 mm/ .002 to .010 inch. Nothing pushes rod laterally and there is no flange on rod berings. That is the clearance between rod big end sides and the radius of rod journal on crank. The escaping rod brg oil fills it. No loss of oil pressure by that clearance.
The rod caps are cracked so you HAVE TO BE careful to put the cap back where is came from in the right direction. I would pull a couple of the rear rods for inspection. Rod bearings have no tabs so if one falls out installed it centered left-right.
Pick up screen is likely the issue but the diesel sound you described is worrisome.



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Re: Acceptable Amount of Lateral Rod Bearing play

Post by oragex » Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:42 pm

Usually the journals on cylinder 5 give up the first from sludge and lack of lubrucation and may look darker in color. Also check the oil pump while there, along with the filter valve and oil cooler orings. I would also question the upper engine lubrication including the VVT hubs. Then a look at the cam and rear engine main seals


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Re: Acceptable Amount of Lateral Rod Bearing play

Post by - Pete - » Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:17 am

Thanks Jimmy, couple more questions for you.
I've been trying to read in my lack of spare time today about rod end bearing side-side/axial play and end play on a variety of forums. I keep seeing that in many applications there is a small amount of allowable side-side play, "better a little loose than too tight" sorta idea. I'm not contradicting you, I just kept coming across this, and well, it sorta comforted me. Right now I'm pretty concerned that I've costed myself a good amount of bucks & hours of work on a car we haven't even owned 2 weeks. Clearly I don't know what the correct answer is for this motor. Just in reading about side to side play I kept reading that a very small amount is ok in a lot of applications is all.
jimmy57 wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:58 pm
those are loose. .08 to .24 mm/ .002 to .010 inch. Nothing pushes rod laterally and there is no flange on rod berings. That is the clearance between rod big end sides and the radius of rod journal on crank. The escaping rod brg oil fills it. No loss of oil pressure by that clearance.
Are you saying .002-,010 is the acceptable range when using plastigauge when tightening the rod caps & bearings?
Or you are saying that is the acceptable side-side axial play?

I measured them all with a brass feeler gauge set. Every single one was .008-.010" (no .009 in my set) on either side of the rod, one side at a time. Push the rod left, measure right side = .008-.010. Push same rod right, measure left = .008-.010.
Also, as I moved each rod big end left and right, I looked up at the small end & wrist pin. It was difficult to tell if the wrist pin floats in its bore or if the small end of the crank floats on the wrist pin, but it moves exactly the same amount on the small end of the rod as it does on the big end (does not go cock-eyed). Assuming it is designed to "float" around, or find the middle of the journal that's .004-.005 on either side of the bearing the oil has to escape from.

The rod caps are cracked so you HAVE TO BE careful to put the cap back where is came from in the right direction.
I don't follow, cracked? I'm guessing that was either a type-o or a mistranslation. I'm thinking you mean the caps are specific in how they must be oriented (put them on exactly how they came off).
The rod cap bolts are torque to yield, so replace if removed, ya?
I would pull a couple of the rear rods for inspection. Rod bearings have no tabs so if one falls out installed it centered left-right.
Pick up screen is likely the issue but the diesel sound you described is worrisome.
What do you mean by "pull a couple of the rear rods"? You mean rear rod bolts? Or just pull a couple of the rod caps?
I agree, I think the pickup tube screen being blocked was why the light came on & engine had intermittently been starving for oil.

I'm fearful to pull the rod caps & bearings not knowing if the small amount of lateral play I have is acceptable or not. From the looks of prices on FCP & such, about $40 to do one rod bearing w/out bolts, and doing just one really doesn't sound wise. Plus, I've read a lot of horror stories about replacing rod bearings & the bearings & journals still being toasted in a short number of miles. Read others lasting to 100k at which point they were replaced. Spent $4700 in good faith on the car & have stuck about $600 into it since getting it home. I'm not excited about spending more but I don't want to throw in the towel yet either.

I'll wait for now, but I'm leaning towards putting the pan seals in, cleaning up the bottom of the engine & oil passages & give it a whirl.

Usually the journals on cylinder 5 give up the first from sludge and lack of lubrucation and may look darker in color. Also check the oil pump while there, along with the filter valve and oil cooler orings. I would also question the upper engine lubrication including the VVT hubs. Then a look at the cam and rear engine main seals
If I remove the top cam cover/"valve cover" will the timing be maintained? I have done 2 or 3 timing belt/tensioner jobs, but if the cam wheels are removed it sounds like a different sort of timing job to get all that aligned. Guessing no cam sprocket/timing belt removal is necessary to pop the cam cover off? I'm sure it's sludged up in there, like the rest of the motor.
The valve on the top of the oil filter housing seems to work appropriately, can blow air through from the top side (as if blowing air into the filter housing from the crank case), but cannot blow air from the filter housing to the crank case above it.
The coloration of the crank & entire bottom half of the motor does not appear as though any part has blue'd or discolored due to heat. Just tarnish & sludge residue. Pan is soaking in gas right now.


