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XC70 Cam Seal / Valve Replacement

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DScholl1183
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XC70 Cam Seal / Valve Replacement

Post by DScholl1183 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:53 pm

I apologize in advance if this is somewhere else and for my lack of car knowledge. I bought a used 2004 Volvo XC70 and had it checked out by my local mechanic and everything was sound. Fast forward about 8 months and I'm putting oil on the ground and I'm unsure where it was coming from. Local mechanic checked it and said that the cam seals need replaced and upon trying to do the repair himself he did not have the tool needed to not screw things up.

I called the local Volvo dealership in Kansas City and told them what my mechanic said and was quoted at about $1,500 to $2,000 to fix my issue. $1,500 if it's just the seals and $2,000 if it's the valve as well. Reading around on this forum and another I keep seeing that, here is my lack of knowledge showing, that there can be a quick $10 repair having to do with a rear cam seal. Is my issue something that falls under that area? I don't want to pay $2000 I don't really have if it's something I can fix that easily and for much cheaper. Any help would be much appreciated as my appointment with the dealer is for a week from today. Cheers!



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SuperHerman
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Re: XC70 Cam Seal / Valve Replacement

Post by SuperHerman » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:26 am

Your car has two cams. Each end has a cam seal - so you have four seals. Front and back of each cam, times two.

Which seal(s) are leaking? Front or Back? If it is the back you can get by with just changing one, but I would do both. For the front, as there is so much work involved I would do both.

BUT - before moving forward you need to check your PCV system. Your problem could be a clogged PCV system which is causing pressure and pushing oil out the cam seals. Do a search for "glove test" and you will find the test procedure. June has a video linked on one of her postings. Start here. You could change the seals and have the same leak, or find a new leak as the oil/air pressure issue has not been resolved. Fixing a clogged PCV system may solve your problems.

The rear cam seals, facing the driver side can be replaced without special tools. I would recommend using Volvo seals here. I have heard of some seal brands being too thin. There are videos on the process and you should find some write ups. It is a pretty standard seal change and almost all post 2000 Volvo tutorial you find should provide guidance. The procedure is basically remove the items in the way and change the seal. A stubby screw driver or seal remover is the only "special" tool needed. One does not need to disturb the timing or the VVT hubs (which you have to for the front).

The front cam seal, facing the timing belt and passenger side are difficult to change and require the cam lock tools to perform the service. The problem with changing the front seals is that the VVT hub has to come off as well as the timing belt. There is no way to change the seals without changing the VVT hubs, which requires locking the cams with the special cam locking tools. The VVT hubs are torqued on pretty well, and home made holders have a history of bending. Once the VVT hubs are off, changing the seal is pretty normal. The cam lock tools serve two purposes here: 1) maintains proper timing; and 2) permits you to remove the VVT hub by holding the cams locked (other wise the cams will spin and you cannot get the VVT hub(s) off).

More detail for you, basically you are doing a timing belt change AND VVT hub(s) removal on the front seals. So if your timing belt has not been replaced count this leak as a blessing. If you are nearing a timing belt change (110k or 120k miles (I forget) or 220k/240k miles) interval you may as well change it and some pulleys at the same time. Besides removing the VVT hubs, setting the VVT hubs timing can be tricky - many have failed and redone the procedure numerous times until they got it right. There are plenty of write ups and videos on this. I believe your car has two VVT hubs.

Now depending on you mileage your VVT hubs may need to be replaced, one or both. This is not that common.

As far as the "valves" go - I do not know what this is about. Is your car having other problems you are not mentioning?



DScholl1183
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Re: XC70 Cam Seal / Valve Replacement

Post by DScholl1183 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:15 am

The front cams are the ones that are leaking because it's the locking tools that the local mechanic doesn't have and was quoted for about 5hrs of labor. I'm at around 115k and planned to do the timing belt at the same time since it was due anyway.

When I say "valve" I was just using the terminology the local mechanic used which was clearly incorrect. Car had been having zero issues before I noticed the oil on the ground, honestly I wouldn't have known anything was wrong otherwise.

I'll look up the "glove" test so I can check the PCV system too, but with it being the front cams leaking and the locking tools and labor involved, does the price I'm being told seem to be about right? Service desk at the dealer told me it would be 7hrs of labor and parts. This certainly seems like something I'll have to take to them as I don't have the tools or knowledge to do it myself.