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Re: Acceptable Amount of Lateral Rod Bearing play

Post by abscate » Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:45 am

The rod caps are cracked, or fractured, in a way that they must go back exactly as they came out. They are ruined if you chose the wrong 1 of 2 orrpientations and tighten the journal bolts
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Re: Acceptable Amount of Lateral Rod Bearing play

Post by oragex » Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:52 am

Not aware about the cover but check a few youtube vids with head removal on the 2..4 or 2.5


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Re: Acceptable Amount of Lateral Rod Bearing play

Post by - Pete - » Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:06 am

abscate wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:45 am
The rod caps are cracked, or fractured, in a way that they must go back exactly as they came out. They are ruined if you chose the wrong 1 of 2 orrpientations and tighten the journal bolts
Ok, I understand now, thanks.
So for a routine inspection, would a mechanic take the rod caps & bearings off, (say the journals & bearings then passed inspection) then reinstall the same parts in the same places in the same orientation with the same bolts that came out?
Not aware about the cover but check a few youtube vids with head removal on the 2..4 or 2.5
Thank you.

I measured them all with a brass feeler gauge set. Every single one was .008-.010" (no .009 in my set) on either side of the rod, one side at a time. Push the rod left, measure right side = .008-.010. Push same rod right, measure left = .008-.010.
Does anyone know if this is within the allowable spec range?


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Re: Acceptable Amount of Lateral Rod Bearing play

Post by jimmy57 » Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:43 am

You measured the side clearance and it is as it should be. The side clearance of rod to piston is looser than the .010' you measured for big end.That side motion is not your problem so put that out of your mind. I left "cap" out. You need to inspect rod bearings and the risk is greatest the further away you get from oil feed. The rod to journal clearance is .001-.002 inch. If the bearings are not worn through to copper layer then no need to measure. So the #5 rod cap should be removed. Fractured rod caps means there is no flat machined surfaces on rod and cap with dowel pins or sleeves. The rod is machined, bolt holes tapped, and the cap is broken off rod. The unique grain structure of the break line is the way the rod cap and rod align to each other and have no way to shift out of alignment. The risk is that the surface can be damaged. You have ZERO tolerance for putting cap on wrong and then running bolts down and drawing the parts together when not installed in the right way. If the grain of the faces gets injured then the rod cap will not close on rod and the bearing will not be retained where it will not spin and fail. The rod bearings do not have the little notched feature with a corresponding machined notch in rod and cap. The bearing shells are fitted in the center of rod left-right. Rod bolts are re-useable on the white motors. The bolt procedure is 30 N-m/22 lb-ft and then 90 degrees rotation.
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Re: Acceptable Amount of Lateral Rod Bearing play

Post by - Pete - » Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:58 pm

The rod to journal clearance is .001-.002 inch. If the bearings are not worn through to copper layer then no need to measure. So the #5 rod cap should be removed.
What an incredible and thorough reply. Thank you so much for taking the time to compose that Jimmy!
Very glad I'm within spec, well that's a huge relief.
Well, a temporary one anyway. I'll explain in a bit. :|

I tried to capture a couple pictures, it's harder than I thought. To me it looks like a little amber is showing through on the bottom bearing shell. I'm guessing that in near perfect health the bearing shells should be shiny & not blurry with no amber?
On the other hand, the crank journal looks, I dunno, you tell me. I'd say better than the bearing.

Image

Image

Image

Image


jimmy57 wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:43 am
You have ZERO tolerance for putting cap on wrong and then running bolts down and drawing the parts together when not installed in the right way. If the grain of the faces gets injured then the rod cap will not close on rod and the bearing will not be retained where it will not spin and fail.

I marked the rod cap & the front bolt so I couldn't put it in backwards, got that part right at least...
I was trying to be so, so very careful. Backed the bolts out one at a time while holding pressure on the cap, then was gently wiggling the rod cap to get it free & just as it came loose it slipped right through my gloved hands & hit the floor. Should have left one bolt in the rod, just backed out a couple turns. Oophta.

Photos relating to this paragraph are below. I can see one of the corners of the bearing shell looks like it has tiny bruise on it from contacting the floor or one of the tools laying there. If it run my fingernail across that "ridge" I can feel an imperfection. I am unable to tell for certain if the cracked surface of the rod cap contacted the floor, but I do see a shiny spot on the one "ear", on the same end & side of the cap as the corner of the bearing shell that got bruised.

I now grasp how critical it is to maintain perfect mating surfaces with cracked rods.

I will take a closer look at the rod end to see if the "shiny" spot on the cap has a mate on the rod end.


Shiny spot & bruise on corner of bearing shell

Image

Image


Upon closer inspection of the bottom of the rod it looks like I might have incorrectly thought the worst of that shiny spot. Well it matches up perfectly with a shiny spot on the bottom of the rod so I think I'm ok there - no contact was made between that face of the rod cap and the ground. Just the bearing got bruised thankfully! Holy rollercoaster the last 24 hours.

Image


So after all that, I suppose I'm looking at replacing at least the rod bearing shells on at the very least rod#5?

I'll go back & clean this post up tomorrow when I have more time, get rid of the unnecessary verbiage.
Last edited by - Pete - on Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Acceptable Amount of Lateral Rod Bearing play

Post by jimmy57 » Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:20 pm

The bearings shells look FANTASTIC. it does not look like the rods suffered any lack of oiling.
On rods the force is down so the bottom shell will look better and the oil residue will color it amber. They start dull silver but by 50K miles they will usually be stained some. Those look completely re-useable.
The bottom would get injured too if oiling was a problem.
Rod journal on crank looks good.

Before you get all down and out get plastigage and measure that rod bearing clearance on that rod with it torqued and angled maybe 45 degrees. The angle stretches the rod bolt a bit but the torque and half angle will give you a reading you can evaluate without adding a full stretch cycle on those rod bolts. If the clearance is .002" or less put it back together and don't think about that one.



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