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Re: XC70 Cam Seal / Valve Replacement

Post by XC70Rider » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:48 am

DScholl1183 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:15 am
.... This certainly seems like something I'll have to take to them as I don't have the tools or knowledge to do it myself.
If you're not a DIY mechanic then do the glove test first to determine if the PCV system is clogged. Remove the oil filler cap off the valve cover and surround the filler neck with a latex glove. Turn on the engine and let it idle in park. If the glove gets vacuumed in then the PCV isn't clogged. It it doesn't get sucked in or even inflates then your clogged PCV system needs to be serviced. Clogged PCV system is most likely causing the front CAM seals to leak. Fixing the PCV might stop the leaking. That will not be known until the PCV system gets cleaned so that should be your priority if it is clogged. Your timing belt is due for service so that should get done next.

Last January I cleaned up my PCV system, did the timing belt job, new water pump, and serviced the oil sump all at once.
Last edited by XC70Rider on Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:53 am, edited 1 time in total.



DScholl1183
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Re: XC70 Cam Seal / Valve Replacement

Post by DScholl1183 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:52 am

What's the cost usually for servicing the PCV system? I'm at work but as soon as I can do the glove test I'll know for sure. If that fails then I'll service that before the seals in case that solves the issue. Followed by timing belt, water pump, etc. I'm trying to avoid the dealer if need be just because of the inflated costs. My local mechanic had never done me wrong and had worked on my in-laws two Volvos.



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Re: XC70 Cam Seal / Valve Replacement

Post by XC70Rider » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:58 am

A mechanic who has previously done the PCV cleaning can get it done ~5 hours.

Here is a great kit containing parts for servicing the PCV

https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/volvo- ... -volvo-kit

Watch the video that FCP provides. During the video Jason will point out a plastic nipple hose that should also be replaced

Edit:

Here is the plastic nipple hose

https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/volvo- ... o-30731007

It is made for a different Volvo but will also fit your 2004 XC70.



DScholl1183
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Re: XC70 Cam Seal / Valve Replacement

Post by DScholl1183 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:07 am

Just ran out to my car to do the glove test and it sucked it right in, so no issues there with the PVC. Do the front cam seals leak due to things other than the PVC?



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Re: XC70 Cam Seal / Valve Replacement

Post by XC70Rider » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:27 am

To give it more pressure you should rev the engine to at least 2000rpm while in park. Do this after the engine has warmed up. Sorry forgot to mention this earlier.




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Re: XC70 Cam Seal / Valve Replacement

Post by shiloh51933 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:02 pm

DScholl1183 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:07 am
Just ran out to my car to do the glove test and it sucked it right in, so no issues there with the PVC. Do the front cam seals leak due to things other than the PVC?
Since your front cam seals are already leaking the glove test might not be 100% accurate, some pressure would escape at the cam seals. The variable valve timing hubs have to set properly, do not let anyone remove the hub/sprockets without the camshaft locking tools. I'd also use the crankshaft locking tool during this repair. You might as well replace the water pump, timing belt tensioner, idle pulley and rear cam seals as well. There's a plug on the end of the VVT unit that tends to leak, this plug is a Torx 50 or 55 ...if your really lucky the leak could just be that.


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Re: XC70 Cam Seal / Valve Replacement

Post by vtl » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:53 pm

XC70Rider wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:27 am
To give it more pressure you should rev the engine to at least 2000rpm while in park. Do this after the engine has warmed up. Sorry forgot to mention this earlier.
On turbo engines intake manifold can have vacuum or pressure (boost), thus PCV has 2 contours - it tries hard to source vacuum. Glove test done on idling engine is not sufficient, you also need to check it under boost. Step on the brakes, move the gear selector to D and carefully rev up engine to about 2500 RPMs. And let your friend to look at the glove since you can't see it.

Long expensive heated hose is what usually clogs first. It's a good idea to replace every piece of PCV anyways, because earlier model years had flaws in PCV design, like intake manifold banjo bolt did not have a check valve.

If the car saw only cheap mineral/hydrocracked oil and long intervals, the J-shaped passage inside oil sump may get clogged. The sump has to come down, it's not possible to clean the passage from outside.

These engines really suffer from inappropriate oil. And last nearly forever with the right one.


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